Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Robin Schempp

Taking Root You don’t need to dig deep for new inspiration with root vegetables

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Chef Paul Qui of Qui and East Side King in Austin, Texas, elevates the humble turnip with soy sauce, uni powder and a tamari butter glaze.PHOTO CREDIT: Chef Paul Qui of Qui and East Side King in Austin, Texas, elevates the humble turnip with soy sauce, uni powder and a tamari butter glaze. With produce informing so much of today’s menu inspirations, storage crops like root vegetables have become intriguing. As we plan our menus in early autumn, last spring’s root fatigue has given way to enthusiasm for a new crop of colorful candidates...

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Modern Flavor Builders Today’s menu development is guided by high-impact flavor profiles

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Bonito flakes offer an extra hit of umami atop this Japanese-inspired okonomiyaki with grilled Denver steak. PHOTO CREDIT: Contemporary flavor-building that once concentrated on culinary technique is increasingly shifting toward high-impact ingredients. Focused on flavor, these are ingredients that deepen and intensify both simple and complex recipes evermore requisite in meeting the globally diverse, culturally current, progressive palates of present day patrons. Modern menu makers must implement innovative ingredient approaches that create value, coaxing the maximum amount of flavor from more humble ingredients, which generally speaks to a gastronomically sophisticated population eager for bigger,...

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Craft Cocktail Cues for 2015 A roundup of macro, mini and micro cocktail trends

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Herbs and botanicals give a sense of terroir to Sable Kitchen & Bar’s “The Botanist + Celery Bitters + Rosemary + Fever Tree” cocktail.PHOTO CREDIT: Sable Kitchen + Bar Bubbles and citrus brighten this Phillips Head cocktail—with Combier Pamplemousse Rose, fresh orange and Prosecco—created by beverage director Keith Nelson at New York City’s Arlington Club. photo courtesy of MELISSA HOM. Tippling is trendy. When the craft cocktail hits even family-style restaurants like Denny’s, we have another sign—as Slate writer Troy Patterson puts it—“that fancy-ass drinking has gone thoroughly mainstream.” Indeed, the bar has been raised to...

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The New Rural & Rustic Emerging foodways offer fascinating place-based provenance with refined rusticity

Best of FlavorTop 10 Trends Today’s Hawaiian cuisine shows a renewed connection to the islands’ ingredients in up-to-date fare like this chia flatbread topped with béchamel sauce, arugula, smoked havarti, local Hamakua mushrooms, sweet Maui onion, smoked ahi tuna and a balsamic reduction.PHOTO CREDIT: Just as it is no longer acceptable to condense Mediterranean or Southeast Asian gastronomies into broad culinary categories, our own North American cuisines have also become more demarcated and micro-regional. Those broad primary foodways—Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Northwest—don’t adequately describe the terroir, history or culture influencing the provenance of both ingredients and preparations. Today, culinary awareness,...

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