In The Kitchen

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 »

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 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 »

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 September: PIZZA A MODEL OF DIVERSITY

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2011 September: PIZZA A MODEL OF DIVERSITY

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. As anyone who has ever driven a car in Naples can tell you, it has taken a while for reality to catch up with Giuseppe Garibaldi’s noble vision. The fact is that Italy has always been a land of individualism — and this is particularly true ofMore »

2011 September: TAKING A BULL BY THE HORNS

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2011 September: TAKING A BULL BY THE HORNS

This is the greatest pizza in the world.” That was the mantra that my dad, Dick, repeated to my three brothers and me as kids growing up in New Haven, Connecticut. Sally’s Apizza on Wooster Street was our place. Dick, a lifelong New Haven resident, ate there as a child going back to 1938 whenMore »

2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

2011 September: READY FOR THE RENAISSANCE?

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a horrible or a fantastic time in the pizza industry — the entire restaurant industry, really. Just like our nation has divided into political polar opposites, the pizza segment has separated into two basic categories: cheap pizza and fantastic pizza. No-limit $5 medium pies orMore »

2011 September: LINKED IN

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2011 September: LINKED IN

Making sausage in your restaurant is easier than you think, and fresh sausage cannot be beat. Take a minute and think about how many dishes use sausage. Go beyond topping your pizza and consider sausage sandwiches and even soups like sausage and roasted red pepper soup. Sausage is a main ingredient in many dishes inMore »