In The Kitchen

Twist on a Basic Sauce

September 25, 2012

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). What… Read More

September 25, 2012

Bechamel Sauce

Béchamel and mornay sauces fall into the white sauce category. Mastering both of these sauces opens up a wide and wonderful world of flavors that you can use to enhance pasta and pizza creations. But first some background information is in order. Food historians are pretty much in agreement that the original white sauce, known… Read More

September 25, 2012

Nut-Free Pesto

Worried about potential allergic reactions? Want a nut-free pesto? Start with coarsely ground cheese as opposed to finely ground cheese to help better approximate the texture of a traditional pesto. Next, add fennel or finely diced carrots, zucchini or celery. This will provide a different flavor, one that will distinguish your pesto from the competition. Read More

September 25, 2012

Gorgonzola

I could (and often do) make a meal of crusty Italian bread, Gorgonzola cheese, and a lusty Italian red wine (such as Barolo, Chianti Riserva or Barbaresco). The Gorgonzola I would select would be Gorgonzola naturale, which has a more assertive flavor than Gorgonzola dolce (aka dolcelatte), which is delicate. I could also, instead of… Read More

September 25, 2012

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 entree… Read More

2012 October: Dough Doctor

September 21, 2012

Dough Doctor: National Pizza Month

Here we are, October and National Pizza Month. It’s time to celebrate! For some operators the summer has been slow, but now that kids are back in school, pizza is back on the menu again for social and school functions, and home meals for families on the go. This is the month to begin promoting… Read More

September 20, 2012

Hand Toss for Convection Oven

My son just over a small bar/restaurant and really wants to offer hand-tossed pizzas. Can they be cooked in the convection oven? A: You can bake a decent pizza in a convection oven, but you can’t bake it in a pizza pan. See, in a traditional pizza oven, you have about 85 to 90 percent… Read More

September 20, 2012

Meal Portion Sizes

How do you determine portion sizes? How much difference should there bebetween lunch and dinner portions? Well, first you need to determine what food cost percentage you want to run. Then you’ve got to cost out your raw product by the ounce. Make sure you include the cost of everything that comes with it such as complimentary… Read More

September 20, 2012

Consistent Pizza

We all strive for consistency. In sports, you’ll hear players and coaches say all they ask from officials is that they be consistent. The word choice is interesting. They don’t demand accuracy, they demand consistency. In baseball, for example, managers often don’t care if a pitch on the outside corner is called a ball instead… Read More

September 20, 2012

Portion Control vs Freehand

What are the advantages of portion control, or is it best to freehand? The biggest advantage of portion control is definitely food cost control. This is an area that many foodservice workers miss out on. Over-portioning can account for a large part of high food costs second to food waste. You obviously want to start with portion… Read More

Modern Pizza Trends Blend Old-World Style with New-Age Tips and Tricks

As it was first created in Italy, every pizza dough formula consists of flour, salt, yeast and water. Yet modern operators are finding ways to incorporate new flavors and styles into a very old technique. Thin-crust pizza still remains an American favorite, but the country’s many regions have brought to life their own styles. These are more than just pizza trends. Americans are fiercely loyal to their particular favorite pizza styles, from Deep Dish, Grandma and Old Forge to California, Detroit and New Haven. Everyone’s got a favorite –– and Pizza Today examines them all!

 

 

Today’s Restaurant Kitchens Feature More Than Traditional Toppings

Finding a point of differentiation is key when it comes to creating a menu. The pizza industry’s top ingredients include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and onion, and every pizzeria offers some version of these toppings. Today, however, the pizza makeline is ever changing and diners are just as likely to find roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, truffle oil and shrimp alongside their classic favorites. And the flavor doesn’t stop on top. Modern pizzaioli have found ways to implement flavor in their pizza dough formula as well. Ingredients like beer, spelt, whole wheat and molasses can give an operator a leg up on their competition and create a one-of-a-kind flavor profile that diners won’t find anywhere else.