In The Kitchen

Old School Sicilian Pizza

2009 August: Old School

What makes a Sicilian pizza a Sicilian pizza? In two words: shape and thickness. A true Sicilian pizza is rectangular. A true Sicilian pizza has a crust that is almost a half-inch thick. How do I know this? I know this because next door to my boyhood home in upstate New York there was anMore »

Pasta Primer: Fettuccine

2009 August: Pasta Primer

This is the time of year that many of us (especially those of us living in the Midwest) go bananas over fresh tomatoes. If I had the time, I would write another cookbook called “101 Ways to Use Fresh Tomatoes.” So this time of year I am constantly coming up with new ways to useMore »

Fruitza

Mandarin Pizza

Think fruit pizza and the ubiquitous “Hawaiian” most likely comes to mind. While no one will argue against the popularity of this ham-and-pineapple delight, fruit toppings aren’t limited to pineapple. Consider pears, apples, oranges — even coconut. The operators we interviewed did just that and discovered that fruit not only adds a sweet note toMore »

Summer Specials

Summer Specials

Have fun with this “five-course” summer special: appetizer, salad, pizza, pasta and dessert. I have a lot of recipes to cover, so let’s get right to it. Each of these recipes can be scaled up in direct proportion. ? APPETIZER Mozzarella Cheese Puffs These golden puffs are flavorful and fun. Kids, especially, love these. YouMore »

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

2009 June: Ricotta Revelry

Love it or hate it, ricotta just may be the most versatile cheese found in pizzerias today. Not only is it used in pasta dishes, but it can also be found atop pizzas and in rich, delightful sauces and desserts. It’s important to understand what ricotta comes from and how it’s made. Ricotta is ItalianMore »

The Dough Doctor talks calzones

2009 July: Dough Doctor

From time to time I get requests from readers asking for a dough formula suitable for making calzones. The truth of the matter is that while you can use a specific dough formula for making calzones, your regular pizza dough will work just fine in this application. Let’s start by looking at a dedicated calzoneMore »

Going Pro

2013 March: Going Pro

Is a professional chef needed in a pizzeria’s kitchen? The performance kitchen at Cane Rosso takes center stage. Built around a wood-fired oven, the workspace is home to leading man Dino Santonicola, the Naples-born master pizzaiolo hired by owner Jay Jerrier to put his restaurant on the map. And he’s not alone –– more attentionMore »

Moneymaking Menu Must

Photo by Rick Daugherty

According to the National Restaurant Association, the most profitable menu items are soft drinks, followed closely by alcoholic drinks and then pastas and pizza. The largest pizzeria chains in the world do not sell alcohol, and until just a few years ago they did not even sell pastas. Yet, they still make a lot ofMore »

Perfect Pasta Prep

Rigatoni al Filo di Fumo

Many of you have contemplated adding pasta to your menu but may still be reluctant. Well it’s time to cast your worries aside. I’ve written about pasta in the past and have even lead demos at International Pizza Expo. My goal now is to bring you through the most important part of making it happenMore »

Menu Engineering

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Photo by Josh Keown

So much of what happens in a restaurant is creative. All cooks like to think of themselves as artistes. It is, after all, called the culinary arts. But when it comes to the menu, that’s where science kicks in. In fact, too much creativity on a menu can have negative consequences. That isn’t to sayMore »