Recipes for Success

Courtesy of The Culinary Edge

Experts share best culinary practices for the year in food.

Best Culinary Practices for 2012

It’s been a year filled with farm-to-table concepts, gourmet burgers, offal galore, pop-up restaurants, French macarons, meatballs, and every kind of food truck imaginable. But what does 2012 hold in store? Which strategies, techniques, trends, dishes, and flavors will have the biggest impact on your kitchen operations? We rounded up a stellar cast of chefs, restaurateurs, industry analysts, a professional forager, and a director of honey to get a sneak peek at what culinary practices are going to be hot for the next 12 months and how they can help you get a head start on your competition, wow diners and boost your bottom line.

Freedom Within a Format

Matchbox Pizza’s mini-burgers continue to be one of the restaurant’s biggest sellers, even as chefs are given more freedom to experiment with French, Asian and Mexican inspired fare. Courtesy of Matchbox Pizza
credit:Courtesy of Matchbox Pizza

Having a concept for your restaurant chain doesn’t mean that your cuisine has to be set in stone. The Matchbox Food Group has a number of restaurants in Palm Springs, California, and the Washington, D.C., area. Though the casual eateries are known for pizzas and miniburgers, their menus are starting to boast a variety of items that go way beyond comfort-food classics. At the Capitol Hill Matchbox, executive chef Shannan Troncoso has introduced luxe entrees like lobster risotto and duck breast. Over at the micro-chain’s Rockville, Maryland, outlet, chef Jon McArthur has whipped up elevated options like seared scallops with braised Asian pork belly and tuna tartare with honey-garlic sauce. Giving the chefs autonomy to put their own stamp on the burgeoning concept was always part of the plan. “The idea was to pair pizza with American and bistro items that you wouldn’t think went together,” says CEO Ty Neal. “We just say no to cookie cutter. We want to always make our restaurants better by giving our chefs creative leeway.”


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