SOMMELIER NICOLE NEILSEN JOINS US TO CHAT WINE TRENDS, RUTH’S CHRIS HAPPENINGS AND WHAT’S COMING UP ON THE WHAT’S COOKIN’ ON WINE SHOW TONIGHT
Ruth's Chris Steak House is a chain of 136 steakhouses across the United States and in several international locations. The restaurant is regarded as an upscale fine dining establishment, marking a gradual elevation in its status since its founding in the 1960s. Ruth's Chris is currently the largest luxury steak company in number of locations, operating income, and overall profit, larger than The Palm and Morton's.
The restaurant's signature is serving USDA prime steaks that are seared at 1800° Fahrenheit (982.2 °C) and served on ceramic plates heated to 500° Fahrenheit (260.0 °C). Half an ounce (1 Tbsp) of butter is added just before the plates leave the kitchen in order to create the signature 'sizzle'. Ruth Fertel firmly believed that the success of her steaks was due as much to the sound and smell of the 'sizzle' as well as the taste. "You hear that sizzle, and you think, 'I wonder if that's my steak'", she commented in an interview shortly before her death.
In addition to steaks, the restaurant also serves entrees of chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp and lobster.
Portions generally are large enough to serve two or more diners. Family style side dishes include au gratin potatoes, topped with a bechamel sauce and Cheddar cheese. Some recipes, such as the BBQ shrimp, New Orleans style creamed spinach or the sweet potato casserole, are traditional 19th century Louisiana recipes that originate with Ruth Fertel's family, particularly her great-uncle Martin, a Louisiana Delta farmer from a French-Alsatian family. Some of these recipes have been made publicly available by the family and by the company.
Also available are dessert selections, with the restaurant's signature creme brulee being a staple item throughout the chain.
In 2009, Ruth's Chris introduced their "Ruth's Classics" menu of prix fixe meals where guests choose a three-course meal; starter, entree and side, and dessert. This menu is updated seasonally every three months.
The award-winning wine list includes over 200 wines, primarily from leading Californian vineyards such as Mondavi, Beringer and Stag's Leap. 25 or more wines are available by the glass, depending on location.
The seasonal vintage-inspired cocktail selection, introduced in 2011 by Beverage Director Helen Mackey, includes both classic and contemporary hand-crafted cocktails.
CHEF DEAN RUCKER TALKS COMFORT FOODS
NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S COMFORT FOOD: MEALS IN MINUTES, NOT HOURS
Comfort food, an indulgence often associated with the rich, heavy foods Grandma used to make, is getting a shakeup. According to new national survey of 2,000 grocery shoppers and new Pinterest consumer trends data, the popularity of comfort food is on the rise, but not in the traditional sense. When it comes to foods that they feel good about eating and feeding their families, Americans now favor a more mindful approach to ingredients versus just seeking emotional comfort. Dishes that are quick and easy are among the most important factors when it comes to meal preparation ruling out heavy, rich traditional comfort foods (that can be labor and time intensive: According to Pinterest, the average comfort food recipe takes more than 102 minutes to prepare!).
This new survey shows Americans have become more adventurous with their cooking and care more about where their food comes from. They are also embracing healthier food trends, and consider taste and fresh, healthy ingredients as the keys to the /new/ comfort food. Today Comfort Food is no longer an indulgence but an everyday occasion.
FUN NEW STATISTICS:
• Recipes have become a social media phenomenon.
• Around 50,000 comfort food ideas were saved every day to 14 million Pinterest boards in
• the past year --representing an increase of 140 percent year over year.
• 83% of Americans said that chicken is their go-to comfort food with 78% seeking out
• chicken raised with no antibiotics, hormones or steroids.
• Chicken is also the most popular protein on Pinterest. 35 million people save 566 million chicken recipe ideas every year.
ABOUT CHEF DEAN RUCKER:
Chef Dean Rucker specializes in West Coast cuisine with fresh ingredients. He earned the title of Chopped Champion on the popular Food Network show, Chopped, has crafted delicious recipes at celebrated restaurants and spas, and currently works as a private chef. He attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco then began his career at the Waterfront and Aqua restaurants. His book, Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes From the Celebrated Spa, features his healthy recipe creations.