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Tips for Adopting an Effective Mobile Strategy for Your Restaurant

ChefMobile

It’s no surprise that we live in a world saturated with technology. The sharing of opinions, ideas, and news is remarkably simple. As a result, all types of businesses from fashion to finance have turned to this online market for opportunity. With people spending roughly two hours on their smartphones per day, mobile marketing has taken online consumerism by storm. Now more than ever, consumers are able to communicate their opinions and experiences with restaurant venues and their cuisine in a way that reaches a large audience. We have some helpful tips to help you stay in the game and capitalize on technology.

  1. Join the frenzy: Create a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account for your restaurant: These social media sites are by far the most popular ones out there – largely because sharing information on these is very straightforward. The fact that you even took the time to market on these social media sites shows your potential and current customers that you are interested and passionate about letting others know about your restaurant. Sharing pictures of your delicious specialties will have customers flocking to you in no time!logos
  2. Create a mobile-friendly website for your customers on the go. Nothing is more frustrating than being excited about a restaurant and struggling to find a smartphone-compatible menu! Take the time to create a simpler, mobile website that is easy on the eyes. For a very user-friendly experience, be sure to create organized tabs, such as “Menu” and “Restaurant Hours.” Your customers will appreciate this easy-to-navigate look that will help them gain a feel for what your restaurant is like.
  3. Create an easy to navigate online website for your restaurant. Potential customers will love the user friendly approach of your website. It is also helpful to create your restaurant as a location on Google so when customers search for you, they can easily find your restaurant, its phone number, and menu all in one place.
  4. Familiarize yourself with popular restaurant critiquing apps, such as Yelp! And Urban Spoon. These apps are extremely popular amongst customers – tourists and locals alike – looking for new eats. By tracking their user’s location, these apps allow the user to find top rated restaurants near them to dine at. They filter by price range, type of cuisine, and rating. So, make sure that your restaurant gives off the right impression to these potential customers! Check up on these apps frequently to see what people are saying about your restaurant to look for areas of improvement, as well as positive reviews for popular dishes to see what you’re doing right!yelp
  5. Stay up to date on which websites are the most successful choice for marketing your restaurant. Let’s face it, MSN and AskJeeves tried, but they will never be Google. Invest your time and money in reputable and popular search engines that will assist you in promoting your restaurant. Ensure that your restaurant becomes a top hit on these search engines by including a very descriptive biography on your restaurant’s website’s homepage. These words will come up in specific customer searches, such as the location, type of cuisine, awards or accolades, the atmosphere, and unique aspects that your restaurant specializes in.

This great infographic, courtesy of TelMetrics Inc., tells you everything you need to know about customers who use their smartphones to learn about a possible restaurant option.Mobile-Restaurant-Marketing

What mobile strategies does your restaurant use?

Marriott International Inc – The home of Chef Jason Connelly

Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month for JulyOur July Chef of the Month, Jason Connelly is based in Florida and works at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. He is the Senior Sous Chef for the Sea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar. We wanted to indulge you in the Marriott Brand and how far it has come in the last 87 years.

Marriott International Inc has been around for more than 80 years. Founded in 1927 when J. Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice S. Marriott opened his 9-stool root beer stand in Washington, D.C., it evolved into the Hot Shoppes Restaurant chain and eventually, transformed into the largest hotel company with more than 4,000 properties in over 80 countries. Marriott is headquartered near Washington, DC in Bethesda, Maryland, USA and their President and CEO is Arne Sorenson.

According to Marriott’s site, they divulged that “their reputation for superior customer service dates back to J. Willard Marriott’s original goal for his business: “good food and good service at a fair price.” We take pride in the details—every day, in every destination worldwide. A true hands-on manager, he thoroughly enjoyed visiting Marriott’s increasingly far-flung locations, as well as spending time with the ever-growing ranks of associates who – in his eyes – were the secret of his company’s success. “Take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers,” he constantly advised Marriott’s managers, voicing a deeply held belief that remains the keystone of the company’s culture. Sometime before his death at his New Hampshire vacation home on August 13, 1985, J. Willard Marriott summed up the personal philosophy that drove him his entire life: “A man should keep on being constructive, and do constructive things. He should take part in the things that go on in this wonderful world. He should be someone to be reckoned with. He should live life and make every day count, to the very end. Sometimes it’s tough. But that’s what I’m going to do.” Raised in the family business, J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr. developed an early passion for hospitality. Their son, J.W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., grew up working in the family business and spent more than 50 years shaping it into one of the world’s leading hospitality companies. Bill Marriott is currently Marriott’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board.”

