All posts by Dana Williams
Menu innovation is the best way to improve the reputation of a venue, keep cooks interested in their jobs, and create restaurant menu ideas that will become the next bestsellers. Whether inspired by the latest culinary trends, or unusual flavor combinations, unique flavors on restaurant menus are daring additions which can lead to high rewards. Food business owners must have full confidence in their kitchen staff in order to allow them to freely go with their creative cooking ideas. However, by seasonally drafting new restaurant menus inspired by fresh produce, with unique flavors and food presentation in mind, businesses can create interesting meals that will make their venue stand out.
Finding Creative Cooking Ideas
Inspiration for restaurant menu ideas can come from a variety of sources. Putting twists on culinary trends, creating unusual flavor combinations from local ingredients, and reinventing ideas learned from other chefs, can create roots for dishes that can be improved and developed into bestselling menu items. The most unique restaurants around the world are famous either for their restaurant concept or innovative menus, proving the importance of investing time and energy into planning the best menu possible. Of course, businesses know the typical dishes that are popular in their
Sourdough starter is the key to how to make sourdough bread. The sour flavor of sourdough bread varies from bakery to bakery, thanks to the starter. Making sourdough starter takes little time commitment and has the potential to expand the fresh baked section of a restaurant or bakery with interesting flavors, unique to the venue. The flavor of the starter will depend on the environment in which the business is found, as well as the sourdough starter recipe. Though some bread baking enthusiasts are disappointed, at first, by the flavor of fresh baked bread made with their sourdough starter, by experimenting with different sourdough starter recipes and storage conditions, most can create delicious bread.
The Right Sourdough Starter Recipe
The right sourdough starter recipe will depend on the taste preferences of cooks and customers and environment of the place it is being prepared. Sometimes it can take a lot of experimentation for a cook to come up with his/her ideal sourdough starter recipe. A sourdough starter recipe always includes flour and water as the basic ingredients. Flour and water, and even air, can be sources of yeast for starters. Starters rise because of the presence of yeast, microorganisms which break down the flour as a source of energy and produce carbon dioxide which causes dough and starters to rise, along with lactic and acetic acid which give the dough its
Pesto sauce and caprese salad are probably the foods that come to mind most often when one thinks of basil. However, the applications for basil leaves in the kitchen are unlimited. Basil can be easily grown in a restaurant garden and added to dishes to provide unusual flavor combinations and health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Basil
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, essential minerals such as iron and manganese, and plenty of antioxidant compounds. Like most herbs, it is also low in calories and fat, making it attractive to health-conscious diners. Aside from the health benefits of basil, it’s relatively easy to grow as well, boosting the restaurant garden as well as the menu.
Growing a Basil Plant
Growing herbs can be challenging and time consuming, depending on the size of the restaurant garden and the types of herbs being grown. However, the basil plant is relatively resistant to weather and watering conditions, making it easier to grow than many other types of herbs. Additionally, since it repels bugs, it can greatly improve the customer dining experience during outdoor dining. Some flowers, herbs, and trees attract insects. This not only makes the restaurant garden dining experience less pleasant, but also makes growing herbs and other plants aesthetically, very difficult. Growing basil can help repel insects in the area, making it easier for other plants to grow in the garden as well. However, under ideal environmental conditions, basil can grow like a weed. Therefore, it is recommended to grow it in pots or in an area where it is unlikely to damage other herbs. A basil plant in the restaurant garden can provide a constant, fresh supply of the herb for use in restaurant dishes.<!–more–>
How to Use Basil Leaves in the Kitchen
Cooking with herbs is one of the easiest ways to created unusual flavor combinations in the kitchen. Basil is obviously a great base ingredient for pesto and salads, but can also be used in soups, drinks, pastas, and desserts. Peach-basil sangria can be a refreshing alternative to the staple during the summer. Strawberry, sweet balsamic, basil tarts and lemon-basil sorbet can be great hot weather desserts. Basil leaves can even be ground with olive oil, left to sit for a few days, and then strained, creating basil-infused oil with a bright green color that is perfect for garnishing. Chefs and cooks can develop creative, usual flavor combinations when it comes to cooking with herbs, and basil leaves are an ideal option.
Basil leaves are an excellent culinary tool for adding unique flavors to menus. Growing basil plants is relatively simple and can boost the outdoor dining experience for diners by helping to repel insects.
