Menu Trends In Modern Campus Dining Forward-thinking culinary directors are pioneering new landscape and impacting the mindset, sophistication and expectation of younger consumers
Forward-thinking culinary directors are pioneering new landscape and impacting the mindset, sophistication and expectation of younger consumers
Generic tomato soup and clam chowder will probably never go away, but creative innovation can help elevate soups to signature. Here are 10 upgrades, from creative garnishes to edgy, global mash-ups, that could give chicken noodle a run for your profits.
The priorities of a generation continue to shape our industry in profound ways
A dozen ways to leverage the fresh zing of citrus across the menu
Yeast Donuts with applesauce, maple-rubbed cheddar, maple mousse and cider ice garnish Thomas Malz Chef/Owner Thomas Malz hadn’t imagined that the Yeast Donuts he created would serve as Custom Deluxe’s signature. “This dessert was the first dish that felt like our own—not an imitation, but an expression, the one that I feel represents us best—and […]
On-trend menu builds that stand out with rich flavor stories
Graffiti Burger with portobello, trumpet and button mushrooms and Middle Eastern spices America’s collective hankering for burgers isn’t going anywhere, but something new has crept in: a desire for a leaner, feel-good burger experience. At Graffiti, the house burger answers that demand, combining mushrooms—portobello, trumpet and button—into the patty blend. “The flavor experience is complex […]
Sake Sangria: Fresh fruit, sake, shochu, lychee liqueur Yuji Matsumoto Cocktails get an instant update with the addition of fresh produce. The signature Sake Sangria at Kabuki is enlivened by an infusion of fresh fruits such as apple, lime and orange, along with sake, shochu and lychee liqueur. “Sake adds umami to the drink, and […]
Local Spring Lamb with white grits, eggplant-tomato caponata and lamb reduction With rave reviews from diners every time it’s on the menu, the local lamb entrée at El Dorado Kitchen is a best-selling special. In the hands of Executive Chef Armando Navarro, the dish is a study in delicate textural and flavor play. “The rack […]
Ricotta Donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with chocolate and vanilla dipping sauces When Agustin Mejia, Clyde Frazier’s Pastry Chef, decided to replace the Ricotta Donuts with churros, there was trouble. “The restaurant regulars rose up and demanded their return. They now occupy a permanent place on our dessert menu,” says Bridgeen Hale […]
Snapper & Shrimp Curry: with seasonal vegetables and basmati rice.
Negroni Bianco: with gin-infused a juniper berries, cucumber bitters, lemon Enzo Cangemi The Negroni Bianco has been showing up on forward-thinking cocktail menus, playing up the botanical side of the classic Negroni. The version served at Babbalucci introduces fresh notes of cucumber bitters and lemon, toning down the bitter edge of the classic cocktail. “The […]
Bowled Over The Belton Chalet | Glacier National Park, Montana
Belton Asian Rice Bowl: with edamame, Brussels sprouts, Asian pear, caramelized kimchi, wasabi pea-crusted tofu, daikon-herb slaw, peanuts, poached egg Melissa Mangold Looking for a flavor-forward dish that answered the need for a gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy menu option, Executive Chef Melissa Mangold landed on the Belton Asian Rice Bowl. “It’s a perfect balance of spicy, […]
Michael Landgarten Made from scratch since 1956, the craveable tartar sauce at Bob’s Clam Hut is integral to the restaurant’s longevity. Combining heritage and nostalgia with a mixture of mayonnaise, relish, finely chopped carrots and onions, it’s served with every order at this iconic Maine seafood shack. Bob’s goes through about 4,200 gallons of tartar […]
Hana Hou Burger: with pepper-jack cheese, spicy aïoli, beer onions The better-burger trend merged with a playful surfer culture results in creations like the Hana Hou Burger, one of the many creative flavor profiles introduced to the burger category at Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks. An LTO for now, the Hana Hou has zingy components […]
Buffalo Mac and Cheese with aged cheddar sauce, breadcrumb crust and Buffalo chicken.
Chocolate Sphere: with Chambord berries, mascarpone whipped cream, almond tuile, with warm hazelnut ganache Sabrina Courtemanche Head-turning desserts are worth their weight in chocolate, and creating one that is a signature is even more valuable. But even signatures can show signs of wear and tear, where the “wow” factor gets diminished simply due to time and […]
Pickled Blueberry Balls coated in shrimp paste, blueberry paste, ginger purée, freeze-dried blueberries and panko; with pumpkin-sesame seed butter, blue gastrique and blue agar
Tomato, Peach and Fontina Skillet Dip with grilled baguette slices.
