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  • Asian-inspired pork dishes are a popular addition to Canadian menus
    Leave a comment Asian pork entrées are ranked first among the top five types of pork dishes on Canadian menus according to Technomic MenuMonitor data Leading flavours in Asian pork dishes include spicy barbecue and sweet and sour respectively In addition to the traditional sweet and sour sauce Asian pork dishes commonly feature garlic and honey garlic sauces Another front runner in the pork dish category ribs are most often barbecued basted or grilled and served with a starch such as mashed potatoes fries or potato salad Operators can portion pork ribs based on a diner s appetite offering smaller sizes during lunch as well as half and full rack options during dinner Montana s Cookhouse offers regular and large portioned pork ribs that are rubbed smoked basted and grilled Sausage rounds out the top five kinds of pork dishes The item can be served in a variety of ways such as bangers and mash salami and pan fried breakfast sausage Customary pork sausage condiments include mustard sauerkraut and vinaigrette Overall traditional casual dining concepts feature pork entrées on menus more than any other restaurant segment including contemporary casual dining fast casual and quick service Top five types of pork

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Toptypesofporkdishes.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Taking a look back at wine events from a stellar 2014
    celebration of its kind in the world hands down with five dozen producers and winemakers in attendance from the southern and northern hemispheres the old and new world wherever there s a cool climate pocket of land and mighty Chardonnay grapes are grown With really smart educational content globally recognized guest speakers seminars and tastings intimate table talks and fantastic meals the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration takes event organizing to another level bringing together some of the best wines and people from the world over The beautiful White Oaks Resort Spa provided comfortable accommodation for the many who attended this fantastic affair as well as set up a media tasting room and offered Chardonnay pumice body wraps at the spa Five signature events and eight Explore Niagara winery managed events took place over the course of the weekend There was a river of Chardonnay but please don t ask me to pick favourites I love good cool climate Chardonnay and I did taste most of these fine wines from 57 wineries with local Ontario international France Spain South Africa New Zealand Australia Chile Argentina USA and British Columbia wines and a total of 119 Chardonnays including 10 sparkling VieVinum Symposium Vienna Austria A simply remarkable event put on by MAC Hoffmann with the Austrian Wine Marketing Board flying in and hosting close to 1 000 highly respected wine scribes buyers sommeliers and tastemakers from all over the world This year s fair had 15 000 visitors from more than 40 countries 550 exhibitors from Austria and abroad with France being the special guest country From educational sessions and structured tasting casual lunches and dinners to more formal evening affairs by attending VieVinum one gets a clear taste of the country s stellar quality wines as well as Austrians genuine sense of hospitality and flair I had the time of my life hanging out at traditional heurige wine taverns located on the hills surrounding the city where classical music was born eating traditional fare and drinking the tastiest locally made wines with a view overlooking the city and the Danube This year I wanted to taste red wines the white wines of Austria are already well known and much respected So along with the other Szabo John no relation who happens to be Canada s first master sommelier John and I focused on Blaufränkisch a flagship red grape capable of producing truly spectacular wines that I confidently shortlist for being among the world s most fascinating The 2011 vintage was a great one and allowed wineries to make remarkable wines Here are my top picks for estates getting it right Moric and Roland Velich Juliana Wieder Anton Hartl Muhr Van Der Niepoort Pittnauer Familie Prieler Wachter Wiesler Gernot and Heike Heinrich Birgit Braunstein and Ernst Triebaumer in no particular order A few of these are available in Ontario and those that aren t well agencies take note These fine Blaufränkisch would add calibre to any noteworthy establishment s by the

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/wineevents2014.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Roberto Martella, Owner, Grano restaurant
    the more intangible cultural side of things Initially the cultural expression took the shape of featuring olive oil on the table convincing a cheese importer to bring in the fragile mozzarella di bufala using tumblers as a wine is food expression decorating the walls with Italian art posters and enhancing the environment with Italian music from pop to Pavarotti Our commitment to culture now includes wine dinners author s evenings through Ben McNally books classical and jazz concerts fundraisers for social cultural and philanthropic groups weekly language and linguine classes among other things How do you follow the golden restaurant rule of the customer is always right Some colleagues in the industry suggest that yes the customer is God However on occasion we must behave as agnostics Accept the importance of the clients but also the integrity of what one does and how it is done Grano more than ever is committed to the cultural aspects of hospitality such as continuing to feature the greatest selection of olive oil for people to sample and see how one might work best with a dish or another Talk a bit about some of your favourite grapes wines and regions In order for Canada to establish a true food and wine oriented culture we must not only look to our own local production but to other cultures bigger and older than ours and study what has made them great and forever relevant Both Lucia and I are products of our italianità and our desire to reconcile this as part of the Italian diaspora respecting it with a sense of diritti e dover rights and responsibilities Italy commercializes over 100 grape varieties whereas France offers 15 and California nine As one says in Italian it s l imbarazzo della scelta an embarrassment of riches

