Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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Tis level of dedication carries through to monthly chefs' meetings, which Rose describes as entirely food focused— no operational talk allowed—and designed to push cooking skills and food knowledge. Each month, the group picks a culture of food from around the world and "goes deep with it," learning pantry essentials, basic cooking methods, classic dishes, etc. "It's a great way to keep our guests inspired to see what we are cooking next, and for our chefs to keep learning and pushing themselves," Rose says. Prepared food ambassadors Food expertise doesn't stop with Bi-Rite's chefs. All staf members taste all new house-made items, says Rose, be- cause he and his team want them to know and understand the products. Tese tastings promote excitement among staf members so they can be ambassadors for special products and new dishes. Te company's close relationships with producers mean Rose can regularly take staf to visit the farmers, ranchers and producers who provide Bi-Rite's food products. "Tey can witness frsthand where our ingredients are coming from and meet the people who are producing them," Rose says. Bi-Rite's customers also end up being natural ambassadors. "We include our guests in the creative process as well, ofentimes 'beta-testing' new dishes for our nightly dinners and gathering direct feedback from our guests," Rose says. "We are lucky to be able to feature ingredients that our guests see on the store foor as well, creating continuity that allows us to better tell a pro- ducer's story. We listen to our guests' feedback and value those relationships because they push us to be even better. Having kitchens in the heart of our markets gives us the freedom for real time feedback directly from our guests." Learning from experience Bi-Rite also pays attention to which prepared foods are selling the most. Teir sandwich program, for example, is legendary, and the regular lunch crowd has made the Achiote Chicken Sandwich a current fan favorite. Te hot- pressed creation starts with an achiote-marinated Mary's Free Range chicken breast topped with pickled onions, provolone cheese and chipotle aioli. Another sandwich, the Vegan Hippy, piles creamy avocado, crispy-fried sweet potato, pea shoots and rum-braised green onion aioli on toasted, thick-cut seeded bread. "Tis sandwich went through much iteration before we decided it was ready to launch, and it's now a top seller at both markets," Rose notes. G "We all love to eat and scope out menus wherever we find ourselves." — Chef Jason Rose, Bi-Rite culinary director Located in San Francisco, Bi-Rite takes advantage of the city's chef talent pool. One of Bi-Rite's top calling cards is its instore Creamery & Bakeshop, where pots de crème made from Berkeley, Calif.-based TCHO fy out of the stores. It also represents Bi-Rite's dedication to serving the best and in the best ways possible. "We decided to sell our classic pot de crème in 9-ounce reusable glass jars instead of plastic cups, and wow, what a good decision!" says Chef Jason Rose, culinary director for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses in San Francisco. "This is a fantastic example of getting the quality, favor and texture of the product right, and packaging in line with our environmen- tal mission as well." Sweet success

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