Menu Innovator Blog

French, the Ultimate Comfort Food

By Tony Lagana / May 11, 2020

The restaurant market is constantly evolving. Comfort food is always current. What cuisine does better comfort food than French? When I think of French Cuisine, I think of Julia Child’s coq au vin recipe. Let’s face it – before Julia’s show hit the airwaves, most people thought of French Food as somewhat stuffy, served by…

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The Penrose Room, Colorado Springs, CO (French)

By Tony Lagana / May 5, 2020

Chef David Patterson’s passion includes the heritage of flavors from the regions of the area. As Executive Chef of the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, he oversees the Penrose Room. Chef Patterson worked for 5 years with Chef Alain Ducasse at Adour Restaurant and Benoit Bistro NYC. He has trained in kitchens in Paris and Monaco…

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Rich Table, San Francisco, CA (Eclectic)

By Tony Lagana / April 30, 2020

Chef Evan Rich began his career in restaurants at age 15. As his interest rose, he enrolled, then graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2000. He then moved to Manhattan and became a pastry assistant at Danube, then an executive sous chef at Bouley. There he met his future wife and business partner,…

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What’s Healthy Now? Is it Vegan or Beyond?

By Tony Lagana / April 28, 2020

The Beyond Burger. The Incredible Whopper. Is vegan the new Gluten-Free when it comes to thinking about eating healthy? Looks like vegan menu items are now winning the trend race. About one-quarter of adults are trying to manage their health. According to NPO Group, younger adults, particularly 18-24, are interested in healthy food (including plant-based…

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Oleana, Cambridge, MA (Mediterranean)

By Tony Lagana / April 24, 2020

Chef Ana Sortun graduated from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine de Paris before opening Moncef Medeb’s Aigo Bistro in Concord, Massachusetts, in the early 1990s. She is cited as one of the country’s “best creative practitioners” and was awarded the Best Chef: Northeast honor by the James Beard Foundation. A trip to Turkey early in…

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Marea, New York, NY (Italian)

By Tony Lagana / April 21, 2020

Chef Michael White, originally from Wisconsin, decided to attend Kendall Culinary Institute where he graduated and began working at Chicago’s Spiaggia. He then went to Imola for 7 years to study at the acclaimed San Domenico. Upon returning to the United States, he opened restaurants in New Jersey until forming the Altamarea Group with Ahmass…

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Technology Drives Business

By Tony Lagana / April 15, 2020

2020 brings new technology trends to consider. Efficiency, innovation and even the bottom line can all be improved thanks to advances in restaurant technology. There is a need for both chefs and owners to be more comfortable with incorporating tech into everyday business, as technology trends continue to grow and advance, especially with tech-savvy millennials…

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“Back to The Hearth” During the COVID-19 Crisis

By Tony Lagana / April 13, 2020

I have not used that phrase since the great recession in 2008, which I called the restaurant recession, as it hit so many so hard. We now are in a crisis much scarier than the great recession and where we end up after is anybody’s guess. We are a resilient people and we will get…

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J & G Steakhouse, Scottsdale, AZ (Steakhouse)

By Tony Lagana / April 7, 2020

Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten is renowned for his restaurants around the world. Chef Jacques Qualin caught the attention of Jean Georges who hired him to serve as First Sous Chef at his renowned restaurant in New York which launched Vongerichten’s culinary empire. Originally from France, Chef Qualin began to work in hotel kitchens at 16…

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Commis, Oakland, CA (New American)

By Tony Lagana / March 31, 2020

Chef James Syhabout began his culinary career by working in his mother’s Thai restaurant. When he graduated from high school, he enrolled in the California Culinary Academy. Upon graduation, he began working at Betelnut in San Francisco and then Manresa where Chef David Kinch became his mentor. From there he opened Coi with Daniel Patterson.…

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