Bruschetta Basics

2012 March: Bruschetta Basics

Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah) has emerged as a very popular appetizer (running a close second to fried calamari). In the Italian repertoire of appetizers, offering bruschetta makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to prepare, it holds well (meaning it can be prepped well ahead) and it can be offered at an attractive price. The food costsMore »

Uptown Ingredients, Downtown Flavor

2012 March: Uptown Ingredients,Downtown Flavor

Upscale meat toppings add wow favor   In the beginning — quite a while back, in fact –– it was pepperoni and sausage. Those were the two toppings most requested by patrons of modest, family-owned pizzerias and chain-operated pizza places as well. Here we are some 100 years later and guess what? Sausage and pepperoniMore »

So Sweet!

Amaretti Cookies

Creative desserts boost check averages   Gaining a competitive edge in today’s crowded market is more crucial than ever. Diners expect the moon and the stars — preferably locally sourced, homemade and at a great price. Desserts offer a great way to distinguish an independent from the chain restaurant down the street — or fromMore »

Man on the Street: The Latest Topping Trends

2012 March: Man on the Street

What’s the strangest pizza you’ve ever enjoyed? I’ll never forget an experience I had in an old-school pizzeria in Trenton, New Jersey. The shop, Papa’s Tomato Pies, is the kind of place that would have you arrested for requesting pineapple on your pizza. That’s why I was shocked to see a pie on their menuMore »

Hold the Meat

2012 February: Hold The Meat

A variety of vegetarian and vegan options help diversify your menu   While there are varying degrees of vegetarianism, let’s use the simplest terms. A vegetarian does not eat meat, fish or poultry. Veganism is where it gets a little more complicated. Vegans also abstain from meat, fish and poultry, with the addition of notMore »

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

Tim Ridout, via Facebook Big Rounds Ravenna, Michigan Hey, Tim. Without exception, I can’t think of any ingredient that has gone down in price. Since cheese is the costliest ingredient on our pizzas, and we buy so much of it every week, it comes to mind first. The wholesale price of mozzarella is fixed everyMore »

Trending Now

2012 January: Trending Now

Menu Trends for 2012   This year will be all about healthy eating, so be prepared to think about how you can tweak your menu and your existing pizza, pasta and salad offerings to reflect forward thinking as it relates to “tastes better, better for you, less filling.” I am not suggesting that you haveMore »

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 »

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 »