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Relationship Advice: Your Food Purveyors

Relationship Advice: Your Food Purveyors

by David Klemt

An AI-generated image of a restaurant receiving their food delivery through the front

“When visiting City, stop by Food Comipany for a food.”

Operators are facing challenges when it comes to their food purveyors, and as Chef Brian Duffy says, the issues don’t all boil down to rising costs.

By now, Chef Duffy needs no introduction. However, he contributes so much to the hospitality industry that I’m going to boast a bit on his behalf.

As the founder and principal of Duffified Experience Group, Chef Duffy has opened more than 100 restaurants. In fact, I believe he passed the 110-restaurant mark this year during the National Restaurant Association show.

Speaking of that show, he has presented multiple sessions at industry events over the past several years. Further, Chef Duffy leads the F&B Innovation Center at the annual Bar & Restaurant Expo in Las Vegas.

On the topic of presentations and education, he recently spoke at the inaugural Flyover Conference. You can check out more of our coverage of this brand-new show here and here.

This is all, of course, to say nothing of his television appearances.

Now, if you’re a regular consumer of KRG Hospitality articles, you know I love a Chef Duffy live menu read. I firmly believe that the asides he throws out while addressing even a single menu offer more value than most dedicated menu webinars or menu-engineering conference sessions.

Chef Duffy’s Flyover session, however, represented a departure from his menu reads. Due in part to the frustration he, operators, and kitchen teams across North America are facing in terms of inventory, Chef Duffy addressed the relationship between operators and their food purveyors.

Repairing a Toxic Relationship

Allow me a couple caveats before we jump in. If you’re happy with your food purveyors, awesome. Should you truly feel you’re getting the most out of the relationships with your food supplier partners, not all of this advice is for you. Additionally, Chef Duffy’s Flyover session wasn’t an attack on national food suppliers. At risk of speaking for him, it appears his issues have arisen from specific reps, not the major companies themselves.

That said, I have a suspicion that if you really sit down and review your supplier relationshipsencouraging feedback from your leadership and kitchen teamsyou’ll find that things could be better.

Chef Duffy reviews a lot of menus. Whether reviewing one for a client or performing a live reads, he’s seen some things. And one of those things is that it appears national food purveyors have been handed too much control.

This is unfortunate, because this relationship should be a partnership, not a dictatorship. Further, if every operator is buying the same ingredients, it makes sense that most menus will be similar.

“If we’re all being sold the same products, we’re being told what to put on our menus,” said Chef Duffy at Flyover. “And we’re all doing the same thing.”

So, how do we turn this situation around? We stop being dependent or co-dependent, and we start developing reciprocal relationships.

Your food purveyor reps need to come into your restaurant on your schedule. Too many operators are only seeing reps when something has gone wrong with an order.

In other words, if your rep expects to earn your business, they need to meet your expectations: that they’ll actually work with you in a mutually beneficial way.

Let the Healing Begin

Okay, I’m being a bit cheeky with this topic. That doesn’t mean I’m not serious about helping operators improve their relationships with their food purveyors.

To that end, here’s how Chef Duffy works with his reps. He has a rep who comes into one of his venues every Tuesday from 2 to 2:30 pm. This arrangement is, again, mutually beneficial: the rep comes in at noon for lunch, completes his other work, then meets with Duffy at the arranged time.

During the scheduled weekly meeting, Chef Duffy tells this rep what he’s thinking of doing that week. He asks what the rep can do for him, then asks what the rep what he needs to sell. It’s important that you make your rep work for you, but also that you talk to them and see where you can be helpful.

Of course, you’d think this would be the approach every rep prefers. Well, in Chef Duffy’s experience, this just isn’t the case.

Recently, he asked a different rep from a different food purveyor to find him a specific product. Put simply, Chef Duffy didn’t want the products this rep was trying to unload on him. This was apparently too much work because this rep has gone radio silent ever since. Because of this, this food supplier no longer has this account.

Had the rep been interested in an actual professional relationship rather than just focusing on what he “needed” to sell, he’d still be servicing the restaurant.

Be the Change

If that anecdote feels familiar, it’s time to find new partners. Luckily, Chef Duffy has a suggestion you can use today.

Look at the smaller, regional purveyors who service your market. See what they can offer you, and compare their prices to those of your current, national suppliers.

You’ll likely find an impressive portfolio with appealing pricing. Moreover, these smaller companies want to land new accounts and work with you.

Remember, it’s your restaurant. You brought your concept into the real world. You’ve done the work to build your business, and it’s your menu.

Review your food purveyor relationship today, schedule time to sit down with your reps this week (or month), and develop the relationships your business needs.

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The World’s Best Restaurant: 2024

Barcelona is Home to the 2024 World’s Best Restaurant

by David Klemt

Plénitude restaurant in Paris, France, number 18 on the 2024 World's 50 Best Restaurants list

Plénitude restaurant in Paris, France, number 18 on the 2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Winner of the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2024.

Revealed at an awards ceremony hosted by Wynn Las Vegas, The World’s Best Restaurant—and The Best Restaurant in Europe—is located in Barcelona, Spain.

Helmed by three incredible chefs, Disfrutar earned the number-one spot on the 2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Providing a hint of what guests can expect, the restaurant’s name translates to “Enjoy.”

Interestingly, the trio of chefsOriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruchwere members of the senior creative team at El Bulli. To provide a measure of context, El Bulli clinched the top spot on the very first World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2002. The legendary restaurant would go on to earn number one again in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

So, it’s not a stretch to say that when Chefs Oriol, Casañas, and Xatruch opened Disfrutar in 2014, the restaurant world expected amazing achievements. By 2018, the three chefs led their restaurant to a debut on the 2018 World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking, finding themselves at number 18. Just a year later, Disfrutar reached number nine on the list.

For our Canadian and American readers, I’m going to reveal two bits of news now. First, there are no Canadian restaurants on this year’s top 50 list. That means that taken together with the expanded, 51 to 100 ranking, Canada is a no-show.

Second, only two American restaurants landed among the 50 best restaurants in the world. One is in New York, the other, California. There are three other American restaurantstwo in New York City and one in Chicagoon the expanded list. However, a Los Angeles restaurant, Kato, bagged the Resy One To Watch Award 2024.

In contrast, Mexico City is home to three restaurants in the top 50, as Lima and Tokyo. Paris and Bangkok each boast four restaurants, grabbing the most spots.

Salud to Disfrutar, and cheers to every restaurant team that earned their way onto the 2024 list!

World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024: 50 to 11

  1. Uliassi (Senigallia, Ancona, Italy)
  2. La Colombe (Cape Town, South Africa)(New entry)
  3. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Gorizia, Slovenia)
  4. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Graubünden, Switzerland)
  5. SingleThread (Healdsburg, California, US)(Re-entry)
  6. Arpège (Paris, Île-de-France, France)(Re-entry)
  7. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)(New entry)
  8. Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)(Sustainable Restaurant Award 2024)
  9. Ikoyi Restaurant St. James’s (London, England, UK)
  10. Mayta (Lima, Peru)
  11. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
  12. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Piedmont, Italy)
  13. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)(Re-entry)
  14. Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)(Re-entry)
  15. The Jane (Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium)
  16. Frantzén (Stockholm, Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden)
  17. Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
  18. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)
  19. Den (Tokyo, Kantō, Japan)
  20. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
  21. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)
  22. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
  23. Elkano (Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain)
  24. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)(The World’s Best Female Chef 2024: Chef Janaína Torres)
  25. The Chairman (Hong Kong)(Highest Climber Award 2024)
  26. El Chato (Bogotá, Distrito Capital, Colombia)
  27. Odette (Singapore)
  28. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)(Re-entry)
  29. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
  30. Floriège (Tokyo, Kantō, Japan)
  31. Wing (Hong Kong)(New entry)(Highest New Entry Award 2024)
  32. Reale (Castel di Sangro, L’Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy)
  33. Plénitude (Paris, France)(Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2024)
  34. Kol (London, England, UK)
  35. Kjolle (Lima, Peru)
  36. Sézanne (Tokyo, Kantō, Japan)
  37. Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante, Spain)
  38. Trèsind Studio (Dubai, UAE)
  39. Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy)
  40. Septime (Paris, France)

World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 10 to 1

  1. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)(Beronia World’s Best Sommelier Award 2024: Pablo Rivero)
  2. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)
  3. Alchemist (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  4. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
  5. Atomix (New York City, New York, US)
  6. Maido (Lima, Peru)(Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2024: Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura)
  7. Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)
  8. Table by Bruno Verjus (Paris, France)
  9. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Biscay, Spain)
  10. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)

DISFRUTAR, BARCELONA, IS NAMED NO.1 IN THE LIST OF THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2024

  • Disfrutar in Barcelona is named The Best Restaurant in Europe and The World’s Best Restaurant 2024, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
  • Announced this evening at an awards ceremony in Las Vegas, the 2024 ranking includes restaurants from 26 territories in five continents worldwide and introduces three restaurants making their list debut
  • Neil Perry, original founder of Rockpool Group in Australia and current chef-owner of Margaret in Sydney, receives the Woodford Reserve Icon Award
  • Paris-based Nina Métayer wins The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2024, sponsored by Sosa
  • The Beronia World’s Best Sommelier Award 2024 is presented to Pablo Rivero of Don Julio, Buenos Aires
  • Wing in Hong Kong earns the Highest New Entry Award
  • The Highest Climber Award, sponsored by Highstreet World, goes to The Chairman, Hong Kong
  • Nobelhart & Schmutzig in Berlin is announced as the winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award
  • Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura from Maido in Lima receives the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2024

5 June 2024 – The world of gastronomy came together in the neon-lit city of Las Vegas in the United States this evening to celebrate and recognise The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, with Barcelona’s Disfrutar named The World’s Best Restaurant and The Best Restaurant in Europe. The awards ceremony, hosted at Wynn Las Vegas, honours the very best gastronomic talent from 26 territories across five continents.