Salted Caramel Budino: Espresso with steamed cream, milk, salt, caramel sauce Andrew Krause Responding to the shift toward transparency in ingredients, Caribou Coffee is striving to incorporate clean-label items, starting with real vanilla syrup and recently adding real caramel sauce. The caramel contains four ingredients: water, pure cane sugar, cream and butter. “It’s made in […]
S.P.L.T. on artisan sourdough wheat, with arugula, heirloom tomatoes and lemon vegan mayo It takes culinary gumption to swap out bacon with sweet potato, but that’s what Rafi Taherian, Associate VP of Yale Dining, did when he created the S.P.L.T. (sweet potato, lettuce, tomato). This menu item is part of an overall strategy to increase […]
Arctic Char with Brussels sprout leaves, quinoa, carrot, red pepper, almonds, celery leaves, parsley and sherry-mustard vinaigrette.
Thai Peanut Curry Bowl with yakisoba noodles, chicken, red onions, broccoli, Asian slaw.
Kerala Shepherd’s Pie: Aussie lamb leg braised in Indian spices, potatoes and shallots Chef K.N. Vinod, co-owner of Indique in Washington, D.C., created the Kerala Shepherd’s Pie, which won “Best Appetizer/Small Plate” during a recent D.C. Restaurant Week contest. “On the plate it has the look and structure of the familiar British comfort food, but […]
Warm Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with customizable cookie and ice cream flavors Millennials and Centennials are looking for personalized touches at every turn in foodservice. Baskin-Robbins’ latest offering delivers that customization. The Warm Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich features any of the chain’s 31 ice cream flavors sandwiched between a choice of two warmed-to-order chewy cookies, […]
Seafood Melange with green curry, pickled mango and crispy coconut rice Troy Mains At a coastal resort known for its culinary edge, the expectation for quality, flavor-forward seafood offerings is pretty high. “We started this dish as a discussion of flavorful curries and chutneys that we loved from India and Asia,” says Harraseeket Inn’s Executive […]
“Jersey Green” Clam Chowder with pork, parsnips, poblano peppers, fennel, sausage and parsley purée Vast variations in clam chowder make it an ideal menu item for signaturization. They range from light and brothy to thick and hearty, or from New England to Manhattan. The Bonney Read’s version is green. Executive Chef/Partner James Avery first created […]
Honey-Brushed Pear Crostini with blue cheese, Anjou pear, fresh rosemary and honey At this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the National Honey Board (NHB) served up a one-bite wonder of Honey-Brushed Pear Crostini, which proved to be a crowd favorite. NHB offered an estimated 3,000 servings per day over the three-day event. The […]
Watermelon Pudding: Watermelon-mint crème fraîche, brown butter-pistachio crumble, pickled watermelon rind Combining the juicy freshness of watermelon with a rich, soul-satisfying pudding seems like a study in contrasts, but the flavor and texture combination are in perfect harmony. Developed by Dave Woolley, consulting chef, the pudding’s recipe features watermelon juice, which bolsters both the watermelon […]
Double Crisp Chicken Sammy with rum-buttermilk marinade, buttermilk biscuit buns, mustard aïoli Sammy’s is known for its owner and namesake, rocker Sammy Hagar, and for its Beach Bar Rum. The pure-cane rum makes an appearance in the chicken marinade for Sammy’s Double Crisp Chicken Sammy, along with buttermilk, chipotle, brown sugar and kosher salt. When […]
Burnt Carrots with chimichurri and yogurt sauce.
Road House Pizza: Smoked barbecue sauce, mozzarella, cheddar, chicken, crispy onion straws, cilantro The sweet-savory barbecue chicken pizza has long been a standard bearer for modern pizza innovation. NKD Pizza, with its focus on all-natural ingredients and wholesome crusts, is changing up that now-classic pizza. “We elevated our barbecue sauce with the rich flavors of […]
Grape Ricotta Rosemary Flatbread served on a naan base Sweet and savory flavor plays find a welcome home on flatbreads, which continue to dominate shareable menus. This particular combination elevates that experience, adding a freshness and purity of flavor that makes it particularly memorable. Rick Wolff, culinary consultant, developed this recipe, featuring rosemary, ricotta, red […]
Sous-Vide New York Steak with pickled mushroom and black truffle chimichurri College dining has come a long way in the last decade. But a sous-vide, dry-aged steak served with pickled mushrooms and black truffle chimichurri? If you’re a student at Stanford University, then yes. The Chef Inspired Flavor Experience, a new pop-up concept, is aimed […]
West Coast Banh Mi Spiced shredded pork, Sriracha mayo, pickled vegetables, lime and cilantro on a toasted baguette William Eudy When McAlister’s planned its 2016 menu, the deli concept wanted to give guests a sandwich that delivered on their promise to provide a variety of American regional flavors to satisfy any exploratory palate. “We developed […]
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas: with roasted tomato/chipotle sauce, avocado, pico de gallo, ancho sour cream, cilantro Matt McMillin The Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant are a great example of how far vegetarian options have come in the last 10 years. They stand out with a craveable combination of bold flavors and textures. […]
Palm Sugar Ice Cream with fish sauce caramel Salt & Straw can best be described as an ice-cream think tank, known for its funky-yet-genius flavor combinations. But the Palm Sugar Ice Cream with Fish Sauce Caramel stands out for Tyler Malek, head ice-cream maker, as the “best execution I’ve ever had when it comes to […]
Thinking about making more fresh juices in house? Consultant Kim Haasarud of Liquid Architecture offers these suggestions.
