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.
The Food Channel has predicted that the Midwest Food Movement will be one of the biggest trends of 2014. The trend focuses mostly on the concept of making use of the best quality products that are available in a region and using them to prepare foods with traditional flavorings. By taking local produce, grains, and meats, and preparing dishes that were specifically created to incorporate the ingredients and flavors of the region, restaurant menus can be enriched.
The best way to understand the Midwest Food Movement is to take a look at the Midwest. Sometimes referred to as” the breadbasket of America,” the region’s agriculture offers wheat, corn, soybeans, and wild rice. Root vegetables, meat, dairy products, and pork are also prominent in the industry and culinary culture. Berries, apples, and peaches, which grow in relatively cool temperatures, are abundant in the upper Midwest region
One of the biggest struggles in how to run a restaurant is balancing food costs in order to ensure customer satisfaction, while trying to maximize profits. With food getting more expensive almost every year, this goal is becoming harder and harder to attain. However, by strategically planning out each dish on the menu and ordering ingredients accordingly, businesses can unveil how to save money on food and increase their restaurant profit. Sometimes it can be difficult for a chef or business owner to make the necessary decisions for how to run a restaurant, since reducing restaurant food waste can mean limiting the scope of ingredients used. Yet when it comes down to lowering food costs, forgoing some menu items can keep restaurant profit stable or even raise it.
Using the Right Ingredients
In-season ingredients are always less expensive than they would be if not in-season. They will also generally be more favorable and have a better texture. Therefore, a restaurant menu should promote using produce that is in-season in order to create the best food, reduce food waste from
About one third of the food produced worldwide goes to waste. Yet when considering the entire world population, an estimated one in eight people suffers from undernourishment. Meanwhile, the global weather conditions are making it harder and harder to supply food to the growing population, raising the price of food costs. For businesses, food waste is beginning to mean increasing amounts of money lost, making an even bigger case for trying to adopt the head-to-tail cooking ideology. Chefs can view the practice as a challenge to lower food costs, and begin experimenting to reduce restaurant food waste and maximize profits.
Though the term head-to-tail usually implies using every part of an animal possible, as meat, when considering how to save money, food businesses can maximize profits by applying the idea to vegetables as well, with root-to-stalk cooking. Some ingredients are easier than others, but many do not exhibit their full potential in restaurant dishes regardless. Take celery for example: the starchy root can be roasted, pureed, or used in soup; the green stalk can be used in salads and stews; and the leaves can be used in stocks or even as a base green for an unusual salad. On the other hand, a vegetable such as cucumbers are usually sold and used as is, without the other components of the plant, making it almost impossible to implement the root-to-stalk method.
Head-to-tail cooking’s food costs efficiency depends on the type of meat and the skills of the kitchen staff. If at least one member of the kitchen staff knows how to separate cuts of meat from a carcass, and if the restaurant has
Energy Star appliances are useful beyond just lowering electricity bills and boasting that a business is a green restaurant. Though boosting business energy efficiency may be enough justification to purchase energy efficient appliances, many other financial incentives exist as well. These incentives include Energy Star rebates and tax breaks. The standards that Energy Star appliances must meet ensure consumers that they are receiving good quality and will be able to get good savings, for their purchases. For skeptics, multiple sites summarize and give links to details on the benefits of choosing Energy Star appliances.
The Energy Star Program
The Energy Star program is an initiative that was started by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 to try to reduce air pollution by providing incentives for using energy-efficient technologies, such as Energy Star appliances and lights. The financial incentives of purchasing energy efficient appliances include tax breaks, rebates, and lower electricity bills. According to the National Restaurant Association’s website, “restaurants that invest strategically in energy-saving commercial food service equipment and fixtures can cut utility costs 10% to 30% through rebates, tax credits and other financial incentives.”
The Energy Star program also ensures that consumers will not have to compromise on quality or trust in the products when choosing to increase business energy efficiency. In order to be Energy Star appliances, products must be significantly and measurably energy efficient appliances, meet consumers’ technological demands, and
Word on the street is that food prices are expected to increase. Between June and October of this year, international food prices declined, though they are still close to all-time highs and tend to rise over the years, according to the World Bank. Every year, food prices naturally fluctuate for a number of reasons. Fuel prices and weather conditions are huge factors affecting the food costs of ingredients. As fuel prices go up, transportation costs of wholesale produce and other ingredients go up. This factor tends to change frequently, effecting market prices starting up to six weeks later. Weather conditions have generally been relatively predictable. However, recent years have shown drastic changes in the typical weather of many regions, decreasing the yield of raw ingredients and therefore increasing food costs. In order for food businesses to maximize profits moving forward, they will have to strategize how to save money on food or reduce their expenses.
