Most Clicked ProChef SmartBrief Stories

1. Why chefs are choosing to serve unique small plates

ProChef SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Chefs embracing the small plate trend are using alternative serving dishes in place of white plates, such as Mason jars, mini crockpots and small ramekins. The small dishes not only look attractive to diners, they help control food costs by acting as a measurement tool for portion sizes. FSR Magazine online (05/18)

2. Barbecue pitmaster shares recipes, techniques in new cookbook

ProChef SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Chef Aaron Franklin's much-anticipated tome reveals the recipes and techniques that led to the creation of his barbecue empire, his title of best chef in the Southwest from the James Beard Foundation and three- to five-hour long waits at his Austin, Texas, restaurant Franklin Barbecue. Franklin explains how to build and use a smoker and goes into significant detail in 11 recipes for brisket, sauces and sides. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/17)

3. The pros and cons of eating pork

ProChef SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

Dietitians say lean pork is a good source of protein and nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet, but researchers raise ethical concerns about how pigs are treated and health issues over antibiotics and other drugs used in pork production. Clinical dietitian Kristi King says 3 ounces of pork has more than 20 grams of protein, is one of the most concentrated sources of zinc and contains vitamin B-12. (05/14)

4. 3D printers may be coming to a restaurant near you

ProChef SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

3D printers are poised to become a go-to tool for chefs thanks to a partnership between the CIA and 3D Systems, which develops seminars and programs to educate chefs about the possibilities of the technology, such as printing candies and intricate designs using sugar. “This is a new era of culinary,” says Carrie Kommers of 3D Systems. “This enables culinarians to make things they couldn’t do with their hands.” Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (05/18)

5. Scientific knowledge helps chefs choose the right tools

ProChef SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Chefs are marrying advances in technology with a scientific foundation of how ingredients and equipment behave, which allows them to create precise textures, flavors and aromas, writes Ted Russin, CIA's associate dean of culinary science. "Every stove, circulator, control vapor oven, or blowtorch could overcook, undercook, or perfectly cook a piece of food -- you just need to understand how to use the equipment to achieve your goal," he writes. "Thus, for me, technology in the kitchen is predicated on a systematic approach to problem solving." FSR Magazine online (05/21)

6. Chefs bring surf and turf into the Millennium

ProChef SmartBrief | May 18, 2015

The classic surf and turf dish has gotten a makeover at many restaurants, now going far beyond lobster tail and filet mignon. Michael Hung, chef at Faith & Flower in Los Angeles, is serving up plancha seared Pacific swordfish with roasted mushrooms, ramps and foie gras broth. At Beautique in Manhattan, guests enjoy halibut with paella risotto cake, crispy asparagus and a chorizo sauce. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (05/15)

7. Composed salads make a structured summertime meal

ProChef SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Composed salads are arranged in an organized manner on a plate instead of being tossed in a bowl, for a simple yet enticing dish. The technique highlights fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruit that can be arranged in small piles. Sprinkling fresh herbs over the top can tie all the ingredients together and mask any empty areas of the plate. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (05/19)

8. Chef taps local farms to resurrect Native American cuisine

ProChef SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

Native American chef Sean Sherman opened his catering company, The Sioux Chef, to introduce diners to his culinary heritage and highlight his farming partners, which provide him with freshly caught fish and wild rice. Sherman's future plans include a restaurant and food truck, which he hopes will not only increase consumer knowledge about Native American cuisine but give local farmers the economic boost they need. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (05/19)

9. Major cities step up barbecue game

ProChef SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

Pitmasters in major metropolitan areas are employing the tactics of small-town venues using wood-fired smokers to cook meat low and slow, developing some of the country's best barbecue in the process. The old-school cooking process has put DCity and Fat Pete's in Washington, D.C., on the map for their brisket that explodes with smoke, seasoning and spices. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (05/21)

10. Charlie Palmer opens restaurant in Napa hotel

ProChef SmartBrief | May 19, 2015

Chef, restaurateur and hotelier Charlie Palmer recently opened 110-seat eatery Harvest Table, located at the Harvest Inn, a hotel in St. Helena, Calif., that he purchased in 2014. The restaurant features a state-of-the-art kitchen, alfresco dining space and a farm-to-table menu designed to attract hotel guests and locals alike. Napa Valley Register (Calif.) (05/18)

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