Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Better Together Hard Rock Cafe | based in Orlando, Fla.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff

With the goal of showcasing culinary expertise in the burger category and inspiration from its well-known beverage program, Hard Rock Cafe deftly tapped into the better burger and craft beer trend with last year’s launch of four burger and beer pairings. Each limited-edition burger was created with a specific beer in mind—even taking the trend to the next level by infusing beer into the burger recipes.

Darryl Mickler, Senior Director of R&D for Hard Rock International, describes his favorite from the program: the Goose Island Tropical Bacon Burger. It features a Certified Angus Beef patty infused with a zesty Goose Island BBQ glaze, topped with chile-spiced bacon, grilled pineapple, mango salsa, chipotle purée, arugula and cheddar. “The Goose Island hop notes are complemented by the sweet grilled pineapple and mango citrus salsa, which balance the spicy chipotle purée,” says Mickler. “The sweet and savory pairing had a bold flavor that our guests really enjoyed. It was the perfect summer pairing.”

A new pairing this year is the Guinness & Jameson Bacon Cheeseburger, with Jameson Irish Whiskey in the bacon jam, a Guinness Stout cheese sauce, tomatoes and seasoned arugula, served alongside Guinness Stout. “The burger and beer platform has been a great success for Hard Rock,” he adds. “We’re looking forward to creating more delicious pairings this year.”

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