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  • Ethnic cooking sauces are riding a wave of popularity
    year has been the rise of gochujang the zesty fermented Korean sauce that is served with bibimbap and other Korean dishes It was unheard of two years ago outside of Korean kitchens and it s becoming as widely used and well known as its Korean condiment cousin kimchi International influence Although Asian sauces have been riding a huge wave of popularity in recent months other regions of the world have also received their due accolades Portuguese Indian and Moroccan influences are reaching around the world to influence the imaginations of chefs and the palates of Canadian consumers In fact 2012 research by Technomic Inc suggests that in terms of both sophistication and a perception of health ethnic foods and sauces are increasingly top of mind for Canadian diners with Japanese Thai Vietnamese and Mediterranean flavours leading the charge Canadians have an adventurous palate as well as strong influence from other cultures coming to Canada says Ryan Marquis corporate chef of C W Shasky Associates which represents the Tabasco and Patak cooking sauce brands Thai Indian and Korean flavours have been on the rise for the past few years and are actually becoming quite mainstream I believe part of the reason for this acceptability is due to the breadth of application for the flavours as well demographic changes in the population Best of both worlds Not only are most of the popular ethnic sauces used in cooking they are also becoming more frequently combined with traditional Western condiments According to Technomic chefs are mixing ethnic flavours into mayonnaise mustard and ketchup to help ease their patrons into trying these new flavor profiles In addition it is often the use of sauces that actually results in a dish being perceived by the consumer as ethnic according to Technomic data Consumers report that of all Asian condiments and sauces measured curry sauce has the greatest impact on consumers perception of a dish as ethnic 89 per cent while four out of five consumers say sriracha hot sauce makes a dish more ethnic according to Technomic s 2012 Canadian Ethnic Consumer Trend Report Based on a number of similar recent trend reports and surveys here s a closer look at some of the more popular ethnic sauces influencing Canadian restaurant menus moving into 2013 Sriracha A Southeast Asian hot sauce made from chillies garlic sugar salt and vinegar sriracha is widely used in soups sauces pastas pizzas hot dogs hamburgers chow mein and in a growing variety of other dishes In Thailand Sriracha is frequently used as a dipping sauce particularly for seafood In Vietnamese cuisine sriracha is used as a condiment for pho as a topping for spring rolls and in sauces In North America sriracha sauce is often associated with the so called rooster sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods in California Sriracha is turning up in everything from Bloody Marys to mayonnaise and pickles as well as being used as a table condiment says Dana McCauley Piri oiri Adopted by the

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Ethniccookingsauces.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Underutilized seafood makes a splash in Canadian foodservice
    species chefs are helping consumers appreciate and embrace the many choices available to them Sustainability is key Although flavour affordability and healthiness are also cited by the chefs and suppliers we interviewed as additional reasons for choosing underutilized varieties they generally agree that the sustainability factor is the key initial reason for selecting these types of fish There s really not a single specific species that s trending for underutilized fish but if restaurants are using them it s most likely because they are considered sustainable says Sal Battaglia vice president of marketing and sustainability of Ontario based Seacore Seafood That has been the biggest driver recently for underutilized fish If they have a sustainable seafood ranking such as mackerel then restaurants have been turning to them for their menus Not only do underutilized fish offer some delicious environmentally friendly options they are also a great way for chefs to experiment with new flavours and recipes to help entice customers into their restaurants Eases pressure Opening up our appreciation to more diverse seafood options can also help to take pressure off of the standard salmon tuna and prawns says Mike McDermid partner relations manager of sustainable seafood organization Ocean Wise A lot of what we do with the Vancouver Aquarium s Ocean Wise program is to help our partner chefs and restaurants find solutions sustainable alternatives to less sustainable options Having consumers more willing to try new options certainly makes the commitment to sustainable offerings easier for the chefs It all begins with the chefs bringing these options to our attention through their menus Of course a major factor in getting any type of fish to appeal to diners is flavour something which most underutilized species have in abundance Barramundi arctic char and ocean trout are all very versatile in the kitchen says Tytel lending themselves to many different menu applications and are very similar to traditional fish that people are already familiar with All three are high quality fish with very pleasing flavour profiles Budget and diet friendly With more consumers watching their waistlines and looking for healthy ingredients many types of underutilized seafood seem to fit the bill in addition to being a good bargain price wise Underutilized species can open our palates up to flavours we have never had before says McDermid Many of these underutilized species are also incredibly healthy For example fish like sardines and mackerel are very oily loaded with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that we know are very good for us These fish are essentially like taking a vitamin or supplement but of course much more enjoyable For price underutilized species tend to be less expensive as well often significantly so So if underutilized fish have so much going for them why isn t every restaurant featuring bluefish mackerel or ocean perch on their menu According to experts such as McDermid and Tytel most of it boils down to availability and education Often underutilized species do not have a well developed

