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Chef and Menu Report: Week of 8/17/14

Chef and Menu Report: Week of 8/17/14


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New York
Park Slope’s Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn has introduced their "Clam Bake To-Go" package for Labor Day. The seafood spot is launching the promotion next week and it will be available during the entire month of September. The package includes lobster, cherrystone clams, mussels, corn, and potatoes for two ($34.95) or four ($59.95) people, and can be purchased by calling the restaurant at in advance.

Williamsburg's oyster and cocktail bar Maison Premiere will host their fourth-annual Labor Day Party on Monday, September 1. Doors will open at noon, and the event will include an assortment of oysters, chilled seafood, and an exciting selection of chef's specials. The full bar will be available throughout the day, featuring Maison Premiere's signature absinthe cocktails, wine by the glass and bottle, and a range of draft and bottled beers. Entrance to the party is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are available for dinner beginning at 5 p.m. until midnight, with the full menu available; the bar will stay open, serving oysters until 1 a.m. and drinks until 2 a.m.

Eataly New York is getting ready to turn four, and has organized a few activities to celebrate its birthday. During the week of August 31, shoppers can save up to 60 percent on selected products, while their restaurants will feature special dishes prepared with only four ingredients. On September 4 they will host an Eataly’s Greatests Hits Dinner at La Birreria. For $180, guests can enjoy a menu consisting of passed assaggi like market fish crudo and friend shitake mushrooms, and four stations offering dishes such as porcini rubbed prime rib and lasagna al ragu. On their actual birthday, stop in for a piece of free cake on Tuesday, September 2 at 4 p.m.

Alobar's Annual Tomato Fest will run September 11 through 13 and feature a 5-course dinner tasting menu for $48 per person, with $10 from each sale going towards Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. Chef Greg Profeta's TomatoFest Menu will include an heirloom tomato salad with avocado, basil, goat feta, and dressed in charred onion vinaigrette, a classic tomato gazpacho amuse, fluke with tomato water jus, olives, and pesto, Hanger steak with tomato Provencal and Choron sauce, and roasted tomato tart for dessert; Alobar's a la carte menu will also be available.

Hard Rock Café in Yankee Stadium has launched their new menu. Open year-round, diners can now enjoy appetizers like jumbo chicken wings coated with their signature smoked dry rub, slow roasted and served with blue cheese and carrot and celery sticks, and “Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese” comprised of cavatappi macaroni tossed in a three-cheese sauce with roasted red peppers, topped with Parmesan parsley bread crumbs and grilled chicken breast. Mains include a smoked beef brisket sandwich with slow-cooked beef brisket topped with hickory barbecue sauce and crispy onions on grilled sourdough bread, and grilled Norwegian salmon wrapped in cedar paper and drizzled with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with maître d' butter, served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and a seasonal vegetable. One of the new desserts is a cheesecake made with Oreo® cookie pieces that’s made in-house, with a generous helping of Oreo® cookies baked in rich and creamy New Yorkstyle cheesecake, with a decadent Oreo® cookie crust, and the updated cocktail menu includes the “Twist & Shout” made up of Guinness draught beer, Bacardi OakHeart Spiced Rum, dark crème de cacao, chocolate syrup, Monin salted caramel syrup blended with Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate, and their signature applewood smoked crisp bacon.

Many New Yorkers wistfully gaze at happy hour menus that they can't take advantage of because they don't get out of work in time, so North End Grill has just introduced a $1 oyster happy hour from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Executive chef Eric Korsh changes the selection of oysters daily to ensure fresh quality; workaholics rejoice!

Atlanta
Ocean Prime, a modern American supper club, announced the return of executive chef Jason Shelley to Atlanta. After embarking on a year-long adventure across Spain, Shelley brings his expertise and newfound global culinary inspirations back to the restaurant where he led the kitchen since its debut in 2011. Prior to moving to Georgia, he also opened the Ocean Prime Orlando location as executive chef. Originally from Pittsburgh, the chef began his culinary career in his hometown at Atria’s Restaurant where he worked as a line cook. Since he first entered the industry, his passion and enthusiasm have grown in preparing a variety of cuisines and he is looking forward to the continuation of that growth with the Ocean Prime team.

