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  • Today’s tip for Canada’s restaurant and foodservice industry: Develop a signature menu item
    Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Develop a signature menu item August 26 2013 Tweet Leave a comment To gain advantage in today s competitive market restaurants should try to establish a reputation for something that they are best at Delivering superior performance on an important dimension will help to differentiate and define a concept Speed of service multiple convenient locations modern décor and outstanding service are just some of the strategies that can elevate an operation s position One of the best ways to create a buzz and spread positive word of mouth is to develop a signature menu item that your operation can become known for Based on your target market developing a dish that is unique and delivers superior quality and value should be a culinary goal Whether it s your steak program the extensive wine list the best wings in town or an amazing homemade house soup creating a signature dish that becomes synonymous with your brand will create legions of loyal guests who will tout your laurels Courtesy of David Swanston a Hospitality and Foodservice Consultant Principal of Focused Industry Training Seminars and is an instructor at major Canadian university business schools Since 1997 he

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/signaturemenuitem.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Today's tip for Canada's restaurant and foodservice industry: Get ready for e-tailing!
    partnership with other local businesses Link Click here Diane Chiasson Chris Elliott Roger Mittag Janine Windsor Devon Peart Chad Finkelstein Kristin Menas Liana Robberecht Jordan Knox Go Get ready for e tailing August 12 2013 Tweet Leave a comment Yes we re all familiar with retailing so why not e tailing When you consider the advent of online ordering is common practice what s to say manufacturers can t be shipping direct to foodservice operators tomorrow Who among us has not used a virtual shopping cart system to order what we want pay and have delivered as we wish Why do I need to wait for my regular foodservice distributor to arrive A host of delivery vehicles pass by our doors on a constant basis What value is being added At what added cost Some may think that e tailing would only be appropriate for shelf stable foods and supplies or perhaps for the younger tech savvy generation I believe it s closer to everyday reality than you think Customer connectivity is a click away Courtesy of Barbara MacDonald President of Brand Culture a dynamic team of foodservice marketing and advertising professionals Brand Culture works with a range of clients

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Getreadyforetailing.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Tawfik Shehata, Executive Chef, International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario
    We may be a high volume venue but it doesn t mean we can t deliver a great culinary experience whether in quick service or in an event dining room If you knew you were eating your last meal what would you have I can never plan ahead I only eat what I feel like having when I am hungry So it would have to be an international buffet There are so many smells and flavours that I would have to experience one last time What is your philosophy about food To put it in one word simplicity I believe the provenance of a product is almost as important as its preparation I like to source great complementary products prepare them in a way to showcase the flavours and let the food speak for itself Where do you go to dine out I generally eat ethnic food Mexican not just tacos and burritos Korean Chinese Thai Vietnamese Italian and Jamaican What is your favourite ingredient Garlic Who were your biggest influences inspirations for becoming a chef I think my biggest influence is my love of great food If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island what three ingredients or food items would take with you Hot sauce probably sriracha pasta and beer What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now Cupcakes with donuts running a close second Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment with I would like to learn more about regional Latino Spanish and Italian cuisine What are the essential ingredients for success in the restaurant business today Hospitality and integrity Too many people get into this business for the wrong reasons Hospitality has to start from the top and it has to be

