Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Katie Ayoub
December 15, 2022

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Culinary innovation is serious business for menu developers, but that doesn’t inhibit their sense of wonder and possibility in discovering new flavors, ingredients and techniques. That exuberance in flavor play is, of course, the driving force behind innovation. Even when the exploration of new flavors doesn’t lead to menu execution, there’s clearly tremendous value in pure discovery. Chefs can work the muscle that stretches inventive thinking around recipe development, not reined in by brand parameters. And creativity begets creativity—springboarding new ideas for successful menu implementation.

Here, we’re highlighting seven flavor discoveries from chefs across the country that were born from a simple request: “Describe one new flavor or ingredient that you discovered or enjoyed working with this past year.” The passion and creativity behind the answers are palpable. Our hope is that their exploration will spark more ideas, fueling innovation into the new year and beyond.

We invite you to scroll through this slideshow of flavor discoveries.


About The Author


Katie Ayoub serves as managing editor of Flavor & The Menu and content strategist for the Flavor Experience, an annual conference geared toward chain operators. She is president of Katie Ayoub & Associates, serving up menu trends expertise, content creation and food & beverage consultancy. Based in Chicago, Katie has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 20 years and part of the Flavor team since 2006. [email protected]