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21 posts categorized "Passion for Food"

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 5, 2014

New Food Trends and How to Add Them To Your Menu


The hottest food trends for 2014 are in from the National Restaurant Association(link to: 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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December 16, 2013

Sour Hits the Sweet Spot in Beer

What would sweet-and-sour chicken be without the sweet? Or hot and sour soup without the hot.

That’s right. Sour.

On the other hand, there is sour cream. Sour Patch Kids. Grapefruit. So, maybe sour isn’t, well, all sour.

Especially if you’re talking about beer.

Sour beers are the newest passion of craft brewers, which falls into the everything-old-is-new-again category. Sour beer is one of the oldest, if not the oldest style of beer-making. “The Belgians invented this style called lambics,” says Bill St. John, a wine writer and educator in Chicago, who has an interest in the style because of his Belgian heritage. “It’s an ancient way of making beer, using wild yeast from the air.”

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November 26, 2013

Chef Derin Moore Brings Home the Gold


Chef Derin Moore
Chef Derin Moore of Performance Foodservice - Milton's

With all eyes focused on the Winter Olympics, Derin Moore can speak from experience about going for the gold – in the culinary world at least. Moore, 47 is a corporate chef/culinary consultant in Atlanta with Performance Foodservice. His team recently won the gold medal at The USA Culinary Cup Challenge Team Competition in Orlando, Florida. Eight teams competed from across the country to produce a winning four-course meal.


That competition was only one of many wins for Moore, who has represented the American Culinary Federation both in regional competitions (1992 to 1996), national competitions (1997 to 2000), and the 2000 international Culinary Olympics, with the ACF Culinary Team USA placing sixth in the event that’s held every four years.

The rigorous requirements to make the team are not for the faint-of-heart. Moore has the competitive spirit of any athlete, which means “training hard with the right people.” After he was selected for the national team, “I was on an airplane all over the U.S. training in different facilities.”

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October 29, 2013

The Wheels on the (Food) Truck Go Round and Round Part II

Josh Wolkon
Josh Wolkon /

In our last blog, we talked about the food truck and how it’s opening new markets in the foodservice industry. This time we look at why a well-established restaurateur with three brick-and-mortar restaurants would want to take to the streets. We e-chatted with Josh Wolkon, who has three vastly different food concepts at his three highly successful restaurants in Denver: Steuben’s (comfort food), Ace (Asian-inspired), and Vesta Dipping Grill (fine dining). Wolkon helped to launch the industry in Denver in a big way when he hopped on board the Steuben’s food truck.


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October 15, 2013

Food Trucks are Driving a New Market from Coast to Coast

Call it a moveable feast or meals on wheels. On a bright, sunny end-of-summer day, we’re outside stalking our query: Food trucks lined up end to end in a city park.


There are at least 10 choices. So that we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, we sidle up to the menus on the side of the trucks and check them out before stealthily moving on. Do we feel like something gourmet or something funky? Grass-fed burgers or biscuit potpie; Chinese sandwiches or barbecue? So many delicious choices, so little time.

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September 3, 2013

The Pies Have It

You really wanna get to know somebody? Skip the “what’s your sign?” talk and go for, “What’s your pie?”

According to the American Pie Council, your favorite pie says a lot about you. If you like:

Apple Pie: You are independent, realistic and compassionate
Pecan Pie: You are thoughtful and analytical
Chocolate Pie: You are loving
Pumpkin Pie: You are funny and independent
Cherry Pie: You admire presidents with wooden teeth

OK, so maybe it’s not a real conversation starter at your local bar, but pie is enjoying a renaissance, with new flavor combos and high quality ingredients, like the unique Heritage Ovens Homestyle Pina Colada Pie with Coconut Topping.

But flavors and ingredients aside, the latest trend in pies became apparent on a recent road trip where part of the fun included playing the game, “I spy,” which, in this case, translates into “I spy pie.”

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August 19, 2013

Flash in the Frying Pan or The Next Breakfast Sensation?


If you really want to know what makes America great, look no further than the Cronut™. The Cronut™, a hybrid of a croissant and a donut, has folks lining up at 5 a.m. for a crack at one of the 200 Cronuts™ produced daily in a New York City bakery. Even celebrities like Hugh Jackman aren’t allowed to jump the line.

In true American spirit, other chefs are rushing to crack the secret baking code of Chef Dominique Ansel, who found a way to deep fry croissant-like dough without losing the layers of flakiness. Ansel may have trademarked his product, but that hasn’t stopped a slew of imitators from producing everything from the “doissant” to a homemade version using Pillsbury crescent roll dough.

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June 24, 2013

C is for Cookie – and Comfort

When actress Ginnifer Goodwin was asked in a recent interview about her favorite comfort food, she said “one lettuce leaf, hold the dressing,”

That’s what you might expect, but Goodwin, our new favorite actress actually said, “mac and cheese,” tapping into one of the enduring trends in the restaurant world: The food that‘s just like mom used to make. (Unless your mom’s specialty included an aluminum pan and the word Stouffer’s on the lid, which you thought was your family’s name. What do you expect from a 30-year-old?)

Josh Wolkon, who owns a group of Denver restaurants, that includes both the high end Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben’s, a comfort food emporium, says comfort food is always in. “I think just the word comfort in itself suggests nostalgia. It plays to our emotions whether it’s home or places we went to as kids.”

When it comes to comfort food, chefs fall into two camps – comfort food that really does replicate homestyle favorites; and/or comfort food that goes for the real thing with a twist, you know like lobster mac and cheese or tomato soup with crème fraiche and garlic croutons.

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