At the end of every year, Restaurant Business asks a group of stellar industry professionals to recall their favorite restaurant meals of the prior 12 months. The dishes they cite become our Clean Plate Award winners—the menu items that were so delicious or on-trend that our learned judges cleaned their plates and waxed delightedly to us as to why.
The full list of Clean Plate Award winners will be revealed tomorrow in RestaurantBusinessOnline.com. Be prepared for a double take when you see what’s included. Sure, there were plenty of high-end choices. But, in keeping with the trends, many of the items were simple and familiar, exceptional for their taste and presentation rather than the complexity of the preparations.
Here’s a teaser from the list, the seven items that qualify as finger foods.
Our judges for this year’s Clean Plate Awards: Amanda Cohen, chef-owner, New York City’s Dirt Candy; Fabio Viviani, executive chef, Chicago’s Siena Tavern; Brad Kelly, executive chef, Blaze Pizza; Chazz Palminteri, actor-turned-restaurateur, New York’s Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano; Roz Mallet, CEO, multi-concept franchisee PhaseNext Hospitality; Hugh Acheson, chef-owner, Athen, Ga.’s 5 & 10; Bruce Bromberg, co-owner, Blue Ribbon Restaurants; Chris Newcomb, CEO, Newk’s; and Hattie Hill, CEO, Women’s Foodservice Forum.