 

Marriott’s Facts (Taken from Marriott’s News Center)

  • A FORTUNE 500 Company
  • Listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: MAR)
  • $13 billion in annual revenue in 2013
  • More than 4,000 locations in 80 countries and territories worldwide
  • More than 150 new hotels opened in 2012 in U.S. alone
  • Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) has been named to the FORTUNE 500, ranking 219 overall, up from 2013’s ranking of 230, and ranking as the top hotel company in the hotels, casinos and resorts category
  • Marriott is also the highest ranked company on the list with its headquarters in the Washington, DC-area.  
  • Marriott is also included on this year’s FORTUNE “The Best Places to Work” list and the magazine’s The World’s Most Admired List, which measures a company’s corporate reputation. 
  • Marriott has more than 690,000 rooms and, as of the end of quarter one 2014, the company had more than 200,000 rooms in its global development pipeline, a 35 percent increase from a year ago.

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's Blog

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogMarriott’s Sea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar, Fort Lauderdale

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogSt. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino, St. Kitts

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogFrenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, Virgin Islands

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogGrand Hotel Marriott Resort Golf Club & Spa, Point Clear, Alabama

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogOyster Restaurant in Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Aruba

Marriott International Inc featured on Chefuniforms.com's BlogCoronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa, California

 

Have you ever stayed at one of Marriott’s Hotels? Tell us what you loved about them!

Who Will Win The World Cup of Flavor?

world cipAs always, the World Cup this year has been filled with excitement for some, and disappointment for others. However, it is undeniable that this was the most shocking World Cup in recent years. From the United States surviving the “Group of Death,” (Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the U.S.) to powerhouse favorite Brazil getting romped by Germany 1-7, this World Cup has provided fans with the entertainment and action they crave. One of the most notable things about the World Cup, though, is its ability to stir up strong sentiments of national pride, as millions of people from across the globe gather to watch their team proudly represent their home country on the Brazilian battleground. Though soccer is certainly the star of this global spectacle, the rich cultural traditions from all types of nations is definitely a dominant presence. With this in mind, we have selected well-known, delicious dishes from each country to feature. Sink your teeth (like “World Cup biter” Luis Suarez!) into these plates that make their respective country proud.

