Chef Mark Hellyar's Secret For Momotaro's Success Is Remaining Unique

Chef Mark Hellyar's Secret For Momotaro's Success Is Remaining Unique

While in Tokyo, Chef Mark Hellyar worked at Oak Door, Keyekazaka, and Shunbou. Through his experiences, he gained a deep appreciation of Japanese dining, culture, and way of life.

“I just saw like the difference in quality in all the ingredients around me. All the fruit, vegetables, things like that… it’s treated completely different, a whole different respect for ingredients,” said Chef Hellyar about the way the Japanese approach food. “Where we simmer stocks, there they boil them. The way you break down a fish, it’s completely different… you really have to train yourself... retrain yourself.”

Now, as the executive chef of the West Loop Chicago restaurant, Momotaro, Hellyar prides himself in his minimalistic style of cooking. For him it’s about “really focusing and honing in on the one core ingredient.”

Read More

The Boka Boys Share Tips That Owners Opening a New Concept Don’t Want to Miss 

The Boka Boys Share Tips That Owners Opening a New Concept Don’t Want to Miss 

Whether you’re opening a restaurant for the first-time or the fifth time, there are bound to be some hiccups. 

The co-founders of the successful Chicago Boka Restaurant Group, often coined as the Boka Boys, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, have certainly have had a lot of experience opening restaurants and are offering words of wisdom to those in the process of opening a concept.

It’s common for restaurant operators to take on more things than they can handle, instead of developing a team they trust to delegate to. 

Boehm and Katz did just that and advise against it.

“We truly ran ourselves into the ground, to the point where we were close to nervous breakdowns.  And what we needed to do, as we expanded — and we should have done it faster — was build our infrastructure,” said Katz to “Forbes.” “Instead, we basically hoarded our information and did not delegate properly because we just didn't have faith and trust in anyone else. When we finally did, it turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to us.”

Another tip the Boka Boys offered is that you should set realistic conservative goals and be ready to quickly adapt and make changes.

Read More

Foodable Labs Ranks Most Romantic Restaurants for Valentine's Day

Foodable Labs Ranks Most Romantic Restaurants for Valentine's Day
  • Foodable Labs ranks America's most romantic restaurants using social media conversations.

  • Top restaurants Marc Forgione, Carbone, Sinatra, and Spinnasse specialize in ambiance, service, wine, and menu.

Valentine’s day is fast approaching and restaurant reservations are being snatched up fast. You may not even know where to start, but don’t worry. Us here at Foodable have you covered.

Foodable Labs has ranked the country’s most romantic restaurants so you can woo your partner on the most lovely day of the year.

Foodable Lab’s “most romantic” rating was calculated using total conversations & restaurant mentions on social combined with overall sentiment for the restaurants. Then, the score was averaged across the two data points to determine the 16 most romantic spots in America.

Over the past year, there were a total of 22.5 million conversations related to 25 key terms indexed across more than 118k restaurants.  The restaurants on this list all have excellent service, fantastic food, alluring cocktails and wine lists, and a romantic ambiance. Check out the full list below and be sure to note the top restaurants in specific categories like ambiance, service, and wine!

Read More

Consider These Tips When Adjusting Your Winter Menu

Consider These Tips When Adjusting Your Winter Menu

As the chillier months hit most of the states, it is time to make menu changes to keep dishes relevant. Winter menu planning is now. Delicate zucchini, little heirloom tomatoes and sweet berries are heading south for the winter. Dig deep to pull out the more burly elements of your repertoire.

Is Seasonality Real?

We still serve tomatoes on a burger, even in February. So seasonal menu changes aren’t always the only impetus to change. Rather, bending around customers’ desire to beef-up their plates makes sense for this time of the year. Reflect those changing tastes to keep seats full and not look like you missed the flow of the seasons. Baked and roasted dishes, for instance, play on the sentiment of the season versus simply grilled or chilled preparations. Chicago’s Boka gets all seasonal with cold weather’s shiny elements, like caramelized celery root and cabbage with their roasted venison dish. And their roasted chicken is equally winterized with preserved mushrooms, rutabaga and delicata squash.

Read More

48 Hours With Boka Restaurant Group

In this episode of “Food As a Lifestyle,” brought to you by the Foodable Network, we’re giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of two James Beard nominated restaurateurs, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of Boka Restaurant Group (BRG) in Chicago.

BRG is a chef-driven restaurant group made up of six chef partners and 12 different establishments.

Watch the full episode as they prepare for the opening of Swift & Sons, a new large-format American steakhouse in Chicago's West Loop, to learn how the business duo came together to form Boka, what Kevin and Rob's day-to-day consists of, and what it takes to be a top restaurateur in a thriving city with plenty of culinary competition.

Artboard+1.png