Convenience Store News

NOV 2016

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12 Guide to Foodservice | WWW.CSNEWS.COM The Top Chef & the Guru Rick Bayless and Phil Lempert add spice to the Convenience Foodservice Exchange By Don Longo "S omething in every dish has to seduce me. It could be a flavor that makes me go, 'Wow,' or something in the dish that evokes a positive memory." Rick Bayless, the award-winning chef, television personality, cookbook author and restauranteur, has very strong convictions about the latest food trends in the United States, the impact of millennials, the impor- tance of authenticity and freshness, and employee training programs. The former Bravo TV Top Chef Master shared these convictions in an hour-long con- versation with Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert at the 2016 Convenience Foodservice Exchange. Lempert, himself a popular TV personality and one of America's leading consumer trend watchers and analysts, interviewed Bayless and got the top chef to speak about his passion for people and the authentic food of Mexico. Bayless' highly-rated Public Television series, "Mexico — One Plate at a Time," can be found on televisions coast to coast, and his six cookbooks have won several awards. Bayless said his notion of authenticity is something with "true" flavor. "You don't go down to Mexico and return with grandma's recipes and think that what you make is authentic," he said. Authenticity is especially important to millennials, like his daughter. "They care that something rings true as a flavor," he explained. "They don't want some- thing watered-down or made bland in order to appeal to the masses." Above all else, food should evoke emotion. "I want an emotional reaction from our guests. I love anything to do with feeding people. We get to make people happy. That's the big payoff." BEING BOLD Bayless' side-by-side, award-winning restaurants in Chicago — the casual Frontera Grill and the four- star Topolobampo — were founded in 1987. In 2007, Frontera Grill won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant. "I think the changing population of America has changed what they are looking for from food. People want more spice and bolder flavors," Bayless remarked. The chef also extolled the open kitchen concept, Bayless is an award-winning chef, TV personality, cook- book author, and restauranteur. Lempert moderated the one-hour interactive discussion with Bayless.

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