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Chicken Classics Taste trends and flavourful suggestions for flavour hungry customers

p. 14

Over Easy

Elevating your breakfast

p. 27

100% ALL NATURAL IQF VERDE BLEND Cut rapini, chopped kale, chopped spinach and chopped collard greens

Combine Alasko's all natural Verde Blend with your own combinations of mozzarella cheese, olive oil, chopped garlic, roasted tomatoes, goat cheese on a pizza crust or flatbread.

Alasko Verde Blend, frozen (50916) Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add Verde Blend, salt to taste and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through. Add to pizza crust. Add toppings and cook until cheese bubbles approximately 15 -20 minutes.

Alasko Foods Inc. 6810 blvd. de Grandes Prairies, Montreal, Quebec H1P 3P3 T. 515-328-6661 • 1-888-925-2756 • F. 514-328-9877 •



President’s Letter


Great Advice


Staying Ahead


Inspired Menu


Taste Nation


Recipe Central




IN SEASONS Something To Cluck About


WHAT’S UP! Brand Points PLUS




MARKETING 101 Driving Your Business




GOOD BUSINESS Seasonal Hiring



Look for Brand Points PLUS qualifying products throughout the magazine!

Great advice

By Cherie Thompson

Play with your food…and win big going off menu! Menu change can be daunting. But using LTOs (limited time offers) can provide a culinary playground for adding innovation without the commitment. Successfully executing an LTO offers a potential sales lift of as much as 20%, can bring back old customers, and entice new ones. LTOs are an opportunity to offer your customers a new experience while giving your operation a great testing ground and increasing your marketing opportunities.

How do you make LTOs work for you?

START WITH PURPOSE First ask yourself why you are you adding an LTO. If you don’t know what you want from it – new customers, increased check size, acceptance of bolder flavours on the full menu – how will you know it was successful? Shalit Foods Business Development Chef Kira Smith reminds us that to be successful, “You really have to do LTOs mindfully.” The seasoned chef, who works directly with operators to integrate new and engaging ingredients and menu items, understands the formula to win big. Smith remembers a Mini Cheesecake Dessert Parfait a casual chain in Western Canada used as an LTO that was so tasty it moved from temporary to the permanent menu. Why did it work? “It fit with consumer interest, was easy to execute, was within their back-of-house capabilities…and was profitable,” she notes. “There’s no point in doing an LTO if you can’t do it well,” Smith stresses. “And it must be profitable. Because what if it is successful? If it can't be done profitably don't add it.”

PLAN AND EXECUTE “For an LTO to be successful, an operation must plan in advance,” notes Kyla Touri, corporate chef, Canada, for Unilever Food Solutions. “Operators must also be attuned to trending menu items, product/ingredient availability, and, most importantly, maintaining their brand image.” Push at the boundaries acceptable to your customers’ 8



preferences by experimenting with bold flavours or new cuisines. Change doesn’t have to be crazy. Start smaller and work up to bigger flavour experiences. There is more than just the food to consider. LTOs also offer important marketing possibilities. Think of them as conversation starters: at the table or counter, online, via social media, and business to business. Plus they’re an opportunity to increase engagement with your customers and employees. Ensure the message about your LTO is clear and consistent across all your communication channels. Expect to increase the pantry list, add to the skillset and push the kitchen’s ability to execute the LTO. Your entire team needs in on the plan to ensure consistency without compromising the existing full menu.

says Kira Smith. Use your customers’ fear of missing out to your advantage and time your LTO. It doesn't mean you can't make it a permanent addition – adding an LTO to the full menu gives you yet another conversation starter.

TALK AND LISTEN, MEASURE RESULTS As you wipe your brow and flop in a dining chair on the final day of your wildly successful LTO, remember you aren’t finished yet. Due diligence is necessary. Was all the extra work worth it? Talk with your customers and your front and back of house employees. They will have something to say. Listen and learn from their observations.


“If you are communicating about your LTO, which you should be, you have to follow up,” Smith advises. Listen to the praise (and criticism) and respond.

The frequency with which you implement LTOs will depend on your operation. However, at a minimum, Tuori suggests, “Every season. This timing gives an opportunity to plan properly and execute.”

Consider using a social media survey to ask your customers for their feedback. Offering a gift card to your restaurant will sweeten the incentive for them to volunteer useful comments – and come back for another meal.

Customers are programmed to search for change seasonally. So a seasonal LTO naturally allows for use of local and seasonal ingredients that might be too expensive to use on a full menu. LTOs need a defined end date. “There is power in scarcity,”

Finally, return to the original purpose of your LTO. Did it meet your criteria? If not, what didn’t work? How would you do it differently next time? If you did meet your goals, pat yourself on the back and then start planning the next one. And if you won BIG going off menu, you might need to change your old menu after all. Now are you ready for the playground?


Top tips to roll out a successful LTO 1. Give your LTO ample planning time as you may need to source new ingredients, plan for menu changes, and pay for advertising. 2. Consider using customer comment cards, then focus on providing something new that people want.

3. Utilize social media and your restaurant’s email marketing as a tool to promote your limited time offer. 4. Keep it simple. LTOs don’t need to be complicated; the easier they are to describe, promote and sell, the better. CHEFCONNEXION.CA



English Bay cookie batters are not just for cookies. Use your imagination. We all know the growing popularity of shareable desserts and mini desserts. Why not try using any of our delicious cookie batters as your base for your original mini cheesecake. Top your cheesecake with fresh seasonal berries, salty caramel sauce, a mixed berry compote, cut up Mars bars, or crumbled cookies with chocolate syrup. Your customers will love the variety!

Canada East 905-670-1110 • Canada West 604-540-0622 •


By Lawrence Herzog

Your diners are looking for creativity and new taste sensations by sharing plates like tapas, cheese and dessert selections. Technomic reports that 47% of consumers who eat small plates strongly agree that they are more likely to try new flavours on small plates than in entrées. According to the Canadian Snacking Nation 2016 study by Ipsos, more than two-thirds of all consumption occasions occur outside of traditional meals.

Sharing to sample new tastes Shareable plates can be used as portion control for those diners interested in having just a few ‘small bites’ shared among friends, says Kira Smith, business development chef for Shalit Foods. “Ordering a few share plates can give diners a broader flavour experience; they can experience variety instead of ordering a single entrée.” CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Technomic’s Canadian Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report revealed: • Small plates are relatively rare among Top 200 chains, but the number of operators menuing small plates has increased nearly 15% from 2014. • At LSRs, breaded vegetables are growing as both starters and sides, and proteins and non-breaded vegetables are the fastest-growing sides; operators may be pushing options with a more healthful appeal.

Cavendish Breaded Vegetables

• At FSRs, more filling options are growing, such as taco and pizza starters and pasta sides; these starters and sides may be able to crossfunction as entrées.


Say cheese!

Just desserts

Sharing plates are a great way to make meals interactive, Smith observes. “Diners are truly ‘breaking bread’ together as they take part in a shared experience – it highlights the sociability of the dining experience. The small, often ‘dip-able’ bites on share plates can be positioned as an opportunity to try a variety of sauces or offer customization.”

“Cheese platters work beautifully as a shared plate and can function as an appetizer or dessert course,” Kira Smith says.

A shared platter of mini portions of your standard desserts can be a simple new idea.

Chef Kira’s top tip

“Use (a shared dessert platter) as an opportunity to introduce a unique or new item in miniature portion among more familiar items on the share platter to encourage trial or experiment with a new sauce.”

Take it on board! Charcuterie platters are a great shareable that is found on a lot of menus now. “This board is a great item to grow the check average,” says James Keppy, corporate chef at Maple Leaf Foods. “Quickly put them (boards) together with a few cured meats and ingredients (cheeses and pickled vegetables) already found in your inventory.” Chef James’ top tip Use wings, nachos boards, mini tacos and small sliders to highlight a variety of bold flavours. 12


“Offer a variety of three to five different cheeses with accompaniments such as fresh or dried fruit, different compotes or chutneys, nuts and interesting flatbreads or crackers. Where possible, highlight local cheeses or seasonal fruits and provide wine and beer suggestions that pair well.”

