In The Kitchen

2009 January: The Meat is On

2009 January: The Meat is On

As one of the basic staples of any Italian menu, a flavorful meat sauce makes the difference between an okay dish and a top seller. That’s why most operators don’t mind the time and effort it takes to make a savory meat sauce or a richer alternative, Bolognese. Many recipes for Bolognese call for veryMore »

2010 November: Mama Mia!

2010 November: Mama Mia!

From Messina on the Northeast corner of Sicily to Trapani on the west coast, Sicily has, over many centuries, felt the infl uences of Greek, Roman, and Spanish culture. That minestrone of civilizations has had quite an impact on the cuisine of this fabled island. Often the term cucina povera, or the cooking of theMore »

2010 November: Dough Doctor

2010 November: Dough Doctor

Q: We are having a problem with our dough growing in the cooler.         A: There are a number of things that can result in the dough “blowing” in the cooler. The first cause could be excessive amounts of yeast in the dough. Most pizza doughs perform best when the yeast levelMore »

Oversized pizzas can bring in big profits

2010 October: Perfect Pies

There’s something to be said for an over-sized pizza: It’s big. How big? The average size for pizza these days is 14 inches in diameter. Anything around 18-inches in diameter or above is generally considered “oversized.” That said, pizza doesn’t always need to be round. When working with an over-sized pizza, consider going rectangular byMore »

2010 August: Safe & Sound

2010 August: Safe & Sound

Running a pair of independent pizzerias in northern Georgia, Ron Kaes knows that one serious workplace injury can spoil the two Paparonni’s pizzerias he’s dedicated himself to over the last 16 years. “Workplace safety ought to be a concern for any business owner, but especially for the owner-operator who can least afford lost productivity orMore »

2010 June: Comfort Food

2010 June: Comfort Food

Stromboli is a sealed, toasted Italian sandwich, usually stuffed with deli meats and cheese. Romano’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant in Essington, Pennsylvania, lays claim to the original, where Pete Romano and family continue the stromboli tradition set by his grandfather in the early 1950s. But other operations carry stromboli on their menus, adhering to theMore »

2010 August: Veritable Veggies

2010 August: Veritable Veggies

More and more I am seeing a bumper crop of vegetables showing up on restaurant menus –– and I am not talking salads here. From asparagus to zucchini and everything in between (arugula is the hottest green being used as a pizza topping right now), vegetables of every shape and color have become the go-toMore »

Dough Doctor: Clammy bottom pizza? There’s help for you yet

2010 July: Dough Doctor

Q: We are experiencing a clammy bottom on our pizza, but our conveyor ovens were just recently cleaned. Where should we start trouble-shooting? A: There is no escaping this one –– you have to begin trouble shooting with a thorough inspection of the oven. Cleaning the oven is one thing, but getting it put backMore »

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 »