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Chef and Menu Report: Week of 9/14/14

Chef and Menu Report: Week of 9/14/14

Hong Kong
Chef Akrame Benallal is showcasing autumn’s delightful flavours at Akrame Hong Kong, the first overseas outpost of his Parisian restaurant, which has earned him two Michelin stars. The seasonal menu introduces a variety of flavors which reflect the transition of summer to autumn, with dishes like raw lobster with hot consomme and celery, razor clams with grapefruit jelly to appeal to seafood lovers in the city, and pigeon with corn and popcorn curry.

National
On Tuesday, Jamba Juice launched its brand-new Energy Bowls. Each of the six varieties are made-to-order with soymilk or fresh Greek yogurt and topped with an assortment of dry toppings and fresh fruits, which provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. For a limited time, customers can enjoy these new Energy Bowls at 50 percent off the normal retail value with a coupon. A few of the new bowls include an Açaí Berry Bowl, and a Chunky Strawberry Bowl, and a Mango Peach Bowl.

New York
LDV Hospitality and chef Marc Forgione will be celebrating the one year anniversary of their restaurant, American Cut, in Tribeca by offering a special menu from Monday, September 22 through Sunday, September 28. Chef Forgione has created the "Celebrating 52 Weeks with 52 Oz" steak special, which is prepared tableside with flambéed maître'd butter sauce and serves two for $104 ($52 per person). Many of the original dishes offered when the restaurant first opened will be available to order throughout the night, such as carrot-glazed carrot, and New York City Cut & Cracker Jack sundae.

Chef and owner of Toloache restaurants, Julian Medina, will offer a Rosh Hashana menu at all of his locations. Some of the dishes will be a quesadilla de salmon of salmon pastrami, tomato, and roasted red onion-jalapeño cream cheese, and pastel de miel, which is a honey-olive-oil cake with apple compote.

Eataly’s chefs are so in love with Campania, the region in Italy known as the birthplace of both mozzarella di bufala and pizza, that they’ve dedicated their new menu at Pranzo to the cuisine of the region. The menu includes crostini with spicy baby octopus, gnocchi with buffalo-milk ricotta, and baba soaked in rum.

On Saturday, September 27, FarmOn! Farm Fest fourth-annual Hudson Valley Food Lovers Festival will celebrate the grand opening of Empire Farm, The FarmOn! Foundation’s first Ag Entrepreneurial education center and working farm in Copake, N.Y. Alice Waters will be on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the FarmOn! at Empire Farm community victory garden. The festival will also feature a number of activities for kids, free samples of locally grown produce, a shop at the locavore village farmers market, and food and spirits from around the region in addition to opportunities to meet with local farmers, CSA signups, and learn more about the agricultural community at the Future of Farming Tent.

For the third year in a row, Hearth will host a celebrity chef dinner to support A Life Story Foundation, a charity dedicated to the fight against ALS. On Monday, September 22, chef Marco Canora, along with Michael Anthony, Michael Symon, Bill Telepan, Jonathan Benno, Claudia Fleming, and Karen Demasco, will present a seven-course dinner to raise money for the cause.

The organization was started by Kevin Swan, a former server at Hearth who was diagnosed with ALS, so this is an issue very close to the team at Hearth. The foundation's mission is to help continue to raise awareness and create action to discover effective treatments and ultimately, a cure for the disease. A few of the dishes on the menu will be Anthony’s marinated fluke with citrus, radish, and trout roe, and Benno’s ravioli neri alla fra diavolo with scallop and lobster sausage, San Marzano tomatoes, Calabrian chili, and basil. Tickets are $325 for the dinner and beverage pairings.

Chef François Payard is launching his fall menu at his Salon de Thé, in the back of the Upper East Side FP Patisserie. Payard’s menu will incorporate iconic French ingredients such as Gruyère cheese, Bordelaise sauce, and black truffle vinaigrette, as well as reintroduce his heartier fare with menu items including a fresh autumnal salad, harvest salmon, and a savory goat cheese tart.

As of September 19, Moe’s Southwest Grill debuts the new Chile con Queso, on the menu for a limited time until January 12, 2015. The Chile con Queso is made with seasoned ground beef and fresh jalapeños and is featured in the Chili Con Queso Burrito, or can be added on the side to any other dish.

