to Unleash the Potential
of Your Bake Shop
by Diane Chiasson, FCSI
Running a bakery operation takes much more than just displaying the regulars like fresh bread and muffins. As an operator, you must think of what will lure your customers into your bakery and it has to be creative enough that they will be coming for years to come. Freshness is an obvious key factor and should not be overlooked. Nothing should go on the shelves that is older than a day unless it is reduced in price. Remember, as a bakery facility, you have that fresh baked aroma, which means an increase in impulse sales, so use it to your advantage. Much more thought and work must come into play if you want your bakery operation to be a huge success.
Restaurant Kitchen Equipment-
US vs Europe
KITCHEN EQUIPMENT: OBSERVATIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE POND
Every two years the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) organization hosts its premier event somewhere in the United States - the NAFEM Show - where manufacturers throughout North America display the latest and greatest foodservice equipment they have to offer. On the other side of the pond, in Italy, there is another biennial event - the HOST show - where the latest and greatest European kitchen equipment is showcased, offering industry professionals an opportunity to kick the tires. This past fall, these two tradeshows were held back-to-back in Atlanta and Milan, and I was fortunate to participate in both.
Separated by less than a week, attending these two shows one right after the other highlighted clear similarities and differences between trends in the two regions. I would like to briefly address the commonalities first, as analyzing the differences is far more revealing. Generally speaking, walking around the more than 20 combined exhibit halls, just about everything I saw was familiar. There were a few new, truly innovative products at both shows, but even these were often improvements within a pre-existing category. In other words, there were some different style ranges with very unique features - but they were still ranges. Pressurized braising pans had an increased presence and seemed to be growing in popularity - but they were an improved version of the familiar piece of equipment we have been using for decades. I think you see my point.
Tribute to a Legend- Charlie Trotter
A touching video from the 2014 Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival
Central Texas Barbecue
Barbecue is one of the most beloved food items Texas. Texas barbecue has a number of variations that range between different regions of the state. Texas barbecue can be divided into four basic regions, central Texas, East Texas, West Texas and South Texas. In the center of the state, barbecue is known for the high quality of the meat, and is considered by some to be the best barbecue in the state of Texas.
Barbecue holds a special place in the heart of the people of Central Texas. Cities like Lockhart, Taylor and Luling serve some of the best barbecue at some very famous long standing barbecue restaurants. The tradition of serving Central Texas barbecue started way back in the 19th century. Original settlers of the region from Germany and other European countries started the tradition of Central Texas barbecue. The meat markets in those periods used to serve cooked meat on butcher papers.
The Battle Between Food Trucks And Restaurants
The food truck phenomenon that is sweeping across the United States might seem like a one hundred percent positive movement, but to a small group of business owners these new culinary delights are causing problems. Small business owners who operate permanent restaurant locations are concerned that the increase in the number of food truck permits being handed out in many cities and towns is begging to affect their business.
The main concern among restaurant owners is whether or not they can compete with new food trucks that are offering gourmet meal selections at a lower price than a permanent location can offer because of the lower overhead that comes with operating a food truck. Some of the ways that food trucks save money over brick and mortar locations are no property taxes, food truck owners do not pay rent once they have paid off their trucks, and many food trucks employ only part time employees so they do not provide extensive benefit packages. These factors all make the restaurant owners argument valid.
The First Annual Flavor of Napa
by Chef Len Elias
The “Flavor of Napa” was a world class celebration of food and wine highlighting some of Napa's best-known chefs and winemakers. Events took place up and down the Napa Valley over 4 days in November and included culinary demonstrations, multi course dinners, wine tastings, and a closing brunch. Proceeds from the festival benefited the scholarship fund at the Culinary Institute of America. Participating Chefs included Thomas Keller, Bob Hurley, Christopher Kostow, Masaharu Morimoto, Tyler Florence, Michael Chiarello, Cindy Pawlcyn, Richard Blais, Todd Humphries, Jeff Jake, Christophe Geurad and dozens of others. The main purpose of my visit was to lend a hand and support the culinary team at the Dolce Silverado Resort.