There is nothing like a hot, fresh baked brioche in the morning. Morning is arguably the busiest selling time for fresh baked pastries, making it crucial for cafés, bakeries, and other venues to make sure they have a supply available for purchase at opening time. Inconveniently for bakers, artisan foods such as pastries tend to stale relatively quickly compared to industrial brand pastries. Their lack of preservatives and other stabilizing ingredients make them susceptible to the wear of time. However, difference in quality between homemade food and industrially-bought foods is usually recognizable. Therefore, it is usually very worthwhile for businesses, whether a bakery or just a restaurant bakery, to find a way to make fresh baked pastries available at their venue at all times.
Pre-made Pastry Dough
The process for how to make pastry dough is often long and time-consuming, depending on the type of pastry. While breads usually require short rising times, products like crepes usually rest for a few hours before frying, and croissants require refrigeration and rest times between each step of folding in butter. If the cooks at a venue do not know how to make pastry dough, the result of all the time investment may not even be presentable for sale. However, for hotels, restaurant bakeries, and other bakery venues with employees who know how to make pastry dough, having fresh baked pastries for sale can lead to a significant boost in morning sales. These venues can prepare the pastry dough in advance and store it in the freezer, baking fresh pastries as needed. By having a supply of pastries in the freezer, if sales are high, the cooks or bakers can easily defrost some more for baking and sale later in the day. Other venues may choose to purchase the pastries already shaped and frozen, requiring baking only.
Customer service is one of the deciding factors for the success of a restaurant. Wait staff pagers are slowly cropping up as a better way to serve customers, but are they the right way to solve the puzzle of smoothly running the dining room? Waiter call buttons are a useful way for customers to let wait staff know they are ready to order, need something, or want to pay the bill. Restaurant pagers are also an efficient way for chefs to notify restaurant staff that dishes are ready to be delivered to tables. However, restaurant pagers may be uncomfortable for customers to use, eliminating the personal contact and challenge of getting the attention of wait staff, and replacing bad customer service with a foolproof technological solution.
Customer Service and the Restaurant Ambience
Top notch customer service is a very impressive characteristic for venues to have. Hiring caring and attentive restaurant staff is a sure-fire way to improve customer loyalty. Restaurant pagers enable customers to notify staff when they need something, providing the table location to wait staff for the fastest and most efficient service possible. However, to some extent, restaurant pagers also eliminate the challenge of providing good customer service, making it less impressive to customers. If waiters know exactly when and where a table needs service, can serving those tables quickly be labeled as good customer service? On another note, when a venue is packed and wait staff are obviously having a hard time juggling all their tasks, pressing the call button may be uncomfortable for customers, but they may not have a choice. If restaurant pagers are present, wait staff will not necessarily check on a table if not summoned by the call button, making use of
Tapioca is the starch of cassava root, a plant indigenous to parts of South America, Asia, and Africa. It comes in many different forms including tapioca balls, tapioca flour, and tapioca starch, creating many possibilities for incorporation into restaurant menus. Its neutral flavor makes it ideal for use for its thickening properties, without the drawback of undesired flavor added to dishes. Tapioca is a carbohydrate, without many other nutritional properties. Its main uses in the culinary world stem from its textural, gluten-free, and tasteless properties.
Tapioca balls are most often associated with bubble tea and tapioca pudding. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, though they are usually opaque white. Tapioca pearls are formed by pushing tapioca starch through a sieve at high pressure. The globules are sold dried and rehydrated and softened by cooking in large amounts of water or other types of liquid. Since tapioca pearls have a very neutral taste and color, a tapioca recipe usually relies on taking on the flavor and color of the fluid in which the pearls are cooked. Tapioca balls can be used in a variety of interesting dishes for restaurant menus. However, their use should be minimized or written clearly under the dish description, since a large percentage of people have an aversion to their texture. Besides classic tapioca pudding, tapioca balls can be used in a variety of other tapioca recipe options. They can be cooked in coconut milk and served with mango and/or caramelized pineapple cubes, or cooked in water with a bit cream and topped with vanilla-rum caramelized bananas. On the savory side, they can be cooked in reduced, concentrated chicken stock and served on a unique serving spoon as canapés, or hors d’oeuvres, similar to the “caviar” of molecular gastronomy. Tapioca recipe options go beyond tapioca pearls, incorporating tapioca flour, or the cassava root itself, into
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 400,000 deaths per year are connected to high blood pressure. Salt has been shown to have a direct relationship to elevated blood pressure, making it a critical ingredient to acknowledge when planning diets for the best nutrition facts possible. Despite the detrimental effects of salt, salt is also a necessary compound for the body. The FDA recommends consuming no more than one teaspoon of salt per day, though most people go well past this limit. Processed foods and restaurant menus are notorious sources of unusually high sodium levels in food. The more a person adds salt to his/her food, the most his/her taste buds acclimate and the more necessary it is to his/her perception of whether a dish is tasty or not. Low sodium restaurants can benefit from more than just impressive nutrition facts, but also by receiving a positive reputation through proper restaurant marketing. Nutrition facts of restaurant menus with low sodium levels will draw the attention of those looking for a healthy restaurant eating experience, as well as those simply concerned with elevated blood pressure.