Disfrutar, the Barcelona restaurant run by the skilled chef trio of Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, is named The World’s Best Restaurant 2024, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua
Panna, succeeding the 2023 winner, Central in Lima, which now enjoys an elevated position in the Best of the Best hall of fame

Ranked at No.2 in the 2023 list, Disfrutar is famed for modern techniques and beautiful ingredients, resulting in an experience that subverts traditional fine dining in a completely surprising way. The tasting menu showcases a Mediterranean identity with avant-garde flavours to deliver daring contemporary food that is truly thought-provoking. Disfrutar is followed in the ranking by Asador Etxebarri (No.2) in Atxondo and Table by Bruno Verjus (No.3) in Paris.

William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, comments: “It is with great excitement that we announce the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and honour the iconoclastic Disfrutar as The World’s Best Restaurant. The team, led by Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, has shown extraordinary dedication to its craft, amazing and delighting diners with every dish on its extensive menu. This year sees the culinary community celebrate a truly global list featuring restaurants across 26 territories, demonstrating that the appetite for diversity and excellence in hospitality shows no sign of waning.”

Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, the chef-owner of Maido in Lima, wins the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2024, the only award to be voted for by his peers, in light of his dedication to putting Peru onto the world culinary stage, evidenced by Maido’s position as No.1 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2023.

Australian chef and restaurateur Neil Perry – whose restaurant portfolio has included the legendary Rockpool Bar & Grill, Rosetta and Spice Temple, as well as his latest venture, Margaret – has enjoyed a career spanning more than 45 years and is now rewarded with the Woodford Reserve Icon Award. Perry is arguably his country’s most influential chef and is known for his visionary interpretations of Modern Australian and Asian cuisines.

Nina Métayer is named The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2024, sponsored by Sosa. Métayer’s sculptural creations have garnered attention the world over and her beautiful work is inspiring a new generation of pastry chefs.

Restaurants from four new cities have entered or re-entered the list, with La Colombe in Cape Town (No.49), SingleThread in Healdsburg (No.46), Oteque in Rio de Janeiro (No.37), and Mingles in Seoul (No.44), showing the awards’ ever-expanding international footprint in recognising the best restaurants across the globe.

Based in Hong Kong, chef Vicky Cheng’s Wing (No.20) is recognised with the Highest New Entry Award 2024, and The Chairman (No.26) – also in Hong Kong – bags the Highest Climber Award 2024, sponsored by Highstreet World. The Chairman moves up 24 spots from the 2023 list and was also recognised as The Best Restaurant in Hong Kong by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024.

The Beronia World’s Best Sommelier Award is presented to Pablo Rivero, sommelier and owner of Don Julio, Buenos Aires. Previously recognised as Latin America’s Best Sommelier 2022 as part of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Rivero is known for his championing of the region’s wine and his thoughtful pairings with local produce.

Berlin’s Nobelhart & Schmutzig (No.43) is announced as the winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award, in recognition of its unerring advocacy for better agricultural policies and the voices of producers. Its ‘brutally local’ ethos is testament to its personal relationships with farmers and growers, allowing the team to offer a truly regional and seasonal menu.

The evening also celebrated those honoured with pre-announced special awards. These included: Champions of Change winners Jessica Rosval and Caroline Caporossi – founders of Roots in Modena, a social enterprise restaurant that hosts a training programme for migrant women – and João Diamante of Diamantes Na Cozinha in Rio de Janeiro, founder of a culinary initiative which creates opportunities for young people in vulnerable situations; Janaína Torres, winner of The World’s Best Female Chef Award; Plénitude in Paris, which was presented with the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award; and Kato, Los Angeles, which picked up the Resy One To Watch Award.

The Voting Process

The list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 is created from the votes of 1,080 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The gender-balanced Academy is comprised of 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 40 members including an Academy Chair. No sponsor from the event has any influence over the voting process.

Professional services consultancy Deloitte independently adjudicates The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, including the ranking from 1-50. This adjudication ensures that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting lists are protected.

Best of the Best

Those in the elite group of No.1 ranked restaurants (listed below) have delivered on their exemplary reputations time and again and will be forever honoured as iconic dining destinations in the Best of the Best hall of fame. The chefs and restaurateurs who have led these restaurants to the pinnacle of the list have expressed their desire to invest in the future of the sector and ‘give back’ to the food world through new projects and innovation. The following restaurants have been named No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since the list’s inception and were therefore not eligible for voting in 2024:

  • El Bulli (2002, 2006-2009)
  • The French Laundry (2003-2004)
  • The Fat Duck (2005)
  • Noma – original location (2010-2012, 2014)
  • El Celler de Can Roca (2013, 2015)
  • Osteria Francescana (2016, 2018
  • Eleven Madison Park (2017)
  • Mirazur (2019)
  • Noma – current location (2021)
  • Geranium (2022)
  • Central (2023)

See above for the 2024 one through fifty ranking.

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’24 World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 51 to 100

2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurants: 51 to 100

by David Klemt

Interior of Saint Peter restaurant in Sydney, Australia

Saint Peter restaurant in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, number 98 on the 2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, numbers 51 through 100.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is excited to announce numbers 51 through 100 on this year’s list ahead of the awards ceremony in Las Vegas on June 5.

Those who are curious or in need of a refresher can click here for last year’s 51 through 100. Our coverage on numbers 1 through 50 from 2023 is here.

More than 1,000 independent votersconsisting of chefs, journalists, and foodies on the gohelped to form this year’s list. These same experts cast their votes to create the 2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurant ranking, numbers one through fifty.

But let’s get back to restaurants 51 through 100. Twelve of the extended list are new entries to the list. That means that a quarter of the back 50 restaurant are new to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Along those lines, three are re-entries. These restaurants are Mil in Cusco, Peru; Willem Hiele in Oudenburg, West Flanders, Belgium; and Indian Accent in New Delhi, India.

Just three of the restaurants on the extended list are in the US, with one in Chicago and two in New York City. Unfortunately, none are located in Canada. Hopefully, at least one restaurant in the Great White North will find itself ranked somewhere among the top fifty.

Now, I don’t often defer to a press release to provide you with more information. However, everything you could want to know about not just this half of the list but also the awards ceremony on June 5 in Las Vegas is included in the official press release below. This includes how to watch the awards live as each restaurant and their position is revealed.

Congratulations to restaurants 51 through 100 for 2024! And cheers and good luck to numbers one through fifty!

A landscape-orientation chart of the 2024 World's 50 Best Restaurants, numbers 51 through 100

THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS ANNOUNCES THE 51-100 LIST FOR 2024

The extended list is unveiled ahead of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 awards ceremony in Las Vegas on 5 June

22 May 2024 – The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, today reveals the list of restaurants ranked from No.51 to No.100, ahead of this year’s awards ceremony, which takes place in Las Vegas on 5 June. The extended 51-100 list features restaurants across six continents and is compiled from the votes of 1,080 independent experts from the world of gastronomy, from food journalists and globally renowned chefs to travelling gastronomes. Each has contributed their votes to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, with the full list to be revealed two weeks from today, live on stage.

The 51-100 List in Numbers

  • The 51-100 list includes 12 new entries from 11 different cities, ranging from Berlin and Mumbai to Seoul and Sydney
  • The 51-100 list includes restaurants in 23 territories across six continents
  • 13 entries are from Asia, 23 from Europe, six from North America, five from South America, one from the Middle East, one from Africa and one from Oceania
  • The highest new entry in the 51-100 list is Atelier Moessmer Norbert Niederkofler in Brunico, Italy, at No.52

Europe gains six new entries to the list this year, including Atelier Moessmer Norbert Niederkofler (No.52) in Brunico; Coda (No.62) in Berlin; Bozar (No.63) in Brussels; Le Doyenné (No.70) in Saint-Vrain; Restaurant Jan (No.84) in Munich and Mountain (No.94) in London.

France leads the way with four further restaurants, including: Flocons de Sel (No.76) in Megève; La Grenouillère (No.77) in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil; Alléno Paris Au Pavillon Ledoyen (No.79) in Paris and Ceto (No.85) in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin also represented. Four further restaurants in the UK are represented on the extended list, with Brat (No.65), The Clove Club (No.80), Lyle’s (No.87) and Core by Clare Smyth (No.97) all claiming a spot.

Germany boasts a total of four entries in the ranking, with Ernst (No.75) in Berlin and Tantris (No.88) in Munich, also placing. Three restaurants from Spain are voted into the extended list: Enigma
(No.59) in Barcelona, Aponiente (No.72) in El Puerto de Santa María and Mugaritz (No.81) in San Sebastián. Italy is also represented by Le Calandre (No.51) in Rubano, while Belgium’s Willem Hiele, in Oudenburg, returns to the list at No.83. One restaurant from Denmark and Turkey each place in the ranking, in the form of Kadeau (No.54) in Copenhagen and Neolokal (No.91) in Istanbul, respectively.

