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cuisine

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Drinks: Boutique spirits

George Washington's 200-year-old distillery at Mt. Vernon is once again in action. Micro-distillers are firing up their stills to hand-craft boutique spirits.

Souper pairs

Partner soup with a compatible sandwich, salad, or appetizer and it can turn into a profitable marriage.

As we head into the new year, the mega-trends driving menu and product development fall into three major buckets: health and wellness, big flavors and breakfast. Sound familiar? While there are many cutting-edge mini-trends emerging, those feeding the mainstream are sticking to what customers want right now. But both operators and manufacturers are offering unique twists to differentiate themselves within these buckets.

As corporate executive chef of Bruegger’s Bagels, Philip Smith knows a thing or two about making sandwiches. The 305-unit bakery café serves sandwiches all day.

Industry research has put the spotlight on smoking, calling it out as a superstar preparation technique. It’s not smoke and mirrors—as it has for thousands of years, smoking continues to be a go-to method to enhance the natural flavors of a variety of foods.

Take a melting-pot population, add chefs who’ve trained and cooked elsewhere before coming back to the area, and you have the ingredients for a trend-setting restaurant city rife with ideas.

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