Sauce for sharing Younger diners aged 18 to 34 are driving interest in sauces like sweet and sour, curry, sriracha and chimichurri. A sauce with a unique or flavourful name can pique interest and drive sales, Technomic reports, as sharing diners literally dip into sauces and toppings.

Chef Kira’s top tip

Bigger than just a bite Think bigger than bite size with shareables and encourage diners to make their desserts a fun, DIY social interaction. “Tiny portions aren’t shareable, but if you make your portion a little bigger, then people can split it and enjoy an interaction,” says Lino Cordeiro, national account culinary manager, Rich Products of Canada. “Those bigger desserts still have a ‘wow’ factor, and they’re fun.”


Delightful donuts Miniature-sized dessert donuts are a fun way to liven the atmosphere. Chef Lino’s top tip “Squeezable tubes of topping can provide a fun way for guests to finish their own donuts. Let them choose from some liqueurs, flavoured caramel or other sauces so they get to be creative and then enjoy their own work.”





By Lawrence Herzog



Canadians certainly love their poultry, and especially chicken. In 2016, we each consumed an average of 32.5 kg of chicken – the highest level of consumption ever, reports Chicken Farmers of Canada. In fact, chicken has been first choice of Canadians for more than a decade, when fowl surpassed beef for first place in the meat sweepstakes. Chicken remains consumers’ protein of choice while turkey shows room to grow, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Centre of the Plate: Poultry Consumer Trend Report. Chicken consumption has been bolstered over the past few years by increases at breakfast and snacking occasions. Turkey is still viewed more as holiday fare, though 39 per cent of turkey-eaters say they are more likely now than two years ago to enjoy turkey during the rest of the year.

Where comfort meets ingenuity Diners love the slow-roasted comfort aspect of turkey, particularly at harvest time and over the holidays, says Abdul Rizal Hassan, executive chef, Holiday Inn Aéroport Montréal Airport. “I always like to try something new on the menu, and especially with poultry it is so important to keep diners interested and capture their enthusiasm.”

vegetables and fish instead of spinach. In the winter, we add a third layer of thinly-sliced potatoes that we bake in the oven. They’re like thin chips, crunchy and beautiful.”




Invigorating fall and winter menus with turkey “Turkey does not have to be sage and garlic, it can be focused with allspice, lemon, mushroom, pine nuts, soy sauce, chili peppers,” says James Keppy, national culinary chef for Maple Leaf Foods. He notes that more than 70 per cent of customers say they want to be inspired by new flavours from the restaurants they frequent – so inspire them! “Thanksgiving sandwiches, poutine, tacos and flatbreads utilizing cranberry aioli, stuffing and sage become new builds with familiar flavours,” Keppy says. “Mac ‘n cheese can be upscaled with pulled meats, seafood and gourmet cheeses. Even a scalloped potato with ham dish will bring back good memories -- and memories mean comfort food.” u


of consumers say it’s important for restaurants to be transparent about where they source their poultry.


of consumers who eat chicken strongly agree that restaurants should offer more chicken entrées with ethnic flavour.


of consumers who eat turkey would like restaurants to offer turkey as a protein choice for a wider variety of entrées. According to a Technomic report

Hassan serves a chicken scaloppini braised in flour and layered with spinach, mushrooms, cheese and asparagus, topped with cured Italian meat then finished in the oven and glazed with a marsala sauce before serving. “It’s an appetizing dish with great presentation, and it can be tailored seasonally with fresh CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Darker meat contains more fat, which translates to more flavour and a juicier finished product. Because of the higher fat content, you can apply bolder, stronger marinades, rubs and sauces to it. Go over to the dark side In the rest of the world, dark meat has always been preferred over leaner white meat. Now dark meat chicken is gaining popularity with North American consumers. “Darker meat contains more fat, which translates to more flavour and a juicier finished product,” Snellen notes. “Because of the higher fat content, you can apply bolder, stronger marinades, rubs and sauces to it. A perfect example is Filipino Pinoy Chicken, where chicken legs and thighs are marinated in a combination of soy sauce, garlic, spices and banana ketchup before it is roasted in the oven.”

New twists on old favourites To make something new and different in poultry dishes, Keppy recommends getting creative with ethnic and fusion flavours. “Shawarma will work in salads, sandwiches, mains and pizzas as well as in the traditional pita. Indian dishes continue to grow over the past five years along with the growth of Moroccan, Korean, Lebanese, Greek and Turkish cuisines. Customers value authenticity in their dishes.”

Thanksgiving comfort with flair Traditional comfort food always does well in the darker months of the year, notes Juriaan Snellen, McCormick Canada executive corporate chef. 16


“Braised poultry and rich stews will warm you up on a cold day and are easy to prepare in advance.” This season put a twist on the traditional classics by adding flavourful seasonings and unique ingredients inspired by consumers’ quest for bolder tastes. Elevate Thanksgiving turkey dinner with a bay leaf-infused honey glaze served with pear chutney for a welcoming touch of tartness, Snellen suggests. Leftovers can be transformed into decadent ragouts served over pappardelle pasta garnished with fried sage. Or venture out into a tapas-style dinner option with bite-size turkey meatballs topped with cracked black pepper, rosemary and sage.

Fusion builds excitement We will continue to see a fusion of ethnic inspired flavours and traditional fare driven by immigration patterns that will bring exciting new dishes to the table, Snellen predicts. “Oven-roasted turkey will cozy up with Italian gnocchi topped with a rich cream sauce; whole chicken is brined in a salt liquid for a couple hours before a Lebanese 7 Spice seasoning also known as Baharat is applied.” Serve it with saffron rice mixed with barberries – a Middle Eastern berry that looks like a small cranberry but has a more pungent tart and sour note – and really give your guests something to cluck about.


TURKEY BURGERS HAVE DOUBLED IN INCIDENCE ON FSR MENUS 2015 Technomic Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report






By Lawrence Herzog

Rosthern rocks with updated pub grub renovated out of its era, but some interesting historical features remain, like the original safe in the middle of the main floor. We’ve turned it into our walk-in cooler and deep freeze. When we first opened, we were full every day for lunch, so when the building next door came up for sale, it was an opportunity to expand. We’re now at 120 seats, and we’ve added a bigger bar area and larger cooler. That was really important to our functionality. What’s it like operating in a small town?

Meet Josie MacDonald Co-owner, Sixth & Railway Grill and The Cork & Kettle, Rosthern, Sask.

Josie MacDonald and her partner Laura Olson started their grill and pub three years ago. They are located in a historic building constructed in 1903 for the Imperial Bank of Canada on Railway Avenue in Rosthern, Sask., 60 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.







Tell us about your business We are planning a small renovation of the historical bank building which houses the Sixth & Railway Grill over the next year that will return a few more elements of the past and match the cozy feel of The Cork & Kettle next door. Over the years, the building had been

Rosthern is a small town, but the population is getting younger. When we opened The Cork & Kettle, everything closed at 8 o’clock, so we made sure to keep our food service operating through the evening. Wings and nachos go right until closing time and that’s a really big part of our business. Offering dining choices into the night has proven very successful for us. How has your menu changed since you first opened? Our menu at the Sixth & Railway Grill started out as typical small town comfort food. Café/diner style. Allday breakfast, perogies and farmer sausage, burgers & fries, and hot beef sandwich kind of place. u CHEFCONNEXION.CA



day our rep reminded me that we had accumulated a lot of points, so we began looking at redeeming. We installed a deck, which opened in time for the summer season, we got some chairs for that, and we got some kitchen gadgets that we likely wouldn’t have spent the money on. It’s a great way to add to our business without any effort on our part.






