Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
August 23, 2022

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The Caribbean’s convivial, fun and alluring food carries an island vibe worth replicating on menus. Enveloped in this tropical essence are meats cooked over fire imparting charred bits, succulent juices and caramelized, smoky flavor. Complementing fire-kissed meats with tropical fruit pairings, island flair and seasoning applications provides an opportunity to layer on flavor with lively freshness. This can be a simple addition or full embrace of the world fusion that shaped Caribbean cuisine. Here, we delve into grilled meat applications as a conduit to introduce tropical flavors to patrons via casual yet innovative preparations.


Grilled Beef

  • Tamarindo Steak: Thick slices of grilled tri tip + sautéed portobello-tamarindo-Bay steak sauce + roasted potato wedges
  • Citrus Fire Ribeye: Grilled citrus- and herb-rubbed bone-in ribeye steak + garlic mashed potatoes + charred scallions + Scotch bonnet beef jus
  • Jerk Skirt Fajita Bowl: Black beans + charred bell peppers/onions + sliced char-grilled jerked skirt steak + green mango chutney

Grilled Pork

  • Flying Pig Curry: Annatto-marinated grilled and smoked pig wings + goat cheese polenta + west Indian curry sauce + pickled star fruit slices
  • Brown Butter Pineapple Chop: Char-grilled smoked paprika-rubbed pork chop + caramelized sweet onion petal-crushed pineapple brown butter + sweet potato mash + chopped cashew
  • Skewered Allspice Pork: Grilled allspice-black pepper-salt rubbed pork tenderloin skewer + Serrano-papaya-pomelo salsa + cilantro rice

Grilled Chicken

  • Sofrito Chicken Taco: Grilled adobo marinated chicken breast + chayote slaw + charred pineapple-poblano sofrito + queso fresco crumbles
  • Gilded Island Roaster: Flame-roasted turmeric-lemongrass-black peppercorn rubbed spatchcocked chicken + gingered coconut yellow rice + green beans + lime beurre blanc
  • Spicy Passionfruit Chicken Hoagie: Grilled coconut sugar-habanero chicken thigh + char-grilled red bell peppers + slow-roasted plantain bits + fresh spinach + shredded pepper Jack cheese + creamy gingered passionfruit dressing + soft hoagie bun


Smithfield Culinary

This entrée of fire-kissed pork chops takes the uber-popular flavors of al pastor tacos and applies them nicely. The Grilled Al Pastor Porterhouse Chops features the tropical tones of pineapple juice, guajillo, cloves and cinnamon.

GET THE RECIPE FOR Grilled Al Pastor Porterhouse Chops

About The Author

Rob Corliss

Rob Corliss is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu.