Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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130 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 e&s segment spotlight and a deli display case with prepared salads. Takeout and delivery account for a quarter of Tanoreen's business. The res- taurant also caters hundreds of events annually, Bishara says. The open kitchen, located behind the takeout area, includes a grill, range top, fryers and a convection oven. It can handle production of up to 500 kibbie cups, a Levantine dish of bulgar wheat and lamb shell stuffed with eggplant, tomato, garlic and spices. Although Tanoreen stays true to its Middle Eastern roots, the ingredients are not typical to the region. "My mother heavily uses basil, pesto, pablano peppers and quinoa, which are not typical ingredients in these foods," says Bishara. "There's definitely a movement in this segment toward different ingredients not available in the Middle East, such as Brussels sprouts." With the restaurant's menu also incorporating gluten-free and vegan items due to increased demand, there is not much deviation from what customers expect with this cuisine. "Middle Eastern food is delicious, nutritious and on par with food trends in general," says Bishara. Atypical Arabian Fare Recently honored by Food and Wine magazine as Restaurant of the Year, Portland, Ore.-based Tusk is not a me-too Middle Eastern concept. In fact, executive chef and partner Sam Smith hesitates to classify his restaurant as a part of this segment. "We're not making traditional food, but taking the soul of an idea to fruition," says Smith. He first learned about this style of cooking, its flavors, hospitality and style of eating while working with Michael Solomonov as the opening sous chef at Philadelphia's Zahav restaurant. Prior to this, both men traveled in Israel for a couple of weeks to become immersed in the cuisine. After becoming part of the opening team at Ava Genes with Joshua McFadden, Smith opened Tusk in August 2016. "Ava Genes was focused on vegetables and working closely with local farms," says Smith. "I fell in love with that idea, so a few years later decided to marry that style of food." In an effort to perfect his vision for the concept, Smith traveled to Morocco to increase his scope of the food. "It became me wanting to capture the soul of what I was shown in Israel and Morocco with my own vision and voice using local produce with food that's inspiring to me," says Smith. "I'm not looking to make traditional dishes." The menu reflects his nontraditional approach. Hummus and flatbread, served at every table at the start of the meal, are the only Middle Eastern fare identifiers. The fact that the staff makes their pita from 100 percent whole grains in-house and produce hummus from scratch using Washington State grown chick peas are testaments to the focus on fresh. Other than these two staples, the menu changes daily, with dishes dependent on ingredient availability. It includes sections dedicated to vegetables, fruits and grains, all regu- larly rotated. At press time, selections included broccoli, snap peas, crispy quinoa and spring onions. Greek feta secures a The ambiance at Tusk is atypical to many other Portland, Ore., restaurants, with a lighter color palette. Photo by AJ Meeker

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