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Underutilizedseafood.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Three ways soups are becoming one of Canada’s hottest menu trends
    available for chefs to innovate and patrons to sample Among the top 10 soup varieties recorded on Technomic s MenuMonitor menu tracking database it should be noted that Asian soups encompass everything from trendy ramen to pho and won ton soup Here s a brief scan at some of the many ways restaurants are applying today s trends to soups as starters sides and increasingly the main course Classic and comforting but with a twist Putting an upscale and gourmand twist on classic comfort foods shows no signs of tapering off any time soon Diners appreciate familiar foods taken to heightened levels and chefs continue to find new ways to make old recipes novel again Soup is enjoying similar treatment with new takes on classics like split pea French onion and tomato soup On average this group of ads impacted purchase intent just as much as the promo focused ads did while also benefiting from being more likable and attention grabbing In other words they were better even without putting anything on sale or having a specific call to action which is normally a key component of particularly effective ads In most cases this performance was driven by effectively communicating that the brand offers high quality food something many consumers may not naturally associate with many QSR brands In effect they help change people s minds and open them up to using the brand for different types of occasions Good promo ads effective for FSR On the flip side when we looked at all the full service restaurant FSR ads we tested as a group the key driver of purchase intent overall was the communication of great tasting food However the most effective FSR ads also layered in a call to action at a specific and compelling price point an approach that is much more rarely used in FSR than QSR The relatively few ads that did this increased purchase intent more than longer more creative brand focused ads that failed to include a clear call to action The rapid growth of the upscale QSR category is a useful lens for explaining what we are seeing here This fast growing category is pulling traffic from both FSR and QSR competitors in very different ways In order to ward off emerging upscale QSR competitors many established QSR brands need to elevate their food quality perceptions since they are already well known for their deals Brand ads focused on food quality serve this purpose well for QSRs In contrast the challenge upscale QSR creates for many FSRs is less about food quality and more about what you pay to get it Promo ads featuring menu items at an attractive price point serve this purpose well for FSRs This isn t by any stretch trying to say QSR should only be doing brand ads and FSR only promo ads But it does indicate that you might want to re visit assumptions about the proper mix between the two depending on what exactly your

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/soupsCanadashottestmenutrends.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Recipe: Baco Noir and Peach Marinated Flank Steak with cold salad
    you enter into a promotional 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 Baco Noir and Peach Marinated Flank Steak with Cold Salad February 16 2011 Leave a comment Yield 2 servings Ingredients Quantity Marinated Flank Steak 1 whole Flank steak 1 small Red onion fine diced 3 Peaches sliced ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar ½ cup Baco noir red wine 2 Bay leaves fresh 2 Mint fresh large sprigs chiffonade to taste Salt pepper Cold Salad Broccoli small florets and diced steam 1 whole Carrot Julienne 1 Chives sliced thin 10 Ginger grated 1 tbsp Lime zest 1 Honey 2 tbsp Mayonaise ½ cup Salt to taste Toasted almonds Marinated Flank Steak Remove any silver skin from the flank steak Lightly score the flank steak on each side Place all the ingredients in a zip lock bag add the flank and allow to marinate for a min of 6 hour or over night to ensure the flavours have been absorbed Once removed for the bag grill on high heat for 4 ½ min on each side Grill the peach with

