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All restaurateurs would agree that controlling food costs is a primary constituent of any winning operating formula. Culinary schools cover the subject in detail, and self-taught chef/owners develop a working system or quickly go out of business. At Toulouse and Portofino, my restaurants in Atlanta, we’ve developed a method of costing out each menu item plate we serve.

It’s been said that you can tell the mood of a chef by eating his or her food. Similarly, it’s been argued that winemakers and their wines resemble one another. In the case of restaurant staffs, the attitudes of managers are reflected in the demeanor of employees under them.

Kyle Branche

 et al.

Each night you brace yourself for that moment of the evening when the pace of activity behind the bar shifts from a comfortable cruise-control to pedal-to-the- metal overdrive. In anticipation, you’ve prepped during the shift’s quiet time so you can deliver your best-selling cocktail with ease. But what quality of drink will you be serving?

Although chef and food service uniforms are steeped in tradition, today's chef uniforms are anything but customary. Gone are the 19th century chef whites, as they are replaced by looks that reflect modern needs, individual personality, and branding.