I used my BPP points to buy a rice cooker ... something I would never have spent money on, but it's kind of handy sometimes. And we bought tabletop yummy s’mores makers.

How often do you change up your menu, and what new dishes are you considering?

I used my BPP points to buy a rice cooker ... something I would never have spent money on, but it's kind of handy sometimes. And we bought tabletop yummy s’mores makers

When we opened The Cork & Kettle next door we added more pub grub, new wing flavours, spring rolls, deep fried pickles, pizzas and quesadillas. Over the last year we have tested out a few new items with the use of menu inserts and table tents. We looked at sales and cost, and edited, adjusted and simplified the menu from there. We worked with Kevin Chipman at Pratts Food Service along with the Pratts Advantage software to create our current menu. I will honestly say the last menu went far too long without an update but with the simplified service from Pratts I plan on an update semi-annually now. How do you use the Brand Points PLUS program? Our Pratts rep signed us up two years ago. We order quite a lot of Brand Points PLUS-supported products, so our points add up pretty well. One



How easy is it to redeem your points? We thought there might be some shipping cost, but it doesn’t cost us anything, and the turnaround is really nice. We had our deck chairs within two weeks. Do you use Yes, we appreciate the website. It’s very convenient logging in and seeing where we are at with our points and deciding what we might want to get next. I don't really follow or check the site often. If it has been a while I will check to see where the points are at and look at the products available. What’s on your radar for your points? Maybe a customer appreciation door prize. There are a ton of products available outside of the kitchen, like electronics, sporting goods and apparel, trips, lots!

Family Owned

Proudly Canadian

Since 1892 Enhance your dining experience with Dare Foods wide range of quality food products that are Made Better using only the very best ingredients. From your appetizer to dessert and everything in between, including a final thank you mint, Made Better isn’t just a claim, it’s our promise. Crouton Soup & Salad Garnishes

Stack Dare S’mores Ingredients:

ocolate es Hershey’s ch Cookies 6 ounc ive st ge Di re 12 Da allows 6 large marshm olate for garnish and grated choc Caramel sauce

Cracker & Fine Bread Appetizers

Breading, Stuffing, Graham Crumbs and Other Ingredients

s Makes 12 piece

Thank You Mints

Method: olate and the melted choc of each cookie in e sid e on p Di 1. d paper to cool side up on waxe te ola oc ch ce pla oven to 350ºF 2. Preheat the ocolate side up a baking sheet ch on ies ok co 6 3. Place rshmallow and top with a ma ned, rshmallow is softe oven until the ma 4. Place in the te side down cookies chocola 6 e th ith w p to remove and gether so they stick to rm marshmallow touching the wa 5 . Cool

ith caramel a plate topped w on ies ok co 3 e 6 . Serv olate and grated choc

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7,000 points and counting… Drummondville franchisor appreciates being rewarded for loyal purchasing By Julie Gedeon Chez Louis has been serving yummy pizza, chicken and poutine dishes in Drummondville, Quebec, for almost 30 years. The chain’s three locations are popular with parents who appreciate the family-friendly atmosphere and a menu that ensures their children will eat well.

company’s president. “Our locations halfway between those cities make this an ideal place to enjoy a good meal.”

Others value not only the hearty food but the convenience of being able to order by phone or even more conveniently through the Chez Louis website (www.chezlouispouletetpizza. com) for quick delivery or pickup.

The company runs Les Cuisines Régal catering service for special events, as well as for kindergarten and grade school programs, with a strong emphasis on lighter, health-conscious food that also tastes delicious.

“We also have a quite a number of businesspeople who stop by to eat on their drive between Montreal and Quebec City,” adds Éric Durepos, the

And to indulge those occasional cravings for some good French Fries with sauce, the Shack 79 food truck is “the king of poutine” on the city’s streets.

One customer, who lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec, noted on Facebook that he and his family drive out of their way a couple of times a month to enjoy a Chez Louis dinner.

With all of these services, the company needs to buy a large and steady amount of food supplies. So Durepos was delighted when his long-time distributor, AOF Service Alimentaire, pointed out the Brand Points PLUS loyalty program as a way to earn points for various food purchases. “When our distributor explained that it was a free program that just required us to register to receive these points whenever we buy from the participating suppliers, well, how can you say no?” Durepos says. “It’s a gift.”



Durepos says his company is now making a conscious decision to buy strictly from participating Brand Points PLUS suppliers as much as possible. “It only makes sense to benefit from the rewards being offered for my company’s purchasing fidelity,” he says. “I also appreciate that our distributor, AOF, always checks when we’re buying anything to see whether the items that we want are available from a participating supplier,” he adds. Durepos heartily recommends Brand Points PLUS to other restaurateurs, too. “It’s a good program that doesn’t take any effort other than to register and then choose the participating suppliers’ products to earn the greatest number of points,” he explains. “And you can earn benefit from the equivalent of a thousand or two thousand dollars of kitchen or data-processing equipment over time – so why not?” Since joining Brand Points PLUS in April 2016, the company has accumulated more than 7,000 points. Durepos hasn’t yet chosen an item for redeeming those points, but that is bound to change. “I’m sure we’ll treat ourselves to something really nice in the near future,” he says.

To learn more contact Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee at 1-800-387-9398.

inspired menu MISCELA™ YOUR SECRET INGREDIENT™ A fresh twist on garden vegetables, fruits, herbs & spices. So Simple... a consistent blend that helps minimze meal prep and inspire creativity No other product can act as a dip, topper, ingredient or finishing agent to enhance everday meals or add an element of surprise to complex dishes. CORN - BLACK BEAN - OLIVE - ARTICHOKE - SUNDRIED TOMATO - SWEET PEPPER

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FLAVOURED CHEDDAR - A TASTE EXPERIENCE Gay Lea's Black River flavoured cheddars will enhance your regular menu with exciting taste options. When it comes to our selection of fine artisan cheese our renowned Maple Cheddar, Garlic & Pepper Cheddar, Cheddar with Honey, and our Goat Cheddar—are definitely "taste" highlights and a "must try" taste experience.

Created to appeal to the consumer’s demand to minimize portions and calories, Boulart thin sandwich buns make the ultimate sandwiches:


After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Within the past five years, tea items on Canadian menus have grown 4.6%. As Canadians become more health conscious, tea becomes a desirable alternative beverage. Source: MenuMonitor, Technomic 24


• Real Brewed Tea • Natural Flavours • Real Cane Sugar • Lightly Sparkling • Only 90 Calories

Incredible holding power to support any topping Pre-sliced and fully baked for convenience Available in original and whole wheat

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1750 mL/1245 g

Portions: 7 x 8 oz spoodle/178 g

Moroccan Pilaf Brown Rice and Quinoa


Canola oil 75 g Diced onion

125 mL 90 g Diced red sweet pepper 10 mL 10 mL 5 mL

8 g Minced garlic Ras el hanout (Moroccan seasoning) 4 g Brown sugar

250 mL 200 g Uncle Ben’s® Brown Rice with Red and Black Quinoa 410 mL

Vegan broth

250 mL 88 g Julienne carrots 500 mL 350 g Cooked chickpeas 15 mL

2 g Chopped fresh mint

30 mL

4 g Chopped cilantro

30 mL

5 g Chopped parsley

30 mL

Orange juice

30 mL

NUTRITIONAL per 250 mL/178 g portion

15 g Toasted sliced almonds

Calories 223, Fat 4.5 g, Carbohydrates 48 g, Fibre 4.5 g, Protein 6.5 g, Sodium 264 mg

250 mL 155 g Halved or quartered red grapes


STEPS 1. In a pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook, while stirring for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add Ras el Hanout and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute. 2. Add Uncle Ben’s® Brown Rice with Red and Black Quinoa, broth, carrots and chickpeas. Stir until well combined. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 17 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. 3. Stir in mint, cilantro, parsley, orange juice, almonds and grapes until well combined. Serve. QUÉBEC 450-449-4171

RECIPE NOTES • Can be prepared in oven. Preheat convection oven to 400ºF. Complete to end of Step 1. Transfer to an insert pan. Add Uncle Ben’s® Brown Rice with Red and Black Quinoa, broth, carrots and chickpeas. Stir until well combined. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Continue with Step 3. • Can be prepared in rice cooker. Complete to end of Step 1. Transfer to a rice cooker. Add Uncle Ben’s® Brown Rice with Red and Black Quinoa, broth, carrots and chickpeas. Stir until well combined. Start rice cooker according to manufacture settings. When cooked, continue with Step 3. ONTARIO 905-625-4469

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Light & Airy Liquid egg whites and yolks save time and effort in the kitchen and are ideal for preparing omelettes and quiches, but why not try this light lunch classic.

