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November 17, 2014

Everything Old is Nouvelle Cuisine

Small PlateTo be au courant these days, look no further than those restaurants that specialize in “small plates,” or “shared plates.”  If you want your own food, forget about it. At a recent visit to a hot new restaurant, we nearly took off someone’s arm wrestling for that last mouthful of a thumb-size crab cake.

The dishes at shared plates restaurants are meticulously prepared. Instead of spooning a sauce over the dish, it might be dolloped on the plate in a decorative swirl. The chef gets to exercise his or her creativity and the diner gets a one-bite beignet with slivers of mushroom artfully placed, or as a friend likes to call it, “tweezer food.”

But the idea of the small precious food perfectly plated is hardly a new one.

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October 15, 2014

The Ramen Trend: What You Need To Know

A steamy bowl of ramen noodlesIf you’ve ever been a poor struggling student, you already know about living on a cup of ramen noodles to make that dollar stretch. Heck, even a pack of gum costs more than those crispy, curly bricks. But these days, ramen is a whole ‘nother cup of noodles. 

Ramen restaurants focused on full-flavored broths and fresh ingredients—including the noodles—are new showplaces for a chef’s talent. It’s thought that ramen began in China and spread to Japan in the nineteenth century. Noodle shops are ubiquitous in Japan but most folks credit David Chang, the famous New York chef and restaurateur, for introducing the concept of a high-end noodle shop to America. Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York in 2004—and within 10 years, the noodle bar concept, built around ramen, has spread across the country.

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September 22, 2014

Nature's Liquid Gold: Honey

Honey ImageWhether you’re using the word “honey” to describe a golden syrup or Winnie the Pooh’s favorite food, the word just sounds good, doesn’t it? Last time we looked no one was calling anyone “agave” as a term of endearment. 

September is National Honey Month. We know from our history lessons on the internet that honey has been a crowd pleaser since ancient days, long before Honey Boo Boo twirled onto the stage. (The name “honey” for a girl has jumped in popularity in the last two years, according to some sources. Coincidence? We think not.)

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July 31, 2014

To Tip Or Not To Tip? That Is The Question.

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It’s a given that those of us who have charm and personality (ahem), should have no trouble making fabulous tips as waiters or waitresses. Unless, of course, that four-top who sat for three hours was not amused by your charm and personality and left you a $2 tip. Or that four-top was amused by your charm and personality – and still left you a $2 tip.

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July 5, 2014

New Food Trends and How to Add Them To Your Menu

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The hottest food trends for 2014 are in from the National Restaurant Association(link to: http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/What-s-Hot-in-2014-culinary-forecast- confirms-sour) and everybody’s buzzing about them.

 

According to the survey, the hot new food trends for 2014 are:

-environmental sustainability

-nutrition, especially children's nutrition

-gluten-free cusine

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June 17, 2014

Fork and Spoon: Meet the 1200 Calorie Pasta Dish and the New Labeling Law

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When we walked into one of our favorite chain restaurants for a family dinner recently, we were stunned into silence (and we can tell you, that is not an everyday occurrence). The restaurant, in compliance with an upcoming federal law, has added the requisite calorie count on every dish – ahead of the regulations.   

 

We were completely blindsided- but not for the reasons you might expect. We were looking forward to a nice meal – instead we ended up feeling guilty about calories, when we could have been solving global warming or at the very least, fighting over  who was going to pick up the check.    

 

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May 6, 2014

The Paleo Diet: Everything Old is New Again

PaleoBedrock, USA – This just in: From the heartland of America the newest trend sweeping the restaurant trade is, drum beat please: Eat Like a Caveman. Who knew Fred Flintstone could be so right on the money?

The Paleo Diet, which is based on a Stone Age hunter-gatherer model, has become fashionable at restaurants across the country, like Corner Table in Houston, Texas. These restaurants are taking the Paleolithic concept and turning caveman eats into a beautiful thing. At Corner Table, simple spaghetti squash and cauliflower are lifted to new heights of delicious. Paleo is a food plan well suited to restaurant chefs, who can take the time to work their magic on food choices that might be daunting in the home kitchen.

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March 6, 2014

Top 5 Fairly Odd Food Tales

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Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and nowhere is that truer than in the restaurant industry. From a wide-range of internet sources – some of them even trustworthy – we’ve compiled five of the most unusual experiences in the restaurant biz.

View them as cautionary tales – and be afraid-d-d. Or, you know, mildly amused.

 

 

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February 6, 2014

Taking the Confusion Out of Fusion


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In 1989, acclaimed chef and Miami restaurateur Norman Van Aken  gave a name to the type of cooking that combined crossover flavors from various ethnic cuisines and regional ingredients with classical cooking techniques. He called it “fusion,” borrowing the term from jazz.

Aken’s dishes were complex, both in flavor and technique, for instance Chiles Spiked Veal Adobo with Corn Relish, Garlic and a Spanish Sherry Wine Vinegar Reduction” a Mexican Adobo rub with a classical French sauce and Nueva Pork Havana, marinated in a mix of sour oranges, garlic and so forth, in which he integrated black beans into a sauce with fried plantains, instead of the more expected black beans and rice.

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January 22, 2014

Theme Nights Chase Away The Slow Night Blues

OystersWhether it’s a three-course dinner featuring lobster or a dinner with a guest chef, restaurants are increasingly turning to unique themes to bring in customers during the off-nights of the week.

Tuesday, we’re looking at you.

Finding a theme that’s a match for the restaurant and its clientele – whether it’s a one-off, or a weekly special - can be a fun, creative process. Take the ever-popular restaurant week, which began in New York in 1992, and quickly spread to large and small cities across the country.

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