Canadian Pizza Magazine

News
Experts bring best tips to Restaurants Canada Show


March 4, 2015
By Canadian Pizza
annaolson3

March 4, 2015, Toronto – Canadian restaurateurs, caterers, bar owners,
manufacturers,
distributors and other foodservice providers congregated at the
Restaurants Canada Show earlier this week to check out the latest
products and
hear from food industry experts on a variety of topics. There was plenty there to interest
pizzeria operators.

March 4, 2015, Toronto – Canadian restaurateurs, caterers, bar owners and other foodservice providers congregated at the
Restaurants Canada Show earlier this week to check out the latest
products and
hear from food industry experts on a variety of topics. There was plenty there to interest
pizzeria operators.

The show ran from March 1 to 3 at the Direct Energy
Centre in Toronto.

On Sunday, Master Chef Pasquale Ponticiello of the Associazone
Veruce Pizza Napoletana demonstrated how to make Neapolitan pizza dough while
the School of Italian Pizza’s Francesco Zulian translated and added commentary
on the differences between Neapolitan and other pies.

Advertisment

Neapolitan pizzas generally contain less fat, Zulian said.
The best time to judge a pizza’s quality is a day after eating it, when you can
judge its lightness and digestibility, he added. Rising and maturation are
important; a dough might rise but not necessarily mature.

Other tips: at 4 C rising stops but not maturation; Canadian
flour is high in protein, so it takes longer to mature; and, for best results, chefs
should try to keep salt and yeast apart as long as possible.

On the Culinary Stage, celebrity chef Lynn Crawford hammed
it up on stage and pulled amateur and professional chefs from the audience to
help cook up a mean chicken curry. 

NPD Group’s Mark Dempsey led a well-attended seminar called
“The rise and fall of fast casual: flash in the pan or here for the long run?” Dempsey
described the fast-casual restaurant concept in the following way: you order at
the counter, spend $10 to $15, wait for your food amid engaging décor.

Key characteristics include appealing to millennial
customers by offering several better-for-you menu options, building loyalty
among customers and covering as many day parts as possible. Williams Fresh Cafe
is a perfect example of a restaurant that hits all the marks, he said.

At 15-plus per cent growth compared to flat or declining
numbers in quick-service and full-service restaurants, he concluded the concept
is here to stay.

“It’s a sustainable model that has stolen share from
established restaurants,” he said.

In the Pizza Pavilion, new this year, there was a
pizza-spinning demo by Michael Shepherd, international pizza champion, author and consultant, and a panel featuring Pizza Pizza vice-president Pat Finelli, Roberto Vergalito of Roberto's Pizza Passion
and Joe Leroux of Amadio’s Pizza.

Tuesday saw celebrity pastry chef Anna Olson, cookbook
author and host of Food Network Canada’s Bake
with Anna
Olson, demonstrate to a
rapt audience how to make dishes local. Olson prepared Mushroom Wellington
using cremini mushrooms and garlic from Ontario, thyme and white wine. She made
an accompanying Nicoise salad that substituted trout for tuna, hothouse
tomatoes for green beans and Ontario pickles for olives. 

Always try to use what’s in season, Olson said, pointing out
that root vegetables have been in season for months, mushrooms are available
year round with all varieties being grown in the dark and maple syrup season is
just around the corner. The OntarioFresh.ca, a sponsor of the demo, has a
database that lets users look up ingredients to find out what is in season and
where you can buy it, she said.

annaolson3
Celebrity chef Anna Olson had fun with local ingredients,
demonstrating how easy it can be to put a local twist on traditional
favourites.
 chefpasquale2
Master Chef Pasquale Ponticiello of the Associazone Veruce
Pizza Napoletana demonstrated how to make Neapolitan pizza dough.

 markdempsey2
Fast casual is a sustainable model that has stolen share
from established restaurants, said NPD analyst Mark Dempsey in a popular
seminar.