Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Raw Talent Best of Flavor 2017

Red Snapper Ceviche with cashew butter, pickled mango and jalapeño sorbet
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Brandon McGlamery

There’s been a surge in ceviche, with diners embracing the freshness and lightness that it promises. The challenge is making this trend-forward dish stand out, elevating it with accompanying flavors and textures that fall in line with the restaurant’s sensibility. At the newly opened Luke’s Kitchen & Bar, Chef/Partner Brandon McGlamery succeeds with his Red Snapper Ceviche.

“Luke’s is based upon American classics and having straightforward flavors and ingredients, so we decided small ceviche plates would be a fun way to incorporate some of the vegetables and fruits we get here locally from our farmers, as well as a way to embrace the charred flavor of our wood-fire grill,” he says. He lays a foundation of cashew butter, dotting it with cashew pieces and pickled mango. Thinly sliced snapper, marinated in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and salt, sits atop. He then adds more pickled mango and cashew pieces, as well as a scattering of basil flowers. The ceviche is crowned with an unexpected but welcome jalapeño sorbet, a drizzle of olive oil and a few slices of fresh jalapeño.

“Since the restaurant’s opening in January, this dish has been a major seller because it is complex enough to sound different than your average ceviche,” says McGlamery. “It’s well balanced and hits high on all the levels of acidity, taste, freshness, sweetness, creaminess, spice, with a good amount of texture. It’s a refreshing new take on the classic—similar to our approach with the rest of our menu.”

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