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At Modern Market - a fast casual based in Denver that serves farm-fresh, artisan food, including wholesome grain bowls, modern salads and toasted sandwiches - director of culinary operations Nate Weir talks about how he worked to source exactly the right salmon, then showcased it in a Curried Salmon Bowl LTO, before developing a Salmon Caesar Salad that quickly became the No. 2 seller in the overall menu mix.

There are really no limits to flavor play in the breakfast space. We bring you inspiration. Salmon tacos. Avocado chicharrones. Adjarian Khachapuri - a flatbread from Georgia. A Roasted Pear, Spinach and Gorgonzola Omelette. And much much more.

For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.

There’s a precision to the global mash-up at Nahita in Boston, where the pantry pulls strategically from Peru, Japan, Mexico and Turkey, staying true to authentic ingredients while combining them in new and intriguing ways.

Sauces are the silver bullet, armed with craveability, uniqueness and, of course, flavor. Their role in plate composition isn’t new, but the opportunity today sees chefs leveraging the culinary might of sauces and wielding it in unique and memorable ways—all with the strategy of building a flavor impact that knocks their guests' socks off

Garner Foods donated $20,000 to hunger charities during the Texas Pete® Kitchen Hero Cook-Off.

Welcome to the November/December 2018 issue from Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Cathy Nash Holley

Combined with the functional benefits of the traditional spices—turmeric, clove, fenugreek and cinnamon—this potato-based take on the shawarma can boast better-for-you benefits—as well as showstopping creativity

Aron Habiger is chef/owner of On the Lam, a traveling pop-up culinary concept based in Santa Ana, Calif. We asked him to share a flavor trifecta that demonstrates creative, unexpected flavor play.

Estevan Jimenez is the executive chef and culinary instructor at Rancho Cielo Youth Campus in Salinas, Calif. He shares five flavors that inspire his culinary creativity.

In preparation for Lent we have a feature on how to make the most of seafood on your menu, with strategies from several restaurants. There's also a fun, inspiring piece on how to make your menu more appealing to the Instagram generation. Cereal is huge. We're talking about cereal milks, boozy cereal milks, and cereal in shakes, desserts, and pretty much everywhere else. We're also covering smoke and trending sauces, and we've got a major cocktail tour, plus 10 ways to update the classic cocktails. READ MORE | SUBSCRIBE

Modern applications of compressed watermelon featured at two Oakland, Calif., restaurants

The recent Mise Conference presented valuable and relevant content and showcased a number of creative and memorable food and beverage items that translate to on-trend opportunities. Here are four flavor-forward takeaways from the event.

What better springboard for seafood innovation than Lent? Seafood consumption up, and there’s a general uptick in excitement around seafood. The pathway to success follows two strategies that walk hand-in-hand today: flavor and sustainability.

How Barton Seaver draws inspiration from Portugal when building his fish menu offerings.

Mac and cheese serves up a great platform for innovation. More sides and shareables, cast-iron serving pans, bite-sized balls, unique add-ins, and longer noodles are also becoming the norm among trend-forward menus. Doing something different—and doing it well—is key to transforming mac and cheese from a stalwart side into a buzz-worthy bite.

Smoke’s distinctive air is wafting into new categories, including cocktails, fruit, vegetables and honey. Here are 10 trend-forward ideas for featuring creative smoked options on your menu.

Instagrammability is becoming part of menu strategy today, particularly when trying to woo younger consumers. It’s not enough to make plate presentation appetizing. Gorgeous colors, interactivity, unexpected flourishes, tableside drama—all make the dining consumer click and share. Here are 12 ways to shine on Instagram, garnering that social-media love.

Milk Bar in New York started the cereal milk craze a few years back. Now, operators are maximizing the emotional tie most diners have to cereal, then upping the game by featuring both the cereal milk and cereal in pancakes, cocktails, desserts and more.

Today, the snacking category is huge, and the bar bite category continues to deliver a world of flavor-forward, fun choices. Candied bacon, meatballs, tots, veg-centric dishes like Crispy Squash Blossoms are all on the menu.

These Savory Rice Waffles are an innovative, gluten-free offering that appeals to a wide range of diners. Eggs are whisked together with cooked U.S. long-grain rice, savory turkey sausage, spinach, cheddar, cremini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. The mixture is seared in a waffle iron to a crispy golden brown and served with a maple-sambal sauce.

This Roasted Pear, Spinach and Gorgonzola Omelette is a sweet-savory take on the classic, boasting elegant flavors. “Gorgonzola can be overpowering, but the sweetness of the roasted pear softens its bite, and the flavors marry well together,” says Kathy Stephenson, director of marketing communications for Pear Bureau Northwest. “It’s a unique and unexpected combination in an omelette.”

To identify what is being done to drive appeal and sales of cocktails at trend-forward concepts, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits set out on its second-annual fact-finding tour. The standout discovery this year is the creative and sophisticated use of high-impact ingredients that introduce unique profiles to classic cocktails. Based on our research, here are four key opportunities in the cocktail category.

This vibrant Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie Bowl is a blend of blueberries, Greek yogurt, banana, almond milk and honey. Topped with banana, peaches, granola, chia seeds, almonds and toasted coconut, this complete breakfast features a rich variation of textures.

Sensory appeal and a health-minded approach characterize this flavorful and unexpected Fresh Mango & Sweet Potato Hash. Onions, sweet potatoes and mango are sautéed with pancetta, brown sugar and red pepper flakes to create a trend-forward, colorful hash, topped with a fried egg.

Idaho hash brown potatoes form a crisp, crunchy packet for tomatoes, corn and queso fresco. A fried egg and dollop of chimichurri complete the dish. This summery mix can morph into heartier combinations, such as grilled steak, pepper, onions and provolone.

