About Tony Lagana

A 42-year veteran of the food industry and often called the “New Product Guru”. Tony holds a patent on his Menu Innovator®, a system of menu analysis which predicts the probability and time frame for new ingredients to hit the mass market. Trained in the classics and nouvelle cuisine he worked in new concept development for Kraft Foods and was Director of Culinary at Darden restaurants. Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.

Health and Eco-Conscious Restaurants Matter to Diners

Healthy, better-for-you and functional foods have been trending for quite some time now and are expected to continue into the foreseeable future. As consumers grow more health-conscious and become increasingly more interested in flexitarian diets, they are eating less meat and consuming more fruits and vegetables than ever before. Additionally, consumers have concerns about sustainability, eco-consciousness and similar environmental concerns. Restaurants must offer dishes that satisfy not just the stomach but also the conscience, especially for Millenials and Gen Z. Food manufacturers can help by fortifying ingredients with things like probiotics, antioxidants and added vitamins and minerals. Chefs can look toward ingredients with purported health [...]

By |2020-06-24T09:24:44-04:00June 24th, 2020|Industry News|

Plant-Based Food

It is quite apparent that the ‘Plant-Based Movement’ is not going away anytime soon and is not only going to be a longtime food trend, but a driving factor in the expansion of diverse dietary choices. Although, veganism and vegetarianism make up the smaller minority of diets, it has greatly impacted the way we view food and what we want in our bodies. While most people may not be exclusively plant-based consumers, most plant-based purchases are done by people who still actively consume meat. According to a study done by Nielsen in 2019 for the Plant Based Food Association, 98% of people who buy plant-based [...]

By |2020-06-22T08:07:43-04:00June 22nd, 2020|Industry News|

The Rising of the Phoenix, Restaurants Rise from the Ashes of COVID-19

Restrictions are Lifted As stay at home orders are lessening and our country is opening back up from the coronavirus, consumers are excited and cautious about getting back to visiting their favorite restaurants, retail stores and friends. Dining out is rated as one of the top three occasions to look forward to, along with being with friends and visiting family. As restrictions are lifted across the country, we feel as if we have more control over our health and most important, our safety. People want to get back to going out, being served and of course relaxing. “Eating at a restaurant is right up there [...]

By |2020-06-17T07:44:17-04:00June 17th, 2020|Industry News|

Budget-friendly Beverage Trends

Finding Profit In Beverages Today, the beverage menu is expanding as coffee, botanicals, and dessert-based drinks continue to grow and evolve. Perhaps one of our favorite parts of this beverage trend is the profitability that it brings. As consumers are seeking non-alcoholic mixed drinks to accompany their meals, and the ability to replace liquors with juices and infusions, restaurants cut costs a bring a greater profit. By removing the sometimes-costly alcohol from the equation, mixologists gain a new way to innovate and restaurants get more bang for their buck. Coffee-based drinks show no sign of slowing down. Cold brews, especially creamy nitro cold brews, offer [...]

By |2020-06-15T07:56:13-04:00June 12th, 2020|Industry News|

Bourbon Steak, Scottsdale, AZ (Steakhouse)

Born in Egypt and raised in Washington, Chef Michael Mina began working in the culinary industry in his teens, and it was during his first year of college, working in the Space Needle restaurant in Washington State that he gained the exposure he needed to make the decision to pursue full time culinary training. Since those early years, Mina has become a celebrity American chef, who has opened numerous restaurants, and garnered multiple Michelin Stars throughout his career. Chef Mina has stated that his cooking always revolves around four basic elements: spice, sweetness, acidity, and richness. It is these elements that Mina seeks to incorporate [...]

By |2020-06-10T10:52:01-04:00June 10th, 2020|Top 100 Restaurant Reviews|

ABC Kitchen, New York, NY (Eclectic)

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has established himself as one of American’s most famous Chefs and Restaurateurs. Beginning his love of food in his early years in France, Vongerichten trained and worked in France, and Asia. It was during his time working in Asia that he embraced and developed a passion for Eastern flavor. To this day, he forgoes traditional cream and meat stock based sauces for those made from vegetable and fruit juices, and herbal combinations that feature more intense flavors such as those he experienced in Asia. ABC Kitchen embodies the farm to table culinary movement and features a seasonally changing menu that serves only [...]

By |2020-06-04T12:29:52-04:00June 4th, 2020|Top 100 Restaurant Reviews|

Le Cirque, Las Vegas, NV (French)

In 1974, Sirio Maccioni opened the first Le Cirque restaurant in New York City, combining colorful circus décor with delicious French cuisine. Le Cirque launched careers of illustrious chefs such as Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Alex Stratta and Geoffrey Zakarian. With its additional location at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, reservations are hard to come by so plan ahead. With its rare AAA 5 Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star rating, Le Cirque Las Vegas demonstrates it is one of the top restaurants in the nation. Dinner at Le Cirque begins with a variety of breads presented to the table. You may choose the [...]

By |2020-06-01T08:46:13-04:00June 1st, 2020|Top 100 Restaurant Reviews|

La Grenouille, New York, NY (French)

No other restaurant in New York captures the glamourous aura of France like La Grenouille.  In business since the early 1960’s, La Grenouille is famous for its delicious French cuisine and its fresh flowers delivered daily.  Founded in 1962 by the Masson family, the restaurant has hosted numerous celebrities.  Upstairs above La Grenouile, Antoine de St. Exupery wrote parts of “The Little Prince.”  Its history is unique and its cuisine is classic. Dinner can be ordered prix fixe or ala carte.  The choices of flavors are varied.  You may want to start with a Traditional Beet Borscht with Cabbage and Dill or Foie Gras Ravioli [...]

By |2020-05-28T08:13:23-04:00May 28th, 2020|Top 100 Restaurant Reviews|

Poogan’s Porch, Charleston, SC (Southern)

As the chef/owner of Poogan’s Porch, Daniel Doyle’s passion is resourcing meat, produce and grains from Charleston and its surrounding areas. Poogan’s Porch is Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishments. Chef Doyle began visiting Poogan’s Porch during his childhood family vacations. He attended Johnson & Wales University where he received an degree in Culinary Arts and in Restaurant and Institutional Management. He has refined low country cooking and has been invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation in New York. South Carolina is famous for its low country cooking and Poogan’s Porch has been serving it since 1976. Start with the Pimento Cheese Fritters and [...]

By |2020-05-22T08:20:09-04:00May 22nd, 2020|Top 100 Restaurant Reviews|

The COVID-19 Virus, Survive and Thrive

Our daily routines in America have changed radically as the COVID-19 pandemic has invaded our cities and towns. It seemed as if overnight our lives have been turned upside down. Every state has enacted some type of stay at home policy closing schools, non-essential businesses, restaurants, and bars. Social distancing has become the norm eliminating stops at the morning coffee shop to relaxing lunch and dinner dine-in meals. Restaurants were forced to close dining rooms and only serve meals through takeout and delivery platforms. In a period of about four weeks, more than 20 million people found themselves out of work, putting new pressure household [...]

By |2020-05-22T08:20:00-04:00May 20th, 2020|Industry News|