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/TawfikShehataInternationalCentre.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Q&A with Neil Baxter, Chef de Cuisine Rundles Restaurant, Stratford, Ontario
    and let the ingredients speak for themselves Freshness and quality are very important and so is using the best that is in season In addition to tasting the components of a dish taste the complete dish to get the whole picture Where do you go to dine out I don t dine out a lot Since I spend so much time cooking at Rundles I like to eat at home when I get a chance There are some local restaurants that I enjoy though In Stratford I go to Bijou Restaurant owned by Chefs Aaron and Bronwyn Linley graduates of the Stratford Chefs School and Down the Street Bar and Restaurant I also enjoy Langdon Hall in Cambridge What is your favourite ingredient My favourite ingredient would have to be onions They are so versatile and there s such a variety to choose from They are the foundation of so many dishes yet they are often overlooked or not treated properly cut too large or not cooked long enough It s a shame because few ingredients provide such rich flavour Who were your biggest influences inspirations for becoming a chef When I started cooking there were not the media star chefs that we have today so my influences came after I started cooking Paul Bertolli and the Chez Panisse philosophy were big influences Joel Robuchon was also a big influence because he was a stickler for details and very demanding Eric Ripert has influenced the way I cook seafood If you knew you were going to be exiled to a desert island what three ingredients or food items would you take with you I don t think I would be very good on a desert island but if I had to be exiled there I would take sushi rice peaches and smoked bacon with me Sushi rice is very versatile nutritious and filling peaches are one of my favourite fruits and smoked bacon is one of the best things to eat What do you think is the most overrated food trend right now The most overrated food trend I see is chefs trying to copy other chefs styles For example so many chefs are trying to cook Noma style but are not really understanding what Rene Redzepi is doing Chefs should be inspired by other chefs but believe enough in their own talents to develop their own style Is there any type of cuisine that you would like to experiment with I really enjoy grilling and would like to do a lot more of it There s an amazing restaurant in Spain called Etxebarri where everything is grilled The chef and owner Victor Arguinzoniz uses different kinds of woods for grilling specific ingredients such as oak for seafood and apple wood for caviar That really interests me What are the essential ingredients for success in the restaurant business today I think the ingredients for success are the same as they ve always been You have to know your market and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/NeilBaxterChefdeCuisineRundlesRestaurant.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Seven industry experts look ahead at this year’s foodservice trends
    flavoured foods with bold taste have been trending upwards I believe this will continue to influence Canadian menus and product development because the trend is appearing to be long lasting Patrons eating out will choose meals with big bold flavours because the average consumer is becoming more adventurous leading them to bolder food choices Karyn Johnson Flexible and customizable menus remain in demand Whether for allergies or preferences customers want to control what they order Craft beer will continue to be notable on menus Unique beer lists provide differentiation from competitors Craft beer suits menus for a wide range of restaurant service styles and can be paired with a wide variety of foods making it an approachable alternative to wines Paul Rogalski Continued movement to local and hyper local fare Chefs are finding great importance in the knowledge of where food comes from and the sacrifice of life for our nourishment In addition cooking methods that showcase the natural flavour of the dish without crazy manipulation will continue to be popular I also expect to see more menus showcasing healthy choices and nationally well balanced dishes The opposite of this will also flourish where fat is king and large portions of protein prevail Finally whether casual or fine dining house made charcuterie is still on the rise and might never go away which is a good thing Kim Collishaw You will continue to see dessert buffets offering a wide variety of petite desserts often served in liqueur glasses tiny ramekins espresso cups and on spoons This trend has been popular in catering for a few years but I believe restaurants will pick up on this trend and offer a selection of petite desserts after dinner Also look out for dessertscapes These plated deconstructed desserts are a masterpiece of flavours and textures with many different small elements artistically presented on a large plate How will health concerns continue to influence trends and what new menu developments do you see taking place as a result Ryan Marquis With consumers becoming more conscience about health it has led manufacturers to follow suit in their production by sourcing ingredients that are low in trans fats gluten and sodium With this trend we will see healthier options throughout many menus in all categories of the restaurant trade John Placko I see gluten free products and ingredients taking a steep incline for the next two to three years I also believe high sugar beverages will continue to come under attack If you watch what the large soft drink companies are doing by buying smaller niche companies with water coconut water and better for you offerings it must be driven by a consumer demand to drink healthier beverages Helping the customer to decide on what to buy is also a challenge They don t always believe the marketing on the label Nutritional panels on the products makes it confusing for the consumer to decide what s acceptable Retailers and food manufacturers who help with clear concise and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/industryexpertsfoodservicetrends.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Canadian chefs discover the time-honoured treasures of artisanal cheese
    produced in this country whether it s cow goat or sheep milk I think it s a combination of savvy consumers wanting local products Chefs want to use products from their terrior and they re finding that local cheese has amazing flavour and great stories behind them And that s why Pretty is waiting for his delivery of curds We have wonderful cheese in the province but the challenge is distribution It s hard for chefs to get their hands on the cheese That s why I personally assist by doing distribution of mostly Ontario cheese In Canada some artisanal cheeses will never be found outside of the province it s made in Because of restrictions imposed by Canada s dairy supply management system cheesemakers have to apply for and receive a federal license in order to ship interprovincially Despite these challenges Pretty thinks it s time to expand the repertoire of the standard cheese course on foodservice menus There are simple ways of enhancing a dish that you already have on your menu just by adding some cheese to it But more importantly he says is to name the cheese you re using on your menu Cheese is such a versatile ingredient you could pretty much use it in any course and you just have to choose the right cheese for the right application He adds it s important for any restaurant to think in what other way can I use this ingredient You just don t want it for one menu item You can use artisanal cheese for hamburgers melted on a steak in macaroni and cheese sides or a gratin dish Suddenly you can create many dishes for that one product and it can be served different ways at different times of the day Kathy Guidi is certainly in agreement with Pretty on that score Guidi is the author of Canadian Cheese A Pocket Guide She is also founder of Cheese Education Guild and president of Artisan Cheese Marketing ACM so she certainly knows her way around a wheel or two of Gouda She feels restaurateurs are a little too in the box when it comes to serving cheese on the menu Offer cheese as an appetizer serve it for lunch and put a couple of cheeses in a salad What about offering a trio of cheeses with beer or wine at the bar for happy hour she says Guidi says that artisanal cheese came into its own when the Canadian wineries started to mature I credit the wineries They get the promotional idea and they always have As soon as the Niagara and Okanagan regions wanted to serve Canadian cheese the cheesemakers had confidence that their market would grow ACM is a cheese focused public relations company that helps people sell more cheese whether that s at retail or foodservice There has been a void in that area Guidi says It s important for servers to know how to pronounce the names of the cheeses and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/artisanalcheese.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Top six cheeses on pizzas at Canadian restaurants
    By Kristin Menas November 6 2013 Tweet Leave a comment Mozzarella ranked as most popular cheese on pizzas According to Technomic s MenuMonitor database cheese is the top ingredient listed on pizzas on Canadian menus by a large margin Mozzarella is a mild white cheese that is now typically made from cow s milk although some traditional mozzarellas are made from the milk of water buffaloes Because of its mild flavour and excellent melting qualities mozzarella is an adaptable cheese that can be paired with both traditional and nontraditional pizza ingredients For example Boston Pizza features mozzarella on its signature pepperoni pizza as well as on its pulled pork pizza with whisky barbecue sauce and red onions Cheddar is another common cheese variety found on pizzas appearing 108 times on Canadian menus Cheddar is one of the most widely made cheeses in the world Its flavour can range from bland to sharp depending on how it is produced Traditional cheese pizzas often feature a mixture of cheddar cheese with other popular cheese varieties like mozzarella Some operators offer pizzas that replicate other popular entrées that feature cheddar such as tacos or cheeseburgers For example Gino s Pizza offers a cheese pizza with mozzarella and cheddar as well as a taco pizza made with cheddar cheese tomatoes and ground beef Parmesan is the third most popular cheese found on pizzas on Canadian menus appearing 105 times Parmesan is a hard dry cheese with a sharp flavour Parmesan is generally not the primary or only cheese found on pizza but is usually grated to use as a finishing touch For example Boston Pizza finishes up many of its pizzas with freshly grated Parmesan including the Rustic Italian Baja Thin Crust and Sicilian Thin Crust varieties See also Chicken rules the roost as