Light and sweet green tea souffle

Souffles are an airy, light dish made from an egg yolk-based sauce that is lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites. Souffles can be sweet or savoury, baked or frozen and served hot or cold.

Treat Your Customers To Something Different • Rich and creamy yet light and airy • The puffed dish is visually appealing • Savoury souffles can be with herbs, vegetables and cheeses • Can be served as a meal, side dish or with a salad.

Eastern Canada

Western Canada


By Suzanne Boles

Operators find new converts for breakfast, whenever, whatever and however Restaurants have offered egg-focused brunch menus on weekends for years. And a number of eateries – notably diners – have made their name with their famous cheap but hearty all-day breakfasts. But the demand for breakfast all day, every day, is growing as customers clamour for new, interesting takes on traditional bacon and eggs, and they’re asking for breakfast in the afternoon, for dinner…and at all hours. u




YOU HAVE THE INGREDIENTS FOR EGGCITING SUCCESS Mark Boag, vice president, sales and marketing for National Egg Solutions, says most restaurant operators already have what they need in their kitchen to offer all-day breakfast including equipment and ingredients. The benefit to operators is that eggs are a low-cost protein with a highmargin opportunity. For example, an average breakfast omelette normally sells for $7 to $9 in the morning. That same item can be offered for $9 to $11 at lunch, when served with greens. He adds that those all-important millennial guests are interested in quality over quantity with healthier and environmentally-friendly choices like omega-3, organic and cage-free egg products.

Upselling tip For dinner consider “adding a little flash or splash” – for instance, adding fresh asparagus with hollandaise on the side or smoked salmon and crab – and charge $13 to $15.

Savvy restaurant operators are taking note. “We didn’t know how it was going to go to open a restaurant just for breakfast and lunch, says Kate Papadopoulos, owner of Korner Kitchen Breakfast

Who wants breakfast now?

& Lunch Restaurant in Kitchener,

According to Winsight Media Senior Editor Patricia Cobe, many millennials are employed in the tech industry where their workday may start at 11 a.m. or end at 9 p.m. So they want breakfast later, or a healthy, filling snack after work – one big reason that all-day breakfast sandwiches are gaining popularity.

6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday and

Gourmet omelettes

Ont. Their hours – Monday to Friday Sunday 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – extend the traditional breakfast hours well into the afternoon to capture more of that all-day crowd. Papadopoulos says, after only two years since opening, business is booming with a wide range of customers – from moms and their kids to families, seniors and business clientele for meetings.

What are they clamouring for? Protein! Protein!








Trend Report (2016). *A majority of consumers say a breakfast’ item’s ability to satisfy them until their next meal (75%), how filling the item is (70%) and its ability to energize them (56%) are highly important. A majority (64%) also say that they are more willing to purchase a high-protein breakfast item; (44%) will even pay more for them. *

And new flavours According




flavour forecast: “Breakfast options with big, global flavours are being 28



Shakshuka sought after by a generation of flavour adventurists not content with the same boring bowl.” Think warm sweet congee or a Middle Eastern-inspired hash topped with a spicy skhug sauce (Middle Eastern hot sauce made with chilies, cumin, cardamom, coriander, garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice). The all-important millennials especially are looking for ethnic flavours in their breakfast. Shakshuka (a North African dish made with poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce) went up 6.3 percent in menu mentions last year, says Technomic.

beef, green pepper, onion, jalapeños, tomatoes, hash browns, black beans and corn topped with blended cheeses, along with salsa on the side. There are also a number of vegan, gluten free and vegetarian options for diners looking for “greener” breakfast options. She adds that customers want fresh ingredients, not processed foods. For example, there’s a lot of ‘from scratch’ involved in her restaurant’s kitchen, like their hash browns made from fresh, steamed potatoes, shredded and finished on the grill.

Operator tip

Papadopoulos says their menu has lots of options to keep breakfast guests coming back for more. The bestseller

“Your service has to be really good – it can’t just be average,” Papdopoulos advises.

is a peameal and fried egg sandwich made with cheese, lettuce and tomato. Spice is hot with customers and skillets are also popular, including the Mexican Skillet made with Tex-Mex

With many all-day breakfast choices in the marketplace and competition from the big guys, “you’re going to have to give [customers] a really good reason to choose your place.”


Start small. Try a limited all-day breakfast menu to test its popularity with your guests. If you’re serving mainly a dinner crowd, all-day breakfast may not add enough to your bottom line to make it worthwhile.


Go bold. A big trend now is globally inspired breakfasts, featuring bolder flavours and spices.


Don’t forget vegetarians and vegans. Shake up your breakfast menu with different greens and beans.


Try breakfast sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches are on the rise, growing 10 per cent in menu incidence over a fiveyear period, according to Technomic’s Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report (2016). It’s not just QSRs making the most of this opportunity.


Think healthy! Supplement more traditional breakfast dishes with fruit, yogurt, muesli and granola options.


Top tips to offer all-day breakfast



of consumers enjoy eating breakfast at non-traditional times

Technomic’s Breakfast Consumer Trend Report CHEFCONNEXION.CA



DRIVING (or biking) your food service business By Cherie Thompson

Taking your menu on the road to time-starved Canadians craving restaurant quality meals in their home can boost sales and market your brand. But before you jump in the driver’s seat, contemplate the following questions: • Do it yourself or work with a delivery partner? • How will you promote your new service? • What packaging will you need? • Is your menu delivery-friendly? What will your food look like after a 20-30-minute ride? Still fresh or limp like yesterday’s leftovers? • Can your operation handle increased volume at peak times? Do you have enough staff – and the right kind of staff – to add a bigger load? How about adequate kitchen equipment as well as enough space to assemble orders? u




Going solo Looking after delivery in-house adds continuity to dining experiences and also adds that personal touch. However, you need to plan everything upfront before you launch this new service. Among the basics? • Your driver. Use current in-house staff or hire a new person? • The vehicle. Motorized, or will a bike work? And what kind of branding will you use to make your vehicle stand out on the road as it delivers your delicacies? • Delivery radius. How far are you willing to go for your customers? • Promotion. How will you get the word out? Flyers, social media, local advertising? All are good ways to launch this new service. • Online ordering.

Teaming with a food delivery partner “Restaurants should consider using a food delivery partner to lower the costs of delivery, offer a platform to reach new customers and increase revenue,” says Matt Rice, head of marketing for Foodora Canada. Sales lift can be significant. “Foodora’s largest partner in Canada can see $100,000 more a month in revenue through our platform,” Rice claims. Foodora is positioned as a food discovery app, partnering with top restaurants. As a restaurant partner, you are assigned an account manager who visits your operation to train staff on software. Foodora also works collaboratively with operators to build the delivery menu and promote your new service. The cost to the restaurant is on a per usage basis specific to your restaurant. Rice says their support is ongoing. “We promote our vendors once they go live. PR and marketing efforts funnel money into paid search engine marketing, Facebook and Instagram posts. In some cases we provide a photographer for high quality food shots.”

