Author Archives: Katie Ayoub

2010 July: Such a Ham!

2010 July: Such a Ham!

Prosciutto is more than just Italian ham. It’s a delicacy, prized for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and subtle, complex flavor. A little goes a long way, allowing operators to leverage prosciutto’s sense of place, perceived value and flavor profile. Fabricated from the haunches of a pig, lots of love and attention goes into its production: theMore »

2010 April: Layers of Love

2010 April: Layers of Love

The trick with fan favorites is delivering on the promise of taste memory while thrilling with twists and signature takes — as long as those twists work. Lasagna is a potluck regular, a secret recipe held tightly by grandma–– and an opportunity for operators. It’s a comfort-food all star, but needs a bit of reinventionMore »

2010 March: Feeling Blue?

2010 March: Feeling Blue?

To say blue cheese is an assertive cheese is to put it mildly. At its best, blue cheese is creamy, pungent, acidic and complex. It works well with other strong flavors, like fiery barbecue sauce, garlic, onion and bold spices. One of blue cheese’s many dimensions is sweetness, which plays well against tart ingredients, suchMore »

2010 February: Perenial Powerhouse

2010 February: Perenial Powerhouse

Call them chicken tenders, chicken fingers or chicken nuggets — they all sound good to diners. According to Technomic’s Appetizer Consumer Trend report (March 2009), two-thirds of consumers polled say that they order chicken strips “sometimes” or “more often” when they eat out at restaurants. That same report illustrates how operators are responding to thatMore »

Chicago-style Deep Dish: Going Deep

2012 November: Going Deep

Nothing says Chicago like deep-dish pizza. This unique pie stands out with a crisp, biscuit-like crust that comes up the sides of a three- inch pan. It’s thick with cheese and other ingredients, and then topped with a chunky tomato sauce and baked for 30 to 45 minutes. Chicago is heavy with pizzerias that offerMore »

Storing & Handling Jalapenos

Choose fresh jalapeños with a glossy shine and deep colors. Avoid wrinkled or soft ones. Store them in a paper bag for one or two weeks in the walk-in. Once sliced, use within three days. Wear gloves when handling to avoid irritating the eyes from the oils found in the jalapeño’s skin.

Primer for Food Safety

Primer for Food Safety

There’s nothing sexy about food safety. But running a professional kitchen with proper food-safety protocols in place is the most important aspect of an operation. Not only can a poor health inspection be costly through fines, it can also devastate the restaurant’s reputation. And with a branding of unsafe practices, an operation has a difficult,More »

2011 January: Sweet Tooth

2011 January: Sweet Tooth

“Desserts are a missed opportunity,” says Jeffrey Freehof, owner of The Garlic Clove in Evans, Georgia, and a resident expert at Pizza Today. In our September 2010 issue, he called out desserts as one of the five things every pizzeria should be making in-house. His advice is worth repeating: “Sure, there are a lot ofMore »

So Cool

Chocolate Gelato

Make this summer sweet with gelato Gelato –– that dense, creamy, wonderful Italian frozen dessert –– is not the exotic, foreign entity it once was. But although it has found its way onto restaurant menus across the country, it still offers menu distinction to operators. Flavors are limited only by imagination and range from theMore »

So Sweet!

Amaretti Cookies

Creative desserts boost check averages   Gaining a competitive edge in today’s crowded market is more crucial than ever. Diners expect the moon and the stars — preferably locally sourced, homemade and at a great price. Desserts offer a great way to distinguish an independent from the chain restaurant down the street — or fromMore »