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When I came into this industry as an apprentice many years ago, there was little opportunity for me outside the kitchen. A chef earning a degree was unheard of, and most management trainees went to a hotel school, where they learned their techn

Beverage Trade Network Talks to Steve Dorfman, partner at Ciatti Company to share insights on factors to consider when selecting a bulk wine supply partner for your business. 

Whether you are starting a new private label, trying to procure wine to meet demand or off loading excess inventory, understanding how to successfully buy and sell bulk wine is an essential part of any modern wine business.

Today's wine lovers are more informed than ever. They know what they like, they know where to get it, and how to serve it right. Restaurants have to work hard just to meet the high standards of their guests. By playing close attention to presentation, preservation, temperature, and quality of service, they can add value to the wine itself.

Leaders in the industry understand what a crucial role their wine by-the-glass program plays in building a loyal customer base. Ordering wine by-the-glass should be seamless, free of stress or intimidation, and should foster a sense of excitement.

Restaurateurs at the forefront of wine preservation technology can attest to the system’s financial merits. Wine savvy guests, who are more apt to try something new, know what to look for in a strong by-the-glass program.

[Editor's Note: Enjoy our four-part series on wine preservation systems, by-the-glass programs, and how it may impact your business.]

Not so long ago, Americans purchased Chile’s “fighting varietals” for everyday home consumption. But when it came to dining out, Chilean wines were thought of as déclassé—restaurant hosts wouldn’t think of listing them. Today, restaurant beverage managers stock the best wines from Chile because they know that for quality and value at all wine list price points, the current crop of Chilean wines are winners. Chile’s superpremium Cabernets and “super-Chilean” Bordeaux blends are world-class, the best of the whites are crisp and complex, and the country offers a splendid, one-of-a-kind wine—Carmenère. My, how times have changed.

Could it be time to consider the rebirth of the carafe?

Proud Cypriots claim that their culture is the oldest in the world, boasting archeological evidence of human existence as early as 12,000 years ago. For them the practice of sourcing products locally is not a trend but a long-standing culinary tradition.

Today with the prevalence of social media, every single guest who walks into your restaurant should be considered a restaurant critic that will judge all aspects of their experience, from the food and service to the atmosphere of the restaurant. Worrying about the specialty menu or cocktail pairings can no longer be the main concern for restaurant owners. Instead, the entire dining experience should be carefully analyzed from the moment visitors walk in the door to the second they leave.

Añejo rums are smooth and luxurious. These aged rums have more in common with Cognac and Sherry than they do with their light rum, un-aged counterparts. They are elegant, sophisticated spirits best appreciated in a brandy snifter.

Bo Peep loses them in a nursery rhyme, insomniacs count them, and renegade family members are labeled as black ones. Sheep have been a cultural icon for millennia and their lamb a mainstay of menus around the globe for even longer. Grilled loin chops and roasted racks, crusted with herbs and garlic, can be found everywhere that Mary went, but some of the less frequently used cuts are the ones that are now creating the real buzz and bleats in professional kitchens.

While Chef Bahr is known for his winning appearance on the Food Network’s Chopped! as well as his command over ingredients such as oysters and duck, there is something else on the table at Restaurant Cotton and it’s no novelty.

As a restaurant group whose menu mix is predominantly seafood we often find ourselves encouraging diners to indulge their natural red wine preference, despite whatever myths they may have absorbed over the years about white wine being the exclusive appropriate selection for whatever swims.

Perhaps the most universal of ingredients, the tomato crosses nearly all restaurant cuisines and concepts. Once the product of the wilds of South America, the tomato has migrated more than most people, traversing all continents, cities large and small, and the gardens of professionals and home enthusiasts. But with the rapid growth of mass production came a homogenized, thick-skinned tomato largely devoid of the original fruit’s intense flavor and smooth texture. Fortunately, greater emphasis on healthful and organic foods has brought back to prominence full-flavored heirloom tomatoes.

Is your restaurant missing out on opportunities to profit from beer? Far too many operations offer a narrow range of beers that barely differ in flavor. Yet quality beer ranges as widely in style and is as food friendly as wine.

Over the course of my travels, I chat with restaurateurs and hear the latest hot industry topics. Recently, much of the talk has been about screw caps and how to deal with them. This column addresses the presentation of screw-capped wines on the list. We will also explore ways to present a screw-capped bottle of wine with as much integrity and ceremony as those closed with corks.

Culinary Hospitality Awards

 

California:

1313 Main
Culinary Hospitality Award, Innovative Cuisine 
1313 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559

 

Since Danny Meyer’s announcement about his no-tipping policy, restaurateurs around the country have been sitting up and taking notice.

Though there is some industry in the vicinity of its largest city, Bari, a countryside patched together with vineyards, olive groves, and fields of wheat testifies to Apulia’s most important products.

Although chef and food service uniforms are steeped in tradition, today's chef uniforms are anything but customary. Gone are the 19th century chef whites, as they are replaced by looks that reflect modern needs, individual personality, and branding.

Everyone has a favorite coffee shop in Manhattan. We each like to think ours is somehow better than everyone else’s, as if we would not be seen in any other spot. I doubt there is a single best coffee shop; there are too many great coffee places in New York (think Eddie Murphy grinning while showing off the “world’s best coffee” in Coming To America). That said Irving Farm is my favorite shop on the Upper West Side and the company from which I buy all of my coffee; it has become a second home to me.

The latest Nebbiolo releases have arrived. Here’s an up close look at 2011 and 2012 Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero at historic and innovative wineries in the Alba area.