Welcome to the Best of Flavor 2020
This special “Best of Flavor” issue features 100 entries—organized in no particular order—highlighting the flavor-forward innovation taking place in menu development today. Our annual “Best of Flavor” edition is here to inspire, and especially so, given the current foodservice landscape. Every year, we invite our readers to submit entries of their best flavor builds for this special issue. The result is a compilation of inventive flavor experiences—all showcasing the passion in this industry.
Pork toasts with whipped herb goat cheese and microgreens.
Baked Goat Cheese: goat cheese and blueberry-lavender jam in a phyllo shell, served with candied walnuts and citrus gel.
Warm asiago bread with whipped ’nduja pork butter and local honeycomb
Ginny’s 1888 cocktail - with Ginny’s Gin, burnt sage turbinado syrup, citrus-basil bitters, egg whites, cream and orange blossom water
Korean Fried Chicken: deep-fried Cornish hen coated in a gochujang hot sauce
Whole Roasted Wild Alaska Pollock with charred lemon and greens.
I’m Your Huckleberry cocktail: White rum, ruby port wine, crème de cassis and blueberry skewer.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with toasted spices, pomegranate glaze, pearl onions and a warm bulgur wheat salad.
Crispy Salmon Skin with cured salmon, citrus crème fraîche and smoked steelhead roe.
Smoked Beef Rib with deviled egg gremolata, yellow barbecue sauce, crispy shallots and chile threads.
Spicy White Shrimp Ajillo with garlic and sherry, served with torn bread.
Kelp Po’ Boy: Cornmeal-fried kelp, lettuce, tomato, spicy ketchup and dressing.
Idaho Potato Flauta with hollandaise, pickled shallot and sorrel.
Banana Hotcakes Foster: Japanese-style pancakes with caramelized bananas, salted miso-caramel ice cream, caramel sauce and black sesame seeds.
Saff-Ron Swanson: Saffron and rose-infused vodka, clover honey, sesame oil, white balsamic and lemon.
Southern Honey Hot Chicken Hoagie with cheesy grits, garlic dill pickle slices and honey hot sauce.
Rutabaga Tater Tots with deviled egg dip and scallions.
Ensalada de Col: Savoy cabbage with Mahón cheese, anchovy-stuffed green olives and pistachios.
Duck Spring Rolls: Duck confit, cellophane noodles, cilantro, Thai basil and red cabbage, with sweet chile-soy dipping sauce.
Build-your-own Dessert Waffle with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce, mini peanut butter cups, Kinder bar pieces and whipped cream.
Snapper Cheeks with chile-spiked apple purée and a fresh apple and pickled fennel salad.
Pasta with Truffles: Pappardelle, butter and Italian black truffles.
Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with arugula-herb salad, cucumber, pickled turnips, harissa mayo and turmeric mayo.
Japanese Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Parmesan sauce, tonka beans, matsutake, Brussels sprouts and pickled red kuri squash.
Chesapeake Blue Crab Fried Rice with Old Bay seasoning, lime, cilantro and radish.
Welcome to the Junglebird cocktail: Ron del Barrilito, mango-infused Campari, Rum-Bar overproof rum, pineapple and lime.
Jackie O Burger: lamb, feta, baby spinach, oven-roasted tomato and tzatziki, served on a brioche bun.
Crazy Baba: Charred eggplant, feta and basil.
Shabu-Shabu for Two.
Avocado Huarache with jalapeño ricotta.
Hanamaki Fizz: Mezcal, lychee purée, clarified yuzu cordial and ginger beer.
White Mushroom Salad with parsley, pecorino, red onion, radish and pomegranate seeds.
Chocolate-Coffee Cannoli with white chocolate ganache, coconut crunch, yuzu curd and chocolate ice cream.
Cauliflower Gratin: Gruyère, Espelette, mojo de ajo, breadcrumbs and dill.
Aromatic Marcona Almonds and California Grapes with olive oil, salami and feta
Seasonal Gnocchi with morels, ramps, fava beans and fresh mint
Slow Cooker Cassoulet with confit duck, Toulouse pork sausage and Tarbais beans.
Walnut Chocolate Mole Tostada with roasted pork, corn, tomato, cilantro and Cotija cheese.
Bacon on a Stick, with crispy fried onions and original barbecue sauce.
Creamy Mac & Cheese: Cavatappi, cheddar, fontina, Gruyère and ricotta salata.
Coccoli with prosciutto, whipped Taleggio and truffle honey
BLTE Classic BLT with an over-hard cage-free egg, Monterey Jack, spring mix and mayo on artisan whole-grain bread
Lamb Mac with shallot cream sauce, ancho barbecue sauce, goat cheese, fontina and roasted poblanos.
Crispy Salmon with spicy sour corn, green pea-potato purée, red chile-infused roe.
Marionberry Pie Shake: Vanilla ice cream, marionberry blackberries and pie crust.
Mushroom Shawarma Bowl with pickled cabbage, cucumber and onion salad, arugula and tahini over rice and lentils.
Crispy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich with spicy honey Sriracha, aïoli sauce, lettuce, tomato and housemade pickles.
Gambas y Arroz: Gulf shrimp and saffron bomba rice with peppers, tomatoes and poached eggs.
Spicy Carrot Buddha Bowl: Avocado, quinoa, lentils, baby greens, carrot tops, spicy carrot hummus and cilantro-lime yogurt sauce.