Miami
Pubbelly is teaming up with Jugo Fresh and going vegan. For one night only, on October 2, Pubbelly will transform its menu for two dinner sessions at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Chefs Jose Mendin (Pubbelly) and Paco Laszlo (Jugo Fresh) will create a special pre-fixe menu In addition, and mixologist Derek Stilmann will offer four different cocktails incorporating popular cold pressed juices from Jugo Fresh. Limited tickets for “Pubbelly Goes Vegan” can be found here.

Chicago
Chip Barnes has taken the reins at Coppervine and has introduced a few new dishes to the menu. A few of them are grilled kale salad with Sockeye salmon lox, housemade crème fraîche, pickled red onions, and housemade brioche croutons, as well as scallion pasta with parsnip butter, braised red endive / brown butter confit, crispy mushrooms, salsify root chip, and quail egg.

Kate Kolenda is the Restaurant/City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @BeefWerky and @theconversant.


Recipes: Endless ‘Pastabilities’ with Chef Franco at Ristorante Di Sopra

Chef Franco Pisani, owner of Paravicini’s Italian Bistro and Ristorante Di Sopra, is sharing some of his family favorite and authentic Italian recipes. FOX21’s Sarah Ferguson got a closer look at how Chef Franco is bringing his spin to pasta favorites and traditional family recipes.

Dig in to the recipes below!

1. Sausage and spinach with Beans Brodo

In a large saute` pan add olive oil heat the add and the sausage.

Saute` the sausage for 4minutes and add the crushed garlic. Saute` for an additional 2 mins.

Add the spinach to the pan and saute` for a few minutes until they all become soft and the volume decreases significantly.

Add the chicken broth and the Cannellini beans. Let everything cook for about 5 minutes at medium flame.

Serve with plenty of Pecorino cheese and fresh black pepper as desired.

2. Grilled Fennel and Orange Salad

1/2 small red onion thinly sliced

Sliced roasted red pepper

Cut fennel length wise 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until slightly charred on the edges and nicely caramelized.

Set aside and allow to cool.

Cut the mozzarella in thin slices and place on a plate or platter.

Layer the grilled fennel with oranges and sliced red onion and roasted pepper on top of the mozzarella and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tear the mint and basil leaves by hand and place in a bowl and salt pepper.

Extra virgin olive oil and reaming juice from cut orange. Then drizzle over the salad.

3. Homemade fussilli pasta, with Spinach, Mushrooms and Pancetta

10 ounces roasted assorted mushrooms

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cook the pasta in salted water until Al Dente.

Heat the oil in a large Saute pan on medium-high heat and add the garlic add the Pancetta.

Saute the garlic and Pancetta for about 2 minutes, then add the wine. Add the roasted Mushrooms and salt to taste and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the Spinach and cook just until wilted. Add cream and butter and let reduce Add the pasta and toss for about 1 minute.

Add the Pecorino over the top of the pasta and turn off the heat. Toss the pasta one more time allowing the residual heat to melt the cheese.

Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top if desired.

4. Risotto e Piselli

1 medium onion, chopped in 1/4 cubes

1 cup grated parmigiano cheese

parmigiano shavings for garnishing

In a tall pan, add half of the butter and the chopped onion. Once the onion has become translucent, add the rice.

Toast the rice for 3-4 minutes and add all the wine. Stir continuously until the wine is absorbed by the rice

Add 1 cup of vegetable broth at the time until the rice has become al dente. Stir continuously.

Add the rest of the butter and the grated Parmigiano and peas and stir for about 2 minutes.

Serve with shavings of Parmigiano cheese.

5. Oven Roasted Sausage Peppers and Potatoes

1 pound hot Italian sausage links

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound baby red skinned potatoes cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 pound sweet bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch strips

1 medium red onion cut into thin slices

8 garlic cloves cut in half

salt and pepper as desired

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Put a large saute` pan over a medium-high flame and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Using a fork prick the sausage links all over. Slice in thirds Place the links in the saute pan and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl toss together 1/2 cup of the oil, sliced potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Spread the mixture in a large roasting pan or a 13后 inch baking sheet. Top with the sausage and roast for 30-40 minutes turning halfway though.

6. Veal alla Pizzaiola

1 pound thinly sliced veal (for scallopini)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a large Saute pan heat the oil on med-high heat and saute veal until golden add garlic then add tomato sauce, capers, olives bring to a simmer

Add the freshly chopped parsley and serve.

