Food & Business Tips
When I first heard the terminology of the “recycle stream,” all kinds of visions popped into my head—none of which had anything to do with recycling.
Single stream recycling is just what it sounds like, all of your recyclable items are placed in the same container and then sorted on down the stream by a secondary company and then sold to item specific companies. This is what the lovely town of Irmo (where I live, in case you did not know) has implemented in the nicest lime green curbside containers. I am able to put all kinds of clean items in one container and then they are sorted later and recycled, cutting down on transportation cost and making it easier on me to recycle at home. Well there are also multiple companies in the Midlands who will do the same thing in your business for you. They will provide a container for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and just about everything else that can be recycled. For a fee they will pick it up and recycle for you. A number of these companies can be found on www.recyclonomicssc.com helping to make recycling easy here is one of… Continue reading
Recycle, Zero landfill, Compostable, Biodegradable, waste to Energy… There has not been a time, in my 35 year career in the foodservice industry, that I have ever encountered a more confusing issue facing our industry. Over the last 8 years or so I have struggled with determining which direction I should lead my kitchen in so that we can make a difference for the future of the human race. After all, as I was reminded by one of my staff members, we are but a tiny blip on the screen of the history of the earth. His philosophy is that it simply makes sense to use the resources wisely and to not completely pollute the world in which we eat. Armed with this new perspective, I have finally adopted a program that makes sense for me. I wanted to share some of the things that we do at Blue Cross in the hopes that maybe there is something here that might make sense in your operation, and that maybe you will share something with me that I have not thought of, that may make sense for me.
1. Aluminum cans; this one was an easy one and so very… Continue reading
Alexis Soyer was a French chef who became famous in Victorian London in the 1830‘s. He was born February 4th 1810 at Meaux-en-Brie on the Marne in France. Soyer‘s parents were grocers but the family had fallen on bad financial times by the time of his birth. At the age of nine he moved to Paris to live with his brother Phillipe, an established chef.
Young Alexis was a quick learner and by the time he was 17 he had become a celebrated chef with 12 chefs under his guide. However, by the time he was 31, Soyer left for England to join his brother who was now working for the Duke of Cambridge. In 1837 he became chef de cuisine at the famous Reform Club in London. Soyer became well known for his kitchen designs and innovations, including cooking with gas and ovens with adjustable temperatures. In 1938,his salary was 1000 pounds a year….more than two thousand dollars, and his Lamb Cutlets Reform is still on the menu at the club.
Soyer took a leave from the Reform Club to help with the plight of the Irish during the potato famine of 1847. He invented a soup kitchen and… Continue reading
Chef Erhardt was one of the first chefs to gain widespread popularity on American Television. While many of us remember him for his guest appearances on QVC and other shows of this type it should be known that Chef Erhardt was a highly skilled culinarian.
Born in Stuggart, Gremany in 1943, he was the son of a German Newspaper publisher. After playing the part of William Tell in a play, the name “Tell” would become his moniker. At the age of 14 young Paul entered into a strict training program for chefs. He earned the title of Master Chef while in his twenties, the youngest to ever do so. Also he received a Masters degree in cooking from the University of Heidelberg, won several culinary competitions and was named Germany`s Chef of the Year.
Chef Erhardt moved to the United States when he was 28 years old to take a position at Philadelphia‘s Marriott Hotel. He gained notoriety when he landed a 90 second cooking short on a local T.V. show “Evening Magazine” which was nationally syndicated. He later hosted a show for public television and was known for using humor in his cooking shows. Chef Tell‘s popularity and… Continue reading
Adriana Orr was a library researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary and had been asked the origin of the word “nacho.” Through all of her research, the only definition she could find meant “flat-nosed,” but she was quite sure the modern meaning of the word had not come from this derivative. Over time, she continued to hit a brick wall until a young girl overheard her discussion of the problem and told Ms Orr that Nacho is short for Ignacio, a man who lives in her village in Mexico.
