In The Kitchen

2009 November: Fired Up

wood fired oven

Cooking with wood has been around since the dawn of civilization, so there’s no singular revelation attached to that method of cooking. On the other hand, cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven has been going on only since the turn of the century in this country. In recent years, however, the fire has been bankedMore »

2009 November: Prep School

prep chicken

Adam Goldberg, owner of Fresh Brothers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, was slammed — on a Monday. The restaurant’s volume was up way more than normal. The lunch rush had extended to 3:30 p.m., leaving staff only one hour to prep before dinner service. Remarkably, staff never fell behind. Goldberg doesn’t attribute itMore »

2009 November: Pasta Primer

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti with Meatballs This recipe is very close to how my mother did her meatballs, but there are as many recipes for meatballs as there are Italians. This recipe makes 18 meatballs, each about 2 inches in diameter. Makes 6 servings (scale up in direct proportion) 1⁄2 pound ground pork 1 pound lean ground beefMore »

Dough storage can make or break your operation

2009 October: Dough Doctor

Dough storage –– this is one of those topics that I continually get questions about, so it’s probably time that we go back and revisit the basics. The way in which we store our dough has changed over the years. Back in the 1950s it was common to allow the mixed dough to remain inMore »

2009 October: Cool & Creamy

ice cream, brownie, sundae, dessert

As temperatures rise this summer, diners look for ways to cool down. Ice cream presents a practical solution. Sure, you can sell it by the scoop, but why not pair ice cream with cookies or brownies? Ice cream lends itself to many easy-to-prepare desserts. It’s a tasty — and profitable — menu addition. “Ice creamMore »

2009 October: Pasta Primer

2009 October: Pasta Primer

I have been making linguine with clam sauce (both the red and white versions) in one fashion or another for many years, so you can well imagine that it is one of my favorites. If fresh manila clams or littleneck clams are not available, you can use chopped or canned clams. The result will notMore »

2009 November: Done with Style

2009 November: Done with Style

From parsley and Parmesan to lemon slices and dustings of powdered sugar, plating food is an art form that delights guests. I want to teach you some plating techniques to let your passion for food shine through. I’m sure you’ve heard it a hundred times: people eat with their eyes! It’s important to understand exactlyMore »

2009 October: The Sweet Life

 By: 
carrot cake

It’s no secret that times are tough for restaurant operators. Money is tight, customer numbers are down, and more than ever profi t margins are at a premium. But even though you may not be able to add that second location (yet), there are ways to boost profi ts in this down economy. How? ByMore »

2009 September: Mushroom Magic

mushroom, vegetables, ingredient, topping

My father was a mushroom farmer. During my high school years, I put in more than a few hours getting acquainted with mushrooms in every way possible. Most of the mushrooms we grew (from scratch, including inserting the mushroom spawn into the compost) were sent to various markets in the Northeast, but there were alwaysMore »

2009 September: The Power of Pasta

pastas pasta bowls

Pizza and pasta is a match made in heaven. If pasta isn’t already on your menu, start up the printing press — because that’s all about to change! Not only should you be offering both, but why not create a “family feast” by combining a pasta entrée, a pizza and a salad? I’ve heard fromMore »