7. Zabaione with Berries

In a large bowl, strawberries, ½ sugar and half Grand Mariner together, set aside

4 tablespoons good Marsala wine

In a rounded bottom bowl add the egg yolks and the sugar.

With a hand mixer, mix the two ingredients well until you have a smooth whitish cream.

Slowly add the Marsala wine and continue to mix. Once the Marsala has been completely absorbed into the cream, put the bowl in a water bath and continue to mix for another 10-15 minutes. At this point the cream will have swollen, firmed up and look velvety. Make sure the water never boils while you are mixing as you do not want lumps in the cream.

Remove from water bath and serve warm.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Mushroom Bolognese

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 c. whole button mushrooms, ground or pulsed in a food processor
  • 3 maitake mushrooms, ground or pulsed in a food processor (about 1½ loosely packed c.)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 c. red wine, reduced to ¼ c.
  • 16 oz. canned tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce 12 oz. tagliatelle
  • ½ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, reduce the heat to low and sweat the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high and season the mixture with salt and white pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushroom liquid releases and begins to reduce.

Add the reduced wine and cook until the mixture is nearly dry. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Sriracha. Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper to taste, cover and keep warm while you cook the tagliatelle.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt, add the tagliatelle and cook to al dente, according to the package directions.

Drain the pasta and divide it among four warmed bowls. Ladle the sauce over each portion of pasta and serve. If desired, garnish with parmesan.

Excerpted from Vegetable Simple by Eric Ripert. Copyright © 2021 by Eric Ripert. Excerpted by permission of Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Pasta Recipes for Every Night of the Week

Sometimes you're craving carbs for dinner and that's just fine. These pasta recipes are just the thing to cure your craving — and the kids will love them too. The best part is they can all be made in under an hour, so they're perfect for busy nights! We have even included a rice pilaf recipe if you'd like to try something a bit different with your next meal. These pasta dinner recipes can be served as one-plate meals and are sure to delight everyone. Is company coming over? Don't sweat it, as Chef Ramsay's recipes are easy to make and will be an elegant addition to your menu. You'll love having these dinner party recipes up your sleeves for any occasion!

Cooking with stale herbs from dusty bottles tucked away in your pantry for years is not the best way to create complex and layered flavor profiles in your roasts, salads, and other favorite recipes. With these tips, you'll use herbs from your garden in no time! Get started when you take a look at these 8 Herb Garden Tips for Cooks: What to Plant, When to Harvest, and More


Chef Robert Irvine’s Top Muscle-Building Recipes

Chef Robert Irvine’s Top Muscle-Building Recipes

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Build Muscle the Irvine Way

There are tons of celebrity chefs out there that flaunt their fancy recipes around, but not many are as physically inclined as Chef Robert Irvine. This killer cook looked up to Arnold Schwarzenegger and aspired to have a similar physique to the bodybuilding legend. Ultimately, Irvine never became a bodybuilder, but he is renowned as the fittest chef on the planet. Take a quick scroll through some of his best recipes.


Chef and Menu Report: Week of 9/14/14 - Recipes

MY WEBSITE SPECIALIZES IN GOURMET PRESENTATIONS

Cornish Game Hen

Cornish Game Hen served over a Port Wine
Blackberry Sauce. Outstanding!!

Prime Rib of Beef

Prime Rib Cooked perfect every time guaranteed with
my special never fail roasting instructions
regardless of the size of roast

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

gourmet appetizer recipe with shrimp, Parmesan,
spinach, garlic, green onion and Dijon mustard

Chicken Salad Wrapped in Cucumber Ring

Chicken, green onion, celery, almonds and refreshing lemon zest in a mayonnaise dressing


green apple sorbet

for a unique presentation, hollow out
green apples and fill with green sorbet
for a different presentation.

Party Tray Recipes

(Pita Pockets)
Tasty easy variety of appetizers to select from,
check them out and have fun making them,
it's easy!

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
A beautiful dessert to follow a gourmet dinner,
the center of these beautiful cakes are
purposely soft, thus the name, molten lava.

WONTON PEPPERONI PIZZA BITES

I created this delicious easy wonton pepperoni
pizza bites appetizer, made with wonton wrappers
shaped into cups are baked then filled with turkey pepperoni, tomatoes, scallions and Fontina cheese


Amuse Bouche Vichyssoise (potato-leek) soup, flavorful thick and creamy soup served in tall shot glasses, a great choice to serve as an opener to a
special Dinner Party.

