Monthly Archives: March 2017

Food and Drink Serving Etiquette for Restaurants

The etiquette of serving food is a set of rules which are adopted by restaurants, caterers and even at private dinner parties. Use these rules as a guide, they are not official rules and can differ between cultures and countries.

“Food and Souvenir”

While some of these techniques may sound petty and a bit over the top, most have a sound explanation. Making service appear smooth and faultless allows the customer to relax and not be interrupted by service staff. It dates back to when servants were required to serve their masters without being noticed.

The order of who to serve first starts with the guest of honour and anyone else of importance. Followed by the eldest woman all the way to the youngest male. The host is to be served last. This is for all service to the table including taking food and drink orders and serving them (if serving all at once isn’t possible).

Food and drinks are usually served from the left and cleared from the right but this varies in different regions of the world.

Plates are only cleared when everyone on the table has finished. To make sure everyone has finished, ask the table if they have finished followed by ‘Was everything OK?’ Although, this is fine, try ask a open question so you receive feedback rather than a yes or no.

Never rush your guests, allow for a break between courses especially before desserts. Obviously drinks are served before any food orders are taken. The bill is only given to the table once it has been asked for.

If the table has wine or champagne, remember to periodically top up their glasses. However there is a fine line between being intrusive and neglecting your customer. Avoid letting your customer pour their own drinks unless they have expressed this.

Remember to be human; you want your guests to be relaxed and comfortable. Build rapport with your guests, but don’t become friends with them. Avoid making remarks about your guests, such as don’t comment on a clean plate as that could imply your guest is greedy or fat.

Ways to Enjoy Your Food and Lose

I’ve made the decision that I will not allow myself to not enjoy eating at a restaurant in fear of gaining a few extra pounds and or hindering my weight management progress.

I like writing while I’m enjoying a good meal. Even now as I write this article I’m sitting in a well known 24 hour restaurant enjoying a mushroom & spinach omelet with 2 buttermilk pancakes. Yes, indeed it is delicious! You see delicious doesn’t have to be fatty or greasy. If you’re wondering how to enjoy your food and lose weight here are 4 ways.

1. Be Selective Choose low fat and low sugar foods. All delicious foods don’t have to be high calories and fat.

2. Eat Smaller Quantities. If you know that you may be eating something that may be slightly above your caloric limit, then eat a small portion, that’s only if you’re disciplined enough to do so.

3. Drink Plenty of Water. Drink a glass of water before you begin to eat. Water will give you a feeling of being full and you won’t overeat. You will be able to eat your enjoyable food but you won’t run the risk of overeating because you will feel full.

4. Exercise Exercising will burn fat and calories. While your exercising it will also stimulate your mind and perhaps you won’t feel to guilty about what you ate. Just walk an extra 1/2 mile.

Now the way to enjoy your food is to think about your goal and think about you having met your goal already! This will put you in a good mood and you will definitely enjoy your food.

Food and Success in Business

If you want to be successful selling food, it is imperative that you make the right choices of the following; a fair price, fantastic quality, great taste, place in the food supply chain, and location. In fact, location should be your primary focus, because location can make or break a business – you may have heard it said, “Location, location, location – it determines 50% of any retail business.”

The extent of the food industry is vast and crosses international boundaries. As long as there are people, there are going to be hungry mouths to feed, and where there are hungry people there is a need for nutrition. The demand is never going to die out. Therefore, this is one business that flourishes in all parts of the world, especially in metros where people do not have the time to cook; they rely on takeaways and fast food restaurants instead.

Which part of the industry should a position be taken up? As mentioned earlier, this is one industry that is so vast it has to rely on international markets to fulfill its demands. The chain includes: farming; food processing; packaging; transportation; retail; outlets, such as, restaurants, eating stalls, drive through eating joints, and of course – the food and beverage regulators!

Beginning with the farmer, who manages the fields and supplies agricultural produce such as; wheat for flour, food grains, and vegetables, sugarcane and beets for mills to produce sugar, various plants from which vegetable cooking medium is extracted, tea leaves and coffee beans, spices and fruit, and dairy farm products such as milk, meat and eggs. The farmer is the beginning and the end of the raw material in the supply chain.

Food processors such as sugar mills, cooking oil manufacturers, beverage manufacturers among others, who link the raw production to the outlets that sell the final product.

Packaging and transportation can be food processor’s in-house department of it can be contractual, which in most cases it is. This forms a large segment of the industry and keeps the retail segment stocked.

The retail segment supplies to the outlets such as; supermarkets that sell processed eatables, raw material such as flour, vegetables, fruit, cooking oil, spices and so on. They also supply to restaurants and eating stalls and the like.

Portuguese Food and Cuisine

Briony Stephenson introduces the hidden delights of Portuguese cuisine.

