Most Clicked ProChef SmartBrief Stories

1. Pastry items make for fresh spin on French toast

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 27, 2015

Restaurants around the country are serving up innovative, extra-indulgent takes on French toast by swapping pastries for the usual challah or brioche. The Chocolate Babka French Toast at Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York City and Cinnamon Roll French Toast at M. Henry in Chicago are worthy of dessert or a decadent brunch. Bon Appétit online (07/23)

2. How to get produce to stand out on the plate

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Using bold, high-heat cooking techniques, drizzling on flavorful condiments and moving produce to the center of the plate are just a few of the ways chefs can present vegetables in their best light. Presenters shared these and seven other tips at the Produce Marketing Association's Foodservice Conference last week. Restaurant Business (07/2015)

3. A new twist on chilled soups

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 30, 2015

Chilled soups are perfect for the summer, and there is a host of options beyond tomato gazpacho. For a new twist on cold soup, chef Jamie Bissonnette chooses a variety of white vegetables for a creamy texture. "Litchis are in season right now, so I'll take litchis and all kinds of white vegetables -- maybe white bell peppers, white carrots, white onions, the white part of scallions, fresh garlic -- and add some almond milk, and make a beautiful gazpacho that looks great," he said. "It's completely blonde. It's got a lot of the same characteristics as a gazpacho but it's a little bit rich, a little bit acidic and definitely creamy." The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (07/29)

4. Smoothies get an upgrade outside the glass

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 24, 2015

Chilled fruit smoothies can be served as a refreshing summer soup, and their thick texture is ideal for supporting a host of toppings. Berries, coconut flakes, nuts and chia seeds add texture, flavor and nutrients. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (07/23)

5. Practice makes perfect when shucking oysters

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 24, 2015

Shucking oysters requires practice, but it takes only three simple steps to take them from market to plate. A kitchen towel and an oyster knife are all that's needed to pry them open and detach the meat from the shell. Bon Appétit online (07/23)

6. The versatility of jarred peppers

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 24, 2015

Jarred peppers -- whether spicy, sweet or pickled -- lend themselves to a wide range of recipes and cuisines. Hollow specimens are perfect for stuffing, and pickled varieties add brightness to any dish in need of a little acid. Serious Eats (07/24)

7. Fat could be the "sixth taste," scientists say

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered evidence that points to a new taste that people can perceive just as they do salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. The taste of fat, while unappealing on its own, could be isolated to make a range of foods taste better and have an improved mouthfeel. "The better we understand our sense of taste, the better we're be able to improve the taste of our food," said lead researcher and professor of nutrition science Richard Mattes. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (07/27)

8. A wok can do double-duty as a mini smoker

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 28, 2015

For smoked fish that requires no special equipment and not much space, recipe developer Ivy Manning outfits a wok with a covering of foil and uses it to hold uncooked white rice and tea in place of the usual wood chips. "For the delicateness of fish, I find that the rice and the tea actually works better," Manning said. "It's a little lighter, and it's a little more herbal. Green tea has a green flavor to it -- almost as if you threw a fistful of herbs on a fire." National Public Radio (07/26)

9. Simple steps for DIY dried herbs

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 29, 2015

Dried herbs made in-house have a brighter color and more assertive flavor than pre-made versions. Herbs should be bundled with twine and hung upside down in a window to dry. Once fully dry, they can be stored in individual jars or used to make herb blends or infused sugars and salts. Bon Appétit online (07/28)

10. Non-standardized fish names can confuse customers

ProChef SmartBrief | Jul 30, 2015

Under current Food and Drug Administration rules, a fish species can have multiple names, and several species can be sold under a single name. For example, grouper can refer to one of 64 different species. Ocean conservation group Oceana wants to require species' Latin or scientific name be used for seafood. National Public Radio (07/30)

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