Foodable Labs Releases List of Most Photographed Restaurants of 2017

Foodable Labs Releases List of Most Photographed Restaurants of 2017
  • Uber Eats is using proprietary data to suggest virtual restaurant ideas to operator partners

  • Uber is dominating the food delivery game and new experiment suggests more to come

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse, we're looking at Uber Eats' newest experiment, virtual restaurants

That's right, the tech giant is taking another leap into the restaurant industry. This time, they're using their stores of data from UberEATS to analyze gaps in food offerings in American cities.

For example, Uber saw that a community in Chicago was searching the UberEATS app for fried chicken. But with no fried chicken-focused restaurants in the, area Uber approached one of their operator partners with the information. Knowing that SiPie Pizzeria had the right equipment, Uber proposed the idea of a whole new restaurant focused on fried chicken that is available only through the UberEATS app. The new concept, Si's Chicken Kitchen has since surpassed the original concept in delivery revenue. 

Watch the episode above to learn more about Uber's innovation in the restaurant industry. 

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Table 42: Best of 2016

This year, Table 42 brought us innovative dishes, awe-inspiring plating, and truly authentic cuisines from a lineup of first-rate chefs. However, a select few stood out from the rest. Here are Foodable's "Best of" moments for Table 42 in 2016.

Chef Joe Cicala at Le Virtù

The inspiration for Le Virtù comes from Chef Cicala’s experiences all over Abruzzo, Italy. Every dish is inspired by Abruzzese culinary tradition. Take for example, their housemade couscous.

“How we make it is traditional to how they make it in Casalbordino. [We] use a small thistle broom. We dip the broom in water, and then we shake it over the semolina and it creates these little drops, and those little drops become the couscous,” Chef Cicala explained.

After spending a significant amount of time in Abruzzo, Italy, Chef Cicala developed an intimate knowledge of Abruzzo's "primary materials" and applies that experience to his selection of producers and purveyors surrounding Philadelphia like naturally raised pork from Berks County; lamb, chicken and rabbit from Lancaster County; and produce from rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania. What he can’t find locally, Chef Cicala imports from Abruzzo artisanal honey and cheeses, extra virgin olive oil, and even the flour used to make fresh pasta.

Chef Eileen Andrade at Finka Table and Tap

Chef Eileen Andrade’s work ethic and culinary background were instilled by her family early on. Her grandfather opened the well-known Islas Carnitas on Coral Way in Miami years back. 

Andrade learned how to cook authentic Korean dishes after training under a retired woman in Korea. After training every day at 7 a.m. for a few weeks, Andrade fell in love with the culture and cuisine even more. According to Andrade, the fusion of Korean and Latin cuisine that she dishes up at Finka was a no-brainer.

“It’s bold flavors, it’s colorful, it’s saucy... Once I started to pair things, I was just like, ‘Okay, perfect — kimchi goes amazing with rice and beans,'” she said.

Chef Tetsu Yahagi at Spago

Tetsu Yahagi wasn't sure what he wanted to do until he walked into a bookstore one day on a family vacation and stumbled upon Wolfgang Puck’s “Adventures in the Kitchen.”

“My dream, before I left the United States to go back to Japan, was to dine at one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants,” he said. “So, I asked my father if we could all dine at Spago. He made a reservation, and that’s where I first met Wolfgang. He signed the book that I bought.”

Now, Yahagi is the chef de cuisine at that very restaurant, working under Chef Lee Hefter.

“We have always created something new, and we still are trying to come up with new ideas, new techniques, new dishes,” Yahagi said. “We don’t want to turn ourselves into a museum. This restaurant needs to be evolving every day, and it needs to be kept always relevant in the industry.”

Keep an eye out for all of this year's "Best of" episodes to learn more about which industry professionals changed the game in 2016!

For Spago’s Chef de Cuisine, a Culinary Dream Comes Full Circle

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.”

“My dream, before I left the United States to go back to Japan, was to dine at one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants,” he said. “So, I asked my father if we could all dine at Spago. He made a reservation, and that’s where I first met Wolfgang. He signed the book that I bought.”

Now, Yahagi is the chef de cuisine at Spago Beverly Hills, working under Chef Lee Hefter, who Yahagi says is a great mentor.

“He has the background of French and Italian cuisine, and at the same time, he has a great understanding and respect for Asian cultures, which corresponds a lot with where I’m from and what I do and my cooking style,” said Yahagi.

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The Menu

The dinner menu at Spago changes daily, and is determined by availability and seasonality. 

“We try to come up with a new dish, new technique every day,” said Yahagi. 

But there are some tried-and-true dishes that stay on the menu as a backbone, like the smoked salmon pizza, which the chef shows us how to make in this episode of “Table 42.”

In the Kitchen: Smoked Salmon Pizza

To make this dish, a lot of prep work is involved with the dough, which is slowly fermented. This makes the sourdough flavor really come through. 

First, rub the dough with olive oil, sprinkle on some red onions, and throw the pizza in a wood-burning oven. Next, it’s time for the smoked salmon. 

“It’s important that we slice the salmon really thin,” said Yahagi. 

While the crust on the pizza dough is still hot, spread dill cream on top of it, and then top with the salmon. Then, add chives (for color), caviar (for flavor), and salmon pearls.

The contrast between hot and cold, said Yahagi, makes the dish unique.

“We have always created something new, and we still are trying to come up with new ideas, new techniques, new dishes,” Yahagi said. “We don’t want to turn ourselves into a museum. This restaurant needs to be evolving every day, and it needs to be kept always relevant in the industry.”

A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for June's Foodable Top 25

A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for June's Foodable Top 25

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

This month, we unveiled six city-level Top 25s using June data. Again, Foodable’s Top 25 rankings are not hand-selected by editors or readers, but rather are pulled from unstructured data from the Restaurant Social Media Index in conjunction with Foodable Labs. We track local consumers across 17 social media platforms, including Twitter, Google+ and Yelp, who frequently engage with restaurant brands each month. Below, we take a deeper look into the No. 1 restaurants across the board for June.

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A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for This Month's Foodable Top 25

A Deeper Look Into the No. 1 Restaurants for This Month's Foodable Top 25

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

Our Foodable Top 25 Restaurants have been released for this month, featuring Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

These rankings are based on April 2015 data from our sister company’s proprietary Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI), the most comprehensive index for the restaurant industry.

This Month’s No. 1’s

Chicago: Avec

With a stripped-down, minimalistic interior with floor-to-ceiling wood and cube stools, Avec’s color shines through in its dishes. The food menu — with a theme to Midwestern interpretations of Mediterranean — includes both small and large plates, a “cheese from our cave” section with varieties from France, Spain, Italy and the U.S., and desserts. Guests can enjoy anything from beef and pinnate kibbeh sausage with pomegranate, dill, farro and feta cheese to shrimp pizza with meyer lemon, calabrian chile, and rapini pesto. With Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix at the forefront (he’s also CDC at Blackbird, one of Avec’s sister restaurants), the menu is packed with fresh local ingredients and the restaurant is considered wine-focused, which is fitting considering wine is how Hendrix initially became involved in the culinary scene.

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