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Weekly Chef and Menu Report: The Week of March 3, 2014

Weekly Chef and Menu Report: The Week of March 3, 2014

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Every week, we take a look at some new chefs and menus that have appeared across the country. Here’s this week’s roundup:

Pompeian Olive Oil introduced its Pompeian Varietals Collection, featuring “Arbequina” — ideal for fish and vegetables, “Koroneiki” — ideal for soups and salads, and “Picholine” — ideal for meats and sauces. These olive oils are available in grocery stores in 16-ounce bottles for $6.99.

The breakfast brand belVita recently launched two new breakfast biscuits: Soft Baked Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits ($3.69 for 5-packs) and Soft Baked Banana Bread Biscuits ($3.69 for 5-packs).

Triscuit expanded its Brown Rice line to include Brown Rice Triscuit Thin Crisps and has introduced three new cracker flavors to its Thin Crisps variety: sour cream and chive, wasabi and soy sauce, and cinnamon sugar. These new crackers cost $3.69 for a 7.6-ounce box.

Wheat Thins are releasing a new line of crackers, Wheat Thins Popped, that come in three flavors: sea salt, sour cream and onion, and spicy cheddar. Those will be available in stores in late March or early April of 2014.

March 25 is International Waffle Day, and as an ideal waffle topper, Crown Maple, "quite possibly the purest syrup on earth," offers an organic maple syrup trio, produced at Madava Farms in Dutchess County, N.Y. The syrup comes in three varieties: light amber, medium amber, and dark amber.

For St. Patrick’s Day, KOHLER Co. has released a line of handmade Emeralds chocolates, which come in four flavors that “explore the taste of green” — absinthe, mint, lime, and green tea — and are coated in smooth milk chocolate.

New York City

In honor of Valencia’s annual Las Fallas celebration, Tio Pepe of Greenwich Village will serve a dish called “Paella Valenciana” as part of a five-course special beginning March 19. The dish, which is prepared with saffron laced bomba rice with clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken, and chorizo, is inspired by the fire and smoke that fill the streets of Valencia every March for the festival. According to a press release, the meal will be paired with Spanish craft beer and costs $40 per person.

On St. Patrick’s Day, Mercadito Grove and Mercadito Avenue B will offer a “Corned Beef Taco,” full of traditional Irish flavors. The tacos cost $16.50 for an order of four and are prepared with crispy corned beef, braised cabbage-potato slaw, habanero horseradish aioli, cured onions and cilantro, mustard seeds, and crispy hash.

Lower East Side’s Hotel Chantelle is now hosting an Improper English Roast, which includes a three-course meal and beer pairing, every Sunday, beginning March 9 at 6 p.m. For the first event, executive chef Seth Levine will serve a slow-roasted 16-ounce thick-cut English roast with classic Yorkshire gravy, carrots, and Brussels sprouts along with “The Chantelle Salad” and bourbon bread pudding, each paired with a special beer for $35.92. A select à la carte plate will also be available for $19.92.

New York’s original independent cinema eatery, Nitehawk Cinema is getting ready for its next event in its Film Feast series, which combines food and film. The next installment is a presentation of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and pairings from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. The audience will be served food and drink inspired by specific scenes in the film.

A new Bottomless Brunch is launching at The Windsor on March 9, offering unlimited Bloody Mary’s, prosecco, mimosas, bellinis and classic brunch dishes for $18. Brunch dishes available include the “Classic American Egg Sandwich” with American cheese, bacon, toasted brioche, and herb cheese; eggs benedict; and blueberry pancakes to name a few.

Sel et Poivre’s two-week Game Festival, beginning March 10 and running through March 23, will feature a tasting menu by executive chef and co-owner Christian Schienle, which is available either à la carte or prix fixe, according to a press release. The Game Tasting Menu offers an appetizer of venison soup with savoy cabbage, wild boar pate, or smoke duck breast with haricot verte salad; and a main course of oven-roasted stuffed quail with goat cheese, port wine reduction, sweet potato puree, and wild rice; venison shank served with porcini mushroom risotto; or a wild boar burger with cheddar cheese, onions, and jalapeños. For dessert, a choice of hot raspberries with vanilla ice cream or chocolate Lava Cake is available.

Magnolia Bakery’s dessert of the month is pistachio cheesecake with brown sugar shortbread crust, available for $7 throughout March. For Pi Day on March 14, apple caramel hand pies will be available. And on St. Patrick’s Day, green-inspired pastries will be offered including St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, “Devil’s Food Whoopie Pies” with peppermint buttercream for $3.50, and individual peppermint icebox desserts for $4. These treats are available beginning March 14.

SoHo’s Osteria Morini is now offering a Creekstone Farms 120-day dry-aged tomahawk steak for $115. The steak is 32 ounces and is served with two sides.

We’re always looking for tips about new chefs and seasonal menus, so if you think there are any that we missed, let us know!

Menu Cycles

Menu cycles typically consist of six-week lunch and one- and two-week breakfast cycles, depending on the age group. By using menu cycles, meals can rotate on a recurring basis, with more popular items at higher circulation, and allow for structured planning and procurement.

We’ve partnered with Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) to produce sample menu cycles. In the reference files below, you can download information including: USDA certification worksheets for each week, nutrient analysis by day, and cycle and example costing information.


At BVSD, breakfast is usually offered as a regular two-week cafeteria service model for K-5, and one-week cycles for K-8, 6-8, and 9-12 age groups as well as a two-week classroom model for K-5. The breakfast menus are based on ready-to-eat foods, some of which BVSD has worked closely with local companies to develop, such as burritos, muffins, and bagels. At BVSD, this type of breakfast menu is most compatible with their demographic and labor model.

We have a handful of scratch-cooked breakfast items in the Recipes database that can be easily incorporated into menu cycles.


Lunch, like breakfast, is offered for all age groups. The cycles are six-week cycles and are based on BVSD’s current menu cycles, with the exception of some custom prepared foods that are not available nationwide.

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