RockSugar Kitchen Offers a Dramatic Setting Paired with an Approachable Menu of Authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine

RockSugar Kitchen Offers a Dramatic Setting Paired with an Approachable Menu of Authentic Southeast Asian Cuisine

The restaurant industry is saturated with Asian-fusion concepts. 

Although the majority of restaurants serving Asian fare would fall into this category, most aren't what you would call "authentic." 

There's nothing wrong with that. Each chef has his or her own twist on a dish, so you could say an entire menu is made up of a fusion of influences. 

But today's educated and adventurous consumer is often looking for authentic fare from somewhere they may not have ever been.

With that in mind, the creator of The Cheesecake Factory, opened RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen, a restaurant serving authentic dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Similar to The Cheesecake Factory, the restaurant's setting is dramatic and over-the-top, yet the extensive menu is approachable and comforting. 

We decided to sit down with Chef Mohan Ismail, the culinary mastermind behind the Emerging Brand RockSugar to learn where he gets his menu inspiration from and why he thinks the restaurant has become wildly popular. 

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Chefs Share Their Three Favorite Techniques in the Kitchen

Chefs Share Their Three Favorite Techniques in the Kitchen

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

If every chef cooked the same, the culinary industry wouldn’t be the diverse one it is today.

There are so many different techniques a chef can choose to use in their kitchen and let’s face it, each culinary mastermind has their favorites.

We decided to ask chefs from all over the country the same question to see what methods they rely on the most. Check out what these stellar chefs had to say. 

What are three techniques in the kitchen that you couldn't cook without?

James Knappett, head chef of London’s Kitchen Table:

  1. Cooking over charcoal. We use pure English wood at Kitchen Table, it’s very interesting to see the changes of flavour that charcoal brings, naturally changing the characteristics of vegetables and meat with that flavour.
  2. Pickling is one of our big techniques – we find that the best part of this method is being able to use vegetables later on in the year when they aren’t naturally in season. Through thinking ahead and clever preparation and organization, this opens up a wider range of vegetables to us all year round. Another element of preservation that we use at Kitchen Table, is the use of high acidity vinegar. If you make the vinegars to a high enough acidity, raw carrots for example, have actually been broken down through fermentation process and been cooked in the vinegar – a taste that most of our guests haven’t experienced before.
  3. Roasting in the pan. We cook everything we can in the pan. It’s a traditional method, using thyme, garlic, bay leaves and butter and is sometimes seen as an old school way compared to sous-vide cookery. It is one of the first techniques you learn as a chef, and is still very much present in Kitchen Table's method of cooking.
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James Rigato: Keeping It Real in Detroit

James Rigato: Keeping It Real in Detroit

By Dorothy Hernandez, Foodable Contributor

Millennial chef James Rigato dishes on his new restaurant Mabel Gray, the most important lessons learned while being a “Top Chef” contestant, and why he’s sick of a white-collar food industry.

Before he appeared on the 12th season of “Top Chef,” James Rigato had already built a reputation in Michigan as one of the area’s top chefs with his award-winning restaurant, The Root, in suburban Oakland County in Michigan. 

Even though the 31-year-old chef was unceremoniously booted for a “meh” seafood salad that critics panned, he brought a lot of attention to his beloved Great Lakes State, to which he pays homage to in his dishes, as well as made new chef friends with whom to collaborate, one of his favorite culinary endeavors.

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