Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

High Heat Draft Republic | La Jolla, Calif.

PHOTO CREDIT: Flavor & The Menu Staff

Bold and spicy seems to be the order of the day. But some want even more shock and awe. “When creating the menu for Draft Republic, we wanted to do a spicy burger—a really spicy burger,” says Mike Camplin, Executive Chef. “By developing the idea we came up with a bearable, but also unbearable-for-some, burger.”

The burger patty is a mix of grass-fed beef and spicy Italian pork sausage, with red chile and cayenne pepper added in for good measure. A sweet-yet-hot housemade habanero jam, pepper-jack cheese and housemade pickled jalapeños add flavor and more spice. Then Spicy Red Pepper Slaw and extra red chile and cayenne offer yet more kick—all served on a buttery brioche bun. Some guests ask for added ingredients, like bacon and avocado.

“The sweet jam and cheese make the guest think that the burger isn’t too spicy, then all the heat from the slaw and pickles comes in at the end,” says Camplin. “It is very common for guests to be given a glass of milk at the end of the burger to calm the heat down a little. It is a stand-out menu item because it gives the guest a challenge—some pass and some do not.”

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