Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

8 Ideas on Maximizing Premium Cuts Chefs share flavor-forward cross-utilization ideas

Premium proteins make for a memorable restaurant experience—cross-utilizing them into more approachable formats makes that experience more broadly acceptable for consumers.
PHOTO CREDIT: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Cross utilization is a way of life in profitable professional kitchens. With shrinking food margins and increasing labor issues, finding clever ways to cross-utilize premium cuts of protein becomes an even bigger imperative. And, with today’s menus often emphasizing shareables, snacks and bar bites, the opportunity for cross-utilizing premium protein in a steakhouse setting—or any other full-service concept—is significant.

We tapped two innovators in the steakhouse space: Cliff Pleau, VP R&D, Outback Steakhouse and Fleming’s Prime Steak and Michael Slavin, VP Culinary & Menu Innovation, Houlihan’s Concepts, asking them to share creative, modern ways to cross-utilize premium cuts of protein.

4 Trend-forward cross-utilization ideas from chef Cliff Pleau

Cliff Pleau, VP R&D, Outback Steakhouse and Fleming’s Prime Steak

1. Start with:
Crispy pork shank for two, jalapeño grits, cherry-rhubarb compote
Cross-utilize into:
Goat cheese ravioli in pork bone hock broth, aged Jack cheese, sage butter

2. Start with:
Grilled prime filet, Boursin pepper butter, marble potatoes
Cross-utilize into:
Seared tenderloin carpaccio, mustard seed aïoli, caper crisps, pumpernickel toast

3. Start with:
Oak roasted leg of lamb, cauliflower mash, fines herbes chimichurri
Cross-utilize into:
Open-faced lamb sandwich with kalamata-chèvre spread on sourdough, fire-roasted gypsy peppers

4. Start with:
Charcoal-roasted pork tenderloin over grilled romaine Caesar salad
Cross-utilize into:
Open faced pork banh mi sandwich with a fried egg on top

4 Trend-forward cross-utilization ideas from chef Michael Slavin

Michael Slavin, VP Culinary & Menu Innovation, Houlihan’s Concepts

1. Start with:
Porchetta
Cross-utilize into:
Intensely flavored grilled cheese with porchetta and pan-roasted lemon broccolini

2. Start with:
Whole-muscle prime rib
Cross-utilize into:
Kansas City steak soup or a smoked rib hash as a brunch item

3. Start with:
Rack of pork spit-roasted on a rotisserie
Cross-utilize into:
Remove from the bone and make hot roast pork sandwiches with garlicky kale

4. Start with:
Whole chickens cooked on a rotisserie
Cross-utilize into:
Pulled chicken salad toast appetizer or tortilla soup or kale and pulled rotisserie chicken salad

About The Author

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Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.