  • Brazil: Aside from hosting the World Cup, Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world and home to the world’s most popular and frequently visited beach, Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro. A national favorite is lagosta grelhado na casca, or “grilled lobster,” which is full of complex flavors. Add some lime for a kick!
  • Croatia: Homeland of Marco Polo, Croatia is also home of gnocchi, or potato pasta! This delicious, doughy pasta, tastes light and airy with a doughy texture.
  • Mexico: Aside from its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant Mexico City (which sinks 10 inches per year!), Mexico is home to flavorful cuisine. Tamales, or beef wrapped in corn husks, are delicious and packed with flavor!
  • Cameroon: Hailing from Africa, Cameroon is a nation rich with culture and tradition. Aside from being the first African team to make it to the quarter-final of the World Cup in 1990, Cameroon boasts world-famous brochettes, or lamb kabobs. These kabobs are succulent and tender, and pair great with grilled vegetables!
  • Paella - SpainSpain: Soccer powerhouse Spain is home to some of the most beautiful cities, beaches, and art in the world. When Spain isn’t busy producing 44% the world’s olive oil, Spain’s many chefs and families enjoy making paella, a flavorful dish loaded with saffron-infused rice, seafood, and chicken. The ingredients are added into a skillet and cooked in an oven for rich, bold flavors.
  • Netherlands: Much like the stature of the Dutch people, culinary standards in the Netherlands are very tall! Slavinken, or mince meat wrapped in bacon, is a fusion of meaty goodness.
  • Chile: A very long, thin, and mountainous country, Chile is home to delicious South American/Spanish cuisine. Palta Reina, or avocados stuffed with chicken salad, tuna, prawns, or other fillings, is a favorite.
  • Australia: In the land down under, sports and fitness are to priorities: 70% of the population participates in sporting events at least once a week! But when these athletic people need to let loose and eat some desert, they turn to national favorite, Pavlova – a meringue desert with fruit and cream! Sweet and (somewhat) healthy!
  • Colombia: Colombia, home of soccer fanatics and many miles of coastline, is known for their ajiaco dish, a stew of chicken, corn, and potatoes.
  • Gyro - GreeceGreece: You guessed it, Greece is known for its gyros (grilled lamb and veggies wrapped in pita bread)! Greece also has an impressive track record for sporting events – the Olympic Games originated here!
  • The Ivory Coast: Like chocolate? Then thank the Ivory Coast for being the world’s largest exporter of cocoa! They are also home to Mafé, or meat in a flavorful peanut sauce!
  • Japan: Futuristic Japan is home to healthy citizens who, on average, have a life expectancy 4 years higher than that of an American. Their most well-known food staple is sushi!
  • Uruguay: A charitable nation, Uruguay was the first nation to implement the one Laptop per Child Program. When Uruguayans are not busy improving the lives of others, they enjoy eating asado, or barbequed beef.
  • Costa Rica: This nation’s cuisine is as rich as its biodiversity, which accounts for 5% of that of the entire world even though the nation itself takes up .03% of the earth’s landmass. Their culinary claim to fame is Gallo Pinto, a breakfast dish featuring rice, beans, and veggies served with sour cream or a scrambled egg.
  • England: Geographically diverse and historic nation England is known for its famous Yorkshire Pudding, a baked batter served with roast beef and gravy!
  • Switzerland: World leader in the manufacturing of luxury watches, Switzerland is also known for Zurcher Geschnetzelte, a veal dish containing veal liver and mushrooms that is served over a cream sauce and potato pancakes.
  • Ceviche - Ecuador Ecuador: Named after the equator that runs through the country, Ecuador is home to the popular citrusy seafood dish known as ceviche!
  • France: The birthplace of modern-day culinary technique, France is known for its excellence in the culinary arts. With elegant and flavorful dishes, its no wonder that France is known for this artform. Their well-known coq au vin, or chicken marinated and cooked in wine, is an irresistible classic.
  • Italy: Between the beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and breathtaking views, Italy is an incredible destination for travelers and foodies alike. Their cuisine is a worldwide favorite, and Bucatini al’ Amatriciana, or Bucatini pasta with pork in a robust tomato sauce, is a national favorite.
  • Honduras: Home of the Platano Forest, which has been nominated as one of the Wonders of the World, Honduras also boasts another delicious wonder: Baleada! These flour tortillas are folded and then filled with refried beans, cheese, and sour cream.
  • Carbonada - ArgentinaArgentina: The birthplace of the tango, Argentina is a land full of culture. Their famous carbonada dish, stew with potatoes, meat, pumpkins, and corn is incredibly delicious.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: These Euopean nations are home to sarma – stuffed cabbage rolls filled with meat and rice.
  • Iran: This Middle Eastern nation, where people eat meals on carpets instead of tables, features fesenjoon, a stew made of pomegranate, walnuts, and chicken.
  • Nigeria: Nigeria, the most populated country on the African continent, is home to jollof rice, a mouth-watering chicken and rice dish.
  • Germany: Dominating this year’s world cup with impressive wins over both the US and Brazil, Germany also succeeds at making delicious dishes! Their schnitzel is thin, boneless meat that is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with slices of lemon for flavor.
  • Portugal: A nation of seafood lovers, portugals notable dish is bacalhau con natas, or salted cod with cream.
  • Ghana: This African country is known for its hkatenkwan, a groundnut stew!
  • USA: We don’t need to tell you how great America is. Aside from being the first country to land on the moon, we are also the first country to perfect the delicious, highly-fattening bacon cheeseburger!
  • Belgium: Home of castles and delicious waffles, Belgium is known for, well…its Belgian waffles! These homemade, battered waffles are served best with fruit and powdered sugar!
  • Mechoui - AlgeriaAlgeria: With the Saharan desert covering 80% of Algeria, it’s amazing how these people find the energy to cook! Their mechoui, or roasted leg of lamb, is a popular choice.
  • Russia: The largest country in the world, Russia proudly makes beef stroganoff, a world-famous dish featuring noodles and pieces of sautéed beef in a hardy, savory sauce.
  • South Korea: Technology oriented South Korea is the home of kimchi, a specialty dish made by fermenting cabbage in a bed of pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallion!

Even though Germany has won the FIFA World Cup this year, who do you think deserves to win the Food World Cup?

iphone

Expand your Culinary “App”titude! Mobile Apps for the Chef on the Go!