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/RobertoMartellaGranorestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Innovation is a key ingredient for successful foodservice operations
    the introduction of specialty coffee has enabled McDonald s to capture an estimated eight to 10 per cent of the specialty coffee market a market once well controlled by operators like Starbucks and Second Cup With Tim Hortons specialty coffee is estimated to represent eight to 10 per cent of their total hot coffee business At Ipsos our experience has taught us that winning innovations must be anchored in consumer insight Rearranging ingredients to build a new menu item is not enough to drive traffic into the stores Too often foodservice operators launch ideas using gut feel rather than systematically developing them starting with a fundamental consumer insight For small chains or independent operators who do not have large research budgets innovation can seem daunting or financially impossible However innovation can be successfully adopted by any operator While bigger budgets will buy higher accuracy the process is largely similar Step 1 Identify the consumer insight A consumer insight is a revelation of a significant gap between consumers aspirations and what they perceive as available which can be turned into a business opportunity For example a consumer insight that led to the McWrap was a desire for a more portable sandwich at McDonald s Consumer insights whether they are identified through elaborate market research techniques or simply by talking with customers and non customers are all anchored in the act of communicating with consumers Small chain and independent operators can leverage consumer insights often offered by their suppliers or ask customers directly In the age of social media it is easier to get ideas from customers of what they would like to see on the menu Step 2 Develop the innovation The innovation must align with the consumer insight but must also be developed with financials in mind What are the food and labour costs What are the opportunity costs Should this new item replace an existing menu item How much complexity would this new menu item add to the back of house When developing new products do not waste resources testing ideas that will never be financially viable Step 3 Test the innovation Gather a group of customers willing to give an honest opinion and have them test the product Operators with research budgets will often start by testing the concept using a survey and if the concept passes this hurdle take it into in market testing This approach helps to better manage the costs of concept testing by removing weak concepts early from the innovation pipeline For large operators the cost of carrying weak concepts throughout the pipeline is high due to their more complicated supply chain systems and larger network of stores Smaller operators actually have an advantage when testing the innovation in store as changes to the recipe can be more easily made and re tested Step 4 Launch Even a strong concept can fail if it is not sufficiently promoted or if it is not executed well in store Small operators are more likely to leverage

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/innovationfoodserviceoperations.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Vegetables as desserts
    cooked down in a pastry In Turkish cuisine Southern Italy and Africa there are many savoury dishes that have sweet elements The crossover has existed for centuries and continues to evolve as fashion in food evolves and cycles From the modernist cuisine chefs have felt freer to compose savoury and sweet ingredients together Chef Faulkner lists off some of her most memorable vegetable desserts over the years sweet corn ice cream roasted pepper sorbet Thai basil infusion parsnip cake Chef Faulkner is not the only pastry chef in love with the garden Vanessa Roenspies pastry chef from Model Milk Calgary confesses Vegetables are the hidden gems when it comes to baking I m personally not a fan of overly sweet desserts I use vegetables to add depth and balance to my creations For Model Milk s dessert menu Roenspies has created beet red velvet cake with chevre icing and sweet pea ice cream as the crowning jewel Melanie Hennessey of Hennessey s All Occasion Cakes and Winsport Canada works with sweet and starchy root vegetables in many of her delicious creations vanilla parsnip cake with bourbon caramel sauce chocolate beet cupcakes sweet potato coffee cake Melanie likes to create desserts that make you drool and make you think Never compromising on full rich flavour Melanie uses vegetables that add a creamy natural sweetness while enhancing the other flavours in her cakes Andrea Harling executive chef Brava Bistro reflects I truly believe that eating what is right for our bodies is important We have lost sight of the quality and importance of cuisine Harling approaches her food with a creative nutritious balance Her new menu features chocolate paté beet and cherry gelée beetroot ice cream whipped local honey and beetroot powder Chockfull of fibre potassium vitamins and healthy fats vegetables are a terrific substitute in some of your favourite recipes One of my favourite substitutes is avocado Buttery nutritious and packed with potassium ripe avocados can substitute for all or part of the butter or other fat in many baked goods while increasing their nutritional value One of the most amazing desserts is avocado spice layer cake Layer the cake with sweet frosting made with a puréed avocado How about taking that to your next Super Bowl party Here at the Calgary Petroleum Club we offer a number of sweet savoury dishes including our deliciously refreshing minted pea sorbet created by our talented assistant pastry chef 21 year old Courtney Thomas and my personal favourite candied tomatoes Served with peppered steak as a main or with basil chevre ice cream for dessert they re a versatile and delightful way to spice up a dish With a history as rich as the flavours the possible combinations are endless Don t be afraid to make bold decisions and try something that sounds unconventional Oftentimes these are the most memorable flavour palettes For starters check out Chef Faulkner s recipe for Kale Doughnuts with Maple Pecan Bacon Stud Glaze below Recipe Kale Doughnuts with

