FOOD & BEVERAGE
If steaks ruled in 2005, what will be this year’s center-of-the plate protein stars? Troy Thompson, executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey in Los Angeles, anticipates renewed popularity for chops—lamb and pork as well as veal—and menus lend credence to his forecast.
All Fired Up
Salsas aren’t limited to being fiery accompaniments to tortilla chips. Spicy versions provide varied complements for assorted entrées while fruit salsas spread sunshine in winter on restaurant and noncommercial-venue menus.
Four Stars: Brown ’n’ Serve
Potatoes complete breakfast platters and four operations—The Kneadery in Ketchum, Idaho; Chicago’s Rosebud Steakhouse; and the Waffle House and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chains—share suggestions for heavenly hash browns.
The average U.S. consumer makes 2.2 trips weekly to the supermarket, a frequency any restaurant would love to have and an advantage grocers want to leverage. Providing foodservice—in-store dining as well as takeout meals—is one of the supermarket industry’s new strategies.
Squeezed by supercenters and saddled with razor-thin profit margins, upscale grocery operators are going far beyond rotisserie-chicken takeout meals to develop dining concepts that provide brand differentiation, incremental revenue and customer service.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill is going into Publix; Jamba Juice inked a deal with Safeway; Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises works with Byerly’s and Lunds. Smart foodservice operators are partnering with—rather than competing against—supermarkets.
“If I could keep only one tool, it would be an immersion blender,” says Colin Turner, chef-owner of two-unit Tin Fish. He and other kitchen professionals detail their devotion to this handy back-of-the-house helper.
Sodexho’s Retail Brand Group creates a small-space pizza concept; Buckhead Life Restaurant Group ventures outside Atlanta; Japanese Kobe beef returns; McDonald’s ponders a place for Thai food on its menu; Levy Restaurants helps Table 8 establish a Florida beachhead; COEX promises a varied menu of ideas. Menu Focus tips its cap to mushrooms. Table Turns tells who’s news.
Interface: Richard Bloch
Interface looks at restaurant interiors through the eyes of architect Richard Bloch, who has designed New York City’s Le Bernardin and Masa as well as other stylish operations.
Worlds of Possibility
IFMA Announces Silver Plate Class of `06
R&I Announces Six Ivy Award Winners for 2006