A mix of homegrown chefs and transplants from other cities have been opening risk-taking and award-winning restaurants in Pittsburgh, offering creative spins on American food and authentic takes on cuisines like Venezuelan and Vietnamese that would have been hard to find less than a decade ago.

Marinating is a terrific basic kitchen technique. Essentially, you can take any kind of meat, fish or seafood, or even vegetables or soy products, submerge them in a marinade, and you’ve turned a plain something into a great dinner.

Chocolate éclair cake is an instant dessert classic; this no-bake cake features layers of store-bought vanilla pudding and Cool Whip sandwiched between graham crackers and topped off with chocolate frosting.