Industry News

Twist on a Basic Sauce

Twist on a Basic Sauce

Let’s take a look at a few sauces that are unique yet useful. Sauces that will catch the eye of your customer and, just possibly, leave your competition in the dust. I am not suggesting that you go through a complete sauce makeover, because that would be foolish (customers will only accept subtle changes). WhatMore »

2012 September: CiCi’s Pizza redesigned Web site wins WebAwards

(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza has won “Outstanding Website” in this year’s WebAwards for the restaurant’s fully redesigned website that offers visitors a virtual taste of the family-oriented, endless pizza, pasta, salad, soup and dessert buffet experience enjoyed across the country. The revamped site offers a visually stimulating experience that captures the variety ofMore »

Scamorza

Scamorza is the Rodney Dangerfield of cheeses –– it gets no respect. But it should –– this is a cheese that restaurant owners should take a hard look at. Just the idea of offering, say, a specialty pizza using scamorza will get the attention of any customer simply because the name is not one thatMore »

Chocolate Cake

More restaurants need to step up to the plate (so to speak) when it comes to desserts. Why? Because you lose income (lower check average) if you don’t. Why? Because you increase customer satisfaction. Absolutely, there are a gazillion desserts –– many of them quite good –– that you can purchase from suppliers that are readyMore »

Spinach

If you are of a certain age you will easily make the connection between spinach and Popeye, the comic book character. When he was in trouble and needed a jolt of extra power and strength, Popeye would open a can of spinach and toss it down in one fell swoop. Eating canned spinach? Hmmmm. It’sMore »

Parmesan Provolone

Parmesan and provolone are as different as night and day, but both of these cheeses are as important to Italian cuisine as Sophia Loren is to Naples. Parmesan is a cow’s milk cheese that is made in huge wheels and aged for a specific time. Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano is the esteemed Italian version, which by lawMore »

Fried Artichoke & Zucchini

The appetizer section of menus has been taking a beating in the many Chicago restaurants I visit every day in my role as chief restaurant critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. I see customers moving away from expensive appetizers (and, believe me, the price of apps have gone through the roof) and moving directly to an entreeMore »

Topping Over or Under

This over-under debate has nothing to do with betting. Rather, it concerns pizza toppings and where to put them. The gist of this over-under scenario is a stew of ingredients that include tradition, appearance and common sense. Common sense and appearance implies that, for example, you are not going to put the slices of pepperoniMore »

Ricotta Pie

On some levels of taste and interest, you could call a ricotta pie the Italian version of American cheesecake. The good news is that a ricotta pie can be just as versatile as cheesecake when it comes to flavors and add-ins. And more good news is that a ricotta pie, to my way of baking,More »