Asia welcomes new entries from Masque in Mumbai (No.78), as well as Mosu (No.86) and Onjium (No.96), both in Seoul, alongside a return for New Delhi’s Indian Accent (No.89). Three Japanese
restaurants feature on the list: Narisawa, Tokyo (No.56), La Cime, Osaka (No.66) and Sazenka, Tokyo (No.93). Mainland China is represented by Fu He Hui, Shanghai at No.69, while Singapore has three placements, including Burnt Ends at No.68, Labyrinth at No.92 and Meta at No.95. Two Thai restaurants place in the ranking with Potong at No.57 and Nusara at No.74, both located in Bangkok.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants continues to recognise North America’s flourishing gastronomy with new entries Smyth, in Chicago, at No.90 and Fauna, in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, at No.100. Two further restaurants from Mexico feature: Guadalajara’s Alcalde at No.67 and Mexico City’s Sud 777 at No.82. From the US, Le Bernadin in New York is at No.71 while Cosme, also in New York, is at No.99.

South America claims five entries on the extended list. Bogotá’s Leo – from The World’s Best Female Chef 2022, Leonor Espinosa – places at No.53. Mérito, Lima comes in at No.55, while Cusco’s Mil is at No.73. Lasai in Rio de Janeiro is at No.58 and Nuema, Quito – home to The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2023, Pía Salazar – is voted No.61.

Cape Town’s Fyn, winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award 2023, places at No.60, while Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro is at No.64. Australia is represented in the extended ranking by Sydney’s Saint Peter, led by chef Josh Niland, which places at No.98.

William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, comments: “This year’s extended list is a true representation of global gastronomy. With restaurants located across six
continents, we’re thrilled to see so many new entries from exciting names that are making their mark on the dining world. Huge congratulations to all the restaurants and teams on this year’s
extended list; we look forward to celebrating their successes together at next month’s awards ceremony in Las Vegas.”

The Voting Process

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list is voted for by 1,080 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The
gender-balanced Academy comprises 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 40 members including a chairperson. No sponsor from the event has any influence over the voting process.

Professional services consultancy Deloitte independently adjudicates The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, including the ranking from 51-100. This adjudication ensures that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting lists are protected.

Results

The awards ceremony for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 is being held in Las Vegas on Wednesday 5 June and will also be streamed live on the 50 Best Facebook channel via the link here
and the YouTube channel via the link here. The announcement of the list and individual awards can be followed via the 50 Best social media channels, with the livestream beginning at 20:25 (Las Vegas time) and 04:25 UK time.

50 Best Social Media

Follow on Instagram: @TheWorlds50Best #Worlds50Best

Follow on X: @TheWorlds50Best

Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/50BestRestaurants

Subscribe to the YouTube channel: 50 Best Restaurants TV

About The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Since 2002, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has reflected the diversity of the world’s culinary landscape. The annual list of the world’s most prestigious restaurants provides a snapshot of some of the best destinations for unique culinary experiences, in addition to being a barometer for and a pioneer of global gastronomic trends. The 50 Best family also includes Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, The World’s 50 Best Hotels, The World’s 50 Best Bars, Asia’s 50 Best Bars, North America’s 50 Best Bars, 50 Best Discovery and the #50BestTalks series, all of which are owned and run by William Reed. 50 Best aims to bring together communities across the hospitality sector to foster collaboration,
inclusivity, diversity and discovery and help drive positive change.

About the host city: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide and with operating the 4.6 million square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). With nearly 155,000 hotel rooms and more than 15 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space in Las Vegas alone, the LVCVA’s mission centres on attracting leisure and business visitors to the area. The LVCVA also owns the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop designed and operated by The Boring Company, and also owns the Las Vegas Monorail, an elevated 3.9-mile system with seven stops throughout the resort corridor. For more information, go to www.lvcva.com, www.visitlasvegas.com or www.vegasmeansbusiness.com.

About the main sponsor: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna

S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are the main partners of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.

Our partners:

  • The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority (LVCVA) – Official Host City
  • Wynn Las Vegas – Official Host Hotel Partner
  • S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna – Main Partner & Official Water Partner; sponsor of The World’s Best Restaurant Award
  • Estrella Damm – Official Beer Partner; sponsor of the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award
  • Resy & American Express – Official Booking Platform and Credit Card Partner; sponsor of Resy One To Watch Award; presenting partner of 50 Best Signature Sessions
  • Gin Mare – Official Gin Partner; sponsor of Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award
  • Woodford Reserve – Official American Whiskey Partner, sponsor of the Woodford Reserve Icon Award
  • Sosa – Official Ingredients Partner; sponsor of The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award
  • Beronia – Official Wine Partner; sponsor of the Beronia World’s Best Sommelier Award
  • Aspire Lifestyles – Official Concierge Partner
  • Lee Kum Kee – Official Sauce and Condiment Partner
  • Dassai Sake – Official Sake Partner
  • Kaviari – Official Caviar Partner
  • Hwayo – Official Soju Partner
  • illycaffè – Official Coffee Partner
  • Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte – Official Champagne Partner
  • Tequila Ocho – Official Tequila Partner
  • The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. – Official Whiskey of the World Partner
  • Cinco Jotas – Official Iberico Ham Partner
  • Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur – Official Mexican Liqueur Partner
  • Three Cents – Official Mixers Partner
  • Highstreet World – Official Metaverse Partner, sponsor of the Highest Climber Award
  • Nude Glass – Official Glassware Partner
  • Jaén Selección – Official Olive Oil Partner
  • Resorts World Las Vegas – Official Welcome Dinner & Closing Party Partner
  • The Venetian Resort Las Vegas – Official Partner

Image: Saint Peter in Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Chef Duffy x NRA Show: Balance

Chef Duffy x NRA Show: Balance

by David Klemt

Street art-style, AI-generated image of a chef holding a color-coded recipe sheet

Those would be some pretty rad sleeves in real life.

I’m not done with the invaluable menu tips and tricks shared by Chef Brian Duffy during his 2024 National Restaurant Association Show live menu reads.

The KRG Hospitality team attends and speaks at multiple hospitality industry trade shows, conferences, and expos each year. When reviewing the education on offer, I always search for Chef Duffy’s name to see if he’s doing live menu reads.

And why have I developed this habit? Simple: The amount of insights one can take back to their business and implement immediately. Consider the impact one of Chef Duffy’s asides can have just on the guest experience.

As an example, when addressing the burger section of an anonymous operator’s menu, he casually mentioned that he always adds two slices of cheese to a cheeseburger to fill the top out more.

There’s also his tip for housemade, signature seasoning blends. Don’t make a quart, make ten pounds and store the blend in a flat tray, labeled clearly. Chef Duffy’s reads aren’t a breakdown of tips that only the operator who submitted the menu will find beneficial; everyone who pays attention will walk away with valuable advice.

At this year’s NRA Show, Chef Duffy had only enough time to get through three menu reads. However, he still packed his session with helpful advice. So, after reviewing all the notes I took, I decided I’d need to write two articles.

Let’s go!

Achieving Balance: Food Costs

In yesterday’s article, available here, I touched on one of Chef Duffy’s key points: achieving balance.

He made this point in response to a sports bar menu that had a couple pricing issues. One involved add-ons, with two slices of bacon costing $3.50 while a chicken breast was six dollars. And then there were the daily specials: two Chicago-style hotdogs cost more than a burger.

However, there’s more to balancing a menuand the kitchenthan ensuring pricing makes sense to guests.

By now, we’ve all heard and read ad nauseam that costs are rising. In fact, we’ve all experienced these increases. Streamlining the menu, including production, can help mitigate this issue.

As Chef Duffy said during his menu reads, he’d rather execute 25 items perfectly than produce 50 items that suck. I can say that we wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.

In part, we agree because we favor smaller menus. Offering fewer menu items made perfectlyconsistently so—with cross-utilized ingredients as often as possible reduces food costs. There’s also that pesky paradox of choice inherent to a bloated menu.

But there’s another benefit: kitchen team satisfaction and retention. An overwhelmed kitchen team is an unhappy kitchen team, and an unhappy kitchen team will look for the exits. Losing a single team member costs an operator thousands of dollars, let alone an entire team.

Achieving Balance: Labor Costs

This is probably my favorite tip from this round of live menu reads: Chef Duffy color codes his recipes and menus in the development stage.

An operator can realize multiple benefits from this approach to menu programming. Among these is a visual representation of how many dishes are being prepped and produced by each station.

Color-coding the recipes and menu allows an operator, their leadership team, and kitchen team to avoid, as Chef Duffy put it, hammering a specific station. I’ll also opine that this technique can help identify any labor or skill gaps (or redundancies).

Chef Duffy’s method of menu development also helps operators balance their menus before they ever reach their guests’ hands. Case in point: One menu Chef Duffy reviewed in Chicago listed a single item underneath its own menu section. That’s not great balance.

I think every restaurant and bar operator can benefit from this tip, whether a visual, auditory, reading, or kinesthetic learner.

Achieving Balance: All Hands

A restaurant or bar doesn’t achieve success due to the efforts of a single person. So, why do so many concepts maintain silos?

When Chef Duffy prices a menu, he doesn’t do so alone. Rather, he involves the owner (or owners) of the business, the kitchen manager, and the head chef.

The word “culture” is thrown around a lot these days, nearly to the point that the word has lost its meaning. An operator who truly wants to build a positive work and brand culture needs buy-in from their team. A great way to not achieve that is to avoid transparency.

