Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development


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A drizzle of hot honey is de rigueur on pizzas today, prompting many pizza chefs to take the trend to the next level, playing with their own house-infused honeys. At Yellow, a Levantine café in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood created by Michelin-starred chef Michael Rafidi, the playfully named “(not) pizza” menu (because they mainly use Middle Eastern ingredients) includes the Soujek pie, featuring the Armenian beef sausage along with smoked jibne (a type of sweet Levantine cheese), pickled chiles, oregano and a drizzle of za’atar honey.


On any pizza menu, there are a few must-haves, “consumers-will-riot-if-we-don’t-offer-them” options: sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, mozarella. But with a dynamic category like pizza, where its popularity demands new builds and constant innovation in order to stand out, a new generation of ingredients and toppings are keeping this Italian favorite fresh and on-trend. Let’s call these the “new classics.” They aren’t on every pizza chain menu (yet), but they are go-tos for hip pizzaiolos crafting unique pies across the country.

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]