Becoming a Green Restaurant
Food storage ideas in a restaurant effect more than order in a restaurant kitchen, they can make work run more smoothly for restaurant employees and improve restaurant food safety. Restaurant food storage guidelines usually focus on restaurant food safety, however, the ideas included in the guidelines, such as restaurant food labels, can also make the food preparation process quicker and simpler. Businesses can adopt some food storage ideas and pick out tidbits of restaurant advice related to food storage, in order to create the best system for the venue.
Restaurant Food Labels
Restaurant food labels with the name of the food item and the date it was prepared, are one of the most useful food storage ideas to keep organization in commercial kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, as well as the pantry and other storage areas. Restaurant food labels are critical to restaurant food safety since many prepared foods are only servable for a short window of time. Labeling also makes going by the “first-in first-out” rule a no-brainer and allows restaurant employees to quickly identify raw, semi-prepared, or prepared dishes. It is a simple, quick, and effective way of communicating important information regardless of the restaurant employees on shift during food preparation, use, or disposing.
Storage Area Conditions
Storage area conditions can have a huge impact on the condition of the ingredients as well as food safety. Refrigerators and freezers are the most important commercial kitchen appliances for ensuring that restaurant food storage guidelines are followed. The lower the temperatures, the longer perishable foods will stay fresh. However refrigerators should not be so cold that fresh vegetables and fruits freeze, since their textures will be soggy when they defrost. Having commercial kitchen appliances that are working properly and maintained regularly makes all the difference for storing perishable foods. Pantries and similar food storage areas should be dry, cool, and without significant exposure to the sun. Moistness and heat will cause semi-perishable ingredients such as flour, oil,
Restaurant start-up costs are inflated hugely by the cost of a commercial kitchen. Commercial kitchen equipment, though crucial in starting a restaurant business, can also prevent many potential businesses from opening. Shouldering the cost of commercial kitchen equipment can be eased with a few existing options, making it possible to build an award-worthy commercial kitchen even under $30,000. By downsizing and planning what to purchase and how to structure it to be as multi-purpose as possible, those starting a restaurant business can make the most of small kitchen spaces and/or small budgets.
Lease to Own and Financing
Lease-to-own programs are similar to financing in that they allow the burden of cost of a commercial kitchen to be spread out over an extended period of time. This option decreases the initial financial weight when starting a restaurant business and, instead, allows some of the profits of an existing business to be applied towards helping pay for the restaurant start-up costs. Financing options are a very similar alternative. By looking into the options commercial kitchen equipment suppliers offer and doing the necessary research, a business can decide whether financing and lease-to-own programs are right for them.
Used Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Buying used commercial kitchen equipment is a great way to cut down on costs; however, it can also be risky. Some commercial kitchen equipment such as ice machines and deep fryers tend to last for shorter periods and must be cleaned and maintained
How to build a restaurant is a process paved with advice of which commercial kitchen appliances to purchase. However, once the restaurant kitchen is up and running, it is crucial to consistently and frequently work on maintaining commercial kitchen appliances that were purchased. By applying commercial kitchen equipment maintenance techniques, a business can provide itself an added safety blanket against difficult service because of inadequately functioning kitchen equipment.
Precautions to Take
First and foremost, purchasing high quality commercial kitchen appliances will lower the chances of having to invest time and money in intense maintenance, by providing durable kitchen equipment that can withstand the wear and tear of service. This step in how to build a restaurant is complicated, since prices for commercial kitchen appliances can be extremely high, and there is often a battle to stay in the budget. Regardless of the quality of the commercial kitchen appliances in a restaurant kitchen, the first step after purchase should be to read the owner’s manual. By knowing how to use the equipment, how to clean it, and how it is supposed to function, a detrimental mix-up in use or cleaning that will damage the kitchen equipment, is less likely to occur. Employees should also know how to use the equipment in the kitchen. Part of restaurant kitchen employee training should be instruction about the equipment, how to use it, how to clean it, and what to do if it stops working. For example, employees should be told to never pour water directly on a range, as that will ruin the gas
Let’s look at the startup cost of a commercial kitchen. Of course, the prices will vary depending on the size of the venue, the menu of the restaurant, and the equipment selected. Menus that include dishes prepared with specialized equipment will require more expensive restaurant start-up costs for the commercial kitchen. New equipment will be more expensive than used equipment, but comes with the added benefit of a warranty. Having a warranty can save thousands of dollars down the road, but good quality equipment, even used, should be durable enough to endure frequent use. Unless a business owner has had experience putting together commercial kitchens in the past, it is highly recommended to work with a restaurant consultant to ensure that all bases are covered, that the business will be able to run smoothly with the way the kitchen is designed, and that all law regulations are met.
Commercial Kitchen Equipment to Consider
The list of commercial kitchen equipment required for a food business will vary from venue to venue. Business owners should do research, or hire professionals, to decide which brands of equipment to purchase and whether to purchase the