So, share numbers with the appropriate parties. A head chef needs to know the kitchen’s numbers if they ever hope to achieve the title “executive chef.” The leader who oversees the kitchen team can’t do their job effectively if they don’t know what the kitchen costs the business and what revenue it generates.

And a team that doesn’t feel trusted or appreciatedand that there’s no opportunity to develop as a hospitality professional to grow in this industry—is one that won’t hesitate to leave for better employment.

To that end, Chef Duffy strongly recommends that operators spend an hour per week with each kitchen team member. After all, as Chef Duffy pointed out, if an operator’s vision isn’t being executed, they have only themselves to blame.

An operator can’t expect to achieve consistency without working to achieve balance. Without consistency, a sustainable, scalable business is unachievable.

Image: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This image was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

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Chef Duffy x NRA Show: Live Menu Read

Chef Duffy x NRA Show: Live Menu Read

by David Klemt

Graffiti of crossed chef's knives underneath a baseball cap that reads, "D.E.G."

Chef Brian Duffy crushed it in Chicago at the 2024 National Restaurant Association Show.

We’re sharing tips from Chef Brian Duffy‘s live menu reads at this year’s National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.

These informative sessions are always standouts at industry trade shows and conferences. Both the operator who submits their menu anonymously and the audience gain valuable insight into menu programming and development.

In ten minutes or less, the Chef Duffy shares wisdom that’ll boost guest engagement; streamline and energize the kitchen; and help save on labor and food costs. And he won’t even Bar Rescue anyone who submits a menu. That is to say, no, he doesn’t yell at anyone while giving them tips for fixing their menu.

As Chef Duffy pointed out during his latest live menu reads, an operator’s menu has the potential to create generational wealth. However, it must be programmed properly for it to reach that potential.

So, ask yourself a question right now about your menu: Would you be proud for your menu, in its current state, to be plastered across a billboard? If not, I have another question for you: Why aren’t you taking the time to rectify that situation?

Your menu is your concept’s billboard. Treat it as such.

Oh, and one note for the NRA Show before we dive in: These sessions deserve at least two hours. One hour just isn’t enough given how impactful Chef Duffy’s live menu reads are for operators.

Menu Programming 101

There’s a logical reason why Chef Duffy is never short on menus to review. In fact, he addressed the situation directly at the 2024 NRA Show.

“Everybody has the same shit on their menu,” he stated frankly.

One explanation for why menus seem so similar makes a lot of sense.

“We’ve been told what to put on our menu buy our purveyors,” said Chef Duffy during his live menu read.

For the most part, operators are given the same product catalogs. These are circulated nationally, not regionally. So, everyone is ordering the same items. Clearly, Chef Duffy is fed up with this situation.

“We’re not here to do the same things that everyone else is,” declared Chef Duffy. “I don’t want to see that anymore.”

Menu #1: Sports Bar

This first menu featured a vibrant design that instilled a sense of patriotism. Chef Duffy theorized that he’d feel good spending time in this space, based on the menu’s appearance.

However, he wasn’t a fan of the layout of the menu. Taking up valuable real estate was a large catering ad, placed directly in the center.

In the top left were salads. “‘Add chicken to any salad,'” read Chef Duffy. “No shit. Why are we stopping at chicken? We can add anything to a salad.”

Based on his knowledge of food costs and the menu’s pricing, Chef Duffy deduced that the operator’s food costs were too high. In fact, he estimated that food costs were more than 31 percent. The burgers, he surmised, were running a 35-percent cost.

By the way, Chef Duffy always puts two slices of cheese on his burgers to fill the top out more. This delivers a more visually appealing experience, and a better bite.

On the topic of pricing, operators must maintain balance. For example, this first menu priced the addition of two slices of bacon at $3.50, but a chicken breast was six dollars. Two Chicago hotdogs cost more than a burger.

Menu #2: Breakfast Spot

Unfortunately, the operator committed one of Chef Duffy’s deadliest menu sins. There was a photo of the restaurant’s steak and eggs.

Worse, the image showed a rather large steak paired with a commodity egg. If this dish doesn’t leave the kitchen looking exactly like the picture, guests are going to be underwhelmed and unimpressed. Further, why are operators still trying to save money by buying commodity eggs?

However, there was a second deadly menu sin committed by the operator. Given the overall perception this menu delivered, the claim that at least one dish featured “wild-caught crab” didn’t ring true to Chef Duffy.

I’m confident in saying that I think lying on a menu may provoke Chef Duffy’s wrath more than a photo.

“If you lie to me on your menu, I will tear you apart,” he stated quite strongly.

That said, he did like the menu’s design (minus the photos). Even better, he recognized that there were several inventive spins on breakfast classics. Remember, “We’re not here to do the same things that everyone else is.”

Menu #3: Sports Bar

To be honest, I was expecting this type of menu. In fact, I thought it would be the first menu design encountered during this session.

Essentially, it was a collection of what everyone else has on their menus.

As an example, there were wings on the menu, and the sauces were anything but creative. Chef Duffy didn’t address it but they were also listed without commas, so they appeared to be one long, run-on sentence of a sauce.

The most glaring issues, however, were the pasta and the dessert. Both sections contained just a single item. That’s rightthere was an entire section dedicated to one pasta dish. Moreover, it’s not like there were a number of modifiers one could select to personalize their pasta.

This was the item description underneath the dessert section (designated as “Closers”): “Dessert of the week – $8 Please ask your server for details.” There’s a significant issue with that description and placement, as identified by Chef Duffy.

If a menu includes desserts, the guest is likely going to forget about them after they’ve ordered their starter and entree. It’s far more effective to have a dessert tray or cart and train your servers to suggest dessert when they touch the table toward the end of the meal.

Takeaways

Chef Duffy throws in more tips during a single menu read than most people would expect.

Below are some of the takeaways that make his live menu reads so insightful:

  • Only list name brands if they come from a local farm. This approach shows that an operator cares about supporting local producers and is part of the community.
  • Use the best ingredients for the specific concept.
  • If a restaurant features housemade buns for burgers and/or bread for sandwiches, they should offer a version as an appetizer. Really make this idea shine by also offering housemade specialty butters.
  • Operators that have chips on their menus should use the crumbles and “dust” to make breading for other items. After all, the chips have been paid for alreadyuse all of them.
  • It’s better and more impactful to have 25 items on a menu that are executed perfectly than 50 items that are executed poorly.
  • Chef Duffy doesn’t agree with omitting prices from menus. “Why? Are we negotiating? Are we negotiating before I place my order?”

Connect with Chef Duffy on Instagram, and learn more about him on the Duffified Experience Group website.

Image: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This image was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

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2024 James Beard Foundation Nominees

Cheers to the 2024 James Beard Foundation Nominees

by David Klemt

AI-generated image of a culinary award

One of these days, AI platforms are going to learn to spell, and then we’re all in trouble.

If there’s any question as to whether we’re in F&B and hospitality award season, we can safely say that the answer is an emphatic “yes.”

Our look at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo award winners is here. This year’s TAG Global Spirits Awards have been revealed. And, of course, we eagerly anticipate the 2024 North America’s 50 Best Bars ceremony (along with the rest of the World’s 50 Best announcements). There are also the 2024 Spirited Awards this July.

On June 10, winners of the 2024 James Beard Awards will be revealed. Below, you’ll find the nominees spanning 22 awards categories. Additionally, you’ll find the honorees of a number of awards, including Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year.

Interestingly, the specific chefs awards are split into a dozen categories, by region: California, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Mountain, New York State, Northeast, Northwest and Pacific, Southeast, South, Southwest, and Texas.

This is how I learned that I in fact grew up in the Great Lakes area and not, apparently, the Midwest as I’ve believed for decades. Reality, shattered.

As far as the Outstanding Bar award goes, these are the nominees:

  • Barr Hill Cocktail Bar, Montpelier, VT
  • Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore, MD
  • Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA
  • Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA

The nominees for Best New Restaurant are:

  • Bar Bacetto, Waitsburg, WA
  • Barbs-B-Q, Lockhart, TX
  • Chez Noir, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester, MA
  • Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA
  • Hayward, McMinnville, OR
  • Kaya, Orlando, FL
  • Kisser, Nashville, TN
  • Oro by Nixta, Minneapolis, MN
  • Shan, Bozeman, MT

Cheers to this year’s honorees and nominees!

JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION® ANNOUNCES THE 2024 RESTAURANT AND CHEF AWARDS NOMINEES AND LEADERSHIP AWARDS, HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR, AND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREES

NEW YORK (APRIL 3, 2024) – The James Beard Foundation® announced today its 2024 Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, and Leadership Awards honorees, and Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees in advance of the James Beard Awards® ceremonies presented by Capital One. The full list of honorees and nominees can be found below and on the James Beard Foundation website.

The honorees and nominees were announced today during a live ceremony at Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, co-hosted by Clare Reichenbach, Chief Executive Officer, James Beard Foundation; Rich Gamble, Interim President & CEO, Choose Chicago; Kris Moon, President and Chief Operating Officer, James Beard Foundation; Dawn Padmore, Vice President of Awards, James Beard Foundation; Nina Albert, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED); Adam Crocini, SVP and Global Head of Food & Beverage Brands, Hilton; and Monica Weaver, Head of Branded Card Partnerships and Experiences, Capital One. At the ceremony, Reichenbach made opening remarks highlighting how the Foundation is excited to celebrate outstanding achievement, while continuing to build on its mission of “Good Food for Good®” in support of the independent restaurant industry and broader food culture.

