In The Kitchen

The Dough Doctor takes a look at modern mixers

2012 January: Dough Doctor

Q: Our mixer finally crashed and we got a 40-quart vertical cutter mixer (VCM) to replace it. How does this mixer compare against our old 80-quart mixer? A: The first thing to know about the VCM is that it has a much higher mixing speed. The two-speed models mix at 1750 RPM at low speed andMore »

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

2011 November: JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER

You’re sitting down for dinner when you realize you haven’t washed your hands in hours. You go to the restroom, wash your hands and reach for a paper towel. But there are none –– and no hand-dryer either. Now you’ve got that icky wet-hand feeling, and a few doubts about the place you’ve chosen forMore »

Ravioli: Get stuffed

2011 November: GET STUFFED

Cheese-filled ravioli is an Italian staple that we’ve seen on menus for decades. Over the last several years we’ve seen these delightful stuffed pasta pillows get a delectable makeover. As we culinary folks have come to look at stretched pizza dough as an empty canvas where almost anything goes, we have realized the same isMore »

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

2011 November: ITALIAN CLASSIC

Meatballs, which have been around for hundreds of years and were once considered peasant goods, have gone mainstream. In fact, one Chicago restaurateur has opened a restaurant called “The Ball Room.” Yes, meatballs of various style (and shape) served every which way are the mainstays of the menu. Let me put it this way: whoMore »

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

2011 November: SEAWORTHY

I always wonder why more pizzeria operators don’t do more with shrimp. Yes, I know adding any type of seafood to the operation poses a few issues –– buying, storage and cooking — that might be more than some operators want to deal with. But using shrimp on pizza, in a pasta dish or asMore »

2011 November: Dough Doctor

2011 November: Dough Doctor

Q: In looking at different methods of dough management, some call for allowing the dough balls to rest at room temperature for an hour or more, while others say to take the dough directly to the cooler without any room temperature rest period. Does it really make a difference? A: Yes, it does make aMore »

2011 October: WHEN PIGS FLY

2011 October: WHEN PIGS FLY

Pork is media’s darling right now, and operators across the country are happily placing swine in the spotlight. Pork belly. Pork shoulder. Lardo. Speck. Prosciutto. Pancetta. And bacon … always bacon. Pizza is no stranger to pork, showing unadulterated love to salty ham, crisp bacon and meaty sausage. But a brave, new porcine world begsMore »

2011 October: Ask Big Dave

2011 October: Ask Big Dave

Amir F. Detroit, Michigan A few years ago I would have said that it was a novelty that we wouldn’t be talking about by now. I didn’t understand it. Boy, was I wrong. Once I started to get requests to assist new and old locations that wanted to get into the Neapolitan game, I knewMore »

2011 October: Dough Doctor

2011 October: Dough Doctor

Our mixer finally crashed and we got a 40-quart vertical cutter mixer (VCM) to replace it. How does this mixer compare against our old 80-quart mixer? A: The first thing to know about the VCM is that it has a much higher mixing speed. The two-speed models mix at 1750 RPM at low speed andMore »

Sauces: Basic is best

2011 September: BASIC IS BEST

“Made in house” is a unique marketing mantra that should be on your menu. The more items you prepare from scratch, the more you stand out from your competition across the street. Granted, some items are easier to make than others. And some items are more labor intensive than others. The good news? Sauces areMore »