Chef-displaying-smartphoneAs chefs, you’re always looking to hone your craft in order to make your restaurant the best it can be. But, as you know, being a chef is not just about the cooking you do in the kitchen. Your job requires a wide skill set that allows you to oversee your business from the moment you begin your search for menu items until they are served to your eager customers. Your success in this line of work, along with your creativity and technical skills, is largely attributed to the advantage you have with better tools at your disposal. Fortunately, there is a wealth of smartphone apps that provides you with valuable information at your fingertips.

We’ve found some helpful apps that can make your process as manager, boss, and overseer a little less hectic.

  • iphoneProfessional Chef By the Culinary Institute of America: Although this iOS app may be on the pricier side ($49!), it has been dubbed as “the Bible” for chefs. This official textbook of the Culinary Institute of America, known for training renowned chefs such as Michael Symon, makes it possible for you to become a great chef with its guiding tools, such as instructional cooking videos.
  • Matthew Kenney’s Raw Express: Featuring 12 full length videos, 45 recipes, and additional nutritional information, this iPad app will walk you through the discipline of properly cooking with raw food and expanding your culinary repertoire.
  • Escoffier Cook’s Companion: With this top-ranked iOS app, you and your sous chefs will be able to consult a glossary of information that can assist with measurement conversion, multiple kitchen timers to synchronize your plating, equipment questions, and a glossary.
  • Knowledgebook: Cooking: Chefs will love this handy Android app because it answers very specific, even peculiar measurement questions. Want to know how many bananas it takes to have 2 cups worth of slices? This app has got you covered.
  • Gojee: Ever feel like a contestant on Chopped when your pantry is running low and you are stuck on how to use the ingredients you have? Gojee, an iOS app, helps you pair these ingredients to create a delicious dish!
  • Evernote Food: This iOS app allows you to discover new restaurants, explore recipes, and share your culinary creations.
  • Vegan Nom Nom: Trying to add more vegan-friendly options to your menu? Look no further, because this iOS app provides you with20,000+ recipes to broaden your culinary horizons.
  • Epicurious Recipes and Shopping List: A very well-known website in the culinary world, Epicurious has expanded their online empire with this handy app that allows you to access unique recipes and ingredients.
  • Harvest – Select the Best Produce: Harvest, an iOS app, is an indispensable tool for chefs looking to buy the most high-quality ingredients. Offering tips to check for freshness and quality, this app will ensure that your dishes are made from the best ingredients out there.
  • Smart Chef Substitutions: Need an ingredient for your recipe but can’t go to the grocery store or food market to get it in time? This ingenious iOS app saves the day by offering you other alternative ingredients for your recipe so the delicious taste and texture will still be maintained.

Android

What are some apps you use that you think should be added to our list?

The Birthplace of our Chef of the Month, Chef Jason Connelly

Chester

July’s Chef of the Month, Senior Sous Chef Jason Connelly was also born in Pennsylvania and is from Chester, Delaware County. It is situated between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware on the Delaware River. It is the oldest city in Pennsylvania established in 1866.

According to Chestercity.com, in its first 200 years of history, it was a major hub of manufacturing due to its proximity to the Delaware River and included robust industries like metal manufacturing, shipbuilding, locomotive, textiles and machinery. It is the home of “five nationally registered historic places”:

  1. 1724 Chester Courthouse
  2. Chester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company
  3. Delaware County National Bank
  4. Old Main and Chemistry Building
  5. Second Street Bridge
  6. William Penn Landing Site

Birthplace of Chef Jason Connelly - Chester City PA on Chefuniforms.com

Population: 34,046 according to the U.S Census Bureau 2013 estimate

 

Popular people residing or born in Chester

John Morton – resident of Chester and a key vote on the Declaration of Independ:ence

Bill Haley & His Comets

Thomas Barnes – first African-American Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

Clamma Dale – opera singer

Lamar Campbell – former Detroit Lions defensive back

Kevin Jones – a Chicago Bears running back

Bob Kuberski – former Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots defensive tackle

Brent Staples, an editorial writer for the New York Times

Ethel Waters – Grammy Hall of Fame Award winning Blues recording artist and Broadway performer

Chester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company on Chefuniforms.comChester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company

The next time you’re in Chester, be sure to check out these Restaurants!

