A Q&A with Chef Jorge Cespedes
Jorge Cespedes is consulting corporate chef for Bush’s Beans, and gets inspired by working with clients who share his passion for food and flavors. Here, he shares his enthusiasm and culinary insights for bean-based menu innovations.
How are beans a relevant or on-trend go-to for modern menus?
Beans on menus are as relevant as ever—as the industry and our society moves closer towards plant-based cuisine, chefs and operators are finding new ways to bring healthy, flavorful and delicious ideas to the table. Used as center of plate or a remarkable companion to a great vegetable dish, beans are a great way to reach those nutritional guidelines of the plant-based diet as well as reaching a flavor level of unexpected adventure.
Modern menus have become cultural melting pots where we grab a little bit of this and a little bit of that and create a global dish with influences from the Caribbean, Asia, South American, etc., and beans are such hardworking flavor carriers that they are the perfect ingredient to use.
Describe a favorite menu build using Bush’s beans.
We recently created one of my favorite builds for a culinary conference that showcased Garbanzo beans in several different ways. We made a falafel crisp using our garbanzos and the usual ingredients and flavors of falafel, topped with hummus made with Bush’s Best® Classic Hummus Made Easy®—where you simply pulse together our garbanzo beans and a pouch containing every other ingredient needed for hummus—then topped with a shrimp and tomato ceviche tossed in a ’nduja vinaigrette, followed by crispy garbanzo beans with a smoked paprika and sea salt seasoning.
Name three more menu applications that have shown the versatility of Bush’s beans.
1. Beans at breakfast should definitely be a thing! In several different cultures around the world, beans have been a part of people’s diets for centuries. A cutting-edge application for breakfast can be a fun breakfast bowl where the base is a mixture of black or red beans with a brown rice or a whole grain, topped with your style of eggs plus a fresh avocado salsa with corn and extra cilantro.
2. Snacking is something the younger generations are all about and we love the idea of healthy snaking as well, so what better than crispy garbanzo beans with a middle eastern seasoning blend like za’tar or something more home-based, like a barbecue seasoning? They’re crispy, fun to eat and absolutely delicious.
3. Another menu application we love is hummus. How far can hummus go? In America, we are obsessed with hummus right now, and why not!? At Bush’s Beans we embraced this concept and came up with a product to help operators make delicious hummus in the fastest most easily customizable way possible: Hummus Made Easy. As a chef, I think a classic hummus is a white canvas for creativity and imagination; this is a great way for chefs and operators to bring a new ethnic flavor they’ve been playing with, a new seasoning, a new chile sauce, etc., the possibilities and menu options for hummus are endless.
For more menu ideas with beans, visit BushBeansFoodservice.com.