Packed and ready to go? You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to foodservice, your takeout packaging had better hold up to scrutiny. More importantly, your takeout packaging has to stand up to delivery…and still look appetizing when it reaches its destination. 32


“With takeout, the customer is in control of when that food is consumed,” says John Veder, director of innovation - paper for Novolex North America. “For delivery, the customer is at home, waiting. Their expectation is that the food is ready to eat. Not soggy. Not cold.” When food is delivered, customers see the packaging first, and they eat with their eyes. Is it clean, neat and tidy? You need to make a great first impression otherwise customers may not go to you for takeout again. That’s why Veder suggests ensuring the packaging is correct for the application in terms of size and material. “The packaging a French fry requires for travel is different than a pasta dish. And packaging will also depend on the miles or time it needs to travel.” Consider customizing your existing menu specifically for delivery, Veder advises. Novolex’s innovation is driven by providing solutions to delivery (and takeout) packaging needs, offering a wide range of options with thermal properties, moisture resistance, visual appeal, and security. “Our load and fold bag offers functionality in terms of transport but also that tamper evident feature where a branded sticker could be added to give your customer peace of mind.” Adding a delivery service can drive your business to new heights, but only with careful planning will you deliver the ultimate come-back-formore customer experience.

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Meet the

The future a la mode By Darren Climans

Breakfast for dinner is now a thing all across Canada. McDonald’s Canada rolled out its all-day breakfast option at the end of February, and is banking on the change to provide the same bump in traffic and same store sales as in the U.S. John Betts, McDonald’s Canada CEO, suggested that the introduction of the 34


program was driven partly by social media and Twitter requests by the thousands from customers for all-day breakfast since its launch in the U.S. And who are those tweeting customers? The Millennials, of course. Younger millennials in particular – also known as ‘trailing millennials’ – are changing the game in foodservice. An extensive





Top tips to engage Millennials • Make your brand their brand. Millennials are focused on personal brand-building. Try to make a connection between your offering and their personality. • Work your social media channels. The Millennials are likely the most social media- and tech-obsessed generation. • Consider your social conscience. Millennials are cause-focused, and they care about where their food comes from. • Make it memorable. Millennials are looking for “experiential” eating. Touch, taste, appearance help to sell food to them.

ongoing tracking study by Ipsos Canada of eating habits of Canadians reveals that Millennials tend to eat “small meals through the day when it suits their needs.” Millennials seek food options that reflect their nonconventional lifestyle. According to the Ipsos study lead, “(Millennials) do things on their own time. They’ve never known ‘closed on Sundays,’ they shop when they want, they work – many of them – in situations that appease their need to have their own schedules.” Foodservice operators – and not just the giants like McDonald’s – are taking notice and adapting to meet this expectation. In Canada and the U.S., the Millennial Generation Y cohort is now as large as the Boomers. As a percentage of the labour force, GenY is already far and away the biggest group. These numbers speak volumes, and underscore the inevitability of demography in a “post-growth” 21st century. In her book, “A Taste of Generation Yum: How the Millennial Generation’s Love for Organic Fare, Celebrity Chefs, and Microbrews Will Make or Break the Future of Food,” Eve Turow Paul, herself a Millennial, spent close to four years interviewing peers, reviewing academic work, and talking to iconic foodies like Anthony Bourdain and Michael Pollan. The genesis for the book was an observation she made while sitting in a college class. “One of the girls across from me was saying that there was a frozen yogurt place (that had) flavours that changed every day. She had the number on her phone and would call



them every day to see what the flavour (du jour) was.” This observation was the catalyst for her research. Her chief takeaways?

WHAT? Millennials are the most food-obsessed generation in history. Newton’s 3rd Law states that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. After all of that screen time on their smartphones and other devices, it’s not surprising that Millennials are looking for something tangible, genuine, and sensory.

WHY? Generation Y is the product of the shock of colliding negative and positive factors. The negative charges: political cynicism and sustained economic recession. On the positive side: ever expanding access to technology and information. The result is mixed and somewhat contradictory. Many studies have concluded that Millennials exhibit elevated rates of anxiety, depression, and even suicide. However, access to technology and social media provides Millennials with the sense of empowerment, community, and control they crave.

NOW WHAT? Turow Paul pulls no punches: “I think we need to make food something that Millennials want to be part of their brand. We need to make it hip. I don’t believe that this is a generation of people who just want to do good


For Millennials, the pull of Ritual is: • Order and pay directly from smartphones, when and where you want. • Pick up coffee or meal with ease – no time wasted, no extra cost, no lineups, no loose change, and no paper receipts. things; I think (Millennials) are selfserving and narcissistic. I think we’re really invested in branding ourselves.”


For Millennials, what and where they eat (or don’t eat) is as much a part of their identity as the social media sites they connect on. The labels Local, Organic, Gluten-free, GMO, Singlesource, Bio-dynamic, Vegan, Cagefree, Paleo, Fair trade – have become powerful tags for this group.

The one commonality is technology. Smartphone ownership for Millennials is over 90% and significantly higher than for older Canadians. A Canadian tech startup called Ritual connecting foodservice operators, employers, and consumers, believes that they’ve developed the killer app to bring The Mountain to the Millennials through their devices.

Wondering how to better engage with the Millennial tribe? There is no silver bullet. According to Environics Analytics, the group is extremely diverse. Beyond the “Living at Home” and “Left Home” divide, there are upwards of a dozen unique cultural, ethnic, educational, value, and economic archetypes among Millennials.

The app has already expanded to New York City, selling its siren song of “Life as it should be” to Millennials, and promising a dividend of hours of time saved each week to spend on the important things in life. Successful operator partners are reputedly booking north of $100K via Ritual. Hard to argue with the Ritual folks when they ask, “What are you waiting for?”

• The Ritual app partners with operators by neighbourhood, and becomes an active ‘foodservice concierge’ resource for users by learning their preferences and making informed suggestions. • Users earn loyalty and reward points for free eats.

Source: Statistics Canada Darren Climans is a foodservice insights professional with close to 20 years' experience partnering with broadline distributors, CPG suppliers, and foodservice operators. His practice is to understand issuebased decisions by taking a data-driven approach to strategic decision making. CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Oil’s well – not all oils are created equal


By Suzanne Boles


Keep your oils tightly sealed in a cool, dark place and, if they come in a translucent bottle, consider wrapping them in tin foil to extend their shelf life. The higher a fat's smoke point, the more cooking methods you can use it for.

When it comes to choosing oils for your kitchen, the key to increasing revenue and taste is quality and convenience, says Jeff Poulo, national sales director for Saporito Foods. The company is a leading supplier of high quality canola, corn, sunflower and vegetable oils, imported olive and blended oils, shortenings, margarines and zero trans-fat high-performance frying oils to retail, foodservice and export markets. “Quality and convenience are the most important factors to consider when choosing an oil to use and cook with. Whether you are cooking at home for your family, or you’re a chef in a busy restaurant cooking hundreds of meals, you want an easy to use, great tasting, high-quality oil,” says Poulo.

Oil performance and options When it comes to High-Performance (HP) oils, Poulo says his company’s oils come at a slightly higher price point but provide better performance, which translates into better value. Specifically, HP oils last longer in the fryer, reducing cost per use and have less oil retention in food and less flavour transfer from one item to another. u CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Dos and don’ts of fryer maintenance • Never refill a wet fryer since water causes oil to break down more quickly. • Don’t fill baskets over your fryer to prevent food particles from contaminating the oil. • Never season products over the fryer as spices can break down your oil. • Do not put seasoned, fried product back into the fryer. • Do not overfill fryer baskets or shake baskets during frying. • Skim off food particles regularly. • Filter your oil regularly to realize the full value of better quality oils.

safflower can handle the highest heat, topping out at 510°F Operators should be aware that olive oil has been affected by crop disease and production losses over the past two seasons, significantly reducing supply and causing a substantial increase in price. This has “led to an influx of poor quality, expensive, misrepresented products,” says Poulo. He advises operators to ask their suppliers how this has impacted their products. Saporito Foods has a stringent quality control protocol in place with its European vendors to ensure the highest quality olive oil is delivered each and every time.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE BEST VALUE AND FLAVOUR FROM YOUR OIL: Don’t be fooled by the lowestcost options There are a variety of choices in the marketplace, ranging from regular salad cooking oils and speciallyhandled oils to high-performance frying oils. This can make it difficult and confusing when trying to choose an oil, so price becomes the deciding factor. But the lowest priced oil may not be the best choice for your application or the most cost-effective solution.