Phil & Jim’s Delicatessen

Laspada’s The Original Steaks

Furillo’s Sandwich Shop

OB’s Jamaican Restaurant

Giorgio’s Pizza

The Cove

Sungate Diner

Barleyque
 

Have you been to Chester, Pennsylvania before? Tell us what you loved about it!

 

Using the Right Grill and Tools to serve up a great 4th of July feast!

yumIt’s no surprise that on the 4th of July, the grill is king. Although Independence Day celebrates the day that our great nation was born in 1776, we all know that grilling (and fireworks) are iconic symbols and activities celebrated on this fun, outdoorsy day. Whether you’re cooking hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled veggies, or anything in between, your grill will be your best friend on the 4th. So, it is important that your grill is working properly so you can do your food, and this great holiday, some justice.

Here are some tips/reminders to ensure that your 4th is a delicious one.

  • Show off your grill skills by using the zone technique. With warm and hot zones, your grilling will be even and efficient, allowing you to cook multiple types of food at once without having to worry about over or undercooking – a problem that arises when the grill is set to just one temperature. In the warm zone, set your grill to 100-150 F for indirect heat. In contrast, your hot zone will be at 500 F for direct heat.
  • Plain and simple: Do not constantly flip your burgers and hot dogs! Although it is fun and undeniably looks cool, this causes the meat to lose its flavorful juices, leaving it dry and boring.
  • Let the meat rest for a few minutes before serving! Remember, the cooking process does not end once you take the meat off the grill!
  • Use the classic “finger test” to check the temperatures of your meat! Index finger to tip of the thumb feel signals rare; middle finger to thumb signals medium rare; ring finger to thumb signals medium; and pinky finger to thumb signals well done.tools

Having a great grill is just as important as having a great chef use the grill. If your grill is outdated and giving you more problems than you have time to deal with, invest in a new grill. The Delta Heat 32-Inch Model, running off of propane gas, is as top-of-the line as it gets. Featuring a double door cabinet, this grill has a high and even heat output. In addition, it has a full rotisserie system so you can enjoy succulent, evenly-cooked meats! Made in the United States, the Delta Enterprise has a sleek design that makes grilling elegant while ensuring quality.grill

Whatever your grill or techniques may be, we hope that you have a happy and safe 4th of July! We know that your grill specialties will be a huge hit!

 

Chefuniforms.com Chef of the month for July

July’s Chef of the Month, Jason Connelly

Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month for JulyChef Jason Connelly is modest, humble and passionate about his cooking. He is a graduate of the Baltimore International Culinary College. His culinary journeys have included Windows restaurant at the Renaissance Harbor Place Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, the launch of Water Table restaurant by Dean James Max in Baltimore, Maryland, banquet chef at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando Florida, the opening of Sea Level Restaurant & Ocean Bar at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and the opening of Stonegrill Restaurant at the JW Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. In his fourteen years of experience, Jason has been involved with local organizations such as Coalition for the Homeless and Kids in Distress here in Florida. Jason also has participated in the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival, SOBE Wine & Food Festival, Taste of the Nation and as a guest celebrity chef during 2010 Fleet Week aboard the USS Halyburton. Jason has been featured on Deco Drive & Bite with Belky’s sharing some of Sea Level’s best recipes and also on Cory’s Corner on FOX 45 in Phoenix, AZ delighting guests with food offerings at the JW resort. After a successful restaurant opening on the west coast, Jason was very happy to have another opportunity at Sea Level. Jason is very excited to have fun with the Sea Level chalk board by taking advantage of our great relationships with our local farmers to ensure the most fresh and seasonal foods. Jason is looking forward to reuniting with the Harbor Beach club members who enjoy the exciting Sea Level atmosphere on a daily basis.

Congratulations Chef Jason Connelly on being our Chef of the Month for July!

It was great chatting you with in person and getting to know your flavor…

 

1. What is the name of the Restaurant you work with and where are you based?

Sea Level Restaurant & Ocean Bar, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, Florida

 

 2. What is your birthplace?

Chester, Pennsylvania

 

3. What made you decide to become a chef?

I am very close to my grandma and used to watch her cook. During one summer, it just clicked and I have never looked back. I worked for MBNA in an office environment and decided to leave that for the culinary profession and replaced it working for less money and 12 – 14 hours. I used to make $7.00 an hour then but I fell in love with cooking. I started with the Marriott right away after leaving MBNA 14 years ago in Baltimore and worked my way to Florida, then Phoenix and back to Florida and opened up Sea Level in 2010. They required 2 years experience on their hiring application which I did not have but applied anyway and got the job. Marriott’s culture loves to groom people from the ground up which I truly appreciated. I am fortunate to work here and under great chefs and just became a sponge and started absorbing everything.

