When you have a dream, it’s the only thing you can think about. That dream emanates from your cells, and if there is ever a time you’re not actively pursuing the fulfilment of that dream, you feel lost. Dreams are beautiful things, and everybody should spend their lives in an active pursuit of that dream-never wavering, never backing down, and always doing what needs to be done to see that dream come to light.

The path isn’t easy, and if you’re in the restaurant business, the path becomes even harder to navigate. As is true with any business, the possibility of failure and the looming questions about  bankruptcy will come up, but you’ve got to do everything to push through. Restaurants are a dime a dozen and not only is it your job to make amazing food that people want to eat, you also have to figure out how to get people in the doors and keep them coming back.

Here are 3 steps to take if your restaurant business isn’t getting enough traction:

Evaluate Your Menu

If you own your own restaurant, the reason is probably because you have such a passion for cooking and creating new and amazing delicacies for people to indulge upon. However, if your restaurant just isn’t popular, the reason might link back to your menu. It’s the reason people come to your restaurant in the first place.

It might be hard to stomach the idea that your menu needs work, but if you swallow your pride, ask questions, and make adjustments to the menu, you might find that people start raving about your food and keep coming back for more. When the menu is beyond compare, people will want to share that with their friends.

Host Parties

In business, you often have to do things that might make you lose money on the front end, but will bring in money and business on the back end. If you’re not getting a lot of traction, try hosting parties, and opening up your place for events and catering gigs. Offer up free or discounted appetizers or offer up packages that get people dinner and a drink, coupled with a live show or a free dessert. It’s all about giving the illusion that you’re giving customers something they can’t pass up.

Bring in Entertainment
In the end, it’s about the entire package. If you have great food but your building sucks, people will not come over as often. If you want a restaurant that people rave about, try adding entertainment every now and again. People love live music and love enjoying themselves in multiple regards when they go out to eat. Give the customers a bite, they’ll take the line.

Chefs and coffee are a funny pair – most of them, as a result of their long days and late hours, are totally addicted to their caffeine fix. For example, Manresa’s David Kinch needs three cups to get through the day – and that’s after years of much greater consumption. But don’t be fooled by this love affair with coffee; like most chefs, Kinch doesn’t make his own. Brewing coffee is best left to the professionals.

Why don’t chefs who can whip up a delicious dish from offal or olives make their own coffee? Reasons abound. But here’s what some of the best palates around have to say.

More From Manresa

Not only does Chef Kinch not make his own coffee, the renowned chef has caused a stir among connoisseurs by saying that he isn’t that focused on his coffee’s flavor – he’s in it for the caffeine. Shocked, one outlet compared this statement to saying that you don’t care what you drink, you just focus on the alcohol. While plenty of chefs have alcohol troubles, you wouldn’t catch any of them saying they just drink to be drunk.

A Simple Schedule

Season one Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle also keeps his coffee practices simple; his daily consumption fuels him for service, when he’ll switch to water in the kitchen. Like many at home coffee drinkers, Dieterle’s habits are perfectly aligned with modern single-cup culture. These single serving machines make high quality coffee quickly, for a no fuss buzz.

An Ideal Ingredient

Rather than fuss about making a great cup of coffee, most chefs would far rather cook with this incredible ingredient, and they’ll put it to use in both savory and sweet dishes. One of the most popular ways to use coffee is as a crust on meats, where the bitter flavor acts as a perfect complement to sugar, garlic, and other spices. Chefs typically use such a crust on beef or pork tenderloins.

Of course, the obvious choice when cooking with coffee are desserts and pastries. There are the classics, like creamy, espresso infused tiramisu, as well as more innovative coffee-based desserts such as coffee flavored mousse. Skip the traditional chocolate mousse or heavy pot de cremes, and test out a smooth, coffee mousse for your next dinner party. You’ll be emulating some of the culinary greats, who are infusing coffee into a wide array of desserts over the last few years.

Coffee is a perfect ingredient, but when you spend your every working (and waking) hour thinking about food, brewing your coffee at the perfect temperature and getting the right concentration and acidity can seem excessively labor intensive. That’s what sends chefs to the coffee shop for their morning – and afternoon – pick me up, restricting their work with coffee to more culinary approaches.