Crunch the numbers With deep frying you may have a choice between one 16L container 40


of oil at $20 and another type of oil priced at $18 – a 10 per cent savings. But, depending on the brand, quality and application, this may only be a perceived savings before the kitchen actually consumes the oil. As a simple example, if the pricier oil is a higher quality product, and lasts four days in the fryer instead of three (as the lower-priced oil may), then there’s an immediate and identifiable savings of 25 per cent on a $20 outlay, dramatically reducing cost per use. Also, if the higher-priced oil has even as little as two per cent better oil retention level (the amount of oil that remains in the food) that’s a savings of $0.40 per 16L. One extra day in the fryer, or 25 per cent better performance on a $20 item = a $5 savings per 16L. Two per cent less consumption due to better oil retention on a $20 item = $0.40 savings per 16L.

Bottom line? The lower-priced oil can actually end up costing much more than initially anticipated. The lower-priced oil can cost your kitchen $23.40 per 16L ($18+$5+$0.40) rather than $20. These are potentially sobering numbers for any restaurant operator and shows why outcome versus output of initial cash should be considered when making any purchasing decision for your kitchen, particularly when it comes to oils.


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good business By Jeff Dover Labour shortages in the hospitality industry have been a fact of life for over a generation. Complicating this situation is the significant business upturn restaurants experience in the weeks leading up to, and then throughout, the holiday season. After people return to work and school in early January, most restaurants experience relatively low demand – save Valentine’s Day – through the winter months. Thus, the challenge of finding the restaurant staff required to service the busy holiday period is real, especially knowing this period will be followed by months of reduced labour needs.

Create a hiring plan Review last year’s staffing needs and build a roster based on your past requirements. Do a forecast of covers to try to determine how busy you’ll be over the holidays. A hiring plan will help you do a better job of forecasting how much staffing you’ll need any given day or evening and how many more bodies you may need to hire. u CHEFCONNEXION.CA



So how do you plan your staffing for the holiday season? Determine your needs early

Prospective employees at any time of year should be told when the restaurant is busy over the holiday season and what days will require “all hands on deck.” The busiest period for most restaurants is the weeks leading up to the holiday break, really until the majority of people are off work. Expectations about when staff must be available should be communicated during the recruitment and hiring phase. Those hired to assist with the incremental demand leading up to the holidays should know upfront when they’ll need to be on deck. Exceptions to the “all hands on deck” requirement during this period should be limited.

I recommend forecasting three or four months in advance. That way you can give employees as much notice as possible and determine who might need to swap days or weeks off so that the schedule works as well as it can for everybody. If you are fair about giving people time off when they need it, they'll usually help you on the days you really need them.


Begin at recruitment


Quick tips to staff for the holidays • Start early so you’re not caught scrambling as the holidays approach. • Create a matrix to plot your staffing needs and revisit it seasonally. • Work with your existing staff to manage their schedules and ask for their support if you need to hire seasonal employees. • Be flexible in your demands. • Reward your staff for easing the holiday crunch.



Work with employees to accommodate as many requests as possible while ensuring sufficient staff are available to provide proper service during the period of peak demand. Longer holidays should be scheduled, if possible, in the low demand winter months. Advanced planning and scheduling make it easier for everyone. Working to schedule vacations throughout the year and ensuring that each staff member has as many timeoff requests approved as possible are important for staff morale.

Use staffing strategies Most of those working in foodservice work long hours up to and including Christmas Eve, receive Christmas off, and then are busy again Boxing Day and the days following. Restaurants typically close early Christmas Eve and reopen Boxing Day or later, providing a break for staff to celebrate with friends and family. If possible, extend this break by having half the staff take extra time before the shutdown and others take it after the shutdown. Your

restaurant staff will really appreciate your thoughtfulness and reward you with their loyalty.

Schedule vacations throughout the year Employees are often more accepting of demands during the restaurant’s peak period leading up to the holidays if their time-off requests are accommodated throughout the year. Management should constantly work with staff to plan vacation schedules in such a way that everyone gets holidays. While in foodservice we expect to work when others play, accommodating a reasonable number of time-off requests so staff members can attend events and functions important to them builds loyalty and willingness to put in the extra time when required.

Don’t forget to say thanks! The busy period leading up to the holiday season is probably the most stressful time in restaurants. You can alleviate this stress by consistently expressing gratitude for the extra effort and ensuring morale remains high. A post-holiday appreciation event for staff can be a great benefit, providing something to look forward to during the peak period, and, for longer-term staff an important annual event. Jeff Dover is a principal with fsSTRATEGY Inc., a niche consulting firm based in Toronto focused on assisting foodservice operators to enhance customer satisfaction, revenues and return on investment. For more information visit

Nikolaos Grilled Chicken, Peaches and Arugula

Today more than ever chefs are looking for innovative and easy ways to elevate their menus with tempting dishes. From seasonal salads, popular fajitas, delicious pastas or simple and nutritious wraps, Nikolaos fully cooked grilled chicken strips and breasts allow you to offer some delicious new menu options that are simple, quick and cost effective.

A proud Canadian family owned operation •

Bowl mentions were up 18.4% in the year-over-year period ending Q3 2016, according Technomic’s On the Menu Trends Webinar, with Asian bowl mentions up

10.9%. 46



Bowled Over By Lawrence Herzog The team at Hamilton’s recently opened Eatwell and Little Big Bowl are building a business serving snappy, exciting, affordable food in easy-to-transport bowls. “We’re focused on local and seasonal ingredients and making bowls that are healthy and satisfying,” says head chef Josh Wortley. With a menu that changes with the seasons, there is always a new flavour to try. “Every three to four weeks we are changing a component in the bowl with what is freshest,” Wortley says. Turns out that Eatwell and Little Big Bowl are part of a growing foodservice trend. Bowls of all sorts, from buildyour-own and breakfast bowls to globally-inspired bowls are adding new excitement for diners and presenting expanding opportunities for operators. At Eatwell and Little Big Bowl, a focus on sustainability extends to eatware and takeout ware, and all cutlery and bowls are biodegradable. When ordering, guests choose a base, then veggies, meat (if desired), sauce and toppings like edamame, seeds and toasted coconut. Team members work the ordering line and tell customers about ingredient sources so that they can make more informed choices. “Obviously food cost is always a big factor when deciding a menu, but our main focus was to use as many local suppliers as possible, and we wanted to provide value,” Wortley says. “Our goal with our base bowl, which is $9.99, was to provide a litre’s worth of healthy and satisfying food.” u




Some (other) worldly breakfast bowls Latin America Atole: Masa (corn hominy flour)-based, hot corn based beverage, made with piloncillo, cinnamon, vanilla and optional chocolate or fruit.

India Upma: Breakfast dish made from semolina or suji, served with coconut chutney, lime slices or lime pickle.

Middle East H'riss: Spiced chicken and wheat porridge. Burbura: Sweet porridge with wheat, nuts, spices.

Ethiopia Genfo: Thick barley porridge often served with butter or berbere (a mixture of spices such as chilli and ginger).

China Congee/Jook: Rice porridge with egg and pork, garnished with cilantro and fried wonton.

Brazil Angu: Cooked cornmeal flavoured with salt or chicken/beef broth. Often served with chicken and okra.

