Tag Archives: New Year

Chef’s New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions – everyone seems to have one, including chefs. People want to do or change something about themselves or others to make the new year a great one. Lose weight, quit smoking, get a new job, save money,  travel and try new food are some of the most popular options.Chef Chopping Vegetables at Restaurant

Michael Lightner, a chef at Atera, New York shared with Conde Nast Traveler he wants to visit Faviken farm in Sweden, take a trip to Brazil and eat wild tropical fruits and go back to Texas to eat barbeque and bask in the warmth.

Readers and contributors to the Washington Post’s Food section shared that they would like to DIY more, not leave as many dirty dishes in the sink, throw away old food in the refrigerator, equip a better foodstock for the freezer and pantry and finally, drink more wine.

Zagat.com interviewed many chefs, including famous ones, about what they’d like to do in 2013. Chef Richard Blais from The Spence in Atlanta shared, “Spend more quality time with my staff. I want to make more of a commitment to team building & nurturing this year. Cook more great vegetables. Especially for the chef in me that cooks at home. I want to tell more vegetable stories this year. Home foraging. Foraging is cliché now, but last year I found a pecan tree in my yard… My kids and I collected juniper berries at the park yesterday. Great food is all around us. Continue to buy great ingredients. Want to know how to start a great restaurant? Buy fruitgreat ingredients.” Click here to read his resolution in its entirety.

Marcus Samuelsson from the Red Rooster in New York touched on what many of us would like to see, “The one thing I resolve to do every year is to make more time…is that even possible? For 2013 I want to be able to spend more time with my family or fishing at my house in Smoegen. I hope to make that happen.”

Our Facebook and Twitter fans even have their own New Year’s Resolutions! Lawrence Russo stated, “Trying to eat Paleo this year to see if it really helps lose weight and boost energy.”

The NY Slice shared, “We have just added wings to our menu. We have Hot, Spicy Garlic, Sriracha and BBQ wings.”

Peerless Ovens revealed, “The staff at Peerless Ovens is looking to provide the best customer service in the industry in 2013. Our customers are like family, and we have some new things in store for them throughout this new year!”

Yogulatte said, “Actually we have a few resolutions this year. We want to continually offer new and better products. We want to expand our breakfast menu. And -as always- we want to continue to improve the customer service we provide!”

Erin in Indy (@indyrestscene) told us she’s “Not so much a resolution kind of gal, but need to get back into exercise routine that has slipped a bit in last few months.”wings

Sloane Miller (@allergicgirl) explained, “I believe change can and should happen any time, like right now! So I don’t have a list per se for 2013, it’s a fluid process. I just moved my childhood piano to my apartment. I imagine all kinds of interesting piano-type activities will ensue.”

One Meal Could Make You Lucky for One Year

It’s almost that time of year where everyone begins to start anew.  2011 is just around the corner and with the fresh beginning come the yearly traditions.  Getting off on a good foot can mean something different to just about every culture, creed and religion.   However, it seems that most of these rituals are food driven, whether it means making a resolution to go on a diet (i.e. not eat so much or eat healthier) or to eat more donuts to round things out a little more.  Below is just a sampling of the epicurean customs you might want to try if you’re looking to ring in the New Year with lady luck on your side.

Black eyed peas/Beans/Lentils/Risotto –  Each of these is used for the same reason in from different areas of the world (depending on what item was abundant where) and is directly related to the idea of money.   In terms of the black eyed peas and beans, their shape tends to look like that of a coin and often a coin of some sort was hidden in the serving dish with them, whoever received this would supposedly also be lucky/rich for the year.   For the lentils and risotto, it was more the idea that since they are so small and puff somewhat when cooked that they represent the abundance the eater could look forward to in the year to come.

Pork – This is one of the widest seen traditions, spanning from Germany and Sweden to Cuba and the United States.  Pork in several forms and variations, such as ribs, ham, roast and pigs feet, is common place on many New Year’s menus.  In Austria, it’s even common to see pink swine made of marzipan decorating the table.  Why such a seemingly dirty animal to bring luck?  Because when a pig eats, it tends to plant its feet, push forward and root itself.  This represents forward progress and prosperity in the year to come.  The fatty meat of the pig also signifies an abundance to come.

Green Leafy Vegetables – Another common tradition, often flavored by the previously mentioned pork, tends to be an obvious choice.  Hailing from the customs of the Northern European and Southern United States, this selection also hails money to come in the approaching year because it (of course) looks like folded bills.

Noodles; Image from MorgueFileNoodles – From China comes the tradition of eating noodles, but for New Year’s there’s a bit of a trick involved to it.  A long noodle is said to represent a long life.  However, you must not break it before the entire noodle is in your mouth.

Grapes – Spain and other Latin countries are known for eating grapes at midnight.  For each stroke of the clock, they eat one grape.  Each grape eaten symbolizes a month of happiness in the year to come.  According to Delish.com, this yearly ritual was said to have started in Spain in 1909 when the Alicante region had a surplus of the sweet fruit.

Pomegranate – Popular in the Mediterranean, many eat the seeds of the pomegranate at the coming of a new year to promote fertility and abundance.  The wealth of the seeds is thought to be related to the wealth of fertility in a person/couple.

Round Pastry – As mentioned above, some cultures even take to eating round pastries such as cakes and donuts.  This tradition is built more on the shape or what’s inside rather than the actual item.  The circular shape of the item denotes the year coming full circle.  Like the bean items, it’s also common to bake a coin in the pastry.  Again, the person finding the coin will prosper in the year to come.

With this wealth of food tradition and superstition, why not try out a menu built around the idea this year?  Below is a suggestion of what to try out, with links to their recipes.  


Pomegranate Cosmo 

Black Eyed Pea Hummus with pita bread for dipping
Grape, Goat Cheese and Pistachio Truffles 

Main Course & Side
Pork Stuffed Collard Greens
Long Life Noodles     

Vaselopita (Greek New Year’s Cake)  


Article info comes from the following sources:
2. Epicurious.com
3. Eatdrinkbetter.com
4. Infoplease.com
5. Sandychatter.wordpress.com
6. NCBI.nlm.nih.gov