December 2014 | Food Newsfeed
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December 2014


Boca Restaurant Group

Midwestern Makeover

As Chef David Falk likes to say, his goal for dining excellence is BPA. Translated for the masses, it simply means to “blow people away,” and that is the mission of the celebrated chef, founder, and CEO of Boca Restaurant Group.

Talking Menus Are Breaking Barriers

The idea for talking menus came from practical experience. In 2006, Susan Perry went to dinner at an Olive Garden with her niece who was suffering vision loss from juvenile macular degeneration. Perry had forgotten her reading glasses, and the two were stuck at a table with no way to read the menu.


Cliff McBride

The Art of Fine Dining

Cuisine may make the restaurant, but art certainly adds to the ambiance. Operators are commissioning artists, many local, to add a personal touch to their establishments.“The artists we feature live here in Columbia, so a lot of customers know them and recognize their work,” says Bobby Williams, chairman of the South Carolina-based Lizard’s Thicket, which displays local art at each of its 15 locations.


ellen silverman / tavern bar

Promise Lands

Just as locally sourced foods entice diners, so do wines crafted from grapes with regional roots. While Napa Valley and Sonoma County are widely recognized as premier wine regions—and, in recent years, Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Washington’s Columbia Valley have gained prominence as well—restaurants are increasingly sourcing from regions that are less familiar to the masses.

Sweet Memories Define Dessert Trends

Classic is back. When it comes to desserts, chefs are hearkening back to childhood memories, updating desserts of bygone days with modern twists. Forget extravagant, edgy desserts. Now that the spotlight is on nostalgia, from devil’s food cake to retro snoballs, the trend to traditional favorites has hit pastry kitchens nationwide.


Joshua Armstrong / Southwest Indiana Chamber

Incentive to Open a New Concept in Evansville, Indiana

It’s a savory offer. City leaders in Evansville, Indiana, will award $250,000 to the restaurateur or developer with the best plan to open a new restaurant in their downtown.The initiative, called the Main Course Restaurant Challenge, is motivated by a desire “not to control the project but to eliminate some of the challenges in creating a new restaurant,” explains Joshua Armstrong, downtown alliance director for the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce.


Carolina Ale House

Game On for Wellness

When Carolina Ale House assembled its philanthropic mission years ago, the goal of promoting active, healthy lifestyles was near the top of its list.“As we see it, health is wealth,” says Mindy Stroupe, corporate communications manager for the 25-unit Carolina Ale House enterprise.

The 2015 Buyer's Guide

For restaurateurs contemplating capital expenses or stocking the pantry, this curated collection features a variety of the best products for full-service restaurant operations.Taking into account reader nominations, product announcements, and industry headlines, FSR editors selected a broad spectrum of newly introduced or enhanced products.

Unparalleled Performance

Parallel 38 is not even one year old, but as of Sept. 18 it had already hosted a James Beard dinner.Co-owner and sommelier Justin Ross was shocked when he received the esteemed invitation only four months after opening on New Year's Day.


Tony Albright/Napa Valley Vintners

Minimal Aftershocks for Wine Supply

Chef Ken Frank, owner of La Toque in downtown Napa, found a silver lining in the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck California’s Napa Valley on Aug. 24. With the epicenter located just 10 miles from his restaurant, Chef Frank was thankful it hit at 3 a.