Despite the lasting influence it has had on food in such far-away places as Macau and Goa, Portuguese cuisine is hugely underrepresented outside Portugal. Often confused with Spanish cooking, it is, in fact, quite distinct. At its best, Portuguese food is simple ingredients impeccably prepared. Based on regional produce, emphasising fish, meat, olive oil, tomato, and spices, it features hearty soups, homemade bread and cheeses, as well as unexpected combinations of meat and shellfish.

For a relatively small nation, Portugal has surprising gastronomic variety. The Estremadura region, which includes Lisbon, is famous for its seafood – the fish market at Cascais, just outside the capital, is one of the largest in the country – while the production of sausages and cheese elsewhere adds another dimension to the national cuisine. The Algarve, the last region of Portugal to achieve independence from the Moors, and situated on North Africa’s doorstep, contributes a centuries-old tradition of almond and fig sweets.

Traditional Portuguese food is typified by fish.Indeed, the Portuguese have a long history of absorbing culinary traditions from other peoples. The age of discovery was propelled by the desire for exotic spices and ever since Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India at the turn of the sixteenth century, they have proved enormously popular. Peri-peri, a Brazilian spice transplanted to the former African colonies is used to flavour chicken and shrimp. Curry spices from Goa are common seasonings. These spices are typically used very sparingly, adding subtle flavour and depth to dishes. It is these influences that have helped make Portuguese food so markedly different from that of other Mediterranean countries and in Lisbon today there are scores of restaurants specialising in the cuisines of the old empire as well as Brazilian-style juice bars, offering drinks and ice-cream made from exotic fruits.

If there is one thing that typifies traditional Portuguese food, however, it is fish. From the common anchovy to swordfish, sole, sea bream, bass and salmon, markets and menus reveal the full extent of Portugal’s love affair with seafood. In Portugal, even a street-bought fish burger is filled with flavour. Bacalhau, salted cod, is the Portuguese fish and said to be the basis for some 365 recipes, one for each day of the year. Two dishes are particularly notable. Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, essentially a casserole of cod, potatoes and onion, is an Oporto speciality and considered perhaps Portugal’s greatest bacalhau recipe. From Estremadura comes bacalhau á bràs, scrambled eggs with salted cod, potatoes and onions.

Shellfish, including clams (amêijoas) and mussels (mexilhões) are also of a high quality. Crab and squid are often stuffed, and lulas recheadas à lisbonense (stuffed squid Lisbon-style) is a great example of Portuguese seafood. Visitors to Lisbon can find traditional shops by the docks selling snails (caracóis).

There are plenty of options for the meat-lover too. Espetada, grilled skewers of beef with garlic, is popular, as is suckling pig (leitão). Cozido à portuguesa, a one-dish meal of beef, pork, sausage and vegetables, reflects the resourcefulness of traditional cooking. A rather more unusual combination is the pork and clams of porco à alentejana (pork Alentejo-style). Pork is also cooked with mussels na cataplana, with the wok-like cataplana sealing in the flavours. Meanwhile, the city of Oporto boasts tripa à moda do Porto (Oporto-style tripe), supposedly a legacy from the days of Prince Henry the Navigator, when the city was left with nothing but tripe after providing the Infante’s ships with food. To this day Oporto natives are known as tripeiros, or tripe-eaters.

Broiled chicken (frango grelhado), seasoned with peri-peri, garlic, and/or olive oil, is one of the few things that has made its mark outside Portugal, where it can be found in cities with a large Portuguese population. The highly aromatic peri-peri chicken is often served in specialist restaurants.

Portuguese food: a hidden treasure.Soups constitute an integral part of traditional cooking, with all manner of vegetables, fish and meat used to create a variety of soups, stews and chowders. Caldo verde (literally green broth), made from a soup of kale-like cabbage thickened with potato and containing a slice of salpicão or chouriço sausage, originated from the northern province of Minho but is now considered a national dish. Along with canja de galinha (chicken broth), caldo verde is a filling, comforting and ubiquitous favourite. For the more adventurous, caldeirada de lulas à madeirense (squid stew Madeira-style) features a characteristically Portuguese combination of seafood, curry and ginger. Another typical dish is the açorda where vegetables or shellfish are added to thick rustic bread to create a ‘dry’ soup.

Those with a sweet tooth may be interested to learn that one of Portugal’s best-kept culinary secrets is its vast and distinctive range of desserts, cakes and pastries. A staple of restaurant menus is chocolate mousse – richer, denser and smoother than foreign versions, while other favourites include arroz doce, a lemon and cinnamon-flavoured rice pudding. The most famous sweets, however, are the rich egg-yolk and sugar-based cakes, influenced by Moorish cooking and perfected by Guimerães nuns in the sixteenth century. For a uniquely Portuguese experience, the visitor should head for a pasteleria (or confeitaria), where the many varieties of cakes and other confections, as well as savoury delicacies like bolinhas de bacalhau, cod balls, are served. The Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, where the legendary pastéis de nata, delicious custard-filled tarts, are baked, is a Lisbon highlight. Nearby Sintra has its own traditional pastry, queijadas de Sintra (a type of cheese tart), which street vendors sell in packs of six.