Top Quality Dining & Menu Ideas

My website is unique, specializing exclusively in top quality, easy to follow food ideas perfect for elegant dinner party entertaining. Every recipe is beautifully plated and garnished first in the kitchen, just like a five star restaurant would do before being served to my guests.

It is easy to plan a spectacular dinner party menu, here are simple instructions and guidelines that will aid in planning elegant party meals. All my pages are accompanied by a professional photograph that I carefully do myself of each entree and I also include wine recommendations to aid in creating the most fantastic meal to be proud of, one that guests will remember for some time.

All content on my website has been personally tried and tested before recipes are presented or posted. I want all my ideas to be of top quality for maximum enjoyment and maintaining a high standard of fine dining excellence making my website unique and set apart. I invite you to browse through my website I think you will find each recipe simple to make as well as exceptionally tasty. I hope you will try them and WOW your guests. Enjoy!

Grapefruit Mint Sorbet

One of the most favorite sorbets because of the combination of grapefruit and mint, I have chosen to serve this in an overturned martini glass putting the sorbet on the stand and flowers in the over-turned cup.. this is a classic beautiful presentation!! my creation.


Stuffed Small Red Potatoes

Stuffed small red potato appetizer hollowed out and filled with sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese and chives. serve hot or cold as an appetizer or as a side dish

Zucchini Spaghetti Side Dish
The zucchini squash is fresh, not cooked and cut
to resemble noodles then tossed with fresh lemon
juice for a most refreshing side dish.


Pricing Considerations

Once the total cost and portion cost of a recipe has been established, it’s time to set prices for the menu. There are a multitude of factors to consider, many of which we’ve discussed in previous chapters. Obviously we have to consider our costs, since we are in business to make money (or at least meet our budget or breakeven in the case of some onsite segments.) We have to consider our customers. What do they consider a good value? We know the restaurant business is not just about the food, but also the service, the experience, the ambiance. Customers are typically willing to pay more for a menu item if there are other “added value” features such as convenience (i.e. food that is delivered), superb service (i.e. fine dining, cooking at the table), ambiance (i.e. rotating restaurant with a view of the city), or a special experience (i.e. dinner with a show or a table in the kitchen.) It’s all about the price/value relationship for each individual customer.

The location also affects what customers are willing to pay. Think about the difference in the price of just a bottle of water in a restaurant, a vending machine, or a sporting venue! Prices in the airport are usually higher even for the exact same food from a chain restaurant. Prices usually vary, even for the same menu item, during different meal periods with lunch typically less expensive than dinner. Portions sizes, product quality, and the menu mix are also factors to consider. We will further explore some of these issues in the discussion about menu analysis. Think about how all of these factors affect the setting of menu prices.

Many onsite segments of the industry also have to price a part or all of their menu offerings, with various considerations. K-12 typically sets a meal price at the beginning of the school year and sticks with it all year. Colleges and universities may offer “all you can eat” dining options and set the price at least for a full semester, if not the entire academic year. Hospitals set menu prices for their employee and visitor cafeterias but may try to keep prices low as a sort of employee benefit. Business and industry also may offer menus at very reasonable, below market value, prices to encourage employees to eat on site. Remember that each foodservice operation will be a bit different, so management will have to research and be aware of all the various pricing considerations that apply to that specific operation and the local environment.

Setting the Menu Price

Although you likely have a target overall food cost in your establishment, not every menu item will carry exactly the same food cost percentage. Some items are more costly than others, but most establishments will have a range of prices that all the menu items fit into. Consequently, it is important to balance the menu so that the low and high food cost items work together to help you reach your target food cost. This process is called “blended pricing” and results from using menu engineering or menu analysis. Menu engineering means balancing the high and low food cost items it also includes strategically featuring or promoting items to help reach your targets.

Calculating Menu Item Costs

The cost per portion derived from yield tests done on the main ingredient of a menu item usually represents the greatest part of the cost of preparing the item (see the section above on yield tests for more information).

However, of equal importance is the portion cost factor. For example, the portion cost factor can be used to determine the cost of a portion of the main ingredient regardless of the price of the meat (which is often the main cost factor) charged by the supplier as long as the restaurant’s preparation of the meat remains unchanged. The cost per portion is determined by multiplying the portion cost factor by the packing house’s price per kilogram (or pound).