Fried Brussels Sprouts with bagna càuda, pickled raisins and smoked almonds.
Spitjack Sandwich: Pulled rotisserie chicken, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, pâté and Pluck sauce.
Brunch Chilaquiles con Huevos: Crispy tortilla chips, guajillo chile salsa, Mexican cheeses, fried eggs and avocado.
Emotional Intelligence cocktail: Fidencio Clásico mezcal, crème de cacao, allspice dram, lime juice, orange bitters and nutmeg.
Steamed Clams in Arrabbiata: Manila clams, arrabbiata, red wine, charred fennel and fried lardo.
Sope Benedict: Two sopes, seasoned beef, poached eggs, ranchero sauce, salsa, avocado, Cotija cheese, cilantro and sour cream.
The Chicken Parm Provolone Sandwich: Buttermilk fried chicken, fried provolone, spicy marinara, Parmesan and an herb cheese schmear.
Dungeness Crab Cake with a nixtamalized green papaya and compressed jicama salad.
Australian Lamb Ragù over Ricotta Gnocchi with pickled cherry tomato-celery leaf salad.
Mac and Cheese: duck confit, housemade pasta, Gruyère, Grana Padano and breadcrumbs.
Bistro Burger with chipotle avocado crema, applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onion, arugula and smoked Gouda.
Fiery Chicken Vindaloo with jalapeño, habanero and bird’s eye chiles.
Yoga Deck: Ketel One Botanical Peach & Orange Blossom, lemon juice and turmeric-ginger syrup.
Honeymoon Oyster with urchin lobe, salmon roe, tobiko, quail egg yolk and green onion.
Sunchoke with Oyster Mushrooms with horseradish oil, black truffle mayonnaise and orange.
Smoked Salmon Kebab with fresh dill and mustard.
Seared Diver Scallops with beluga lentil tabbouleh, orange, fennel and capers.
Duck Confit Pierogi with parsnip purée, pickled blueberries and Chioggia beet chips.
Park Patty Melt with American cheese, onions tossed in hot sauce, and Russian dressing on rye.
Kushari with fried onions and spiced tomato sauce.
Steak & Arugula Sandwich: shaved prime rib, Swiss, tomato, pickled onion, arugula and horseradish mustard, served on harvest toast.
Deconstructed Greek Salad: heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, pickled red onion, Kalamata olives, feta mousse, oregano and olive oil.
Biloxi Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with cabbage slaw, pickles and mustard sauce.
Chili Cheese Fries: hot, crispy fries topped with rich, hearty ingredients make for a reliably winning combination.
Coca Sobrasada Menorquína: pan de cristal, spicy pork sausage, honey and fried quail eggs.
Baked and Fried Russet Potato with American cheese sauce, bacon, scallion, pickled sweet peppers and garlic streusel.
Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles: cheddar cheese waffle, fried chicken, spiced watermelon, bourbon-maple syrup and honey-hot sauce.
50/50 Bowl: kale, farro, roasted chicken, sweet potato, dried cranberries, almonds, carrots and honey-lime dressing.
Ground Chuck Norris Burger containing two “smashed” patties, American cheese, Louie dressing, onion strings and bacon jam.
65 Dosa Wrap containing crispy dosa, spicy soy protein, microgreens and cabbage.
Smoky Djinn cocktail: Bluecoat gin, Bols Genever, Velvet Falernum, toasted black sesame syrup and grapefruit juice.
Original Duck Wrap with Creole cream cheese, smoked cheddar, pickled jalapeño, bacon and honey glaze.
Deep Dish Cauliflower Lasagna with housemade tomato-garlic sauce and mozzarella.
Tostones con Ceviche featuring hamachi infused with ginger, garlic, soy, red onion, jalapeño and schichimi togarashi.
Slow-Cooked Duck Egg with California crème fraîche, pea purée, shiso and morels from the California Milk Advisory Board.
Elote: charred Mexican street corn, huitlacoche crema, Cotija, scallions and chorizo vinaigrette.
Beets + Avocado Bowl with pickled red onion, walnuts, quinoa, hemp seeds and miso-lemongrass dressing.
Greens & Beans Goodness: cannellini beans, kale, roasted tomatoes, chicken sausage, avocado, fried egg and peri peri sauce.
Spicy Steak and Hummus Feta Bowl features grass-fed beef marinated in a blend of 13 spices.
Oregon Hazelnut: “Cacio e Pepe” with crispy sage.
Cast Iron Cornbread with honey butter.
Seared Scallops: scallops, beluga lentils, parsnip “rice,” bacon, blood orange gastrique.
Specialty Pizza Bowls: three crustless varieties: Deluxe, All Meat and Garden.
Spanish Coffee: orange liqueur, Demerara, coffee, cinnamon, malted cream float and “magic”.
Ube Milk Toast: ube and housemade ube ice cream with “crunchy milk” on baked brioche.
Hanger Steak Frites with Hoover sauce, blue cheese and green onion.
Cornmeal Crusted Yardbird with coconut rice and pickled cucumber salad.
Sweet & Spicy Braised Short Rib Noodles with seasonal vegetables and pickled peppers.
Peanut Butter Pie with peanut butter cookies, chocolate ganache and banana meringue.
Welcome to the May-June 2020 Best of Flavor issue from Cathy Holley
Billionaire’s Bacon Banh Mi: Thick-cut glazed bacon, spicy pickled vegetables and mayo on a French baguette.