It can be tough for consumers to explain their tastes in wine when put on the spot at a restaurant, but making that translation to a good wine is part of a sommelier's art, Dave McIntyre writes. Encourage patrons to move away from terms like "smooth" and "dry" to instead describe their preferences in terms of a wine's body, advises Amanda Smeltz, sommelier at New York City's Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud.
A peated Scotch whiskey can completely change a cocktail even in small amounts, writes Kara Newman. The whiskey is polarizing enough that it's often best to warn customers about it, according to Chall Gray, proprietor of Little Jumbo in Asheville, N.C.
Radicchio and other bitter lettuces from the chicory family are abundant in winter and pair well with bright citrus for a seasonal salad, David Tanis writes.
Render is a subsidiary of food development company Pilot R&D that works with chefs to develop, source, test, package and distribute food and beverage products. For its first product launch in 2017, the company worked with chefs at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco to launch a quinoa snack called Bird Seed inspired by a popular product the staff made from leftover quinoa.
Sorghum is growing in popularity thanks to rising interest in ancient grains and its added appeal as a homegrown US ingredient. "Sorghum is full of nutrients; it's a drought-resistant grain so it has a sustainability story; it's under-used so it gives me a distinct product on my menu and it can help me answer the call for gluten-free options," said Matt Harding, director of culinary at The Piada Group.
Red Lobster is heading into its 50th year with a plan to grow through online ordering, delivery and a focus on snack-size dishes, said Chief Executive Officer Kim Lopdrup. "Earlier this month, we turned on online ordering at 54% of our restaurants and we are now at 95%. We'll be at 100% by the end of the month," he said.
Schools in Hawaii will have access to about 34,000 pounds of locally sourced bananas this month through the Hawaii State Department of Education's 'Aina Pono Harvest of the Month Program. One school will use the bananas in menu items, such as banana pie and banana crumble.
Certifications in the beverage industry require a sizable commitment in time and effort and can be key to showing a person's commitment in the field, David Flaherty writes. "A certification is a positive flag that a candidate is serious about the industry, especially if it's someone who's trying to make a career change," said Christy Frank of Copake Wine Works in Copake, N.Y.
Burger King has launched the premium-priced Double Quarter Pound King Sandwich, made with two quarter-pound beef patties with cheese. The new burger, which will sell for around $5.39, is expected to compete head-on with rival McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
The James Beard Foundation has named this year's five winners of its America's Classics award, which it bestows on regional eateries with "timeless appeal." They are: Sun Wah in Chicago, Galleria Umberto in Boston, Los Hernandez in Union Gap., Wash., El Guero Canelo in Tucson, Ariz., and Dong Phuong Bakery in New Orleans.