Low Sodium Restaurants and Delicious Restaurant Menus
Salt shakers will never be out of fashion on a restaurant table. There is no denying the taste-inducing effects of salt on food. Even desserts benefit from a pinch of salt, which helps bring out the flavors. However, food businesses can significantly cut their salt use with a few strategic steps, creating restaurant menus with more impressive nutrition facts.
Fusion cuisine can be defined in a few ways. It can mean that restaurant menus offer many different types of ethnic food at their venue, or that they mix and match cultural culinary trends within one dish. Think Ras el Hanout spiced grilled chicken, a North-African inspired main, served on a brick-baked Mediterranean flatbread, with a side of Mexican guacamole. Despite having originated across the globe, these famous food items can be elegantly fused together to create a beautiful and delicious dish. Over the past few years, the public has gone crazy for the foods of Southeast Asia, Korea, and Peru. Finding ways to incorporate interesting ethnic food combinations into restaurant menus can make a restaurant unique.
Getting to Know Ethnic Cuisines
Before applying fusion foods to restaurant menus, chefs and cooks must try to perfect the component of the dish they want to use. Research is the best way to get acquainted with different types of ethnic food and cultural culinary trends. Perusing the internet on recipe sites and blogs, recipe books, and dining out in venues that offer ethnic food, are great ways to start. Experimentation should come next, and lastly, brainstorming and perfecting the perfect fusion dish. For example, Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of
Sous vide cooking has, in the past years, become a staple of high-end cuisine, with chefs such as Rene Redzepi and Thomas Keller adopting the trend for more than just a way to perfectly slow-cook meat. Sous vide cooking is one of the best cooking methods for preparing foods at ideal temperatures. The concept consists of a water bath, similar to a rethermalizer, but kept at specific, adjustable sous vide temperatures over duration of time, cooking the main ingredient, which is sealed in a vacuum bag. The results are dishes such as sous vide salmon, sous vide chicken, and sous vide cuts of meat that are prepared to the perfect doneness, and full of the flavors that were incorporated into the vacuum bag.
Sous Vide Cooking Instructions
The sous vide temperatures and times that different types of meat, vegetables, and eggs should be cooked in sous vide depends on the size of the portion and the desired result. Though charts exist throughout cookbooks and on the internet, food businesses looking to implement sous vide cooking methods in their venue should leave plenty of time for experimentation and trial and error, in order to get to the desired results for their ingredients. Of all the cooking methods, sous vide not only allows the most control over doneness, but also preserves the natural flavor of solely the ingredients used, while keeping the shape and color of the dish components. Ribs done with proper sous vide cooking will fall off the bone
Offering a food delivery service is a great way to increase restaurant business. Food for delivery allows customers to dine quickly and in the setting of their choice, rather than deal with waiting lists, wait-service, and food preparation in-house. On the other hand, a food delivery service allows restaurants to increase restaurant business by serving customers that do not require customer service beyond getting the food, and whom do not take up a table in the venue, allowing them to serve more customers at a given time. For restaurants looking to offer a high quality take away menu, freshness and preparation time should be taken into account
What Restaurants Deliver
When offering a food delivery service, restaurant s should plan out the food for delivery. A take away menu should not always be an exact copy of the in-house menu, in order to assure customer satisfaction and food quality of the food delivered. For example, though salads in-house are served to a customer with dressing already mixed in, when preparing food for delivery, salad dressing are best included on the side, to prevent wilting of the leaves by the time the dish is delivered. Food businesses should also keep in mind that fresh bread, deep-fried food, and toast tend