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Food

Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh

Food

Shrimp gets skewered

When it came to developing a summer LTO for Little Greek, the 14-unit Tampa, Florida-based franchisor, president Nick Vojnovic thought “shrimp.” “It’s healthy, quick-cooking and few of our competitors offer shrimp,” he notes.

Food

Lightening up

Nico Romo, culinary executive director of the 150-seat Fish, accommodates hot weather appetites with lighter dishes.

Summer means a few drinks on the patio, but with an eye toward still fitting in the swimsuit. That’s why low-cal drinks are so popular now, popping up on menus like fresh flower blossoms.

Chefs in other parts of the country are often envious of their peers cooking in the Napa Valley. After all, local foods and wines are superlative and bountiful and the climate, balmy. But even in this idyllic setting, spring can be a tease.

If you’re balking at the wholesale price of 12-ounce center-cut steaks and extra-thick loin chops—and your customers are too—it’s time to rethink the protein portion of your menu. Meat is going to remain high through 2013, according to top economic indicators. “Wholesale prices are the same or up to 5 percent higher for beef and pork than last year,” says Bill Hahn, economist with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Celiacs may have spurred demand for gluten-free menu options, but experts say that only 1 percent of the 44 million people estimated to be in the gluten-free audience have celiac disease. While some of these consumers may be gluten intolerant, research shows that about 29 percent simply perceive gluten-free as a healthier way to eat.

Buffalo Wild Wings is switching to a new portioning policy for its chicken wings to bring the menu price more in line with the cost to the chain.

Economists tend to bicker, but there was at least one source of agreement in their 2013 forecasts: food prices are going to increase 2 to 4 percent this year. With restaurant patrons still pinching pennies, raising menu prices may not be the best solution. So what are the alternatives?

Tea is the most consumed beverage, after water, in the world. Here in the U.S., however, coffee rules. That may change.

When fusion was the trend of the moment, some chefs tried too hard to globalize menus. In too many kitchens, the result was confusion—on the plate and the palate.

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