Designing The Perfect MenuDesigning The Perfect Menu

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Designing The Perfect Menu

Those brand new area rugs and that spiffy dining room paint job might look great, but all customers will remember about your restaurant is the food. Unfortunately, if you design a lackluster menu, your guests might not be tempted to try some of your best dishes. In my twenty years in the restaurant business, I have made some mistakes and had more than a few successes. I want to share the things with you that really work, so that you can enjoy your early days as a restaurant owner. Operating a restaurant is hard, but by heeding the right advice, you can enjoy the journey.


How Four Trends In Chinese Food Can Improve Your Dining Experience

If you're a fan of Chinese food, you're in luck, because it's in the middle of a gastronomic renaissance. Chinese food all over the globe is undergoing a resurgence, and diners in North America are big beneficiaries of it. Here are four new trends in Chinese food that will make your dining experience more exciting and interesting.

China's Booming Economy

China's blossoming economy has been a boon for cooking. As Chinese citizens have more disposable income, they're eating out more, spawning a revolution in Chinese restaurants there.

Chefs are producing more gourmet food in China, and there is an increased interest in regional and traditional cooking as well. All of this is making its way to North America quickly, thanks to the large Chinese populations in Canada and the US. In turn, North American chefs of Chinese descent are going back to China to learn how to cook the way their forefathers did.

Education in Chinese Food

Whereas Chinese chefs used to learn almost exclusively by apprenticeship, now they are going to formal training programs and colleges to learn to cook. And chefs-in-training from the west are choosing to specialize in Asian and Chinese cooking as well.

Diners in Canada and the US are getting educated too, with a wealth of workshops on home cooking and shopping for Chinese ingredients popping up all over. Even seminars for grocers and restaurateurs are available today.

Fusion with Other Cuisines

Chinese food pairs well with many other culinary traditions. Another way you may be introduced to Chinese cuisine is through its fusion with other types of cooking. Common mixes include Chinese cuisine with Cuban, Caribbean, Indian, Thai, and French foods.

Sophisticated Palates

North American palates are getting more sophisticated when it comes to Chinese food, and it's not being "dumbed down" any longer, with the assumption that Canadians and Americans want bland, safe versions of it. The influence of gourmet chefs, increased travel to China, and television shows exposing diners to different dishes have all contributed to a revolution in North American Chinese restaurants.

Restaurants are putting new, daring dishes on the menu, such as whole fish, delicate and complex marinades, new cuts of meat, and exotic animals, like eel. Chefs tables, tastings menus, and tea ceremonies abound.

Grocery stores are carrying more common Chinese cooking ingredients too, including spices, mushrooms, and oils needed to properly prepare Chinese food at home. Even farmers markets are in on the trend, offering vegetables and herbs for Chinese cooking.

The next time you go to a Chinese restaurant, take a look at the menu, and you're likely to see some of these trends reflected there. And by all means, try something you've never had before and become part of the revolution. You may be pleasantly surprised and find your new favorite dish is actually one that dates back hundreds of years and was recently rediscovered. (For those interested in Chinese food, you can contact Ginger Beef Restaurants Macewan)