With summer winding down, it’s time to clean all your summertime toys and get everything ready for the cooler months where you won’t use them as much or at all. This includes your charcoal, propane or natural gas grill. Hopefully you got a lot of use from it this summer. And if you have, it likely needs a good cleaning before you start using it more sporadically. To help make this a simple and easy job, here are three helpful tricks to use when cleaning your outdoor grill.

Using the Heat

After months of repeated use, your grill probably looks a long way from the sparkling chrome you brought home from the store. And while you may have scrubbed it briefly after it had cooled from each use, there is probably still quite a build up left over at the end of the summer. One way to make this cleaning easier, according to Lauren DeCarlo, a contributor to, is to use the heat to your advantage. By turning on the grill on high for a few minutes and letting the heat seep into the dirt and stains, it will make the job of cleaning them away a lot easier. The heat will help to burn off residue left over and help to loosen up previously hard to remove spots. Just make sure it’s cool enough for you to touch before you dive in with your rags and scrub brush.

Tin Foil

With all the rubbing and scrubbing you’re doing to get your grill clean, there’s going to be a lot of flying debris going all over your cooking space. While it’s easy enough to use your hose to spray off your deck or patio, you can’t very well do that to your grill. To protect your heating elements and other fragile grill parts from falling and flying debris, Hadyn Lazarow, a contributor to, recommends placing a large sheet of tin foil over the heating elements to help catch any ash, debris or grease from falling where you don’t want it to be. This also makes it easy to keep your cleaning from getting too messy in the process.

Buckets, Buckets and Buckets

Grill components can get very dirty with repeated use. While you can take the removable parts into the kitchen to clean, you run the risk of getting other areas of your home dirty in the process. So to help keep your grease contained, Jeremy Anderberg, a contributor to the Art of Manliness, suggests using three buckets to get this cleaning done quick and easy. One bucket will be for soapy water, one bucket will be of clean water to rinse off the soap, and one bucket will be to catch any debris you need to get rid of. Then once the cleaning is done, just rinse out all your buckets and set them aside for your next deep grill cleaning.

The food you can make using your outdoor grill is the epitome of delicious home cooking. Use the tips mentioned above to make sure your grill stays clean and in good working condition for years to come.


It’s the oldest trick in the book – you’re trying to get someone to fall for you, so you promise to cook them dinner from scratch. Anyone can pick up the tab at a restaurant, but it takes real commitment to make the meal yourself. That’s what makes chefs such a hot commodity on the dating market, if you can ever get them out of their restaurant kitchens, at least.

So what do chefs cook for their dates? Here’s what these 3 famous chefs put on the table when they want to woo.

The Chocolatier In The Kitchen

When NYC chocolatier Aditi Malhotra is ready to bring home that special someone, she doesn’t start with the sweet stuff. Instead, she says that her ideal meal would be three courses; she’d start with a beautiful salad, then a fish dish, and only then would chocolate enter the picture. Her final course, either a chocolate cake or mousse, is sure to seal the deal on any date.

The Cooking Channel’s Bad Girl

Nadia G, host of Cooking Channel’s Bitchin’ Kitchen keeps the mood light on and off screen, but she’s also living proof that even stars can have a hard time finding a date. Yes, like so many of us, Nadia has spent plenty of time honing her online dating profile to attract the perfect man. What has she learned while swiping through dating apps? Mostly that there are a lot of strange characters out there, including men she categorizes as “Mr. YOLO” and “The Needy Vampire.” These guys aren’t getting a home cooked meal any time soon.

When she does find Mr. Right, what will be on the menu? We’re hoping for the gorgonzola risotto she makes on her show, although maybe she favors putanesca – the magic first date food that changed our next chef’s life.

Beyond Boiling Water

When it comes to dating, you may not want to open with pasta putanesca, which translates to “the whore’s pasta” – but if you do, you never know what might happen. For Top Chef season 13 contestant Karen Akunowicz, it was the meal of a lifetime.

