News w/e 27 April
F&B News for LAST week. Will be a brief round up as I was overseas.
America is sweet on citrus—even the sour varieties. Restaurant operators and chefs are increasingly using oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus items to liven up their menus with a fresh taste. If there’s one word that seems to sum up citrus’ taste profile, it’s bright. “Citrus is incredibly popular because it is so aromatic and has those bright and fresh notes,” says Kevan Vetter, executive chef and manager of culinary product development for seasoning giant McCormick & Co. “It really gives you a pop.”.
The plagues of nature can be cruel. To give a chef, of all people, tongue cancer. Not just a chef, mind you, but Chef Grant Achatz, one of the best chefs on the planet, a chef who runs what is now ranked as the best restaurant in the world, according to Elite Traveler Magazine. Was there a greater purpose for his illness? Was it is just a coincidence? Achatz has thought about it. He considers it to be just another part of his life, focusing very little on the topic during our conversation. Stage IV tongue cancer was something he had, something he treated and something he eventually overcame. Then he moved on. And like conquering his health scare, Achatz sees Alinea's most recent (and best) ranking as an accomplishment, but he plans to continue on and continue growing.
A 100-year-old Chinese restaurant in San Francisco known for having “the world’s rudest waiter” is shutting its doors. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sam Wo will serve its last customers Friday. Health officials demanded changes after finding violations including rodent activity, improper food storage and kitchen disrepair. Owner David Ho met with health and fire officials this week, but says the restaurant is just too old.
It's no surprise that some of the country's best new restaurants are run by big name chefs. In the West, we see molecular artistry displayed from the likes of Dominique Crenn, while star chefs Michel Richard and Wolfgang Puck bring their polished magic to top hotels. To the East, David Bouley has teamed up with a chef from the Far East — Yoshiki Tsuji of the Tsuji Cooking Institute in Osaka — to open a rarified Japanese spot in TriBeCa. Despite challenging financial times, or perhaps because of them, we can look to these ten exceptional new restaurants to help stimulate our imaginations, our appetites and our gastronomic passions.
Tests on seafood sold at Los Angeles-area sushi bars, other restaurants, and grocery stores show that more than half is incorrectly labeled, a nonprofit organization that advocates for ocean protection said today. "It is disheartening to know that consumers are not getting wait they pay for," said Beth Lowell, campaign director at Oceana, which is based in Washington, D.C. "Seafood fraud is not only ripping off consumers, but it is putting their health at risk and undermining their efforts to eat sustainably."
More than ever before, people care passionately about their food: its origin, ingredients, preparation and serving. Tomorrow's leaders in the culinary industry need to be more than gifted chefs. They need to be ready to lead their teams, organizations and companies in advancements in culinary direction, new product development and menu innovation. They also need to be skilled in anticipating changing consumer palates and lifestyles and managing diverse employees. It was for these reasons The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Hormel Foods developed the Culinary Enrichment and Innovation Program (CEIP). This week, members of the CEIP Class of 2012 are gathering for their fourth and final session at the CIA Greystone campus in Napa Valley, Calif.
Ten years ago, recent Culinary Institute of America graduate Cornelius Gallagher approached the New York-based Livanos Restaurant Group, owner of Oceana and Abboccato, with a business plan to open his own restaurant. The then-30-year-old Bronx, N.Y., native had worked under big-name chefs such as Gray Kunz and Daniel Boulud and was ready to strike out on his own. The Livanos family, which operates restaurants ranging from diners in New York’s suburbs to fine-dining restaurants in Manhattan,
Fraiche Bakery Café in Evanston -- home of what one magazine called an “addictive,” doughnut-like muffin known as the Cinnamon Bomb -- has been deprived of key recipes since a chef resigned two weeks ago, then returned to the café a few days later and made off with a pair of ring binders that contained the secrets of the restaurant’s signature bomb, acclaimed cupcakes and other baked goods, according to a lawsuit. Fraiche owner Susan Davis Friedman filed a lawsuit against the chef today.
Do you own or operate an establishment with a beautiful, clean restroom? Are you the creative mind behind a public restroom designed or customized to integrate function with fashion, or to bring personality into a space where you least expect to see it? Maybe you’re the client or customer who appreciates a clean, well-maintained, and tastefully designed washroom? Cintas need your help finding the best loo in the land! Nominate a deserving washroom online today at www.bestrestroom.com. Ten finalists will be announced in August, at which time online voting will begin. The winner and runner-up will be revealed this fall and top vote-getters will secure a place in Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Contest Hall of Fame.
Shifting far from the traditional c-store image as a destination for gas and cigarettes, two leading chains, Wawa and Sheetz, are strongly positioning themselves as eateries in a move to take more share from quick service restaurants. Sheetz's latest advertising campaign uses the tagline, "Just because we don't look like a restaurant doesn't mean we're not one" with customers shown sitting at high-tables in a dining area. Sheetz has been offering made-to-order sandwiches for 20 years with touch screen technologies now installed to speed the process.