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/RecipePeachMarinatedFlankSteakandsalad.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • The next payment wave at Canadian restaurants: Contactless and mobile payments
    new technologies such as NFC near field communication An interface that allows a mobile device to communicate to a contactless point of sale POS reader Digital wallets Applications that allow customers to securely store their card credentials on their mobile device Mobile commerce E commerce shopping from smartphones and tablets In Canada NFC offers one of the biggest opportunities today particularly for quick service restaurants QSRs NFC technology is rolling out quickly and with some impressive results Over half of all Visa cards currently in the market are payWave enabled Interac Flash enabled debit cards are being rolled out to customers of three of the five major Canadian banks and are currently accepted by select merchants in Canada There are over 13 000 MasterCard PayPass accepting merchants in Canada including leading QSRs Today nearly all MasterCard cards in Canada are PayPass enabled Getting started with contactless payments Now is the time for restaurants to prepare for the next wave in payments By adding support for contactless restaurant owners operators will be well positioned to start accepting mobile payments Contactless benefits include a fast and secure way to accept debit and credit cards ability to serve more customers in less time and no need for a PIN or signature on low ticket purchases As digital wallets begin to allow Canadians to place their cards onto an NFC enabled phone restaurants who have implemented contactless readers at their point of sale will be able to accept these payments The good news for restaurants is that many terminals and PIN pads offered today already have readers built in so you can quickly start accepting contactless and eventually mobile payments from customers Merchants will be able to streamline their payment options through a single set up making the transition from contactless to mobile an

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/Contactlessandmobilepayments.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Canadian Restaurant Industry Trailblazer: Don Robinson, President and CEO, CARA
    loved what I saw The company went private in 2004 and I became President and CEO in 2006 Robinson s travels abroad have had an impact on a local level You certainly have sensitivity to different people s needs explains Robinson The various cuisines around the world have been very distinct for so long but in fact they are wafting on our plates into one In Canada there s a huge advantage that we have because we are such a mosaic in the sense of diversity Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world CARA is a 128 year old company that owns iconic brands Swiss Chalet Rotisserie Grill Harvey s Kelsey s Montana s and Milestone s Grill Bar Founded in 1883 the company began as The Canada Railway News Company and was originally in the business of selling newspapers magazines and confectionary to the travelling public CARA went on to open refreshment rooms at hotels and hubs along the rail line and opened its first Swiss Chalet in Toronto in 1954 with Rotisserie Chicken as the only entrée CARA went public in 1968 with the company s original owners the Phelan family maintaining the majority of shares The company ventured outside of foodservice on a number of occasions and began dabbling in institutional catering in the early 90s The Phelan family bought back CARA s public stock in 2004 once again making it a private company That year the company underwent a major transformation and began to narrow its focus to restaurants by selling off all other associated business like airline services and food distribution We sold those businesses so that we could really focus on restaurants says Robinson Within the restaurant area in 2006 we basically had five restaurant companies under one roof each running their businesses very differently We now have one restaurant company with five brands where everything is done the same way and we are commonly united in the pursuit of perfect guest experiences around the call to action all of our guests must leave happy CARA is known for its unique corporate culture The company s head office in Vaughan Ont is completely open with no walls between employees including senior management like Robinson We used to be in a much more formal office structure with the brands operating on separate floors Robinson explains It was very stiff for a restaurant company We re all about people and interaction and communication We re in a completely open office there are no walls It speeds up the sense of teamwork it speeds up the sense of camaraderie it speeds up communication It s a restaurant company and we do have fun CARA has close to 700 restaurants and 26 000 employees across the system Robinson explains that the company focuses heavily on people development with the goal to push and promote from within the company Robinson feels the restaurant industry should position itself as a driver to the Canadian economy and

