Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
June 6, 2024

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Meat enthusiasts revel in the interactive qualities of this sandwich, but given its ubiquity, the French dip rarely grabs menu headlines. Like the other classic sandwiches, it can be updated by switching the protein or adding fresh fillings. But when it comes to reinvention, the sandwich has an edge over the rest thanks to its obligatory au jus, which can incorporate new seasonings and flavor components.

At Pony Up in Denver, pho serves as the dunking broth for its Saigon French Dip, featuring slow-roasted pork, basil, cilantro, spicy mayo and pickled jalapeños. The restaurant has a whole section dedicated to French dips, including the Frenchie, which brings Gruyère and crispy onions into the mix and removes the beef broth in favor of French onion au jus. Menu developers can ditch the beef-based dip altogether and create a new one from the pan drippings of a different meat. Infuse a pork broth with Thai sweet chile sauce for a kick of sweet heat, then pair it with a French roll filled with shaved, roasted pork shoulder, shredded pepper Jack and pandan mayo.


About The Author


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.