In an attempt to snag a date with one of her coworkers at Planned Parenthood, Akunowicz promised a home cooked meal, a daring venture since her mother used to say she couldn’t boil water. Not knowing this about her, however, her coworker agreed and Akunowicz grabbed a cookbook and got to work. A few years later, this same date encouraged her to pursue her new found love of cooking by going to culinary school.

Today Akunowicz admits that the putanesca was dreadfully salty, but she’s also the executive chef at Myers + Chang, so she’s clearly learned from her mistakes. And she’s happily married, so the cooking seems to have paid off.

Cooking dinner may not be the easiest way to win the heart of that special someone, but it’s a tried and true strategy. And the truth is, you don’t have to make anything fancy. What makes it so romantic is the gesture itself. So don’t be afraid to whip out those pots and pans on your next date – it could be just the thing to take your relationship to the next level.

restaurant kitchen

The restaurant world is a world that is uncomparable to any other. It’s high energy, high stress, high reward when things are going well, and highly disappointing the moment things start backing up in the kitchen and tempers as well as sharp objects are flying. On a good day, things are amazing and it’s the reason that so many people stay in the restaurant business all of their lives.

No matter what is going on in life, people have to eat. It’s often the way they escape the pressures and or monotony of everyday life. People will always go to restaurants, so it’s up to you to be that restaurant that everybody wants to visit no matter the change in their pocketbook, no matter the weather, and no matter how good or bad their day was prior to showing up. Continue reading »

With the American food supply being controlled and mandated by large corporations, food safety has seemed to decrease in recent years. It seems you can hardly go a week without hearing about a new recall due to E.Coli, Salmonella, or other foodborne illness. Many of these food poisoning outbreaks are much more serious than a simple stomach ache, and could include death.

While producing all of your own food may not be an option, there are other ways to help protect your food supply. By simply avoiding certain foods or being extra cautious in their preparation, you can help your family avoid food poisoning illnesses. Included here are a few of the foods most likely to cause food poisoning in your family and how to avoid the illness.

beef and poultry
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Do you enjoy cooking? Do you love it when other people taste your food? Do you live for fast-paced environments where you are pumped with adrenaline? The modern day chef lives an incredibly exciting, and stressful, life. They are charged with producing food, often customized to order, at a rapid rate with no room for error.


You cannot “accidentally” undercook chicken, overcook scallops, or break a chocolate sauce. Everything done in the culinary arts must be precise and accurate. For many individuals, they believe the challenge of creating culinary masterpieces to be their purpose in life. If you find fulfillment in cooking, perhaps it is time to consider culinary school. Continue reading »

The weather is warming up every day, and any chef worth his knives can tell you what that means: grilling season. But unlike stovetop or oven cooking, learning to grill like a masterchef can come with unexpected challenges, from sudden weather changes to inconsistent flame heat. Luckily, some of the world’s best grillmasters are here to share their secrets. With a little help, everyone will be flocking to your back deck this summer.

outdoor grilling Continue reading »

While some people eat to live, there are definitely others who live to eat. If you have a passion for fine cuisine, it can make sense for you to visit locales known for their popular dishes. For instance, you may simply wish to travel to Thailand to indulge in great Thai food, or you may want to try out the food truck sensation of the California coast. Traveling for generalized food ideas and sensation are one thing, but pinpointing a chef is another.

If your passion is in the individuality of cuisine, knowing a chef’s specialty and traveling to taste it makes perfect sense. With Michelin Star ratings and James Beard awards, it has become easier to decipher which chefs are really on the “cutting edge” of culinary arts. Included here are a few restaurants that may be worth the trip!


The Oceanaire Seafood Room

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Beans are a very heart healthy food, so it simply makes sense for you to add them to your diet. There are some general ways to add beans, lentils, and legumes to your diet, like in soups, then there are some more creative ways to use them.

Beans contain a lot of great minerals, and they are an excellent way to get some protein in your diet while cutting back on meat. They are also the ideal way for vegans and vegetarians to ensure they get enough protein in their diets.

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