Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Mike Kostyo


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Housed in San Antonio’s sprawling, 22-acre Pearl District, a revamped former brewery complex that has become the city’s central culinary destination, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou is a slightly irreverent French brasserie where locals and visitors sip cocktails like the best-selling French Pink Fairy with Citadelle gin, fraises des bois liqueur, lemon juice and egg whites and take videos of the tableside raclette service, made simpler and quicker by only bringing out a small portion of the raclette wheel that has been pre-melted back of house. It’s then scraped over a baguette spread with smoked paprika aïoli alongside traditional cornichon and (semi) optional Bayonne ham.


San Antonio is an American city that feels like no other. It carries the distinction from UNESCO as being named one of only two “Creative Cities of Gastronomy” in the U.S. (Tucson is the other), citing the San Antonio’s wide-ranging culinary heritage, including Mexican, Spanish, Indigenous, Asian and African, as well as its support of innovative culinary endeavors. The Flavor & The Menu team wanted to experience that mix of authenticity and creativity firsthand, so we set off on a flavor scouting trip, seeking out the dishes, flavors and ingredients that are driving culinary innovation in San Antonio.

About The Author

Mike Kostyo

Mike Kostyo is the VP of Menu Matters. Mike has been a recurring guest on Fusion TV’s “The A.V. Club” show; has been featured on NBC News, CBS Radio and Gimlet Media’s “Why We Eat What We Eat” podcast; is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines; speaks at numerous conferences across the country; and was a judge on Food Network’s “Eating America.” For nearly 11 years, Mike was an associate director and trends expert at one of the industry's largest research firms. He has a master's in Gastronomy from Boston University, plus certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, wine and artisan cheese production. [email protected]