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“In 5 years, the octopus will be the new prawn,” predicts Joe Rieke, Operations Director for Opper Melang Restaurants, including Seattle’s Ballard Annex Oyster House, “because prawns will not be around anymore, because we ate them all.”So octopus is spreading its tentacles far from its traditional base of Italian, Spanish and Japanese restaurants. Imports increased by nearly 40 percent between 2010 and 2012. Lee Wolen, chef de cuisine at the Lobby restaurant at the Peninsula Chicago, calls it a challenging ingredient. “When it’s done right, it’s amazing, although it is very commonly mishandled and often overcooked or undercooked.” One of...

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