Menu Innovator Blog


Uchi, Houston, TX (Asian)

By Tony Lagana / December 16, 2021

Considered one of the few American sushi “masters,” Tyson Cole is passionate about the Japanese tradition. He began training in Austin in his early twenties and then moved to Tokyo and New York to train under two different sushi masters before opening the original Uchi in Austin in 2003. Cole was awarded the James Beard…

Read More
meatless meals

Meatless Holiday Meals? It’s Possible.

By Mary Kay LaBrie / December 15, 2021

The smell of the turkey roasting for hours in the oven. The baked ham with that sweet honey glaze. The Christmas Eve feast of the seven fishes. That delectable Christmas Day bone-in prime rib – perfectly medium-rare – or the crown pork roast stuffed with chestnut stuffing – the Chestnuts were roasted on an open…

Read More

The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA (Seafood)

By Tony Lagana / December 9, 2021

Born and raised in Washington, Chef Blaine Wetzel’s career began in the kitchen at the young age of 14. After working at the acclaimed NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen, Chef Wetzel knew that he wanted to return to the Puget Sound area where he grew up. The Willows Inn caught his eye due to its small…

Read More

Tea Time In a New Time

By Mary Kay LaBrie / December 7, 2021

Depending on the household, many people grew up drinking tea. However, if you asked for a cup of tea, you’d likely be offered English Breakfast or Earl Grey or whatever tea was popular in the family’s culture. For others, “Tea Time” was associated with scones, cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off, and blue-haired ladies…

Read More

La Toque, Napa, CA (French)

By Tony Lagana / December 2, 2021

Starting his adventure in cooking at age 21, Chef Frank has been a pioneer in French cuisine in Northern  California since 1979. This self-taught chef was influenced while working as a dishwasher in France at just 16 years old. Chef Frank consistently shows his commitment to not only fine dining but his community as well.…

Read More

Shareable Appetizers Offer New Opportunities for Taste

By Susanne Bukey / November 29, 2021

Appetizers, foods, and beverages stimulating our appetites for what’s to come, have revolutionized the way we dine out. They offer new and trendy flavors, ingredients, and presentations. Today, appetizers are not just the beginning of a meal. They can be a meal in themselves or shareable to be enjoyed with friends any time of the…

Read More

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, San Francisco, CA (Latin)

By Tony Lagana / November 25, 2021

Born and raised in Peru, Chef Gaston Acurio is one of the world’s most acclaimed and influential chefs.  He has built a name and reputation for himself around Peruvian cuisine. Chef Acurio has opened numerous restaurants spanning the globe, focusing on one portion of Peruvian cuisine at each of his restaurants. For his work in…

Read More

Autumn Soups

By Susanne Bukey / November 22, 2021

Abstract: This blog post discusses new and popular soup recipes this Fall. It focuses on those with Turkey, Pumpkin, and Seafood as ingredients. Turkey Carcass soup is like chicken noodle soup, and Spicy turkey soup can either have Caribbean or Asian Flavors. Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup, Joumou (Haitian pumpkin soup), are popular, as are…

Read More

GW Fins, New Orleans, LA (Seafood)

By Tony Lagana / November 18, 2021

Chef Tenney Flynn is a well-known expert on Gulf Coast seafood. He has been called the “Fishmonger  Czar of the South.” Chef Flynn began his career at his father’s restaurant in Georgia and then went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Prior to opening GW Fins, he worked for…

Read More
fall beverage

Fall Beverages Providing Warmth and Flavor

By Susanne Bukey / November 15, 2021

As the sweltering days of summer turn into the chilly days of autumn, coffee and tea lovers look forward to the fall season for their classic pumpkin lattes, apple ciders, and hot chocolates. Coffee shops, bars, and restaurants are now taking seasonal offerings beyond the classic pumpkin spice. Lounges and bars prepare their own fresh…

Read More