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Topcheesesonpizzas.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Top types of frozen non-alcohol beverages at restaurants in Canada
    Go Top types of frozen non alcohol beverages at Canadian restaurants By Kristin Menas March 1 2013 Tweet Leave a comment Canadian consumers enjoy sipping frozen smoothies Fruit smoothies are the most popular type of frozen non alcohol beverage according to Technomic s MenuMonitor database Appearing 182 times on Canadian menus fruit smoothies are often viewed as a healthy snack or meal replacement Some of the most popular flavours featured in these smoothies include banana strawberry mango and pineapple Creative combos of different juices are also received well for instance Jugo Juice rolled out a limited time Merry Mandarin smoothie featuring Mandarin oranges mango low fat frozen yogurt and tropical nectar Frozen blended coffee is also a frequently featured type of frozen non alcohol beverage with 42 appearances on Canadian menus This type of specialty coffee is a popular option among coffee fans looking for something different in terms of flavour and preparation Frozen blended coffee is also ideal in the warmer months when hot coffee is a less appealing option Among the many options available Esquires Coffee Houses offers Coffee Toffee Frappe a blend of coffee toffee flavouring ice and milk Protein smoothies and other enhanced smoothies represent another popular type of frozen non alcohol beverage listed 39 times on Canadian menus These beverages are often rich in vitamins and nutrients Many health conscious consumers view protein enhanced smoothies and other enhanced smoothies as ideal meal replacements Booster Juice offers a wide range of these enhanced smoothies such as its Pomegranate Punch made with pomegranates strawberries raspberries bananas vanilla frozen yogurt and whey protein powder Other popular ingredients in enhanced smoothies are açaí ginseng and soy milk See also Waking up to a better breakfast Three ways to upsell your breakfast menu Canadians show a preference for specialty chicken

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