Quite often the cost per portion of the main ingredient is used by itself to determine the selling price of a menu item. This works well with items on an à la carte menu as the basic main ingredient (such as a steak) is sold by itself and traditional add-ons (such as a baked potato and other vegetables) are sold separately.

As discussed earlier in this book, in many cases, some of the components will be the same, so a basic plate cost can be used to add to the cost of the main protein to get a total cost for the dish.

In dishes where the main ingredients are not sold as entities but as part of a prepared dish, the cost of all the items in the recipe must be determined to find an accurate portion cost price. In this case, a recipe detail and cost sheet is used to determine the cost price of menu items. (Refer back to the section on costing individual menu items for more information.)

Once the potential cost of a menu item is determined, the selling price of the item can also be calculated by using the food cost percentage.

Food Cost Percentages

As you may recall, food cost percentage is determined by dividing the portion cost by the selling price:

Food cost percentage

If the portion cost is $4.80 and the selling price is $14.00, the food cost percentage is:


Frugal Favorites

There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying every bite of a meal that's saving you money! Here are a few more recipes -- some of our personal favorites -- for the frugal cook inside all of us. From pizza pockets and skillet meals to stuffed peppers and pork chops, there is truly a dish for every preference below.

Sometimes most of your budget can go to snacking! Stop the cycle with this Crescent Rolls Pizza Pockets recipe. It's cheap and addictively delicious.

>>Pro Tip: Plan your meals ahead of time to make grocery shopping a breeze! Check out our free, printable, meal plan cards to help get you started.

This Cheesy Scalloped Pork Chops recipe is a hearty, comforting dinner. Make both your side dish and your pork chops at the same time with no fuss.

This Beefed Up Ramen Noodle Bake tastes like is like a cross between lasagna and American chop suey. And, of course, any recipe with ramen noodles is going to be delightfully inexpensive!

Don't spend $20 or more ordering delivery pizza! Make this super easy and MUCH cheaper pizza at home with a fun Tex-Mex twist. You might not have thought of taco pizza when you thought "poor man meals,' but this is truly one of our favorites.

These nice, simple meatballs are just as good as the ones your grandmother used to make. Top them off with plenty of ooey, gooey mozzarella cheese, and you have a perfect dinner.

One pan. One hour. Dinner is ready! This Creamy Tortellini Skillet will bring out the inner Italian in any chef. Pasta is inexpensive, but it sure does taste good!

This hearty recipe for Amish Sausage-Stuffed Green Peppers is packed with nutrients and protein. It'll fill you up, and the leftovers are wonderful served cold or hot.

Make this 10-Minute Peanut Butter Skillet Granola for a quick, sweet, crunchy, salty, fast snack recipe. It's great as a breakfast on the go or as a filler between meals!

Rise and shine and take a bite out of these Handheld Breakfast Quesadillas! Shake up your morning routine with this flavorful, bold breakfast on the go.


Where's the Beef? Off the Menu at Some Top U.S. Restaurants

In a move that surprised many, Daniel Humm, chef of New York City's Eleven Madison Park, announced he's changing the restaurant's menu to one that is all plant-based. The three-Michelin starred restaurant, considered one of the best in the world, is also thought to have enormous influence on what happens in the restaurant industry.

Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet magazine, told The New York Times that she believed Humm's decision could have potential to shape the future of the American restaurant scene similar to how Alice Waters and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, forged the farm-to-table movement in the late '70s.

So what sparked this change and is the U.S. at the tipping point of a veganism movement?

Where's the Beef?

Why Eleven Madison Park and why now? Humm's announcement came after the restaurant has been shuttered for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move might seem risky for a restaurant made famous by its lavender honey duck and butter poached lobster. But Humm said in a statement on the restaurant website that the new plant-based menu "[will] not use any animal products — every dish is made from vegetables, both from the earth and the sea, as well as fruits, legumes, fungi, grains and so much more."

The change seems to have been inspired by Humm's work with Rethink Food, a nonprofit that provided food for New Yorkers over the last 15 months and helped keep some of his staff employed during the pandemic. But the refocus also is Humm's way of making less of an impact on the environment.

"We have always operated with sensitivity to the impact we have on our surroundings, but it was becoming ever clearer that the current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways," the statement says.