Miami
This Sunday, August 24 from noon to 4 p.m., Pubbelly will be kicking off everyone’s favorite meal: brunch. Their new menu will range from $9 to $18 and will be categorized by food “genre”: Pubbelly Classics, Dim Sum, South Beach Diet, Hangover Grub, Brunch Fare, and Bread & Co. Guests can expect to find dishes like domestic Burrata with local mangos, pistachios, basil, and olive oil; “PB French Toast Sticks” with seasonal marmalade, bananas foster, and bacon maple; “Media Noche Mcbelly” with confit of pork belly, cox farms ham, Gruyère, and dijonnaise; and “Mushrooms & Huitlacoche” with Key West pink shrimp, castle mills grits, and sobrasada.

Portland
The Fireside in Northwest Portland gains new momentum with Jake Martin as executive chef. Prior to The Fireside, Martin was executive chef of Genoa, the long-time Portland fine dining establishment. Martin brings a creative flair and deep understanding of Oregon’s bounty, while retaining the spirit of outdoor-inspired fare. In addition to Martin, The Fireside also recently gained a new lead bartender, Chauncey Roach. Previously at Ración, Roach will bring a dose of creativity to the restaurant’s stellar beverage program.

Cincinnati, OH
The Friends and Family SIDS Brunch at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Presented by Cincinnati Children’s is Sunday, October 19. It features food and beverages from the area’s best chefs and wine vendors, a Silent Auction, hands-on kids’ activities, and live entertainment. Tickets are $65 for adults, $75 at the door; $20 for kids ages 5-12, $25 at the door. The de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation is led by Jean-Robert and Annette de Cavel, who lost their four-month-old daughter Tatiana to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 2002. The Foundation has most recently awarded grants to researcher Dr. John Hutton at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Cradle Cincinnati; Tri-Health’s Cribs for Kids; and the Tatiana de Cavel Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State.

Chicago
Heritage BBQ presented by Goose Island Beer Co. is kicking off a five-city global BBQ tour beginning in Chicago on August 30. The local-food focused BBQ tour started by Brady Lowe, Founder of Cochon 555, invites five notable chefs to put their love of globally-influenced whole pig BBQ to the test in a friendly but fierce competition to promote the consumption of heritage breed pigs raised by local family farms.

This year’s competing chefs include Chrissy Camba of Laughing Bird, Carlos Gaytan of Mexique, Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice, Cary Taylor of Big Star, and Nathan Sears of The Radler and D.A.S. Each chef will be given a 200-pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. A panel of 20 respected judges will vote for Chicago’s “BBQ King or Queen.” The BBQ will take place at Goose Island’s new Barrel Warehouse — a facility dedicated to the art of aging beers in wine and bourbon barrels. The 500-person event features more than 1,400 pounds of heritage pig in an all-inclusive tasting. There’s much more to the event, so for a full list of activities and to purchase tickets, please visit their website.

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.


Chef and Menu Report: Week of 8/17/14 - Recipes

Jason Atherton

The son of a Skegness hotelier and her joiner husband. At 16 Jason ran away to London while his parents were on holiday. After training at Boston College, Lincolnshire, he spent six weeks training with the Army Catering Corps, which he hated

Matt Tebbutt

Matt Tebbutt hosts this week’s Saturday Kitchen Live

Cherish Finden

Cherish moved to London in 2001 from Singapore and within a year she won ‘Dessert of the Year’ which she now judges. She was awarded ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’ by the Craft Guild of Chefs in 2012


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 – 6 to 8 oz. chicken, breasts
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 12-15 Cremini mushrooms,
  • 1 cup dark chicken stock
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a heavy skillet, heat canola oil on medium until oil starts to shimmer.

2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, add to skillet and sauté until they start to brown. Turn over and brown other side. Chicken does not need to cooked through.