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/DonRobinsonCARA.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Canadian Trailblazer: Jean Bedard, President and CEO, Sportscene Group Inc.
    A and has been recognized as one of Canada s 50 Best Managed Companies Thirty five La Cage locations are wholly or jointly owned by the company and 15 locations are franchises The resto bar s most distinctive feature is the Sports Gang Fun culture showcased by an original décor festive ambience and the use of the latest technologies and plenty of contests and special events for customers The company also manages real estate holdings including a sports complex and several buildings housing La Cage Aux Sports restaurants We have three words that describe our atmosphere it s group it s fun it s sports says Bedard It s a big place to go an average of 300 seats You can be there with a hockey team after a game to watch the games I think the food is good and it s a place to share moments and everything like that It s also an interesting place to share a beverage The restaurant s signature group beer pitcher the Girafe sits atop a four legged stand with extra large pitcher featuring its own pouring spout to keep large groups well lubricated A well received promotion for La Cage Aux Sport is the 5 goals 8 free wings offer When the Montreal Canadiens score five goals in any regular season or playoff game patrons or anyone visiting the team s Bell Centre arena that brings in their ticket stub receive a voucher for an eight wing order for their next restaurant visit Patrons can also download a coupon from the restaurant s website La Cage also cross promotes with Interbox Bedard s training and management company for aspiring and professional boxers Rounding out his team is current IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute The hockey counterpart to Interbox also run by Bedard is Sportscene Hockey Performance Development a training camp for aspiring hockey players that boasts current pros such as Bruno Gervais of the New York Islanders as well as Kristopher Letang and Maxime Talbot of the Philadelphia Flyers Interbox has recently worked out a long term multi site contract with cable channel ShowTime to produce all of its boxing events La Cage aux Sports branding is of course mixed into every sports activity Boxing matches are heavily promoted across the locations and the resto bar also sponsors events like beach volleyball where guests are invited to events cross promoted with Corona In addition La Cage aux Sports Facebook page and Twitter feeds deliver sporting news and event updates along with promotions for the restaurant Social media has been very good says Bedard Lucian Bute our boxer has 2 200 fans on Twitter and 60 000 fans on Facebook so we provide the fans with a lot of special clips and pictures We re doing a lot of promotion with the restaurant La Cage aux Sports will query its social media followers throughout the day for example selecting a specific location and asking what sports jerseys are at the front

    Original URL path: http://restaurantcentral.ca/JeanBedardSportsceneGroup.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Top seven most popular ingredients in entrée salads
    roost as most popular ingredient in entrée salads According to Technomic s MenuMonitor database chicken is the top ingredient used in entrée salads on Canadian menus Chicken is a topping option that can be prepared in diverse ways and paired with a range of flavours This healthful protein can be viewed as a good topping option for salads to make them a more substantial filling entrée option Roasted or grilled chicken is featured on many healthy salads while breaded or fried chicken is often featured with indulgent salads One example of a healthful chicken topped salad is Jungle Jim s Slim Chicken Salad with seasoned and grilled chicken breast Kraft Low Cal BBQ sauce romaine lettuce peppers broccoli cauliflower carrots mushrooms tomatoes and shredded skim mozzarella Tomato is another popular ingredient featured in entrée salads with 281 appearances on menus according to Technomic s MenuMonitor database Tomatoes add fresh from the garden flavour to salads There is a wide variety of tomato types with each featuring a different flavour ranging from sweet Currant tomatoes to piquant green tomatoes Kalendar an independent restaurant in Toronto serves its Chunky Tomato Cucumber salad with tomatoes cucumbers avocados and Emmental cheese tossed in lemon basil olive oil Cheese is one of the most common ingredients found in entrée salads appearing 220 times on Canadian menus The vast assortment of cheeses ranges from mild creamy and soft to pungent hard and crumbly For example Dockside Restaurant in Vancouver offers two varieties of cobb salad with two very different types of cheeses Its Dockside Butter Lettuce Cobb salad features tangy crumbly Roquefort blue cheese while its Marine Butter Lettuce Cobb features mild creamy Boursin cheese Depending on the type cheese can be a bold addition to a salad or act as a subtle complementary flavour that

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