While Eleven Madison Park may be one of the most prominent restaurants to go totally vegan, it's not the only one in this plant-powered luxury dining movement. Several days after Humm's announcement, Michelin-starred Din Tai Fung said it too plans to add five plant-based dumpling dishes to all of its 13 U.S. restaurants to meet demand for fine dining vegan options.

Another influential chef, San Francisco's Dominique Crenn, already removed all meat from her restaurants in 2019. Crenn, who is the only woman in the U.S. to earn three Michelin stars, still serves fish in her restaurants, but meat is off the menu.

"Meat is insanely complicated — both within the food system and the environment as a whole — and, honestly, it felt easier to just remove it from the menus all together," Crenn said in the 2019 announcement. "Local and sustainable fish and vegetables are just as, if not more, versatile — and delicious."

Removing Beef Is a Bold Move

Lizzy Freier, senior research manager at ‎Technomic, Inc., a foodservice industry research firm, tracks menu trends in the restaurant industry. She says it's always hard to tell how decisions like these will impact the foodservice industry as a whole.

"What we do know is that younger consumers especially have been pushing for more sustainable actions from restaurants, and offering vegan fare is definitely a step in that direction," Freier says via email. "However, because so few consumers do actually identify themselves as vegan (2 percent), this is a bold move for sure. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the industry reacts."

However, Freier acknowledges that 42 percent of consumers eat vegetarian/vegan fare once a week compared to just 34 percent of consumers who said the same in 2018, according to Technomic's Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian Consumer Trend Report. "As plant-forward ingredients continue to move into the mainstream, consumers are likely to be more accepting of new vegan proteins, including vegan eggs, ribs, hot dogs, breakfast sausages, pizza toppings and 'pigless' bacon," she says.

Most vegans, vegetarians and even pescatarians are already familiar with myriad ways to use plants to replace beef in their foods. Ingredients like cashews, almonds, oats, mushrooms, cauliflower and jackfruit are all adaptable vegan and vegetarian options.

Freier says restaurant operators are working with suppliers and manufacturers to add these plant-based proteins to their menus. She says she thinks one of the most interesting to look out for on mainstream restaurant menus could be the banana blossom. "It's a Southeast Asian flower that blooms on the end of banana clusters," she says. "Its chunky, flaky texture makes it an appealing substitute for fish."

Sustainability Is the Reason

While it's hard to say what the impact of Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Din Tai Fung and Atelier Crenn could be on other restaurants, what does seem certain is their reason behind the decision it's about sustainability as well as supporting the vegan lifestyle.

And it's not just restaurants that are 86ing meat. In a move that stunned a lot of fans, the editors of Epicurious, Condé Nast's flagship food magazine, announced April 26, 2021, it would no longer publish new beef recipes, articles or newsletters. The decision, the editors said in an online statement, isn't anti-beef, it's pro-planet.

"We know that some people might assume that this decision signals some sort of vendetta against cows — or the people who eat them. But this decision was not made because we hate hamburgers (we don't!). Instead, our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders," the Epicurious statement says.

Of course, it will take a lot more than tweaking a few menus and one editorial mission to make a dent in the way we eat, but these could be major first steps toward taking veganism mainstream.


Menu Cycles

Menu cycles typically consist of six-week lunch and one- and two-week breakfast cycles, depending on the age group. By using menu cycles, meals can rotate on a recurring basis, with more popular items at higher circulation, and allow for structured planning and procurement.

We’ve partnered with Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to produce sample menu cycles. In the reference files below, you can download information including: USDA certification worksheets for each week, nutrient analysis by day, and cycle and example costing information.

Breakfast

At BVSD, breakfast is usually offered as a regular two-week cafeteria service model for K-5, and one-week cycles for K-8, 6-8, and 9-12 age groups as well as a two-week classroom model for K-5. The breakfast menus are based on ready-to-eat foods, some of which BVSD has worked closely with local companies to develop, such as burritos, muffins, and bagels. At BVSD, this type of breakfast menu is most compatible with their demographic and labor model.

We have a handful of scratch-cooked breakfast items in the Recipes database that can be easily incorporated into menu cycles.

Lunch

Lunch, like breakfast, is offered for all age groups. The cycles are six-week cycles and are based on BVSD’s current menu cycles, with the exception of some custom prepared foods that are not available nationwide.