Items filtered by date: March 2012

5 Favorite Things about Chicago’s Healthy Food Scene

food4_april12If you’re attending the NRA Show in early May and want to enjoy delicious food that’s also good for you, the dean of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts suggests not-to-miss hot spots.

By Renee Zonka, RD, CEC, CHE, MBA

To eat “well” is to eat “clean” by enjoying fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared and presented with integrity. For readers visiting Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Show in May, here are a handful of my favorite places to dine because they exemplify a perfect harmony of flavor, wholesomeness and a commitment to the earth.


Survey Reveals Popularity of Ethnic Salads

food3_april12Mediterranean salads top the list when casual diners seek change.

A Mediterranean-style salad holds the most appeal as a new flavor for diners at casual-dining restaurants, according to a Culinary Visions™ Panel study conducted by Chicago-based Olson Communications.

“When restaurants want to add new salads they should look to the Mediterranean for inspiration,” said Sharon Olson, president of Olson Communications. “We discovered a full 60% of customers are highly likely to choose that type of salad when they have ethnic salad choices that also include Latin and Asian.”


The Power of “Fresh” and “Scratch” in 2012

food2_april12“Artisan” on the menu used to entice diners. Not so much today. And “local” trumps “organic.” Meanwhile, overall restaurant spending is expected to grow.

Interest in where food comes from, as well as changes in restaurant spending, will both drive the foodservice rollercoaster in 2012, according to Mintel’s latest report.

“Overall, restaurant economic prospects for 2012 look positive,” says Eric Giandelone, foodservice director at Chicago-based Mintel. “In spite of the down economy, Mintel estimates that the U.S. restaurant industry will be worth $416.4 billion in 2012, showing that operators really have listened to consumer wants and needs and made appropriate changes.”


Flavorful, Versatile and Oh, So Good for You

food1a_april12If any restaurant understands olive oil, it’s one named Extra Virgin. Here, the executive chef of the Arlington, Va., eatery extols the virtues of olive oil beyond the flavor it imparts to dishes.

Anytime is a good time to consider heart health. After all, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing more than 600,000 people yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even making small changes in your lifestyle and diet can add up to big results, over time. One such change that can give people a healthy benefit for the heart and beyond is to make the switch to olive oil.


The Fashion of Food

food4_may12As revealed at this year’s IACP Conference in New York, on the map, but off the beaten path, is where today’s food trends are emerging.

Courtesy of Olson Communications

Chicago-based Olson Communications attended the annual International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Conference in April, where food, fashion and media connected in New York City. The discussions were charged with passionate and often disparate beliefs on food, fashion and the emerging role of the chef as cultural curator.

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