3. Remove chicken from pan and place to the side.

4. Add Vidalia onion to pan, sauté until onions begin to caramelize.

5. Add mushrooms to pan and continue cooking until they are slightly browned.

6. Add garlic and thyme, making sure all ingredients are mixed well.

7. Add chicken stock and add chicken back to pan.

8. Continue to cook, uncovered, until sauce has reduced and become thickened and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

9. Remove from stove and let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes.

10. Plate chicken and coat with Vidalia onion and mushroom sauce, and serve.

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Food Cost Percentages

As you may recall, food cost percentage is determined by dividing the portion cost by the selling price:

Example 30: Food cost percentages

food cost percentage = portion cost ÷ selling price

If the portion cost is $4.80 and the selling price is $14.00, the food cost percentage is:

food cost percentage = portion cost ÷ selling price

Another way of expressing the food cost is as a cost mark-up.

The cost mark-up is determined by reversing the food cost percentage equation:

cost mark-up = selling price ÷ portion cost

The cost mark-up can also be determined by dividing the food cost percentage into 1. The equation then becomes:

cost mark-up = 1 ÷ food cost percentage

In the example above, where the portion cost is $1.20 and the selling price is $3.50, the cost mark-up can be solved in the following ways:

cost mark-up = selling price ÷ portion cost

or cost mark-up = 1 ÷ food cost percentage

The cost mark-up can be used to determine a selling price when a portion cost is known by multiplying the cost mark-up and the portion cost:

Example 32: Determine a selling price

selling price = portion cost × cost mark-up

For example, if the ingredients for a portion of soup costs $1.05 and the restaurant has a cost mark-up of 3.6, the menu price of the soup is:

selling price = portion cost × cost mark-up

The restaurant would charge at least $3.78 for the menu item if it wants to keep its mark-up margin at 3.6, which is about a 28% food cost percentage. This price might be adjusted because of competition selling the same item for a different price, price rounding policies of the restaurant or the whims of management. For example, many restaurants have prices that end in 5 or 9 (such as $4.99 or $5.95). Prices on such menus tend to be rounded to the nearest number ending in 5 or 9. No matter what the final menu price is, at least a base price has been established.

The problem with the above approach is it doesn’t explain how to select a food percentage or a selling price from which to derive the percentage. In many cases, the food percentage is based on past experiences of the manager, or by a supposed awareness of industry averages. For example, many people simply set their food percentage at 30% and never work out a more appropriate figure. Similarly, the selling price of a menu item is often the product of guessing what the market will bear: $4.50 for a bowl of soup may seem like a good deal or as much as a reasonable person might pay in that restaurant. Unfortunately, none of these methods takes into account the unique situations affecting most restaurants.

A more accurate way of computing a target food cost percentage is to estimate total sales, labour costs, and hoped-for profits. These figures are used to determine allowed food costs. The total of projected food costs is divided by the projected sales to produce a food cost percentage. The food cost percentage can be turned into a mark-up margin by dividing the percentage into 1, as shown above.

For example, to determine the food cost percentage of a restaurant that has projected sales of $10 000 and labour costs of $6000, overhead of $1000, and a goal of before-tax profits of $500, the following procedure is used:

food costs = sales − (labour costs + overhead + profit)

food percentage = food costs ÷ sales

mark-up margin = 1 ÷ food percentage

In this example, the menu prices would be determined by multiplying the portion costs of each item by the mark-up margin of 4. Adjustments would then be made to better fit the prices to local market conditions.

If the application of the derived mark-up margin produces unreasonable prices, then one or more of the projected sales, labour costs, overhead, or profits are probably unreasonable. The advantage of using this system is that it points out (but does not pinpoint) such problem assumptions early in the process.

A similar approach uses a worksheet as shown in Figure 21.

Figure 21: Worksheet to calculate menu prices.

In the middle section of the worksheet in Figure 21, a food cost percentage is determined by subtracting other known cost percentages (i.e., operating costs, labour cost, and profit wanted) from 100%. One divided by the food cost percentage determines the mark-up margin. Food costs are then determined in the bottom half of the sheet and a menu price derived by multiplying the total cost by the mark-up margin.

