Catering To the Melting Pot

Hold the anchovies! Lose the mint! How the hugely successful Cheesecake Factory is diversifying what America eats

Is America ready for the melted anchovy? That's the question on the table this afternoon in the gleaming research and development kitchen of the Cheesecake Factory in Calabasas Hills, Calif. Karl Matz, 31, a former chef at Spago with the earnest good looks of an Eagle Scout, has reluctantly removed the salty little fish from his pasta puttanesca, traditionally made with tomatoes, anchovies, olives, capers and dried red chilis, and sets plates of rigatoni cloaked in the sauce onto a black-marble counter. David Overton, Cheesecake's founder, CEO and ultimate tasting authority, picks up one of the half a dozen forks arrayed...

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