In The Kitchen

Dress It Up

Salad, dressing, honey, lemon

Make your own salad dressings to up the wow factor in-house There are two times of the year that salad sales in restaurants spike. The first spike is a short-lived one, and that’s the first week in January when people are making their New Year’s resolutions. The second one is now and lasts all summer!More »

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 »

Ask Big Dave: Help — Our Oven Died

askChefJeff02

Q: On the busiest Friday night ever our pizza oven died. It became completely inoperable. We lost tons of business and many of our customers left disappointed and probably visited our competition to get their pizza that night. We are trying to figure out a good way to solve this problem. Any suggestions? A: I’mMore »

Go Green

caproccio salad

Fun and flavorful salads heat up summer profits With the summer months upon us crisp, cold salads are a must-have menu item. “When it’s hot outside, salads are one of my favorite foods to eat,” says Spencer Johnston, executive chef at The Churchill in Los Angeles, California. To move his dinner salads, Johnston has summerMore »

Sauces — Beyond Red

2012 May: Beyond Red pasta with Gorgonzola Cream sauce

Artisan sauces take pizza menus beyond the red sauce   At the dawn of the pizza age, tomato sauce –– or crushed plum tomatoes –– was what a customer would expect to find on the pie that was put before them. Over time, though, it was simply a matter of trying out new ideas. TheMore »

Showtime

2012 May: SHOWTIME

Performance kitchens put staff center stage   For Brixx, a southeastern-U.S.-based chain of brick-oven restaurants, having a performance kitchen was just a natural extension of the restaurant’s branding strategy. “Making the pizza in the brick oven is all part of the show,” says Eric Horsley, Brixx managing partner and lead design strategist. “Guests are fascinatedMore »

The Dough Doctor examines ovens’ effects on dough

2012 May: Dough Doctor

An interesting question came across my desk asking how the physical attributes of an artisan pizza would be affected by baking the same pizza in different types of ovens. Let’s take a look and see how a New York-style thin-crust pizza might vary when baked in the different types of ovens. Since this is aMore »

Pizza Toppings: Garden Fresh

2012 May: Garden Fresh

Think outside the tomato when it comes to fresh veggies on pizza   Artisan pizza is booming right now thanks to an influx of upscale ingredients that are more readily available than ever before. One of the latest trends which I believe is here to stay is to “buy local” in areas that we can,More »

2012 May: Big Splash

2012 May: Big Splash

If you sell pizza, you’re a craftsman. Just as a painter, writer, architect or designer creates so, too, do you. It is your craftsmanship –– the long hours of perfecting your recipes so that your artisan pizza comes out of the oven perfect –– on which you have built a reputation and a business. AndMore »