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).