In this pricing method, a “profit wanted” percentage is added to the cost of each menu item. This builds some potential profit into the menu prices. If you were to price everything according to costs only, the restaurant would only ever be able to break even and never turn a profit.


45 Best Air Fryer Recipes for a Twist on Your Weeknight Meals

How many times have you needed an easy dinner idea, but also desperately wanted it to be crispy and fried too? We've all been there. every week? Well, look no further than these out-of-this-world air fryer recipes that make the most of your magical kitchen gadget. Whether you're looking for dinners for one, or tasty family meals, there are dishes in here that'll fulfill all your needs. Ever used an air fryer? It's a great tool for lightening up dishes, since it produces crispy food without needing to drench it in oil. That means that several of these meals are&mdashdare we say&mdashgood for you too!

There's no shortage of chicken recipes when it comes to air fryer ideas, and this list is no exception. Whether it's fried chicken, chicken tenders, spicy hot wings, or even chicken Parmesan, there are enough dinners in here to keep your family happy for weeks. Of course, there are several veggie-friendly meals that are more on the health-conscious side too. Check out the many cauliflower recipes that swap it in for meat, like the buffalo cauliflower bites and breaded cauliflower tacos.

So tonight, instead of spending hours on a complicated meal, look to these air fryer recipes (or Instant Pot recipes for another quick fix!) to satisfy all your crispy cravings in no time.


4. Creamy Kabocha Squash and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. raw cashews
  • 1 small kabocha squash
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/3 cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1/2 medium onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c. roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Optional: A pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 to 3 c. vegetable broth (or as needed)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c. fresh basil (unpacked), sliced
  • 2 lb gluten-free spaghetti noodles (or pasta of your choice)
  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight. If you do not have time to, you can also bring a small pot of water to a boil, remove it from heat and add in the cashews. Allow them to soak until you blend the sauce together (which will be about 1 hour).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F and position the rack to the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Wash and dry the kabocha squash, place it (whole) on the baking sheet and into the oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool until the squash is easy to handle. If the stem of it is protruding, use a knife to carefully remove it. Slice the squash in half vertically, then scoop out the seeds and fiber using a spoon. Slice the squash into 1-inch wedges, trying to keep the slices uniform for even cooking. Place 6 or 7 the slices of the cooked squash (roughly 1 1/2 cups) onto your lined baking sheet. The remaining kabocha squash can be cooked on an additional baking sheet with the same baking time and directions below. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
  3. Using your hands, remove loose skin from the outside of the head of garlic. With a sharp knife, cut 1/4&ldquo-inch off the top of the garlic, or enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Place the garlic head (cut side down) onto the baking sheet along with the cauliflower florets, onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place back into the oven for 40 minutes, flipping/mixing halfway through.
  4. 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, prepare the pasta.
  5. Once you have removed the baking sheet from the oven, allow the veggies to cool until easily handled and then use a knife to carefully remove the skin from the kabocha and add it into a high speed blender. You can discard this or snack on it as you continue cooking. Using you hands, squeeze the soften garlic cloves out of the head and into the blender, along with the soaked cashews (drained), the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet, the roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, 2 cups of vegetable broth plus salt and pepper as desired. Blend until smooth, adding as much of the additional 1 cup of vegetable broth as needed to thin out the sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste and then add in the sliced basil. Pulse the basil in until well combined (do not blend it as it will turn the sauce a weird color).
  6. Drain the pasta, add it back into the pot and pour over the sauce. Mix until well combined.
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, basil and black pepper. Enjoy!

Per serving: 501 calories, 5.9 g fat (0 g sat), 17.8 g protein, 93.4 g carb, 56.3 mg sodium, 5.8 g sugars


Ainsley Harriott recipes: Where to find the dishes on the menu on Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook

Veteran chef Ainsley Harriott is renowned for his delicious and versatile recipes.

Now it is being shown again on ITV.

But where can you get old Ainsley Harriott episodes from? And what’s he cooking up on tonight’s episode?

Where can I find Ainsley Harriott recipes?

Ainsley Harriott recipes are available for free on his own official website.

