Most Clicked ProChef SmartBrief Stories

1. '80s dining trends experience revival

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

Several 1980s dining trends are on the rebound, affecting everything from decor to menu items, writes Hugh Merwin. Chefs are tinkering with flaky quiches, pasta salad and swordfish -- popular dishes from nearly 30 years ago -- and decorating with bold bright logos which offer a stark contrast to the subdued, vintage decor that's been used in trendy eateries for the past 10 years. New York magazine (01/22)

2. Beard Foundation names first 2 award winners for 2015

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises founder and Chairman Richard Melman has been named the winner of the James Beard Foundation's 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. The foundation, which will hold its awards ceremony in Chicago for the first time this year, also named Wholesome Wave founder and CEO Michel Nischan as Humanitarian of the Year. New York magazine (01/26)

3. How Gramercy Tavern became an institution

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

New York City's Gramercy Tavern made waves when it opened in 1994, with dishes, prices and ambiance that made fine dining more accessible, write Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton. The pair team up on this review of the 20-year-old eatery, which continues to draw crowds for both the pricey chef's tasting menus and the more affordable tavern room fare. Eater (01/28)

4. Beef short ribs are ideal for warm winter meals

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Falling-off-the-bone short ribs are perfect for creating a comforting, warming meal during winter and can be used in many different preparations, such as fettuccine topped with rich ragu or a classic red wine braise. Most short rib dishes require a simple brown and braise method, followed by refrigeration before removing the excess fat. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (01/23)

5. Chefs develop sustainable, plant-based seafood alternatives

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Environmentally conscious chefs are replacing endangered fish species with plant-based ingredients that mimic the texture and taste of traditional preparations, such as chef James Corwell's sushi rolls made with tomato-based ingredients instead of bluefin tuna. Sophie's Kitchen, producer of ready-to-eat food products, offers vegan alternatives to calamari, scallops and fish fillets. National Public Radio (01/23)

6. Q&A with The Slanted Door's Charles Phan

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Vietnamese native and owner of The Slanted Door Charles Phan recounts how he built the restaurant -- the James Beard Foundation's 2014 pick for Best Restaurant -- from the ground up 20 years ago to dominate San Francisco's dining scene. The chef recently released his latest cookbook as an ode to the eatery with recipes that showcase Chinese, French and American cuisine. Reuters (01/27)

7. Meatballs make the menu at Super Bowl parties

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Tasty, crowd-pleasing meatballs are the perfect dish to serve at Super Bowl events and all year long. Chefs from Portland, Ore., share their favorite meatball preparations including traditional meatballs with spaghetti or lamb meatballs served with tangy pomegranate barbecue sauce. Using fresh ground meat, mixing by hand and making sure the blend of seasonings is just right are the keys to memorable meatballs, the chefs said. Oregonian (Portland), The (01/26)

8. Texas' chili tradition gets cooks fired up

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Texas chili has been influenced by a number of ethnic cuisines, from the myriad chiles brought from Mexico to German transplants who introduced goulash to Texas kitchens. While many Texans can't agree on one preparation, the state's cooks provide plenty of inspiration by using a burst of cumin, coarse ground beef and chili powder made from ground local chiles. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/26)

9. Feta brine creates pungent, tasty roast chicken

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Feta brine is the perfect way to prepare a whole chicken for roasting, according to Tony Cervone, chef at Souvla in San Francisco. Commercial feta brine can be used or a homemade version of feta cheese pureed with water will yield the same results. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/23)

10. Dietitian says broths are "deeply nourishing"

ProChef SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

People are warming up to nourishing broths that are seasoned and simmered for long periods of time to bring out the flavor and nutrients, chefs say. Registered dietitian Esther Cohen says bone broths are like superfoods and "deeply nourishing," especially for people who are run down and need energy, have compromised immune systems or are getting chemotherapy. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (01/28)

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