“Congratulations to all of our esteemed honorees and nominees on this remarkable achievement,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO, James Beard Foundation. “Your vision, and continued dedication to excellence—both on and beyond the plate—make you true leaders of American culinary. Thank you for all you are doing to set a better standard for our industry and broader food system.”

“Despite so many ongoing challenges, this list is a positive reminder of the exceptional talent and dynamism of our industry—it gives me hope for the future of independent restaurants,” said Tanya
Holland, Chair of the James Beard Awards Committee and member of the James Beard Foundation Board of Trustees. “As Awards Committee Chair, I am honored to congratulate each of you
and look forward to celebrating together in Chicago this June.”

“It’s been wonderful to hear how Awards recognition has already benefited restaurants and businesses around the country. We look forward to continuing to use the Awards platform to highlight their impressive accomplishments and work in our industry.” said Dawn Padmore, VP of Awards, James Beard Foundation. “Thank you to our committee members and judges for their work, and congratulations to all honorees and nominees.”

The James Beard Awards, among the nation’s most prestigious honors in the culinary and food media industries, recognize exceptional talent as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. James Beard Awards policies and procedures can be viewed at jamesbeard.org/awards/policies.

Achievement Awards

The James Beard Awards comprise three Achievement Awards: Leadership Awards, which awards five candidates and has a dedicated subcommittee and voting body, as well as the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards, both of which are administered by the Awards Committee.

Leadership Awards

The Leadership Awards program recognizes achievement by individuals and/or organizations who are actively working to set standards that create more equitable, just, sustainable, and economically viable food systems for producers, workers, and consumers alike.

The 2024 Leadership Awards categories were created by the James Beard Foundation, with input from the Leadership Subcommittee, as a reflection of the Foundation’s policy agenda and its impact priorities for 2023-2024.

The Leadership Awards honorees will be celebrated at an invite-only ceremony in Chicago on Sunday, June 9 and recognized on stage at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“In recognizing the myriad challenges of the independent restaurant industry and our broader food landscape, the James Beard Leadership Awards honorees stand as a beacon and inspiration for all of us who are committed to a more equitable and sustainable future,” said Lakisha May, Chair of the Leadership Awards Subcommittee. “We are proud to recognize the diligent efforts and dedication of this year’s honorees.”

The 2024 Leadership Awards honorees are:

Sustainability

Leaders who are advancing environmental sustainability in support of a better supply chain for restaurants. Their efforts may focus on healthy soil, clean oceans, sustainable fisheries, reducing food
waste, or regenerative agriculture.

  • Mai Nguyen, Farmer, Farmer Mai: Mai Nguyen is a first-generation Vietnamese-American farmer who began their career as a research assistant studying the effects of carbon on the atmosphere and soil. Wanting to make more of an impact, they focused their efforts on disaster relief and water sanitation projects for refugee camps in Southeast Asia, which opened their eyes to the broader implications of food security and sustainability. The child of Vietnamese refugees, Nguyen returned to their roots in California to support the diaspora community and advocate for equitable ecological food systems through environmentally beneficial farming practices. Nguyen specializes in site-appropriate and soil-enriching approaches to growing organic heirloom grains and Southeast Asian crops in Upper Lake, California. Through their leadership as co-director of Minnow, which works to secure land tenure for California’s farmers of color and Indigenous communities, Nguyen helps facilitate democratic organization for land justice. In 2017, in response to systemic discrimination faced by farmers of color, Nguyen helped pass the Farmer Equity Act in California, which acknowledges socially disadvantaged producers within the agricultural system and has created policies to advance equity.

Policy Advocacy

Policymakers or advocates who are advancing a Farm Bill and/or federal legislation or regulations that prioritize climate change mitigation, racial and gender equity, or industry practices that foster a more sustainable and equitable restaurant industry.

  • Niaz Dorry, Coordinating Director, North American Marine Alliance (NAMA): Niaz Dorry has played a pivotal role in steering federal legislation towards recognizing and supporting small-scale, traditional, and Indigenous fishing communities through her leadership in the North American Marine Alliance (NAMA) and collaboration with the National Family Farm Coalition. By advocating for policies that prioritize ecological sustainability and equity, she has helped to bridge the gap between land and sea food systems, emphasizing the importance of including seafood in comprehensive food system discussions. Her efforts to raise awareness about the critical role of small-scale, values-based fisheries in mitigating climate change and advancing gender and racial equity have inspired more sustainable practices within the restaurant industry. Dorry has been recognized as a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine.

Industry Culture and Practices

Leaders who have made a significant impact and are acknowledged and recognized as setting industry standards, with a commitment to transforming the industry into one that is sustainable and equitable. These leaders have put in place systems and policies that prioritize the physical and mental health of employees and themselves and have proven to make for a sound financial model for staff and owners alike that foster longevity in the restaurant industry. They are modeling how to make independent restaurants more equitable both within and beyond one’s own businesses.

  • Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, Founder/Owner, Down North Pizza and Down North Foundation: Muhammad Abdul-Hadi is the founder of Down North Pizza, a mission-driven restaurant that
    exclusively hires previously incarcerated employees. As an entrepreneur in property management, retail, and real estate development, Abdul-Hadi focuses on creating business models that offer both employment and housing to formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2015, Abdul-Hadi bought property in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood—a predominantly Black and historically underserved area of Philadelphia marked by high recidivism rates. Abdul-Hadi’s aim was to use the property to offer subsidized housing to individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system but has expanded the building’s use with the opening of Down North Pizza. Abdul-Hadi’s philosophy of meeting people where they are—recognizing and valuing their
    experiences and skills often overlooked in traditional hiring practices—has not only contributed to the success of Down North Pizza but has also set a precedent for future enterprises that seek to combine profit with purpose.

Food Security and Access

Leaders who have advanced nutrition security, an issue that has directly impacted many independent chefs and restaurants, most notably through SNAP and SNAP expansion, community engagement, and beyond.

  • Helga Garcia-Garza, Executive Director, Agri-Cultura Network: Helga Garcia-Garza is the executive director of Agri-Cultura Network—a farmer-owned cooperative providing access to local and sustainably grown produce—and of their community supported agricultural program, La Cosecha CSA. For over 50 years, Garcia-Garza has been a driving force for food justice and a dedicated community organizer, working on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. The daughter of an activist and a member of a marginalized Native Indigenous community, Garcia-Garza’s efforts are driven by her deep commitment to building an equitable and sustainable food system, empowering communities through education, and making healthy food accessible to low-income households. After spending 20 years as an organic farmer, Garcia-Garza now advocates for farmers’ rights on environmental contamination issues. Her work has enabled hundreds of families to access fresh, local produce using SNAP funds. Beyond SNAP expansion, her efforts in community engagement and education around sustainable agriculture practices have empowered both urban and rural farmers, contributing to a more resilient and nutrition-secure food system. Garcia-Garza is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is currently focused on building a multi-million dollar solar-powered “Eco-Wellness” clinic that aims to bridge the gap between sustainable agricultural practices and nutritional wellbeing.

Emerging Leadership

The Leadership Committee may select an additional honoree to highlight a person or collective who is at the beginning of their career but already doing significant work.

  • Christa Barfield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FarmerJawn: Christa Barfield is the founder and chief executive officer of FarmerJawn—a 128-acre working farm providing access to regenerative organic food production through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, storefronts, and educational programs—and Viva Leaf Tea Co., a farm-to-cup tea brand. Barfield’s initiatives are designed not just to provide organic foods in areas of food apartheid, but also to educate on the importance of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating through on-farm and in-school programming. Her latest venture, CornerJawn, is a redefined corner store experience that makes fresh produce more accessible to underserved communities. With CornerJawn, Barfield is nurturing a movement towards sustainable living and conscious eating for all. Barfield’s work is making a significant impact on Philadelphia’s food system and offering a model for urban food justice and entrepreneurship. Barfield is a Generation Change fellow, Philadelphia’s Community Wellness Leader, and is recognized as a “Food is Medicine” and nutrition security champion by the USDA.

Leadership Awards categories may vary annually. More information on the voting process for the Leadership Awards can be viewed here.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual whose life’s work has profoundly and enduringly influenced how America cooks, eats, and perceives food.

The 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is the inimitable writer, editor, novelist, and television personality Ruth Reichl. In 1971, at the age of 23, Reichl wrote her first cookbook, MMMMM: A Feastiary. This set her on a path to prominence as a “make or break” food critic for esteemed publications like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. In 1999, she took over as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, commissioning pieces from legendary writers like David Foster Wallace. Reichl’s captivating memoirs offer an intimate glimpse into five decades of her culinary adventures. Her first memoir, Tender at the Bone, helped readers to understand “that food could be a way of making sense of the world.” Reichl’s appearances as a judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef and Top Chef Masters endeared her to a new generation of food enthusiasts, reinforcing her reputation as a culinary and food media icon. Reichl’s impact on the food industry has been recognized with seven James Beard Awards and the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America award, cementing her legacy in the food world as a leading voice and trailblazer for women.

“I’m so thrilled by this honor,” said Reichl. “Looking back, I can’t help thinking how much the world has changed in my lifetime. When I started writing about food, Americans paid so little attention to what and how we eat that the very notion of honoring someone for a career like mine would have seemed absurd.” More information on the voting process for the Lifetime Achievement Award can be viewed here.

Humanitarian of the Year Award

The Humanitarian of the Year Award honors an individual or organization within the food industry who has demonstrated exceptional selflessness and unwavering dedication to improving the lives of others and society as a whole.

