A behind the scenes look at The Cheesecake Factory kitchens. Learn secrets and fun facts about how your food is prepared at one of America’s favorite restaurants!
Sponsored by The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory Behind the Scenes Look
Last week I was invited to California for a private tour of The Cheesecake Factory Culinary Research and Development Center where all recipes are tested and created. Then got a behind the scenes look at one of the restaurant’s kitchens and treated to an amazing lunch to try the new fall menu items. It was an exciting trip and I’m betting you’ll have a whole new outlook on The Cheesecake Factory after you read this!
Fun Cheesecake Factory Secrets!
Here’s a fun secret that I never knew about The Cheesecake Factory… EVERY dish on the menu, yes all 250 menu items, are made fresh from scratch in each of the restaurant’s kitchens. Nothing is frozen or pre-made on the menu but the cheesecakes. Each head of lettuce is cut by a person, every eggroll hand rolled and each sauce is made fresh simmering for hours until perfect. For such a large restaurant chain, making the recipes from scratch is unheard of these days and what makes The Cheesecake Factory stand apart from the rest.
It was so much fun being invited for a behind the scenes look at the Culinary Center and having a chance to taste so many recipes! The incredible aroma as soon as we walked into the kitchens was mouthwatering. Full of beautiful fresh fruits, vegetables, bread baking in the oven, bacon sizzling and amazing sauces I didn’t know if I could make it to lunch! Luckily we got to nibble things as we got the tour. Click here to see my Instagram Story about my trip.
If you don’t know the background story of The Cheesecake Factory, it all started in 1978 when the founder, David Overton, wanted to share his mother’s cheesecake recipes by offering a variety of cheesecake flavors at his small Beverly Hills restaurant. Most people thought it would fail, because who would want different flavors of cheesecake? Fast forward 40 years and The Cheesecake Factory has became one of America’s favorite restaurants.
The founder didn’t know much about the restaurant business when he started and used fresh ingredients with no shortcuts. When he realized there were ways to have food pre-made and shipped, he already had a system that was working and never changed. All recipes are still made fresh from scratch to this day. What an amazing story!
The Cheesecake Factory VIP Tour
Getting a never before seen look at the Culinary Center kitchens where the recipes are developed was definitely a treat! Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer at The Cheesecake Factory gave us a tour and introduced us to his team. It was evident how much they love their jobs because many have been with the company for 15 years or more. We also got to tour a kitchen of one of the restaurants. The kitchens were so sparkly clean! It was great watching some of our favorite recipes being made from scratch!
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
The first secret we learned was how they make their amazing Crispy Brussels Sprouts, an amazing new fall menu item. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was, because this is my all-time favorite appetizer! Fried Brussels sprouts and Brussels sprouts leaves tossed in salt, maple butter syrup, and smoky bacon, this dish is to die for! The chefs put so much time and care into each recipe. They actually tried about 500 different kinds of syrup over the years before they picked the perfect one. Wow!
Even the cocktails are tested daily! It was fun meeting the people who develop the drinks, because I love the Cheesecake Factory’s happy hour. They let me taste test some Passion Fruit Mojitos. I tried three different varieties… 1) mint was muddled 2) mint was torn 3) mint was not muddled or torn. My favorite was the drink with the torn mint. It had just the right amount of mint flavoring. I could really get used to this job!!!
When I told friends I was going on this trip, the most requests were for me to ask them why are there so many choices on the menu? The answer was straight and simple… the founder wanted a place where everyone would enjoy a meal together. His vision was to bring people together, so there would always be something on the menu for everyone. Now you know why the menu is so large. It makes total sense, because you could definitely try something different on each visit!
But what happens to all of that fresh food at the end of the night? I love that it’s donated to local food banks to help the community. Just another bonus of visiting your local Cheesecake Factory more often!
New Fall Menu
We got to try a lot of the new fall menu items and I’m excited to share the photos I took with you today! If you haven’t been to The Cheesecake Factory in a while, check out these amazing recipes below and head over as soon as possible!
Favorite Cheesecake Factory Recipes
We tried SO MANY menu items, but I have narrowed it down to my favorites to share with you today!
First, I fell in love with the Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes. These fluffy buttermilk pancakes with Ricotta cheese and lemon zest topped with strawberries is a speciality on their brunch menu that you can’t pass up!
I’ve never ordered a Mexican dish at The Cheesecake Factory, but now I’m addicted to these Grilled Steak Tacos! These are SO GOOD! I think the crispy onions on top is what made them so amazing.
Take a look at more amazing fall menu recipes that we got to taste. Everything was crazy delicious!
From top to bottom; Almond-Crusted Salmon Salad, Breakfast Tacos, Tuna Poke, Avocado Eggrolls, El Diablo, Roadside Sliders.
If you’re not a drinker, there are some amazing mocktails on the menu now. The Passion Mint Fizz and Citrus Sparkler are pictured below. My daughter would go crazy over these!
New Cheesecake Flavors
We couldn’t end our trip without having some cheesecake! We got to try a few of the newest flavors.
I was shocked that I actually liked the Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake the best out of the two! What’s even better is for every slice sold, 25 cents will be donated to Feeding America: the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting to domestic hunger through a network of food banks.
Thanks to The Cheesecake Factory for inviting me to be a guest on such a fabulous VIP tour and lunch! I hope you enjoyed drooling over some of these amazing fall menu items.
Let me know what dish looks the best to you!
Originally published on October 1, 2018. Last Updated on April 18, 2019 by Amy Locurto