At AinsleyHarriot.com there is an extensive recipes section.

Divided into sections, fans can easily discover recipes worthy of a dinner party here.

What’s more, there’s also a meat-free section, with several vegan options.

Meanwhile a massive selection of his recipes are available at BBC Food.

Of course many of Ainsley’s recipes can be discovered across his many television shows.

Or within his numerous bestselling books. Past publications include Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook, Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen and The Feel-Good Cookbook.

What’s on the menu on Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook tonight?

In the repeat episode of Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook on ITV tonight, he travels to the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia.

The episode’s synopsis reads: “Chef Ainsley Harriott visits the Italian island of Sardinia. He takes a pasta masterclass with hosts Erica and Alessandro, who teach him how to make a uniquely Sardinian pasta shape called Jiusoni, which he then uses in his sausage and fennel pasta recipe.

“He then cooks up a true Italian classic with a Sardinian twist – fregola minestrone.”

Is Ready Steady Cook coming back?

Ainsley hosted Ready Steady Cook from 2000 to 2009, taking over from Fern Britton.

Ready Steady Cook has returned but sadly Ainsley isn’t at the helm.

Instead Ryan Clark-Neal hosts the revived series.

But don’t worry Ainsley’s still an in-demand celebrity chef.

In 2020 alone he hosted four cooking television shows.

How much is Ainsley worth?

According to CelebrityNetWorth, Ainsley has a net worth of around $4 million. At the current exchange rate of the time of this publication, this is around £2.8 million.

When did Ainsley get into cooking?

Ainsley says he got into cooking as a child.

While writing for The Guardian, he said his first love was animals.

But he then moved on to food – and he talks to food in a similar way he does his pets.

He explained: “I’ve got a golden Labrador now, called Bobby, and I sometimes talk to Bobby just like Johnny Morris.

“His was one of those voices that we instantly associated with something – like David Attenborough – and it has stuck with me, so much so that I sometimes do it with food, too.

“I have a conversation with the ingredients when I’m cooking in the kitchen!”

Does Ainsley own a restaurant?

Ainsley doesn’t currently own a restaurant. But he’s worked in some incredibly prestigious ones in the past.

Prior to his television fame he served as head chef at The Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Are you a fan of Ainsley’s recipes? Let us know on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.


Who is Home Chef good for?

Home Chef is good if you want home-cooked down to earth food that really is not super fancy. But the food is really good and totally not too complicated to make with user-friendly instructions. That makes Home Chef good for me.

Plus even though I do not have a lot of food allergies, most people in life have something they can or cannot eat and Home Chef makes that easy for you too.

And if you are environmentally conscious like so many of us these days, rest assured that Green Chef delivers in a recyclable box.


Impossible TM BBQ Meatloaf Recipe

Chef Mimi’s Impossible™ BBQ Meatloaf recipe is a certified crowd-pleaser. Combining peppers, onions and spices, this simple dish will satisfy your tastebuds and deliver comfort in every slice. Add in mouth-watering BBQ sauce and the delicious taste of meat made from plants, and you’ve got a juicy, savory fan-favorite that will put a smile on everyone's face. Serve with rolls and a green salad with your favorite mix-ins for a hearty weeknight meal.

Based in Oakland, Chef Mimi (opens in a new tab) is the creator of the Black Food & Wine Experience (opens in a new tab) and the Bringing It To The Table Cooking Show. She grew frustrated with the lack of representation of Black chefs in the curriculum and broader media, and her mission is to create space for chefs to express their culinary skills without being limited to the narrative that Black Chefs can only cook Soul Food or BBQ.

Her BBQ Meatloaf with Impossible™ Burger is a perfect dinner for any day of the week. Throw a slice on a sandwich, turn it into an appetizer—whatever you do, your family will love it.


Sell It at a Discount

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Consider this Airbnb for eats! Food for All, a digital app, allows restaurants to sell their available extra meals for a deep discount. Currently, in use in Boston and New York, establishments slash the cost (to the tune of 50 percent off) of dishes they know would otherwise get thrown out at the end of the night. Customers get a deal restaurants still make money.