The 2024 Humanitarian of the Year Award honoree is The LEE Initiative, an organization that promotes diversity, equity, and empowerment for employees within the restaurant industry. Founded in 2017 by chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek, The LEE Initiative—an acronym for Let’s Empower Employment—is responsible for creating programs that advance women, amplify Black voices, and explore sustainable policies for restaurants. Known for its relief work, The LEE Initiative has raised over $5 million in direct aid and investments for small farms, Black-owned food businesses, COVID-19 support, and more. In 2021, Ofcacek and chef Lee were honored with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for their work through The LEE Initiative.

“The Lee Initiative is honored to receive the JBF Humanitarian [of the Year] Award and we accept it on behalf of every single restaurant worker who has gone above and beyond to ensure that the best of our restaurant culture stays alive and relevant for the next generation,” said Ofcacek. “Our work is rooted in community, collaboration, and a common goal to create a kinder more equitable future for the hospitality industry. We are honored to work alongside you,” added Lee.

The Humanitarian of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Honorees will be recognized at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. More information on the voting process for Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards can be viewed here.

Restaurant and Chef Awards Nominees

The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards—established in 1990 and first awarded in 1991—is one of five separate recognition programs of the Awards. This Awards program celebrates excellence across a range of experiences, from fine-dining establishments to casual gems, and emerging talents to established luminaries.

The 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees are recognized across 22 categories. Winners will be celebrated at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 10 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“The Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee extends its heartfelt congratulations to the 2024 nominees—an exceptional list of culinary leaders and teams whose unique contributions greatly enrich
our industry and broader food culture,” said Restaurant and Chef Committee Co-Chairs, Lauren Saria and Allecia Vermillion.

The 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees are:

Outstanding Restaurateur:

A restaurateur who uses their establishment(s) as a vehicle for building community, demonstrates creativity in entrepreneurship, integrity in restaurant operations, and is making efforts to create a sustainable work culture, while contributing positively to their broader community.

  • Mamba Hamissi and Nadia Nijimbere, Baobab Fare, Detroit, MI
  • Quynh-Vy and Yenvy Pham, Phở Bắc Súp Shop, Phởcific Standard Time, and The Boat, Seattle, WA
  • Chris Viaud, Greenleaf, Ansanm, and Pavilion, Milford and Wolfeboro, NH
  • Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck & The Peach, La Collina, The Wells, and others), Washington, D.C.
  • Erika Whitaker and Kelly Whitaker, ID EST (The Wolf’s Tailor, BRUTØ, Basta, and others), Boulder, CO

Outstanding Chef presented by Hilton:

A chef who sets high culinary standards and has served as a positive example for other food professionals, while contributing positively to their broader community.

  • Sarah Minnick, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, Portland, OR
  • Dean Neff, Seabird, Wilmington, NC
  • Michael Rafidi, Albi, Washington, D.C.
  • Renee Touponce, The Port of Call, Mystic, CT
  • David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas, TX

Outstanding Restaurant presented by Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water:

A restaurant that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community

  • The Compound, Santa Fe, NM
  • Convenience West, Marfa, TX
  • Langbaan, Portland, OR
  • Mixtli, San Antonio, TX
  • Vestige, Ocean Springs, MS

Emerging Chef presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water:

A chef who displays exceptional talent, character, and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come, while contributing positively to their broader community.

  • Fariyal Abdullahi, Hav & Mar, New York, NY
  • Janet Becerra, Pancita, Seattle, WA
  • Nikko Cagalanan, Kultura, Charleston, SC
  • Ryan Fernandez, Southern Junction, Buffalo, NY
  • Masako Morishita, Perry’s, Washington, D.C.

Best New Restaurant:

A restaurant opened between October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, that already demonstrates excellence in cuisine, seems likely to make a significant impact in years to come, and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community.

  • Bar Bacetto, Waitsburg, WA
  • Barbs-B-Q, Lockhart, TX
  • Chez Noir, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
  • Comfort Kitchen, Dorchester, MA
  • Dakar NOLA, New Orleans, LA
  • Hayward, McMinnville, OR
  • Kaya, Orlando, FL
  • Kisser, Nashville, TN
  • Oro by Nixta, Minneapolis, MN
  • Shan, Bozeman, MT

Outstanding Bakery:

A baker of breads, pastries, or desserts that demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

  • The Burque Bakehouse, Albuquerque, NM
  • Gusto Bread, Long Beach, CA
  • JinJu Patisserie, Portland, OR
  • Mel the Bakery, Hudson, NY
  • ZU Bakery, Portland, ME

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker:

A pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads. Candidate demonstrates exceptional skills and can be affiliated with any food business and does not need a brick-and-mortar presence. Candidates contribute positively to their broader community.

  • Susan Bae, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.
  • Jesus Brazon and Manuel Brazon, Caracas Bakery, Doral and Miami, FL
  • Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME
  • Crystal Kass, Valentine, Phoenix, AZ
  • Anna Posey, Elske, Chicago, I

Outstanding Hospitality presented by American Airlines:

A restaurant, bar or other food and drinking establishment that fosters a sense of hospitality among its customers and staff that serves as a beacon for the community and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

  • Crawford and Son, Raleigh, NC
  • Gemma, Dallas, TX
  • Lula Cafe, Chicago, IL
  • Melba’s, New York, NY
  • Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, ME

Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program:

This Award is presented to a restaurant that demonstrates exceptional care and skill in the pairing of wine and other beverages with food while contributing positively to its broader community. This includes the selection, preparation, and serving of wine, cocktails, spirits, coffee, tea, beer or any other beverage with outstanding hospitality and service that help inform and enhance a customer’s appreciation of the beverage(s). Ethical sourcing and positive contributions to the broader community will also be considered.

  • Lula Drake Wine Parlour, Columbia, SC
  • The Morris, San Francisco, CA
  • Strong Water Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
  • Tail Up Goat, Washington, D.C.
  • Waxlight Bar à Vin, Buffalo, NY

Outstanding Bar:

This award is presented to a wine bar, beer bar, cocktail bar, coffee bar, or any other business whose primary offering is beverage and that demonstrates consistent excellence in curating a selection or in the preparation of drinks, along with outstanding atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to its broader community.

  • Barr Hill Cocktail Bar, Montpelier, VT
  • Clavel Mezcaleria, Baltimore, MD
  • Jewel of the South, New Orleans, LA
  • Las Ramblas, Brownsville, TX
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA

Best Chefs presented by Capital One (by region):

Chefs who set high standards in their culinary skills and leadership abilities, and who are making efforts to help create a sustainable work culture in their respective regions while contributing positively to their broader community.

Best Chef: California

  • Geoff Davis, Burdell, Oakland, CA
  • Rogelio Garcia, Auro, Calistoga, CA
  • Lord Maynard Llera, Kuya Lord, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tara Monsod, Animae, San Diego, CA
  • Buu “Billy” Ngo, Kru, Sacramento, CA

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

  • Vinnie Cimino, Cordelia, Cleveland, OH
  • Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati, OH
  • Sujan Sarkar, Indienne, Chicago, IL
  • Hajime Sato, Sozai, Clawson, MI
  • Jenner Tomaska, Esmé, Chicago, IL

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, Darnestown, MD
  • Jesse Ito, Royal Sushi & Izakaya, Philadelphia, PA
  • Matt Kern, One Coastal, Fenwick Island, DE
  • Harley Peet, Bas Rouge, Easton, MD
  • Kevin Tien, Moon Rabbit, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

  • Ann Ahmed, Khâluna, Minneapolis, MN
  • Rob Connoley, Bulrush, St. Louis, MO
  • Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite, EsterEv, Milwaukee, WI
  • Christina Nguyen, Hai Hai, Minneapolis, MN
  • Tim Nicholson, The Boiler Room, Omaha, NE

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

  • Brandon Cunningham, Social Haus, Greenough, MT
  • Ali Sabbah, Mazza Cafe, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Matt Vawter, Rootstalk, Breckenridge, CO
  • Penelope Wong, Yuan Wonton, Denver, CO
  • Nick Zocco, Urban Hill, Salt Lake City, UT

Best Chef: New York State

  • Nasim Alikhani, Sofreh, Brooklyn, NY
  • Atsushi Kono, Kono, New York, NY
  • Chris Mauricio, Harana Market, Accord, NY
  • Charlie Mitchell, Clover Hill, Brooklyn, NY
  • Jeremy Salamon, Agi’s Counter, Brooklyn, NY

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)

  • Conor Dennehy, Talulla, Cambridge, MA
  • Maria Meza, Dolores, Providence, RI
  • David Standridge, The Shipwright’s Daughter, Mystic, CT
  • Jake Stevens, Leeward, Portland, ME
  • Cara Tobin, Honey Road, Burlington, VT

Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA)

  • Avery Adams, Matia Kitchen, Orcas Island, WA
  • Kristi Brown, Communion, Seattle, WA
  • Josh Dorcak, MÄS, Ashland, OR
  • Gregory Gourdet, kann, Portland, OR
  • Melissa Miranda, Musang, Seattle, WA

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

  • Jamie Davis, The Hackney, Washington, NC
  • Rod Lassiter and Parnass Savang, Talat Market, Atlanta, GA
  • James London, Chubby Fish, Charleston, SC
  • Robbie Robinson, City Limits Barbeque, West Columbia, SC
  • Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge, Charleston, WV

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)

  • Valerie Chang, Maty’s, Miami, FL
  • Hunter Evans, Elvie’s, Jackson, MS
  • Gabriel Hernandez, Verde Mesa, San Juan, PR
  • Carlos Portela, Orujo, San Juan, PR
  • Arvinder Vilkhu, Saffron, New Orleans, LA

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)

  • Rene Andrade, Bacanora, Phoenix, AZ
  • Jeff Chanchaleune, Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Steve Kestler, Aroma Latin American Cocina, Henderson, NV
  • Steve Riley, Mesa Provisions, Albuquerque, NM
  • Eduardo Rodriguez, Zacatlán, Santa Fe, NM

Best Chef: Texas

  • Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó, Houston, TX
  • Christopher Cullum, Cullum’s Attaboy, San Antonio, TX
  • Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie’s, Austin, TX
  • Misti Norris, Petra & the Beast, Dallas, TX
  • Ana Liz Pulido, Ana Liz Taqueria, Mission, TX

*As of the 2023 Awards cycle, the Restaurant and Chef Awards defines the annual eligibility time frame as October through September (formerly January through December) to allow the voting body more time to consider businesses opening later in the calendar year.

