October 27, 2021
ProChef SmartBrief
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Today's Special
Chorizo, poblano peppers and ground chipotle chilies give the classic Southern dish of red beans and rice a Mexican-inspired twist. After simmering beans and ham hock, the smoky paprika-enriched chorizo is cooked in a skillet over medium-high heat, then removed before the same skillet is used to cook a mixture of poblano peppers, celery and onion that stands in for the classic holy trinity that is a staple of Cajun cuisine.
Full Story: Eater (10/21) 
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Culinary News
Adding vegetables to traditional desserts such as brownies and cakes can bring a pop of color to the treats while also adding an earthy sweetness. Eggplant, in particular, lends itself to such uses, and, when combined with eggs, honey and almond flower, can create a dense, fudgelike eggplant brownie cake.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (10/21) 
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Chef Dominique Crenn meets challenges head-on
Crenn (Chance Yeh/Getty Images)
Dominique Crenn, co-owner of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco and the first female chef in America to receive three Michelin stars, talks about how her restaurant has weathered the pandemic and helped feed homeless people, the impetus behind a recent pop-up in Los Cabos, Mexico, and her work as an advocate for higher wages in the restaurant industry. "It's important in this world to use your voice to help others if you have a platform," said Crenn.
Full Story: Barron's (tiered subscription model)/Penta (10/25) 
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In West African cooking, grinding spices, herbs and aromatics with a mortar and pestle brings out unique textures that cannot be matched by modern devices, Yewande Komolafe writes. Komolafe uses a traditional Ghanaian earthenware mortar called an asanka to release the flavors of the lemongrass, ginger, shallots and Scotch bonnet chilies used to make a marinade for whole roast fish, giving the dish a richer texture and flavor.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/25) 
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SmartBrief Originals
With in-store samplings on hold during the pandemic, Rebellyous Foods is betting on upbeat videos and online reviews to spread the word about the brand's plant-based Tenders and Patties. "As we get into next year, we're going to think about some food truck collaborations and restaurant collaborations to help drive retail sales," founder and CEO Christie Lagally said.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (10/27) 
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Beverage News
Eight sommeliers who work at Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners share their three desert-island wine picks, delivering a mix of practical and creative selections. Astrid Young, wine director at Merrill House in Ontario, Canada, settled on the Failla chardonnay from Hudson Vineyard -- "I crave this wine" -- the Lucia pinot noir from Garys' Vineyard -- "my happy place" -- and the Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes from Domaine Leroy.
Full Story: Wine Spectator (10/22) 
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A Side of Business
A growing number of restaurants are rolling out packaged products to offset sales declines caused by the pandemic, including Serendipity3, which started selling pints of its ice cream over the summer. Restaurant group Momofuku debuted a line of signature sauces that it was selling via its website and the collection has since expanded to include more condiments and ingredients, and the line is now available at Whole Foods Market and Target stores.
Full Story: Modern Retail (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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Star Ingredient
Replacing 20% of the flour in a batter with the modified starch product EverCrisp can make fried foods crispier and keep them crispy longer, thanks to its sole ingredient, wheat dextrin. A type of carbohydrate derived from wheat starch, wheat dextrin produces batter coatings with a more fragile texture than batters made with dried egg, according to a 2003 study published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids.
Full Story: Epicurious (10/22) 
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