The Main Dish: Customer Loyalty Tips, 2016 Summer Menu Trends, 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, The Main Dish will serve a fresh batch of handpicked pieces every Sunday from our Editor of the most appetizing lists & literature that you may have missed.

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  • 3 Tips to Using Content Marketing for Customer Loyalty
    In no other area is content more crucial than when it comes to customer loyalty. Building a brand that resonates with your followers is what keeps them coming back and interacting with your business — online and, ultimately, in person as a repeat customer.
     
  • GT Fish & Oyster: A Balancing Act of Traditional and Modern Seafood in Chicago [video]
    In the five years Chicago’s GT Fish & Oyster has been open, they’ve sold roughly 1.5 million oysters. Of the concept, the restaurant’s chef and partner, Giuseppe Tentori, says it was, at first, a challenge. “Five years ago, there were not too many seafood restaurants — it was like fine dining or super casual.”
     
  • Finding the Balance Between Menu Innovation and Comfort Food
    Is the role of a restaurant merely to feed hungry customers? To stimulate? To comfort? When dishes get a creative flourish, reputations can be born. At the same time, does a menu have to be an adventure at every turn? There is a reason Caesar salad is pervasive, as are Buffalo wings, hummus, and fried chicken.
     
  • Quick Six With... James Rigato, Detroit Chef & Restaurateur
    At 31 years old, James Rigato’s plate is heaping with opportunity. Last year, he opened Mabel Gray, located in Detroit suburb Hazel Park, which is now up for a James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant.” Here, the chef tells us about the restaurant that changed his life, the most important lesson he's learned as an operator, and which culinary trend needs to fade out.
     
  • New Yorkers Demand More Local Sourcing
    As part of the Taste NY initiative, more than 100 restaurants pledged to utilize the agricultural products available in New York State, increasing the sourcing, marketing, and education surrounding state grown/made products. Specifically, each chef or restaurant pledged to increase the sourcing of these products and ingredients by 10 percent or more.
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  • Chefs Chime in on: Tasting Menus
    The culinary world is constantly in flux, with new developments and innovations appearing every day. In this series, we offer chefs the opportunity to share their own unique insights into a culinary trend currently making headlines.
     
  • Lamb and Spices Take Center Stage at Boston's Oleana [video]
    “About 16 years ago, I was invited to go to Turkey for the first time and study with a couple of women there,” said James Beard Award-winning chef Ana Sortun. “When I tasted and saw the food in Turkey, it changed the course for everything. It’s become a real passion and study of mine.”
     
  • Expert Tips on Building a Seasonally Inspired Beer List
    Breweries simply can’t resist the temptation to get their seasonal beers to market before the consumers have a chance to realize they want them. Every year the brewing industry laments the practice of jumping the seasonal gun, and every year the brewers keep doing it. The way this impacts spring is actually very simple.
     
  • What to Expect on Philly's Summer Menus
    It wouldn’t be Philly if cheesesteaks weren’t on the menu. And, although traditional, artisan, farmstead cheese will be a focus on local summer menus, that’s just a slice of what’s brewing in the City of Brotherly Love. This summer, Philly restaurants will be serving up dishes that feature the following.
     
  • For Spago’s Chef de Cuisine, a Culinary Dream Comes Full Circle [video]
    Before Tetsu Yahagi entered the culinary world, he didn’t know what to do with his future. Serendipitously, while in a bookstore one day on a family vacation, he stumbled upon Wolfgang Puck’s “Adventures in the Kitchen.” Now, Yahagi is the chef de cuisine at Spago Beverly Hills, working under Chef Lee Hefter.