 

4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?

I cannot stay away from the Beach! I play Basketball and love playing with my dogs and spending time with my family. I like to keep things simple.

 

5. What is your favorite social media platform?

Facebook

 

6. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

Spoons. I love my spoons like Banquet Spoons. They are versatile and can use them on fish and veggies and saucing.

Chefuniforms.com

7. What is your specialty dish?

I like to make simple food. That has always been my style. You only need 4 or 5 components like your starches, veggies, a great sauce that is simple and quick. When your dish has really good ingredients, you do not need to change it up.

 

8. What’s the strangest thing you ever ate?

Tripe – I wanted to try it as I have never eaten it but the texture really messed me up and there won’t be a next time. : )

 

Chef Jason Connelly’s “Super Food” Kale Salad

Jason Connelly Super Food Kale Salad on Chefuniforms.com's Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

3 oz Kale, chopped thin

1 oz Cherry tomato

1/2 oz Carrot

1/2 oz Cucumber

1/2 oz Radish

1 oz Quinoa

1 oz Almonds, toasted

3 oz Salmon, grilled

3 oz, Mahi Mahi, blackened

2 oz Jalapeno-agave vinny

 

Method:

Toss kale with the jalapeno-agave vinny and place into the bowl first.

Place grilled, chopped salmon on one side and then the flaked blackened mahi mahi on the other side.

In rows as shown lay the carrot, cucumber, radish and cherry tomato.

Finish with the quinoa and toasted almonds.

Serve.

 

9. Who would you most like to cook for?

My Grandmother. I have always remained close and she has Alzheimer’s now. I have never cooked for her and would love to do it now and do it the way she used to cook when I was a kid.

 

10. Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I love to dine out and try anything new and any new spots too. I get recommendations from my chef friends and try them out. I like to try spots off the beaten path like Gastropub, Pubbelly and Yardbird – Southern Table & Bar.

 

11. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

Egyptian Cotton, Mesh Sleeves and light fabrics.

 

 ~His experience and advice~

12. How long have you been a chef and where did you study?

11 years. I studied at the Baltimore International Culinary College.

 

13. What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?

School is nice to have the paper but I would have started with the Marriott right away if I had to go back in time. I learnt so little in school and in this business, everything is on the job training. I recommend that chefs should work with experienced chefs and get themselves in an experienced kitchen or hotel and just learn, learn, learn.

 

14. What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?

Be hands on. From a cook to an executive chef, get yourself dirty and work the long hours. As a Senior Sous Chef, I feel people out so if they came from a restaurant like the Cheesecake factory where the environment is hectic, I know they have experience and can work cold-side. If they are green, I will have them working on salads and then rotate them. I also don’t want to put someone in a position where they can fail. I always ask them before assigning them to different areas.

 

15. Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?

Be patient. I see a lot of kids wanting everything now and you need to experience different areas in the kitchen like working cold-side, fried, sautéed and the grill. You have to earn the position.

 

16. What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need?

Weather. Sometimes, too much rain can wipe a crop out and also due to seasons, it is harder to get specific ingredients. When I was in Arizona, there was no pales cactus for my grilled cactus salad. Due to the success of it over there, when I came to Florida, I wanted to cook it here but it took us several weeks to get it but when we did eventually serve it, my customers loved it here in Florida.

 

17. Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?

All the time. I am always googling things, and my chef friends would recommend me to try specific places and I also research places similar to hotels on the beach like the Marriott. When I was in Arizona, I would always think of ideas to try for Florida. I experimented with making an edamame hummus and due to the success, it is it is now going to be included in our spa menu as well as included as a staple at the Sea Level restaurant.

Chefuniforms.comSea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar’s Edamame Hummus Dish

18. Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?

For sure. I do 3 – 4 farm tours and bring my cooks with me and we build relationships with the farmers. As they get to know my style, they come to me and I collaborate with them to grow specific items for me. We also have our own garden growing herbs as well.

Chefuniforms.comSea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar’s Herb Garden setup on location

19. How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?

I have a chalkboard which is my testing ground and canvas. I display choices for our guests that they can eat during the day and for dinner. Guests see it and are always happy to try them. The Banh Mi Burger and Super Food Salad are very popular dishes. Based on the popularity levels, they will then go on the menu.