Source: McCormick Canada




CHANGING OF THE BOWLS Soups aren’t the only great place to repurpose ingredients. “Offering different daily bowls is a smart way to move a lot of produce and protein,” Chef Phil says. He suggests including sharable mini bowls in the appetizer section of the menu. “You can take what would have been a seafood chowder and turn it into a share board for three. It’s still the experience of comfort food but in a shareable format using what you already have in-house.”

TAKE STOCK OF YOUR OPTIONS “Good stock is just clean, basic flavour,” says Richard Calladonato, executive chef, Campbell Soup Company. “You’re not going to get notes of bitterness; you’re going to have a nice clarity to start your bowl. It makes every bowl much easier to make and saves a lot of time.” u

Offering different daily bowls is a smart way to move a lot of produce and protein GIVE THESE BOWLS A POKE With its mixture of raw cubes of seafood in a soy saucebased marinade, poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) is a flavourfilled version of sushi. It’s visually beautiful, healthy, easy to adapt, and very popular with millennials looking for new and interesting ways to experience seafood. “You’ve got sweet rice in the bottom that some operators are seasoning with togarashi and different flavours for customization,” says Philman George, corporate chef for High Liner Foods. “Add crunchy tempura bits and seaweed for a fantastic blend of textures, colours and flavours that is really enticing.” Don’t want to use raw fish in your poke? Try fully-cooked shrimp! Chef’s tip: Strategically position your ingredients in different quadrants of the bowl to showcase the colour contrast of your protein, starch and vegetables.




Today’s diners are eager for grain bowls, vegetable and gluten-free, Chef Richard says. “Take a vegetable stock and instead of noodles, think about toasted quinoa, some vegetables to keep things healthy and on trend. I think that’s the next level of bowls that we’re going to see.”

Chef Richard suggests: • Start with reduced sodium stock and shape flavours in a much more innovative way using great ingredients. Your guests will appreciate it. • Ignite your creativity. Build signature bowls with Mediterranean flair, craft vegetarian soups with unique flavours like chipotle.


Congee FACTS

Bowls by the numbers Data from Technomic show bowls are gaining market share: Customers like control over customization, propelling popularity of build-your-own bowls: 51% of fast casual customers said the ability to customize their order is “important” or “extremely important.”



• Get on trend with Pho from Vietnam and curries from Singapore, Malaysia, India and Thailand. • Be inspired with global influences like Modern Middle Eastern and North African and flavours like cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric in soups and stews.

GLOBAL BOWLS Global breakfast bowls filled with unique flavours and ingredients are one of the five top rising flavour trends McCormick identified in its Flavour Forecast 2017 ( Canadians are open to fusing different types of cuisines together to create a global mash-up of flavours and textures, and putting new twists on traditional breakfasts.

Hot cereal in North America is traditionally sweet, however many global hot cereal bowls are savoury. “These savoury grain bowls are the ideal carrier for meats, vegetables, purées and nuts, making them a protein-packed, delicious treat in the morning,” says McCormick Canada executive corporate chef Juriaan Snellen. (See recipe at Chef’s tip: When combined with ancient grains such as quinoa, breakfast bowls have the potential to be low-carb, gluten-free and nutrient rich options for the first meal of the day.

SKHUG FOR A KICK Think outside the box, Chef Juriaan urges, and start your diners’ day with a traditional Middle Eastern hash. Tender chickpeas, ground lamb or beef and butternut squash seasoned with a blend of coriander, cumin and fennel are the star of the bowl. Add skhug, a popular Middle Eastern hot sauce, for a tangy-savoury spiciness, and top it off with a dollop of creamy skhug ricotta and diced cucumber. (See recipe at:




to Your Tables


Thai Kitchen has one simple goal — to help you bring the Thai experience to your diners. Our high quality, authentic, easy-to-use Thai ingredients will make it easy to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Coconut Milk 400 mL Made from the pressing of fresh, ripe coconut meat, Thai Kitchen coconut milk is naturally processed in Thailand without preservatives or additives.

Red Curry Paste 992 g High on the heat scale (but generally more moderate than green curry), this red curry paste is a mix of fresh red chilis and aromatic spices, carefully blended to achieve layers of flavours perfect for Thai cuisine and more.

Green Curry Paste 992 g Aromatic herbs such as lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger) and fresh green chilis are harvested at their peak of freshness and carefully blended with fragrant spices for the perfect balance of flavours with a spicy kick. McCormick Canada Food Service ÂŽ Reg. TM McCormick & Co., Inc. Used under licence

Contact your foodservice sales representative for more information



Newfoundland & Maritimes

British Columbia / Prairies

Total Focus Sales & Marketing (800) 265-2513 email:

AGG Foods (450) 965-9782 email:

Ronahan Food Brokers (902) 468-6111 email:

Summit Marketing Canada Ldiv. (BC/AB/SK/MB) (604) 523-0332 email:


Soy & Togarashi Marinated Shrimp “Poke” Bowl I N G R E D I E NTS - 4 p or tions 24 pcs 31-40 ct Tail off Pacific White Shrimp, thawed M ARINADE FOR SHRIMP ¼ cup Japanese soy sauce 1/3 cup Mirin (or seasoned rice wine vinegar) 1 tsp Togarashi powder M ARINADE FOR SWEE T P OTATOES 3 cups Sweet potato, peeled, cut 1 cm dice ½ cup Vegetable oil 2 tbsps White miso 2 tbsps Maple syrup ¼ tsp Ground black pepper SAUCE 1 ¼ cup 1 ½ cup 1 tbsp 1 tbsp


Combine marinade ingredients and to shrimp. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes


Sweet Potato: Whisk together vegetable oil, miso, maple syrup, black pepper. Toss with cubes of sweet potato. Roast on parchment lined baking tray at 400 °F for approx. 20-25 minutes or when soft and caramelized. Set aside for service.


Sauce: Combine avocado, cilantro, lime juice, soy, mirin, and buttermilk in a blender. Puree on high speed until smooth. (hand blender will suffice)

4. Shrimp: in cast iron or non-stick skillet, sear shrimp 2-3 minutes over high heat until cooked through 5.

Avocado, peeled and pit removed Cilantro leaves Juice of 1 Lime Buttermilk Japanese soy sauce Mirin

GARN ISH 2 Pickled Serrano Chili’s, Sliced Thinly on bias 52



To plate: In large salad bowl, bed 1 cup of rice. Arrange in three piles on top of rice - ¼ cup sweet potato, 2 tbsps of drained edamame, and 6 marinated shrimp. 3 tbsp sauce drizzled across, and 1 tbsp sliced green onions sprinkled. Top with 6-8 slices of pickled red chili. Garnish with pinch of sesame seeds, few cilantro leaves, and approx. ½ sheet’s worth julienne nori. Serve.


This Spud’s for you!

Behold the humble potato – it’s a classic comfort food favourite, no matter the season or meal occasion. From appetizers to breakfast, sides to centre-plate, delicious and nutrient-rich potatoes offer plenty of versatility – bolstered by maximum profitability – to help bring all dishes to life. Here are five sensational spins on the beloved spud that are sure to please guests of any age. u By Alison Kent CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Potato Crust Gourmet Pizza

Creamy Potato and Vegetable Casserole

Onion Ring Fried Eggs

Panko Breaded Potato Croquettes



Potato Crust for Gourmet Pizza

Creamy Potato and Vegetable Casserole

Serves: 3 to 4

Serves: 3 to 4

For lunch, dinner or as a late-night snack, this golden crust – made with potatoes in place of the usual dough – is a crisp and creative base for any and all of your favourite pizza toppings. Try topping with pizza sauce, pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and shredded mozzarella; bake until bubbly, then sprinkle with sliced green onions before slicing into wedges. Or, for an innovative breakfast pizza, top with shredded Cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, crumbled bacon and sliced green onions.

For dinner or as a hearty lunch, this comforting casserole is perfect as a meatless main or served alongside roasted chicken. You may wish to blanch vegetables first to speed cook time along. Cooked potato wedges can be halved before casserole is baked for more evenly sized ingredients. The Parmesan cheese is optional, or you may choose to offer it on the side for sprinkling on at the table.


