Waste Not, Want Not

You don’t need to be a restaurant owner to appreciate the 25 menu-tweaking tips compiled by Restaurant Business. Some of the more obvious measures to update an old menu include throwing more organic food into the mix and offering vegetarian-friendly items that even a hard-core carnivore could love—but the magazine also offers some innovative ways to repackage food scraps.

Evan Mallett, chef-owner of Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is already thinking about the leftovers when he chooses fromage for his cheese plate, because he converts the scraps into another menu item—fondue:

‘I’ll pick something like a Comte that will melt well for the base, and select complementary cheeses that will add flavor without compromising the velvety texture,’ Mallett explains. The fondue, served with bread and vegetables, is practically a food cost freebie at $21, and makes a great vegetarian entree or shared appetizer.

Meanwhile, Chef Michael Reilly of Legends in New Suffolk, New York, found a new use for the restaurant’s leftover individual cheesecakes:

Reilly discovered that if he laid out a prepared spring roll wrapper, filled it with a 3-in. cooked cheesecake round and wrapped it up tight, he could pop the whole thing in the deep fryer and create a crispy sweet roll that was hot on the outside, and a little warm but not too oozy within. Served with caramel and chocolate dipping sauces as a special, the dessert became so popular that Legends took the original cheesecake off the menu, creating a new signature in the process.

Amazingly enough, Reilly found a way to make cheesecake even more detrimental to one’s health—but at least now that the original cheesecake is off the menu, he can use freshly baked cake for these indulgent treats.

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