More information on the voting process for the Restaurant and Chef Awards can be viewed here.

Upcoming Awards Announcements

  • April 30, 2024: James Beard Media Awards nominees are announced
  • The 2024 Awards ceremonies will be held in our proud host city of Chicago on the following dates:
    • Saturday, June 8, 2024: Media Awards at Columbia College Chicago Student Center
    • Sunday, June 9, 2024: Leadership Awards at The Dalcy
    • Monday, June 10, 2024: Restaurant and Chef Awards at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Tickets for the 33rd annual James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards in Chicago go on sale April 9 and can be purchased on the James Beard Foundation website. The Awards will be livestreamed Monday, June 10 on Eater.com.

“Our ongoing partnership with the James Beard Foundation is special in that not only does it allow us to provide our cardholders access to incredible culinary experiences, but it also gives us the chance to honor the best in the industry through the James Beard ceremonies,” said Monica Weaver, Head of Branded Card Partnerships and Experiences at Capital One. “It’s an extra special honor this year to welcome the nomination ceremony to our hometown in the Washington, D.C. area. We look forward to celebrating all of the nominees later this year and congratulate them on their contributions to the culinary industry.”

“Chicagoans know how special the restaurant scene is here, so it is an honor for the James Beard Foundation to continue to recognize that as well,” said Rich Gamble, Interim President and CEO,
Choose Chicago. “We look forward to hosting the James Beard Awards for another year in our great city with an impressive group of nominees, winners, and honorees.”

The 2024 James Beard Awards are presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the James Beard Foundation. The James Beard Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association, and presented in association with Hilton, as well as with the following partners: Premier Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, American Airlines, the official airline of the James Beard Foundation, HEINZ, HMSHost, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Stella Artois; Supporting Sponsors: HexClad Cookware, Skuna Bay Salmon; Reception Sponsors: Ecolab, Kendall College at National Louis University, Windstar Cruises, the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation; Additional Support Sponsors: Cristaux, Paperchase, Plugrà® Premium European Style Butter, VerTerra Dinnerware. Intersport is the Official Broadcast Partner of the 2024 James Beard Awards.

For more information about the James Beard Awards, visit jamesbeard.org/awards. For up-to-the-minute news about the Awards, follow @beardfoundation on X (Twitter) and Instagram, and keep an eye out for posts using #JBFA

ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD AWARDS

The James Beard Awards recognizes exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards are among the nation’s most prestigious honors recognizing leaders in the culinary and food media industries. The Awards are overseen by the Awards Committee. Each Awards program (Books, Broadcast Media, Journalism, Leadership, and Restaurant and Chef) has its own subcommittee members who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective program. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. For more information, subscribe to the Awards digital newsletter.

ABOUT THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused programs, advocacy, partnerships, and events across the country. For the first time in the Foundation’s history, exceptional culinary talent, industry leaders, and visitors from NYC and beyond can experience unforgettable dining and educational programming at Platform by JBF—inspiring food and beverage devotees for decades to come. Learn more at jamesbeard.org, sign up for our newsletter, and follow @beardfoundation on social media.

ABOUT CAPITAL ONE

At Capital One, we’re on a mission for our customers – bringing them best-in-class products, rewards, service, and experiences. Capital One is a diversified bank that offers products and services to
individuals, small businesses, and commercial clients. We use technology, innovation, and interaction to provide consumers with products and services to meet their needs. Through Capital One Dining and Capital One Entertainment, we provide our rewards cardholders with access to unforgettable experiences in the areas they’re passionate about, including dining, music, and sports. Learn more at capitalone.com/dining and capitalone.com/entertainment.

Image: Shutterstock. Disclaimer: This image was generated by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

KRG Hospitality. Restaurant Business Plan. Feasibility Study. Concept. Branding. Consultant. Start-Up.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

5 Books to Read this Month: April 2024

5 Books to Read this Month: April 2024

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

Our inspiring and informative April book selections will help you improve operations, refresh and streamline F&B programming, and learn more about coffee.

This month, we look at books covering an array of topics: overcoming dysfunctions within teams; stepping outside of comfort zones; cocktail and Irish dish recipes; and repurposing existing buildings.

To review the book recommendations from March 2024, click here.

Let’s jump in!

Roundbuilding

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems like most cocktail books target home bartenders. In a refreshing change of pace, Roundbuilding is specifically for working bartenders. In case the name doesn’t give it away, this book is about crafting and serving consistent rounds of cocktails and ensuring a high standard of service.

From Amazon:Roundbuiding is a practical guide to mixing cocktails, aimed at the working bartender. This is a book about ensuring that, for every round you serve, every drink is made to a consistently high standard, and that first sip always makes an impression. It’s the nuts and bolts of mixing drinks.”

Buy it today!

The World Atlas of Coffee (2nd Edition)

This bestseller enjoys a 4.8-star rating on Amazon with nearly 4,000 reviews on the platform. The World Atlas of Coffee also boasts a score of 4.4 on Goodreads.

Written by World Barista Champion James Hoffman (who’s also the co-founder of a successful coffee roaster operating out of London), this book will provide the reader with just about everything they need to know about coffee. The rise in popularity of cocktails like the Carajillo and the near-constant chatter about the Espresso Martini got me thinking: I should probably include a coffee book in one of these roundups.

From Amazon: “Coffee has never been better, or more interesting, than it is today. Coffee producers have access to more varieties and techniques than ever before and we, as consumers, can share in that expertise to make sure the coffee we drink is the best we can find. Where coffee comes from, how it was harvested, the roasting process and the water used to make the brew are just a few of the factors that influence the taste of what we drink. Champion barista and coffee expert James Hoffmann examines these key factors, looking at varieties of coffee, the influence of terroir, how it is harvested and processed, the roasting methods used, through to the way in which the beans are brewed.”

Pick your copy up now.

The Complete Recipe Writing Guide: Mastering Recipe Development, Writing, Testing, Nutrition Analysis, and Food Styling

This book isn’t even a year old but has already made waves. In fact, it was listed as one of Chef Eric Ripert‘s (Le Bernardin in New York City) books of the month just a couple of months after publication.

From Amazon:The Complete Recipe Writing Guide shows you how to create professional recipe content from development to publication. Raeanne Sarazen, a registered dietitian and chef, shares her expertise from over 20 years of working with recipes as a test kitchen professional, recipe developer, food writer, and editor, along with insider tips from top industry professionals. Like a master class on recipes, this comprehensive resource guides you through the variety of skills needed to create and share successful recipes.”

Get your copy here.

Bar Hacks: Developing The Fundamentals for an Epic Bar

This informative and conversational book written by KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey is the perfect read for aspiring or seasoned bar, pub, lounge, or even restaurant owners, operators, and managers looking for that competitive edge in operations! If you’re looking for both fundamental and in-depth planning methods, strategies, and industry focused insight to either start or grow a scalable, sustainable, memorable, profitable, and consistent venue in today’s cut-throat industry, Bar Hacks is written just for you.

Pick up the paperback from Amazon today!

Hacking the New Normal: Hitting the Reset Button on the Hospitality Industry

Doug’s followup book to Bar Hacks! The world around us has changed. The food and beverage industry has changed. The hospitality industry has changed. But will some ways of life change for the better? Will perhaps the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industry come out even stronger? With the right changes to the previous status quo, it is possible. There’s no question, resets are major undertakings, but a major reset will provide us with a clean start and that’s what this industry needs.

Pick up KRG Hospitality president Doug Radkey’s second book today! Click here.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Start-Up Restaurant Bar Hotel Consulting Consultant Solutions Plans Services

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

BRE Reveals 2024 Award Winners

BRE Reveals 2024 Award Winners

by David Klemt

Join us in toasting the fourteen recipients of the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo industry awards, which span three separate categories.

As you’ll see below, the BRE award categories are as follows:

  • One individual receives the Industry Impact Award. From BRE: “This award recognizes an individual who has displayed an immense passion for their craft and has helped make significant advancements in the field.”
  • Seven individuals or venues receive one of the Industry Excellence Awards. These awards focus on independent bars and restaurants.
  • Six brands take home on of the Supplier Awards. This category is new to BRE in 2024. Further, BRE attendees choose the winners after suppliers submit products for consideration.

