The Main Dish: Rising Star NYC Chefs, Sandwich Brands Slowing Down, and Other Highlights From This Week

In the age of information overload, refinement is key. That was the thought behind The Main Dish — a quick compilation of the most bookmark-worthy links from the Foodable WebTV Network. Aside from our usual daily content, every Sunday, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of handpicked pieces of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

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Rising Culinary Stars in New York City's Restaurant Scene

New York City has many talented chefs so narrowing it down to only ten can be hard. Luckily, we have our Foodable Top 25 to help us. From that list, we took the top ten leading chefs at New York City’s most beloved restaurants and highlighted them, uncovering the truth to their success one plate a time.

Google Did Not Let Burger King Have Its Way With 'Intrusive,' Voice-Activated Whopper TV Ad

Have it your way? Not so much. Google was quick to not let Burger King have its way and shut down the burger chain's latest TV ad called the "Connected Whopper." While Burger King has hit the ball out of the park with creative ads through DAVID The Agency in Miami, this recent stunt left many calling foul. 

Curtis Stone's Maude Is Seasonal, Intimate, and Has a No-Tipping Model

A tiny Beverly Hills eatery serving a creative menu to about two dozen guests is Chef Curtis Stone’s life-long dream. Its name, Maude, pays homage to his first culinary mentor — Curtis’ late paternal grandmother. Her influence can be seen throughout the restaurant fixtures and china used to serve food.

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Sandwich Slowdown: Can These Concepts Compete With the Better-for-You Brands?

Brands with a focus on this beloved lunch item are having trouble competing with the health halo brands. According to recent Foodable Labs’ data, the top 10 sandwich restaurant chains experienced the most significant slowdown in the last five years. 

Building Team Experiences to Keep Your Staff Engaged

Within the industry, we always talk about “experiences” — and rightfully so. At the end of the day, experiences are what restaurants sell to customers. All of the emphasis, however, is on customer experiences; but what about staff experiences?

Foodservice Cooks Up 'Halo Effect' for Retail Real Estate

To say foodservice has been cooking up some growth would be an understatement.According to a study by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and Business Wire on Yahoo! Finance, the foodservice industry is "expanding at an exponential rate with the amount of space dedicated to food growing from [5] percent a decade ago to 15 percent today." By 2025, this trend is expected to hit 20 percent.

What is Target Going to Do with Its Food + Future Lab?

What is Target Going to Do with Its Food + Future Lab?

Restaurants aren't the only businesses focusing on providing more food transparency to customers, the retail giant Target Corp. opened a Food + Future Lab in January of 2016. Unfortunately, the program is just about to be shut down if investors don't come in and save it, according to recent reports. 

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Wine, Beer, and Pork = Hog Heaven

Wine, Beer, and Pork = Hog Heaven

Pork, no matter what the cut, comes alive with the right wine and beer pairings. Three standouts at the 2017 Pork Summit show how versatile the other white meat can be. 

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Curtis Stone’s Maude Is Seasonal, Intimate, and Has a No-Tipping Model

Video Produced by Vanessa C. Rodriguez

A tiny Beverly Hills eatery serving a creative menu to about two dozen guests is Chef Curtis Stone’s life-long dream. Its name, Maude, pays homage to his first culinary mentor — Curtis’ late paternal grandmother. Her influence can be seen throughout the restaurant fixtures and china used to serve food.

Since opening in 2014, Foodable Top 25 Restaurant Maude has been serving a 10-course seasonal tasting menu, focusing on one key rotating ingredient each month.

“The reason we do only a tasting menu format here at Maude is because some of Curtis’ experiences are going to restaurants that friends of his own, sitting down, they take off the menus out of your hands, and just cook for you…no decision to make, you just sit back and let brilliant people do what they do best,” Ben Aviram, general manager and wine director at Maude, said, explaining the premise of Maude’s mission to recreate that experience for all of its guests.

In this "Table 42" Vignette, Maude Head Chef Justin Hilbert demonstrated for us a seasonal dish with pistachio as its star ingredient: Ravioli with Pistachio Ricatta and Broccoli De Cicco.

Preparing the Dish

  • Start by making the pasta with all-purpose flour, salt, and some eggs; mix for 30 mins.
  • Heat up milk until it reaches 200 degrees, then add lemon juice; let the mixture cool down on a deep tray.
  • Garnishes for the dish include: Sweet Italian broccoli de cicco, rapini flowers, fresh dill
  • After pasta dough has come together and rested nicely, it is rolled out two to three times through a stretch machine; then, it’s laid out on table and even strips are cut.
  • The ricatta will be the ravioli filling, which was whipped with pistachio. Each one is placed between a pasta blanket and cut through to make the ravioli. They are later thrown in boiling water to be cooked for three minutes.
  • In the meantime, the broccoli de cicco is sautéed to achieve a char-grilled flavor profile.
  • Pasta is then picked out of the pot of boiling water and thrown into a bowl of butter and water; dill, lemon juice are then added to the mixture.
  • Dish can be plated by laying the pasta over the sautéed broccoli de cicco. Pour a little bit of dill butter sauce and the ramini leaves and flowers.

Service Charge Model

The prix fixe menu at Maude is designed to create an intimate chef’s table experience for every guest. Foodable was curious to learn more about their no-tipping model, as this topic along with minimum wage is still being debated at the national stage.

“We feel it is the best way to fairly compensate all the employees,” Aviram said. “Restaurants generally have a pretty large disparity of what the dining room makes and what the kitchen makes, and by us charging a service charge and taking that 18 percent and being able to spread the wages both in the dining room and the kitchen, helps us to level that playing field a little bit.”

To learn more, watch the full episode!