Mixologists continue to introduce innovative new cocktails, but the classics never go out of style. These drinks are standbys for a reason: well balanced, broadly appealing, reliably satisfying, nicely nostalgic. They’re enjoying a refresh as operators look to create new experiences with familiar favorites

Hearty and satiating, they can be used as a base for chicharrones con huevos or topped with roasted cherry tomatoes, black beans, Oaxacan cheese, juicy skirt steak and a fried egg for a loaded nacho-style steak and eggs. Easily rendered gluten-free and inherently keto-friendly, these Avocado Chicharrones have great potential, from breakfast menus to late-night shareables.

Adjarian Khachapuri, a regional specialty from the country of Georgia, consists of the classic cheesy flatbread stuffed, brushed or, in this case, topped with an egg. The uniquely shaped, tapered bread provides a rainbow of textures—crispy brown tips, layers of folded dough/cheese, and the open center with salty cheese and a luscious egg yolk.

Warm tortillas, baked salmon and soft-scrambled eggs join forces. Rubbed with chile powder and topped with lemon slices before baking, this wild Alaska salmon fillet brings a warm flavor profile to the dish that complements the eggs perfectly. For textural balance, the tacos are topped with avocado and queso fresco, as well as tomatoes and red onion.

In this case study of King + Duke’s foray into veg-forward flavors, Chef E.J. Hodgkinson centers his menu around the red-hot veg-centric trend. For starters, he developed a comforting Hearth Baked Lasagna combining ground beef and mushrooms in a way that delivers on the flavor promise.

Vibrant color dinnerware options from Libbey® help your one-of-a-kind plating ideas take flight, creating new looks to complement your venue’s unique character. Serve up an experience that is funky, eclectic or adventurous – and always memorable.

Chefs across the country are taking something inherently craveable and familiar — cheese — and relying on it to elevate a menu item. Infinitely adaptable and universally loved, cheese offers a sound strategy in modern menu development. Here’s what’s hitting creative menus today.

For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.

Seafood represents a major opportunity to move menus into the future, according to Datassential. Here are highlights from its Foodbytes Seafood Keynote Report issued in late 2017.

With tacos, anything goes today. We’re seeing seriously inventive takes on classic proteins, while on the plant-based side, chefs are moving well beyond the perfunctory veggie taco.

Chili brings warmth, satisfaction, familiarity and homespun appeal to menus. Consider modernizing it for today’s consumer, reaching into current flavor trends for inspiration. Here are three opportunities for come-back-for-more chili

Flavor has always been an imperative on menus, but today the expectations are higher than ever. Chefs are outdoing themselves, raising the bar with creative flavor combinations. Access to the global pantry, along with a joyful experimentation in mash-ups, is raising expectations while making flavor possibilities endless. Here are some menu builds that showcase creative components that pack a significant flavor punch.

Chefs are rediscovering the beauty of white bread—how it offers structure but surrenders to textural elements, like fried chicken, tonkatsu and fried bologna. We bring you 5 modern takes on white bread sandwiches.

A pickled element introduces bright, beautiful acidity, along with a pleasing crunch and colorful pop. Everything is fair game when it comes to garnishing a sandwich with a pickled ingredient.

Look southward for the next big thing in dessert texture—buñuelos. Here are four opportunities to showcase buñuelos in trend-forward dessert applications.

In this new world where every aspect of every dish has to bring its A game, creative, on-trend approaches to flavor and texture building wins the day. Here are three opportunities in the wonderful world of mac and cheese.

With fall in full swing, dining consumers look to warmer flavor tones in their coffee drinks, smoothies, cocktails and more. Here are 15 flavor combinations that just might give pumpkin a run for its money

Bowl builds are a powerhouse on menus today, and play well in a number of dayparts. Here are three ways to bean up your bowls, using plant-based ingredients to carry big flavors, satisfy hunger and provide nutrient-rich foods.

Putting more seafood on your menu will help your customers reach the dietary goal of eating seafood twice a week. Customers will feel good knowing that restaurants care about their well-being and offer healthy and delicious seafood as a key menu choice.

Serving more seafood will help customers improve their overall quality of life. Here are 8 seafood nutrition facts curated by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership servers can use to seal the seafood sale.

Together, coffee and tea carry a lot of good menu juju. The cocktail world is plugging in, rewiring some of that buzz into boozy beverage development.

Meat remains center stage, but flavor innovation can really drive menu differentiation. We cover the what, where and why for innovating with meat.

The veg-centric movement built the road that led to a world of stunning innovation in vegetable cookery. Here are 12 ways into the trend, all serving up creativity and craveability with every delicious forkful.

Exploring the versatility of the avocado, this Sweet Avocado Surrender Sundae stars avocado-mango ice cream, Mexican hot chocolate sauce and chocolate-chipotle avocado doughnut holes.

RECIPES

Bacon, Maine Lobster and Tomato Sliders
These Maine Lobster sliders combine mayonnaise with more unexpected spices and garnishes like bacon, fennel and Sriracha.
A hearty hash made with cubed Idaho® Potatoes, braised short ribs and eggs. A delicious dish that will really stick to your customers’ ribs.
Pig out on these golden fried Idaho® Potatoes topped with mouthwatering carnitas, chorizo and bacon. Makes for a delicious starter dish or sharable plate.

GALLERY

FROM OUR FRIENDS

For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.
Garner Foods donated $20,000 to hunger charities during the Texas Pete® Kitchen Hero Cook-Off.
Vibrant color dinnerware options from Libbey® help your one-of-a-kind plating ideas take flight, creating new looks to complement your venue’s unique character. Serve up an experience that is funky, eclectic or adventurous – and always memorable.
For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.

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