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Vegetablesasdesserts.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Seafood, vegetarian & vegan options provide healthy alternatives and minimize the veto vote, Technomic finds
    chicken still holds its status as the centre of plate star for both consumers and operators demands are shifting More consumers are looking past poultry to seafood vegetarian and vegan options Utilizing proprietary intelligence and exclusive consumer data Technomic s Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report identifies and analyzes menu and consumer trends impacting the foodservice industry today Although the most familiar and widely accepted proteins are still top of mind today s consumers especially younger consumers are interested in trying new options explains Kelly Weikel Technomic director of consumer insights This includes unique spins on tried and true offerings and a greater openness to try seafood vegetarian and vegan fare Adding these options can help minimize the veto vote and meet the needs of future consumers In addition to tracking consumers consumption behaviour the Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report compiles industry data and spotlights foodservice concepts with innovative centre of the plate protein programs Findings include A majority of consumers eat chicken 89 per cent beef 81 per cent and pork 68 per cent as an entree at least once every 90 days Seafood tops the list of the fastest growing entree proteins with haddock 15 per cent prawns 14 per cent and lobster 4 per cent increasing on Top 250 limited and full service restaurants The most preferred entree by category is hamburger for beef 76 per cent rotisserie chicken for chicken dishes 61 per cent and mixed vegetables for vegetarian dishes 61 per cent The Canadian Centre of the Plate Consumer Trend Report is one of many in Technomic s Consumer Trend Report series offering the most current analysis insight and opportunities to help grow your business Our best in class intelligence combines 50 years of foodservice expertise with critical findings from

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Seafoodvegetarianandveganoptions.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Is your children’s menu costing you customers?
    beyond the standard kids menu and start offering healthy delicious choices for children that come to your restaurant Most Canadian parents are very concerned about their kids health if you don t offer good choices for kids health conscious parents will skip your restaurant Children like healthy food but they like good tasting healthy food like anyone else Here are five tips for a great kids menu Offer a gluten free option Gluten free is more than just a trend parents of children with gluten allergies are constantly looking for new options for their kids By offering a gluten free item on your menu you will appeal to a whole new audience Easy kid friendly substitutes for gluten are Quinoa or brown rice pasta coconut flour or brown rice flour and if you are looking to add some crunch brown rice crumbs will do the trick Don t fry the small fry If there is even one deep fried item on your kids menu children will gravitate towards it By removing fried options your restaurant will appeal to health conscious parents Baked grilled or even pan fried is much healthier and is also very tasty Don t forget the young connoisseur The foodie trend is on the rise If little foodies are in your restaurant and you have nothing interesting to offer them they won t be returning customers Offer an item that will tickle their taste buds and make them excited about coming to your restaurant It s all in a name Giving your kids menu items fun names can make all the difference One of our most popular kids dessert items is a gluten free banana squash cookie but if we called them that nobody would try them We call them super banana cookies and the kids get

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Isyourchildrensmenucostingyoucustomers.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • For nutrition, flavour and versatility, new yogurt offerings fit the bill
    last few years none has been as prevalent as Greek yogurt Now one of the largest segments of yogurt consumption across Canada Greek yogurt has a high protein content and superior nutritional profile along with incredible recipe versatility This makes it not only a favourite with chefs looking to add both flavour and healthy functionality to their dishes but also with bean counting operators with their eye on the financial bottom line Greek yogurt is a major opportunity for chefs and foodservice operators says Andreane Leblanc spokesperson for Ultima Foods makers of iögo brand yogurt Greek yogurt can replace mayonnaise sour cream or cream cheese in a recipe For the consumer it s more nutritious especially with the protein intake Also the perceived value of the meal is increased which is very positive for profitability Most Canadians adjust recipes to make them healthier Restaurants and foodservice also need to do the same New flavours abound Leann Claerbout Business Team Lead Convenience and Food Service for General Mills Canada adds that even with consumers eagerness to accept new and exotic flavours the company s Greek yogurt offerings such as Mediterranée or Classique have never been as popular as they are today By offering Greek yogurt in your restaurant your clientele will know you are aware of emerging trends says Claerbout Greek yogurt offerings should bring new client consumption to an establishment and Greek style yogurt products also provide opportunities for menu innovation This should provide the consumer a higher quality product offering leading to higher client satisfaction Keeping in step with the Greek yogurt trend is the consumer preference for indulgent pleasurable and dessert inspired flavours such as coconut passion fruit and key lime These flavours have not only garnered new fans for their perceived indulgent qualities but have also allowed chefs and operators to expand their yogurt offerings beyond the traditional dayparts of breakfast and lunch to dinnertime dessert and afternoon snacks Not just for breakfast anymore While strawberry vanilla and plain remain the most popular flavours like coconut mango and cherry are leading category growth says Claerbout This has enabled yogurt to move beyond breakfast and grow overall consumption The after dinner eating occasion which has long been popular in France is now growing in Canada Yogurt has responded with innovation to meet this need through flavours like apple pie caramel and white chocolate Leblanc says yogurt producers need to stay on top of flavour trends and recipe innovation something she says Ultima Foods has been able to achieve with several of its more indulgent brands After dinner for dessert there is a big opportunity to position yogurt as a delicious and nutritious choice says Leblanc Indulgent yogurt such as our coconut and passion fruit varieties creates an opportunity for chefs to experiment particularly with desserts For example an indulgent yogurt like iögo Moment or Olympic Krema can easily replace whipped cream and ice cream A healthy alternative Of course yogurt s health halo has always been one of

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Newyogurtofferings.aspx (2016-02-14)
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