Guacamole with dry-roasted tomatillo, roasted garlic, Serrano chiles Guacamole is one of those versatile menu items that appeals to a broad base of diners. Chefs today are capitalizing on its popularity and giving it creative, craveable touches. At a recent Avocados from Mexico (AFM) tour and culinary immersion highlighting the year-round growing season in Mexico, […]
Korean Chicken with charred pineapple brown rice, garlic green beans, pineapple relish and gochujang sauce Michael Slavin With modern innovation around fried chicken pushing craveability and creativity to new heights, the challenge is finding the right balance of adventure and familiarity with your customer base. “Our Korean Chicken is a unique take on emerging flavor […]
Salmon Osso Buco: Wild Alaska sockeye salmon, roasted potato, red-wine jus, gremolata Adam Hegsted, Chef/Owner of Wandering Table at Kendall Yards in Spokane, Wash., won first place in the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s “Swap Meat for Alaska Seafood” contest with his Salmon Osso Buco recipe. In it, he subs in wild Alaska sockeye salmon for […]
Apricot Hazelnut Cardamom Scone with vanilla glaze Monica Kate, Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for Kneaders Bakery and Café, discovered scones while traveling through Scotland when she was 19. This quick bread is as common in Britain as the muffin is here, but has never made big inroads in the United States. Fitting well within Kneaders’ […]
S’mores Soufflé with smoked graham cracker-malt ice cream, brûléed marshmallow Jeremy Brutzkus Tying in to its theme of hearth-based cooking, the S’mores Soufflé is one of the most successful dishes on The Promontory’s menu. The s’mores build captures the essence of the campfire while elevating it to signature status. The secret is switching out the classic […]
Horseradish Parmesan Steak with horseradish-Parmesan butter, Asiago-Parmesan crisps Steaks are the most ordered item at Sizzler, so expanding that lineup makes good business sense. This heritage brand is testing the Horseradish Parmesan Steak, answering the trend for customization through flavor-loaded steak toppings. “We wanted to bring in another dimension to the steak experience by offering […]
Pappardelle con Porcini: Pappardelle with porcini mushrooms, fresh tomato, white wine and herbs Angelo Elia Showcasing how umami can make a vegetarian dish utterly satisfying, the beloved Pappardelle con Porcini at Casa D’Angelo features pappardelle pasta, porcini mushrooms, fresh tomato, white wine, herbs and shaved Parmesan. “There are many variations of the recipe, most of […]
Pho Fix The Federal Bar | Long Beach, Calif.
Pho Sho with spicy chicken meatballs, chile Colorado, peanut-chile sauce As a menu item, pho has picked up steam, making it ripe for signature tweaks. With Millennials largely driving interest, it makes sense that there’s some play around pho in the gastropub world, which has embraced global mash-ups beautifully. Victor Lopez, Chef at the Long […]
Beet Forest Cake: Beet mousse, chocolate brownie, crème fraîche panna cotta, orange confit, orange syrup Britt-Marie Horrocks Culey The name of this dish—Beet Forest Cake—was born from the R&D behind it, as the final product took on the look of a traditional Black Forest cake. But instead of the straightforward cherry-and-chocolate profile of a Black […]
Calamari Piada: with peppers, romaine, diavolo sauce and Parmesan dressing Matt Harding Modern Italian cuisine in the form of street food is a doubly good thing, and Piada puts the focus on authentic ingredients prepared simply. Hence the popularity of its Calamari Piada, which features the giant Humboldt squid, wild-caught and marinated for 24 hours […]
Corned Pork Belly Reuben Sliders with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese Durty Nellie’s has been known for its live music and lively pub scene for years. Deciding to combine that tradition with the gastropub trend and the craft beer movement, it has recently revamped the menu, making Nellie’s Kitchen and Pub the center of […]