1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) olive oil

3 cups

Cavendish Farms® 3/8” Straight Cut

1 tsp (5 mL)

chopped fresh rosemary

½ tsp (2 mL)

each salt and pepper

2 tsp (10 mL)

olive oil


Cavendish Farms® 8-cut Wedge, Skin-on

½ tsp (2 mL)


¼ tsp (1 mL)


1 cup (250 mL)

small broccoli florets

1 cup (250 mL)

small cauliflower florets


1 cup (250 mL)

chopped sweet yellow or orange peppers

Place potatoes in food processor (you may need to work with a handful at a time, adding more once chopped); blend well, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice, until texture is like bread crumbs. Pulse in rosemary, salt and pepper.

½ cup (125 mL) chopped zucchini

Brush pizza pan with olive oil. Scrape crust mixture on pan, patting down, spreading and shaping to form a large, round crust.

Bake crust in preheated 450°F (230°C) oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven; top crust with desired pizza toppings. Return pizza to oven and continue baking until cheese is bubbly, 6 to 8 minutes.

Potatoes are naturally fat-free and sodium-free

½ cup (125 mL) thinly sliced carrots 2 cups (500 mL) prepared Alfredo sauce 2 tbsp (25 mL)

grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp (10 mL)

chopped fresh basil

¼ tsp (1 mL)

chili pepper flakes, optional


Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add oil, swirling to coat bottom of pan. Add potatoes; cook, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

In large bowl, toss broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini and carrots; add Alfredo sauce, half each of the cheese and the basil, and the chili flakes, mixing gently to coat. Gently mix in potatoes.

Scrape mixture in greased casserole dish or individual oven-safe gratin dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven until vegetables are tender and sauce is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil.

TIP: After baking, broil briefly to brown top of casserole or individual dishes before serving, if desired. CHEFCONNEXION.CA



Onion Ring-Wrapped Fried Eggs with Seasoned Hash

Panko-Breaded Potato Croquettes

Serves: 2 or 4

Top these appetizer-sized croquettes with herbed sour cream – with or without an additional piece of cooked bacon as garnish – and serve on a platter at a buffet table or as passed canapes. Feel free to double the first five ingredients as you’ll have more of the breading ingredients than is needed for this number of croquettes.

This creative breakfast entrée features over-easy eggs nestled in crisp onion rings with a well-seasoned twist on traditional hash browns. Serve as is, pair with sausages or bacon, or top grilled strip loin steak with an onion ringwrapped fried egg for brunch or dinner. Go with either one or two eggs per order along with some of the seasoned hash – this recipe makes enough hash browns for four servings. Onion rings can be baked ahead of time then popped into the skillet for finishing to order with fried eggs. INGREDIENTS: 4

Cavendish Farms® 1/2” Tempura Battered Onion Rings (select medium-to-large size rings)

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups (500 mL) Cavendish Farms® Country Cut ½ cup (125 mL)

shredded Havarti cheese

1 tbsp (15 mL)

grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp (15 mL)

chopped, cooked bacon

½ tsp (2 mL)

each salt and pepper

½ cup (125 mL)


¼ cup (50 mL)


1 cup (250 mL)

all-purpose flour

6 cups (1.5 L)

Cavendish Farms® Small Diced


eggs, beaten

1 tsp (5 mL)

Cajun spice blend

3 cups (750 mL)

panko bread crumbs

½ tsp (2 mL)

each salt and pepper

2 tbsp (25 mL)

butter (or vegetable oil)

¼ tsp (1 mL)

garlic powder


large eggs

METHOD: • Place onion rings in single layer on nonstick baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven, turning once, until golden and crisp, 14 to 16 minutes. Set aside. • Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add potatoes and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with Cajun spice blend, salt, pepper and garlic powder; set aside and keep warm. • Melt remaining butter in another large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place onion rings in single layer in skillet; crack an egg into each of the rings. Cook, turning once, until desired doneness of egg, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve with seasoned hash browns.

Potatoes are packed with as much or more potassium (620 mg) than either bananas, spinach, or broccoli 58

Serves: 4 (2 pieces each)


METHOD: • In pot of boiling water, add potatoes; reduce heat and simmer until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. • Place potatoes in potato ricer; press through and into bowl (there should be 2 cups). Add both cheeses, the bacon, salt and pepper; mix well. • Working with 1/4 cup of the mixture per croquette, form each into a round, slightly flattened round shape. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 8 croquettes. • Place milk in one small bowl, flour in another, beaten eggs in a third and panko in a fourth bowl. Dip each croquette into milk to coat; roll in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into eggs to coat; roll in panko, pressing lightly to ensure entire surface is coated. Repeat with remaining croquettes. • Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat; fry croquettes, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes.

Make a good morning




The morning meal accounts for over 1.4 billion restaurant visits (+8%) in Canada.* Breakfast has been growing 8% CAGR since June 2014* *SOURCE: THE NPD GROUP, CREST PCYA AUG 2016

Excellent as an ingredient in both wraps and breakfast sandwiches or as a dippable/sharable side. Cavendish Farms Hash Brown Sticks make for a convenient breakfast addition for customers on the go. COOKING INSTRUCTIONS





100 56210 41565 2


6 X 4 LB





350˚F / 2 min



BREAKFAST POTATOES Hash Brown Sticks • 1-800-561-7945

400˚F / 10 min 450˚F / 20-22 min


Potato Gnocchi Arrabbiata Serves: 4 Tender gnocchi in rich, rustic sauce is a comforting dinner classic – especially when enjoyed during colder weather months. Arrabbiata is a fiery tomato-based pasta sauce so be sure to add chili pepper flakes – either simmered in the sauce or made available for sprinkling at the table. INGREDIENTS: 3 cups (750 mL)

Cavendish Farms® Country Cut, prepped

1-1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour 1

large egg yolk

1 tsp (5 mL)

coarse kosher salt

1 tbsp (15 mL)

olive oil

ARRABBIATA SAUCE: 1 lb (500 g)

ground beef or ground pork

¼ tsp (1 mL)

each salt and pepper

4 cups (1 L)

prepared tomato-based pasta sauce

½ cup (125 mL)

beef stock

2 tbsp (25 mL)

prepared basil pesto

3 tbsp (45 mL)

grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD: • In large pot of boiling water, add potatoes; reduce heat and simmer until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. • Place potatoes in potato ricer; press through and into bowl (there should be 3 cups). Add 1 cup of the flour; mix well. Add egg yolk and salt; mix. • Transfer mixture to well-floured work surface; with floured hands, knead just until dough comes together and forms a ball, adding up to 1/4 cup of the remaining flour, if necessary. • Divide dough into 4 pieces; roll each into 3/4-inch diameter rope. Cut each rope diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces. • In large pot of boiling water, cook gnocchi in 2 batches, stirring gently, until floating, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large shallow bowl and toss gently with olive oil. • Arrabbiata Sauce: Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, brown meat over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until cooked through. Drain off fat. Season meat with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta sauce, beef stock and pesto; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. • Gently fold in gnocchi; heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.





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Fall/Winter 2017 Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jane Auster Chef Connexion is published twice a year by Greenbridge Foodservice in partnership with the following distributor members: ADL Foods 400 Read Drive Summerside, Prince Edward Island C1N 5A9 888-235-6455

N ex t Issue: SPRIN G/SUM M ER 2018 For the upcoming Chef Connexion, we’ll once again take the pulse of the Canadian restaurant industry to bring you plenty of practical information. You can look forward to carefully researched, lively articles about topics that mean the most to you and your profitability. What’s more, we’ll shine the spotlight on the many great ways you can take advantage of Brand Points PLUS.

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Chef Connexion Fall / Winter 2017  

English version

Chef Connexion Fall / Winter 2017  

English version