Interestingly, Austin, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, take home the most Industry Excellence Awards this year. In fact, Austin is home to three of the seven Industry Excellence Award winners.

WATERTRADE is the winner of Best Cocktail Program, OTOKO is Restaurant of the Year, and Iliana de la Vega is Chef of the Year.

One individual and one venue in Atlanta claim Industry Excellence Awards as well. Best Hospitality Training Program goes to Your 3rd Spot, while the Ebony Austin of Nouveau Bar & Grill wins the Community Leadership Award.

There are, of course, two outliers. For 2024, Dominique Jackson of Realm of the 52 Remedies in San Diego, California, is Bartender of the Year. And Happy Accidents in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is Bar of the Year. This awesome bar is the 2023 winner of the Spirited Award for Best US Bar Team.

Congratulations to this year’s Bar & Restaurant Expo award winners! You can see the full list of winners below, organized by category. To learn more about the awards, please click here.

Industry Impact Award

  • Derek Brown (Positive Damage, Inc.)

Industry Excellence Awards

  • Bar of the Year: Happy Accidents (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • Best Cocktail Program: WATERTRADE (Austin, Texas)
  • Bartender of the Year: Dominique Jackson, Realm of 52 Remedies (San Diego, California)
  • Restaurant of the Year: OTOKO (Austin, Texas)
  • Chef of the Year: Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo (Austin, Texas)
  • Best Hospitality Training Program: Your 3rd Spot (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Community Leadership Award: Ebony Austin, Nouveau Bar & Grill (Atlanta, Georgia)

Supplier Awards

  • Best Alcoholic Beverage: Don Julio Alma Miel Joven Tequila
  • Best Non-alcoholic Product or Mixer: Ritual Zero Proof Spirits
  • Best Food Product/Producer: Oh Snap! Dilly Bites
  • Best Equipment, Tool, or Bar Supply: True Manufacturing
  • Best Technology Product: Draft Top PRO
  • Best Entertainment Product: Team Trivia

Image: Mathias Reding on Pexels

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The Indispensable Egg: Simple but Powerful

The Indispensable Egg: Simple but Powerful

by Nathen Dubé

Eggs of various color in a carton

In the realm of gastronomy, eggs are indispensable, offering a unique blend of flavor and texture that is celebrated across various cuisines.

These staples of culinary tradition embody the essence of simplicity and versatility. Farm-fresh eggs, known for their rich, vibrant yolks and robust shells, elevate this simple ingredient to new heights.

This comprehensive exploration delves into the culinary excellence of farm-fresh eggs and their broader implications in the hospitality industry, from enhancing the quality of dishes to contributing to business success.

The Culinary Excellence of Farm-Fresh Eggs

The superiority of farm-fresh eggs in cooking is undeniable. Their vibrant yolks, a result of the diverse diet of free-range hens, enrich dishes with deeper flavors and a more appealing visual presentation.

In baking, these eggs contribute to finer, more consistent textures. And in sauces and dressings, their freshness is paramount, forming the foundation of many classic culinary creations.

Crafting Artisanal Dishes with Farm-Fresh Eggs

Embracing the artisanal approach, chefs use farm-fresh eggs to create dishes that showcase their natural elegance and flavor.

From perfectly poached eggs on a bed of fresh greens to innovative egg tarts, these eggs become the centerpiece of culinary craftsmanship, attracting patrons who appreciate the art of cooking.

Seasonal Menus and Farm-Fresh Eggs

Utilizing farm-fresh eggs allows chefs to design seasonal menus that reflect the changing offerings of local farms.

The subtle variations in flavor and color of the eggs throughout the year inspire creative, seasonal dishes, demonstrating a commitment to freshness and local sourcing.

Nutritional Superiority of Farm-Fresh Eggs

Beyond their culinary appeal, farm-fresh eggs offer enhanced nutritional benefits.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, they cater to health-conscious consumers, adding a valuable dimension to menus and marketing strategies in the hospitality sector.

The Business Benefits of Premium Ingredients

Incorporating farm-fresh eggs into a restaurant’s offerings is a strategic business decision. It signifies a commitment to quality and can differentiate an establishment in a competitive market.

This choice also allows for storytelling opportunities, sharing the origins of the ingredients and the relationships with local producers, building trust and a sense of community with patrons.

As Chef Brian Duffy says, operators can charge premium prices, but only if they’re being innovative. Purchasing and using fresh eggs from a local farmer is a step toward innovation and justifies charging a premium.

Ethical Considerations and Consumer Awareness

The ethical sourcing of farm-fresh eggs aligns with the growing consumer awareness and demand for transparency, and humane treatment in food production.

By choosing ethically sourced eggs, hospitality businesses can build a brand image that resonates with these values, fostering customer loyalty.

Implementing Change in the Hospitality Industry

Adopting farm-fresh eggs comes with its challenges, such as higher costs and variable supply. However, these can be mitigated through creative menu planning and pricing strategies.

Educating staff about the benefits and ethos behind using these eggs enhances the dining experience for customers.

Sustainability and the Future of Food

Choosing farm-fresh eggs is a step towards a more sustainable food system. Small-scale egg farming often employs environmentally friendly practices, contributing to a sustainable future.

This commitment to sustainability is increasingly important to consumers and can be a significant aspect of a restaurant’s brand identity.

Conclusion

Farm-fresh eggs represent more than just a culinary choice; they are a statement about quality, sustainability, and the future of food.

For chefs and restaurateurs, they offer a means to distinguish their offerings, tell a compelling story, and build a business that is both profitable and principled.

As the hospitality industry evolves, those who embrace the full potential of ingredients like farm-fresh eggs will find themselves leading a movement that values the entire journey from farm to table. This comprehensive exploration underscores the multifaceted role of farm-fresh eggs in both culinary excellence and the broader context of the hospitality industry.

Image: Kelly Neil on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

DoorDash Names 2023 Global F&B Trends

DoorDash Names 2023 Global F&B Trends

by David Klemt

Chef torching salmon sushi

As we get close to winding down 2023 and welcoming 2024, DoorDash takes a shot at identifying the global F&B trends to watch.

This is an exciting and insightful time of year for our industry. In the last quarter, different sources start publishing their data-backed F&B predictions for the year ahead.

Take, for example, Technomic’s Global, Canadian, and American trend predictions for 2023. Oh, and don’t worry—we’ll be taking a look at their predictions for 2024 soon.

Today, however, we’re checking in on DoorDash. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of third-party delivery. It’s no secret I favor direct delivery for operators.

There’s no denying, though, that third-party delivery companies have access to valuable data. From the top food and drink orders to the dayparts seeing the most delivery and pickup order growth, they can help operators see shifts in consumer behavior.

So, I’m happy to take a look at what food trends DoorDash thinks operators should watch moving forward.

Before we jump in, I’m happy that DoorDash includes this cautionary statement in their article: “Finally, always consider whether or not a trend actually fits in at your restaurant.”

At KRG Hospitality, we couldn’t agree more. Jumping on every trend, as tempting as that may be, is unwise and can do harm than good. So, while the lists below identify trends that are gaining traction currently, operators need to be discerning.

Food Trends

Let’s start with a trend multiple sources identified toward the end of 2022 that appears to still be on an upward trajectory: pickles.

Seriously, it seems that people can’t get enough pickles. Pickle pizza appears to the current darling when it comes to this food trend. Speaking of pizza, DoorDash sees square pizzas as a trend to watch.

Another trend that multiple sources have been keeping tabs on is chimichurri. According to DoorDash, this condiment is finding its way onto all manner of food item.

Other food trends that operators should be aware of are bowls (deconstruct a sandwich, burrito, etc., and you have a bowl); oyster mushrooms subbing in for meat; higher-end tinned fish; and gluten-free menu options.

To be honest, I don’t think that last one is just a trend. At this point, offering gluten-free options or entire menus is mainstream.

Now, there are two more food trends I want to address separately. One, smaller menus. This is a trend I believe most operators can and should get behind. Shrinking a menu can result in lower food and labor costs, and a happier team. Making a menu smaller can also make a restaurant more nimble and engaging as LTOs may have more impact.

And then there’s aburi sushi, which is presented after the top of the fish is torched. This gives sushi a smoky flavor and brings in a different texture element.

To be fair, I’ve expected this to take off for the past several years. Now, it appears it’s taking hold and moving from fad to trend.

TikTok Trends

Yes, we have to talk about TikTok. There’s no question that the platform is a trend-producing powerhouse.

Clearly, TikTok has an influence on food trends. If you want to know what your younger guests want to try, check TikTok. The same goes for your guests who are highly engaged with social media influencers.

Below, the trends DoorDash sees taking hold.

  • Chopped sandwiches. Do you have sandwiches on your menu? Can your guests watch as your team makes them? You may want to create a chopped version of your signature or best-selling sandwich.
  • Pasta salad summer. Apparently, this summer was the Summer of Pasta Salad. Specifically, pasta salads made with fresh ingredients, and made without ingredients like mayonnaise.
  • Cottage cheese. According to DoorDash, TikTokers are putting cottage cheese in scrambled eggs, adding it to pasta sauce, and using it to make cheese toasts. I’ve personally tried the TikTok trend of using cottage cheese to make nacho cheese sauce.

One word of caution: TikTok trends come and go in the blink of an eye. So, operators need to hop on trends that work with their restaurant or bar before they’re already out of favor. It’s a daunting task.

To review this DoorDash report in its entirety, including beverage and grocery trends, follow this link.

Image: Ivan Samkov on Pexels

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