Chefuniforms.comSea Level Restaurant and Ocean Bar’s Chalkboard located in their restaurant where guests sit and eat

20. How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?

They use computers and different software to develop recipes, plan menus, email suppliers and also use a point of sale system that helps with nutrition analysis and managing inventory. All of this helps in keeping food costs down and tracking schedules.

 

 

~2014 and The Future~

21. What dining trends do you see taking place for 2014?

The economy is improving and people are spending more at hotels now. They are interested in high priced items like good quality cuts of beef and chicken. There are a lot of Mexican restaurants opening up as well as asian restaurants like noodle bars, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. Baby Boomers are playing a major role in the dining scenes especially the mature boomers and they are eating healthier like eating less carbs, more salads, less butter and more olive oil based foods and sometimes only fish more than the red meat or chicken. People are also using a lot of discount sites like Groupon too. They are leaving reviews about what they eat and where they went to eat. Fine dining is also coming back and its a lot more casual from the décor to the dresscode.

 

22. How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?

Anything I do, I cook for my guests in mind. Most of them want gluten free dishes and I am always thinking of where I can leave butter out and use olive oil instead. As the health revolution evolves, at the Marriott, where we do 1,000 covers or guests in a night or day, when we do an audit, the tickets used to show all the changes guests are making to the meals so I plan ahead and keep those changes in mind so nothing needs to be modified and give our guests what they want. A great example is a kid had Celiac disease and was staying with his family here for a week. I customized his meals and it was so appreciative by his mom.

 

 23. What do you think of “Green Kitchens?” Is it realistic to outfit your kitchens to be environmentally friendly?

Not 100%. At the Marriott, we use stainless steel and cast iron which are green friendly. We use high quality knives that last so they wear well with time. We use cloth instead of paper towels to cut down on wastage. We use induction banners so no gas is being used. We grown our own herbs in our garden and buy in bulk. We use veggie scraps for our sauces. Marriott also has a Corporate Green program.

 

24. How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?

It allows us connect with people like we never did before and share recipes and you can see what restaurants people are enjoying and not as well.

 

 

 

Are 2014’s Culinary Trends taking effect in full force?

2014 culinary trendsThe most noticeable themes amongst 2014’s culinary trends all fall under the umbrella term “healthy eating.” Emphasizing locally grown foods, sustainable options and whole grains, chefs are now focusing on creating flavorful cuisines that please both the palate and the conscience. Creativity and sustainability play a part in the development of cookery, perfecting the balance between what tastes good and what is actually good for you without compromising either. A major factor to consider when choosing ingredients and producers is the value that comes with selecting locally sourced produce and meats. These trends signify that consumers are starting to realize that the impact of their culinary choices affect more than what ends up on their plates. With these trends in play throughout the 2014 culinary year, chefs and restaurateurs alike are finding the balance between delicious food and food that is good for you without compromising either.

Given this information, it is important to notice what a role that sustainable practices play in the restaurant industry – a factor that affects the customer’s decision to dine at a venue even before they set foot in the establishment. The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Program known for “serving up sustainability” provides statistics on these trends. In the 18-34 year old age demographic, 43% said that environmentally safe food is an important factor in making a dining choice. In addition, 55% of consumers would be more prone to select a restaurant if their menu items were produced in an organic or environmentally-friendly way.

Restaurant.org’s “Top 20 Trends” list further details these trends mentioned above:

1 . Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Locally grown produce

3. Environmental sustainability

4. Healthful kids’ meals

5. Gluten-free cuisine

6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)

7. Children’s nutrition

8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)

9. Sustainable seafood

10. Farm/estate branded items

11. Nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking (e.g. reduce food waste by using entire animal/plant)

12. Whole grain items in kids’ mealslocally produced food

13. Health/nutrition

14. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, tri-tip)

15. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)

16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)

17. Grazing (e.g. small-plate sharing/snacking instead of traditional meals)

18. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)

19. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items

20. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

Our Chefs of the Month can testify to these popular trends taking the American culinary landscape by storm. Chef Anish Rana (June’s Chef of the Month) of popular Ft. Lauderdale restaurant Bistro Mezzeluna has noticed the popularity of healthy foods, small plates, gluten-free options, and kid’s meals in 2014. February’s Chef of the Month, Ron Duprat (made famous for competing on season 6 of Bravo’s Top Chef) said this of 2014’s culinary trends: “I see a few dining trends occurring in 2014 including incorporating locally sourced meat and seafood, locally grown produce, environmentally sustainable food products, healthy food options that are also kid-friendly, gluten-free cuisines, and the new Haitian cuisine.”

