Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Author: Flavor & The Menu Staff

Educational Pop-Up Stanford University | Palo Alto, Calif.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff 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 at highlighting culinary creativity while giving students a memorable experience. Started by Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) Stanford Dining, the event, held every few weeks, showcases the talents of its award-winning chefs, who present 50 plates, like the sous-vide steak. “The idea is for the chefs to focus...

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Savoring Spring El Dorado Kitchen | Sonoma, Calif.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff 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 of lamb is seared over high heat, preserving the juiciness,” he says. “We then cut it just before serving, allowing the natural jus to accent the palate.” The lamb is plated atop creamy white grits, lamb reduction and fresh caponata of eggplant, onion, fennel, roasted tomato, basil. “A...

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Grape Expectations California Table Grape Commission

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff 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 grapes, cracked black pepper, honey, lemon zest and hazelnuts, all served over naan. “The grapes, ricotta and rosemary are inherently Mediterranean ingredients and naturally complement each other in both flavor and texture,” says Courtney Romano, foodservice consultant for the California Table Grape Commission. “In this application,...

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BBQ Chicken Pizza, Reinvented NKD Pizza | Based in New Orleans

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff 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 molasses, apple cider vinegar and chipotle pepper,” says Scott Black, COO and menu developer. “Combined, they create an adobo sauce, which adds elements of sweetness and smoke to the base of the pizza. We also utilized an old standby, fried onions, as a garnish—think green bean casserole. They add both texture...

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