Before consumers became chef groupies and gourmet connoisseurs, the penultimate endorsement for a restaurant was: “This is where the locals eat.” In all the glam and glitter of prestigious awards, it can be easy to forget the value of that hometown advantage.
Recently, I walked through a food truck rodeo alone. I’m not afraid to admit I was flying solo. I was going to bring my Basset hound until I recalled our last dinner date, which took place at a brewery on a sunny, cold afternoon.
When Chef Dominique Crenn scheduled time for the cover photo shoot and to talk with me, I let out a squeal of delight. (I get excited about every conversation with a chef, but you can ask my office pals—a squeal is a step beyond.
For many in the restaurant biz, summertime means open patios, extended hours, out-of-town visitors, lighter menu items, and extra cool libations. Menu innovators seem especially smitten by that last one.
For several weeks I’ve had a preview copy of The Reducetarian Solution on my desk. More importantly, I’ve had the book’s topic—“How the surprisingly simple act of reducing the amount of meat in your diet can transform your health and the planet”—on my mind.
The National Pork Board’s Pork Summit 2017 at The Culinary Institute of America’s St. Helena campus was an opportunity for some of the industry’s pork-loving luminaries to gather and discuss the future of the pig.
Let’s get this out of the way. I almost surely won’t ever open a restaurant. It’s stunning to those who know me that I open anything other than a Hamburger Helper box for dinner. But, I do (rather often) talk to people who start, operate, and thrive in this industry.
Chivalry is dead. If there’s a more ridiculous statement out there please let me know. Being, in my case, a very old millennial doesn’t mean letting the door slam on your date. It’s not honking the car horn instead of opening the door.
Sourcing local ingredients, and even foraging, has become the norm for restaurants across the country.Whereas a list of local ingredient sources used to always grace menus to let customers know where the food came from, now some restaurants don’t bother taking up space with all the farm names.
Because covering the national foodservice industry requires plenty of national travel, I've found myself in some pretty far-flung food destinations across the country, from Idaho's potato fields to Iowa's amber waves of grain, and from Maine's lobster boats to the fishing docks of Alaska's Aleutian Islands (and seemingly every major city in between).
No one likes to fire employees, but when your team acts inappropriately or doesn’t meet brand standards, it can be a necessity. As a former human resources manager for a national retail chain and manager of the licensed coffee shop in our store, I had to let many people go, and it was never easy.
Before I came to FSR, I was a salesfloor and then human resources manager for a major retailer, and I was also responsible for the management of a national coffee chain. In these roles, my job was to ensure operations were running smoothly, that our employees served our customers, and that everyone in the building was safe.
Every time I go to Atlanta, I can’t help but think it’s a baby Los Angeles. Terrible traffic—even Sunday mornings—sprawling layout with no discernible center, and strip malls galore. The differences (yes, there are many) don’t quite work in Atlanta’s favor: LA has the beach, heavenly weather, and one of the most health-forward food scenes in the world.
When I was in high school, our refrigerator stopped working. Since my mother never really cooked, we saw no reason to replace it. We put drinks on the windowsill to cool down. I sipped tap water from pickle jars and ate on the couch with a towel across my lap.
Where government leaders fail, perhaps chefs will succeed.I think this partly because of something Esther Choi said when we talked for our cover story: “I truly believe,” the chef/owner of m˘okbar told me, “that food is the first element that brings people to be interested in any culture … You fall in love with a cuisine and it opens the door to other aspects of the culture.