As we are halfway through the 2014 year, ChefUniforms.com would like to hear your thoughts on this year’s culinary trends and if these predictions ring true!

healthy eating

 

A Chef and His Coat: The Perfect Pair

womens_coats

The chef coats that we know today are incredibly diverse and come in a myriad of patterns, cuts, colors, styles, and fabrics. While some chefs prefer to keep it more on the traditional side with a white coat, others like to add some spice in their wardrobe with bright colors. Fortunately, this wide range of options means that chefs can truly personalize their coats to fit their personal preferences and styles in the kitchen. For example, Chef Anish Rana, our June Chef of the Month, enjoys Poly Cotton mix and short sleeves: “Poly Cotton Mix – kitchen friendly material. I am a very hands on chef and work behind the line. I like to wear short sleeves. When they started making short sleeves, I was in heaven!” Other chefs, such as Chef Jenn Louis, prefer a more relaxed look, such as sporting a t-shirt with an apron accompanied by Dickies pants and clogs.

54318_HPBLAIn recent years, modern chefs take their everyday cosmopolitan, fashionable look and carry it into the kitchen. Many young, up-and-coming chefs show urban influences in their wardrobe with edgy cuts inspired by the runway and pop culture. A very popular color aside from the classic white is black, which gives chefs a modern, urban appeal. Skulls have even become a popular pattern for chefs to sport in the kitchen! Whatever your preference for uniform style and comfort may be, Chef Uniforms has a wealth of options to showcase your passion and creativity in your workplace!

Here are some historical facts found on Wikipedia about the chef coat and how its iconic image came about!

 

History

  • 165311_white6th century: Along with other artisans and free-thinkers in Europe, chefs faced persecution which forced them to seek refuge in monasteries where they adopted the clothing of the monks, such as toques (now known as “chef hats”) in order to fit in. Different heights of toques indicate rank within the kitchen – for example, the chef would have the tallest toque.
  • 19th century: Chef Marie-Antoine Carême redesigned chef uniforms in white to exude professionalism and cleanliness. During this same period, the chef and his staff began to wear double-breasted coats as another way to promote safety in the kitchen. This look stuck and is now the traditional garb we are familiar with today.

 

Features Chefs Love

Offering protection, durability, and functionality, chef coats are designed with these benefits in mind for their profession. Seemingly simple and sleek, the chef coats we are all familiar with today are designed with intricate detail and thought.

  • mens_coatsThe double-breasted look on chef coats was created so that chefs could simply reverse this double-breasted feature and maintain the look of cleanliness in the event that a spill were to happen on their coat.
  • The cloth buttons on the chef coat endure frequent washes and bleaches as well as the everyday wear-and-tear in the kitchen.
  • Chef coats are both insulating and heat protective – a true necessity.
  • Light, Textured Fabrics that include Mesh panels
  • Sleeves of varying lengths – long and short
  • Egyptian cotton is exclusively grown in Egypt (hence the name) and is known as the finest cotton in the world. This makes it a very popular for chefs who appreciate its strong yet soft fabric and high quality fibers. This reputation has put Egyptian cotton at the forefront for the past century-and-a-half as the highest lint quality available amongst world cottons.

As the culinary industry continues to grow, uniform designers like Chef Uniforms do their best to stay well-informed and design practical, comfortable, and fashionable coats that evolve with your profession and personal cooking style.

 Are there any styles or trends that you see emerging and would love to have? We are always open to ideas!

A Father’s Day Tribute to Chef Dads

Chef Dad Poem

 

At work, you’re “Top Chef”

But at home you’re “Chef Boyar-daddy”

Whether you’re serving up 5 star dishes,

Or fulfilling all of your children’s wishes,

The ultimate “Pièce de résistance” is your dedication to everything you do.

 

Putting others needs before your own,

Perfection is your mantra.

Affection is your secret ingredient.

You never give up until the recipe is just right.

And after all that, you are there for your kids day and night.

 

You put your heart and special touch into everything you do.

At work and at home…

a great dad and chef through and through.

Food and family are your specialties…

quality is what you guarantee.

Your creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen inspire all who look up to you.

Qualities that make us proud!

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