Chef Connexion - Fall/Winter 2017

    Bowled Over

    The team at Hamilton’s recently opened Eatwell and Little Big Bowl are building a business serving snappy, exciting, affordable food in easy-to-transport bowls. “We’re focused on local and seasonal ingredients and making bowls that are healthy and satisfying,” says head chef Josh Wortley.

    Creamy Potato and Vegetable Casserole

    For dinner or as a hearty lunch, this comforting casserole is perfect as a meatless main or served alongside roasted chicken. You may wish to blanch vegetables first to speed cook time along. Cooked potato wedges can be halved before casserole is baked for more evenly sized ingredients. The Parmesan cheese is optional, or you may choose to offer it on the side for sprinkling on at the table.

    Oil's Well - Not all Oils are Created Equal

    When it comes to choosing oils for your kitchen, the key to increasing revenue and taste is quality and convenience, says Jeff Poulo, national sales director for Saporito Foods.

    Onion Ring-Wrapped Fried Eggs with Seasoned Hash

    This creative breakfast entrée features over-easy eggs nestled in crisp onion rings with a well-seasoned twist on traditional hash browns. Serve as is, pair with sausages or bacon, or top grilled strip loin steak with an onion ring-wrapped fried egg for brunch or dinner. Go with either one or two eggs per order along with some of the seasoned hash – this recipe makes enough hash browns for four servings. Onion rings can be baked ahead of time then popped into the skillet for finishing to order with fried eggs.

    Over Easy

    Operators find new converts for breakfast, whenever, whatever and however

    Restaurants have offered egg-focused brunch menus on weekends for years. And a number of eateries – notably diners – have made their name with their famous cheap but hearty all-day breakfasts. But the demand for breakfast all day, every day, is growing as customers clamour for new, interesting takes on traditional bacon and eggs, and they’re asking for breakfast in the afternoon, for dinner…and at all hours.

    Panko-Breaded Potato Croquettes

    Top these appetizer-sized croquettes with herbed sour cream – with or without an additional piece of cooked bacon as garnish – and serve on a platter at a buffet table or as passed canapes. Feel free to double the first five ingredients as you’ll have more of the breading ingredients than is needed for this number of croquettes.

    Play with Your Food…and Win Big Going Off Menu!

    Menu change can be daunting. But using LTOs (limited time offers) can provide a culinary playground for adding innovation without the commitment. Successfully executing an LTO offers a potential sales lift of as much as 20%, can bring back old customers, and entice new ones. LTOs are an opportunity to offer your customers a new experience while giving your operation a great testing ground and increasing your marketing opportunities.

    Potato Crust for Gourmet Pizza

    For lunch, dinner or as a late-night snack, this golden crust – made with potatoes in place of the usual dough – is a crisp and creative base for any and all of your favourite pizza toppings. Try topping with pizza sauce, pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and shredded mozzarella; bake until bubbly, then sprinkle with sliced green onions before slicing into wedges. Or, for an innovative breakfast pizza, top with shredded Cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, crumbled bacon and sliced green onions.

    Potato Gnocchi Arrabbiata

    Tender gnocchi in rich, rustic sauce is a comforting dinner classic – especially when enjoyed during colder weather months. Arrabbiata is a fiery tomato-based pasta sauce so be sure to add chili pepper flakes – either simmered in the sauce or made available for sprinkling at the table.

    Seasonal Hiring

    Labour shortages in the hospitality industry have been a fact of life for over a generation. Complicating this situation is the significant business upturn restaurants experience in the weeks leading up to, and then throughout, the holiday season.

    Share & Share Alike

    Your diners are looking for creativity and new taste sensations by sharing plates like tapas, cheese and dessert selections. Technomic reports that 47% of consumers who eat small plates strongly agree that they are more likely to try new flavours on small plates than in entrées. According to the Canadian Snacking Nation 2016 study by Ipsos, more than two-thirds of all consumption occasions occur outside of traditional meals.

    Something to Cluck About

    Canadians certainly love their poultry, and especially chicken. In 2016, we each consumed an average of 32.5 kg of chicken – the highest level of consumption ever, reports Chicken Farmers of Canada. In fact, chicken has been first choice of Canadians for more than a decade, when fowl surpassed beef for first place in the meat sweepstakes.