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Flavor Playlist: Will Eudy Five flavors that inspire culinary creativity

Will Eudy is corporate executive chef at McAlister’s

Will Eudy is corporate executive chef at McAlister’s

McAlister’s is a fast casual based in Atlanta, with more than 400 restaurants nationwide. As corporate executive chef of this heritage brand, Will Eudy drives menu innovation. As part of that innovation, the brand declared 2018 as the “Year of Flavor.”

Recent offerings include the Verde Chicken Sandwich, with seasoned grilled chicken, pepper Jack, red onion, tomato, spring mix and mayonnaise on a jalapeño roll, and a Strawberry Habanero Lemonade.

We asked Eudy to share his go-to ingredients that help build a great flavor story. “Notice something about my list—these ingredients play well together,” he says. “Try a BLT with dry cured ham, heirloom tomatoes and arugula dressed with a Parmesan vinaigrette. I bet it would be the best BLT you’ve ever had.”

Artisan Cheeses

From burrata to double and triple creams to big blues—they have such rich and complex flavors. I use them as a main ingredient in an indulgent starter
course or just add a pinch for layered depth to salads, pasta dishes or meat entrées.


This leafy green tastes somewhere between a radish and watercress. It goes well in so many applications. Its peppery bite adds great flavor to soups and pasta dishes if added at the very moment of service. Additionally, use as a simple salad served with grilled or roasted proteins, or even as a garnish with an earthy mushroom risotto.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Truly Grandma’s tomatoes, these vintage varietals all have unique flavors, colors and shapes. They add a great splash of color to just about any salad or sandwich. The best way to enjoy these is a very simple salad of heirloom tomatoes, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, drizzled with EVOO.
It tastes like you are sitting in your garden.

Classic Vinaigrette

This is the base of so many different things I do, from a marinade to a salad dressing to a finish for roasted meats and fish. Start with a basic vinaigrette as your blank canvas, add herbs, flavored mustards or unique vinegars to have a great addition to just about any dish.

Dry Cured Ham

Small farm hams are getting very popular as they truly have a different flavor than what we have become accustomed to. Sliced thin paired with cheese or fruit and drizzled with EVOO, they deliver an amazing experience. Use in applications that usually call for bacon — it’s a win-win situation.

  From the Mar/Apr 2018 issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.



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