Adriana went to the small village of Piedras Negras, and met Chef Ignacio Anaya, chef of the Victory Club, who told her he had served the dish to a group of ladies on a shopping trip who came by the restaurant after it had already closed.. He made the dish using available ingredients and named it Nachos Especiales.
An interesting side note is that a waitress by the name of Carmen Rocha, a waitress at El Cholo Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles in the late 1950’s is credited for making Nachos popular. Jack Nicholson remembers her as a friendly outgoing lady that loved to make this special snack for special guests… Continue reading
None of us want to think that we are working with a kitchen full of thieves, but there are times when product suddenly starts missing. How can we, as chefs, control our inventory without seeming too much like Big Brother? This month, we’ll take a look at some simple controls to put place which will help curb any runaway supply lines you may have going out the back door.
First, we have to realize that there is always going to be some theft. It would be naïve to think you can clamp down on everything. The truth is, many of us don’t even realize how much theft goes on right in front of us: over-portioning a sandwich for a co-worker, dropping some extra fries to munch on, adding side dishes to a plate but not charging, etc….There are two main ways to keep theft in check; don’t set yourself up to be an easy target, and two, don’t make your employees feel like they need to steal. These are very simple ideas, but they are effective. Let’s examine each:
Don’t be an easy target. The staff needs to see you doing regular inventory, weighing products, counting your shelves,… Continue reading
The original filling in Twinkies was banana. It was replaced with vanilla cream when there was a banana shortage in the US during WWII.
If Jell-o is hooked up to an EEG, it registers movements identical to an adult’s brain waves.
Cheese closes the stomach and should only be served at the end of the meal.
Dry wine is a wine which has been fully fermented, meaning that only 0.1% sugar remains.
Pineapples are classified as berries.
Watermelons grown along the Tigris River can weigh up to 275 pounds.
Food & Business Tips
What?!?! Cut the advertising budget!?!?! I know-every person that has gone through marketing 101 knows that if you cut your advertising budget because of money concerns, you are only going to be in a worse position. If you aren’t making sales, then how can you expect more money by not advertising?
First, don’t confuse advertising with marketing. We have talked before about using smart marketing; using Twitter to alert current customers about nightly features or emailing people who signed up for the service a few coupons. Think of advertising as vinegar and marketing as honey—well, which one attracts? We live in an age where people can say anything and post it for everyone to see. Because of this, people have become very wary of claims made by even the most respected of businesses. Every commercial has paragraphs of disclaimers on the bottom, so you automatically think they aren’t telling the truth. No, my friends, placing a big ad in a magazine or newspaper just isn’t worth the money. So how do you let people know about you? The answer: public relations and marketing.
Does your restaurant have a unique story? Do any of your… Continue reading
Food & Business Tips
Besieged by customer requests, Cleveland restaurant owner Hector Boiardi decided to bottle his famous spaghetti and meat sauce. With local success came an offer national distribution, but, fearing that Americans would have trouble pronouncing his Italian last name, he marketed and sold his food under the phonetic spelling, “Boy-ar-dee.”
The original filling in Twinkies was banana. It was replaced by vanilla-flavored cream during World War II, when the United States experienced a banana shortage.
A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top.
The canning process for herring was developed in Sardinia, which is why canned herrings are better known as sardines.
Food & Business Tips
One of the bigger problems facing the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants, is the huge turnover in our staff. Many of us just accept it as a cost of doing business, but it doesn’t need to be that way. We all hear about how much it costs to lose an employee, but many chefs really do not understand how it is a true cost to the restaurant, so let’s clarify this oft-repeated phrase with some tangible costly situations, and then explore some things you can do to make work fun (and profitable) for your employees.
Remember, for this article, we are not discussing turnover which is the result of employee termination. This month, we are focusing on losing employees to other restaurants simply because they are leaving for better working conditions, job pay, or job security. Although chefs will argue that losing a long-term is actually beneficial because a lower-waged employee can be brought in, or that a new worker can be trained without the negative habits of the previous employee, these are actually excuses. Any employee developing poor work habits should be dealt with immediately; that is the crux of being a manager.… Continue reading