2012 Clean plate Awards

Once again, we have tapped some of the top tastemakers in the country to nominate the most irresistible, most scrumptious restaurant dishes they’ve enjoyed over the past year. The stellar group we assembled has eaten its way through countless cuisines in venues ranging from street carts to temples of fine dining. They may say they’re doing “research,” but as anyone in the business knows, eating out is an integral part of our DNA; it feeds our passion and stokes the soul.

So, click here to see where these well-traveled chefs and restaurateurs—your peers—have been and what has inspired them to clean their plates.

Today's top stories

1
The U.S. Department of Labor does specify how an unpaid internship can be legal , but most restaurant operations would either fail this test or have to significantly alter how they handle internships...
2
Dave Theno, one of the restaurant industry’s most prominent authorities on food safety, drowned Monday off the coast of Hawaii while swimming with his grandson, according to media reports . He was 66...
3
Sonic Drive-In plans to test a burger patty made with a blend of ground beef and mushrooms to reduce the meat content, a health initiative believed to be a first for a national quick-service chain...
4
In a move likely to intensify competition in the growing fun-and-food category, the private-equity firm L Catterton has invested in Punch Bowl Social, a six-unit contender. Terms were not disclosed,...
5
Paul Damico and Kat Cole have been shifted into new positions by Roark Capital and its Focus Brands holding for the rollout of Roark’s Naf Naf Grill fast-casual Middle Eastern concept. Damico has...
6
Sustainability has long been a trend influencing the industry, but it’s one that operators still need to consider today. Consumers are aware of what it means to eat sustainably—including using local...
7
Expect the unexpected—that’s the theme of the menu trends presentation during next month’s Restaurant Trends & Directions conference in Chicago. “The accelerated pace of demographic, cultural,...
8
In the struggle to pinpoint why restaurant traffic is falling, some Yoda types have cited increased competition from a gray area between restaurants and supermarkets—the place where alternatives like...
9
Customer traffic is among the biggest problems in today’s restaurant environment. In the face of the competition to bring guests in the door, operators are challenged with setting themselves apart...
10
After craveable food and beverages and well-trained staff, a hard-working menu runs a close third as a marketing and profitability tool. With shrinking margins and a growing competitive environment,...