The popularity of kimchi and kombucha has surged on US menus over the past four years, and consumers' interest in the flavor and health benefits of fermentation is spurring chefs to use the technique in dishes ranging from rice bowls to ice cream. "There's an element of balance that you get through fermentation, so diners might not know that the component on the sandwich taking it to the next level is fermented, but they know that they prefer that version," Datassential's Claire Conaghan said.
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For the menus at his Miami restaurants Ariete, Chug's and Nave, chef Michael Beltran draws inspiration from the city's diverse mix of cultures as well as his Cuban American heritage and his travels. He applies the Cuban technique for cooking oxtail to monkfish, and his take on the Cubano is influenced by another iconic sandwich -- New Orleans' muffuletta.
Vanilla ice cream, high-quality rum and vanilla are the building blocks for Lalla Rookh, an easy-to-make dessert that closely mirrors the flavors of the cocktail bearing the same name. Lalla Rookh served in individual glasses gained popularity more than a century ago because of its decadent flavors and how easy it is to prepare, but it has also been reinvented as a shared dessert prepared in a pie plate with a cookie crumb crust.
Chef Leah Cohen is taking a playful approach to Asian cuisine with her Piggyback NYC restaurant, which offers diners a broad range of bar and street food classics from Malaysia, Japan, China and Korea. The menu also includes some of Cohen's own unique creations, inspired by dishes and flavors from her travels in Southeast Asia.
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The best wines have a point of view, and the best California syrahs in particular strongly reflect the people and the places where they were produced, Eric Asimov writes. Three of the best examples of these intriguing wines, which tend to surprise even sophisticated wine drinkers with their unusual flavors, are the Ojai Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah 2016, the Stolpman Vineyards Ballard Canyon Estate Grown Syrah 2016 and the Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah 2015.
Several casual dining chains have created fast-casual concepts in an effort to stay competitive, including sibling chains Applebee's and IHOP. Outback Steakhouse and Cheesecake Factory are also experimenting with spinoff fast-casual formats.
Restaurant chains including Shake Shack, Taco Bell and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers are experimenting with perks including four-day weeks and salary increases to keep store managers around longer. "The research is pretty clear that the higher the tenure of the staff person is, the higher the sales per square foot in that establishment," said Hudson Riehle, vice president of the National Restaurant Association's research division.
Polenta is a versatile ingredient that can add warmth and heartiness to casseroles or form a base for a wide range of meat and vegetable dishes. The cornmeal can also add texture and a savory note to baked goods.