Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
May 4, 2020

Chef Steven Sturm photo

STEVEN STURM
Senior VP of Food & Beverage
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Kitchen Collaborative is a recipe-development initiative formed by Summit F&B and Flavor & The Menu with support from a handful of sponsor brands and commodity boards looking to help chefs create, inspire and collaborate during these difficult times. Working with high-volume chefs, this project aims to continue to fuel the flavor innovation our industry will always count on. A group of talented chefs were asked to partner with sponsors to create recipes that showcase the passion and potential of this industry.

CHEF SPOTLIGHT: STEVEN STURM

A number of chefs were naturally drawn to recipe development centered on comfort food, given the times. But their recipes reflect a savvy strategy that looks at comfort through a longer lens and filters it through their particular creative process. Steven Sturm, Senior VP of Food & Beverage with Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, created two recipes that nail craveability and comfort while demonstrating beautiful flavor touches that turn menu items into signature dishes. Both his recipe for Boursin® Black Pepper Beignets with Honey-Chile Glaze and his recipe for Crisp Idaho® Potato Steak with Peppercorn Gravy and Poblano-Cheddar Idaho® Yukon Gold mashed potatoes reflect creative American comfort food—a natural fit for Sturm and a sound menu direction for the times.

Boursin® Black Pepper Beignets with Honey-Chile Glaze

Boursin® Black Pepper Beignets with Honey-Chile Glaze photoPhoto: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams

Sturm moves the beignet to the savory side, finding an ideal balance of flavor and texture. He combines traditional dough with Boursin® Black Pepper. For the glaze, he tempers the sweetness of honey and pineapple juice with the smoky heat of adobo sauce and chipotle pepper. Sturm finishes the glazed beignets with crushed pistachios. “The flavors work together amazingly,” says Sturm. “The creaminess of the Boursin® cheese combined with the sharpness and black pepper kick is perfect with the crunchy textures and sweet and spicy sauce.” He envisions these beignets either on a brunch, bar or appetizer menu.

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Crisp Idaho® Potato Steak with Peppercorn Gravy and Poblano-Cheddar Idaho® Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Crisp Idaho Potato Steak with Peppercorn Gravy and Poblano-Cheddar Idaho Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes photoPhoto: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams

Here, Sturm answers the call for plant-forward menu items while keeping comfort squarely at the center of the plate. “We were looking for a way to provide a vegetarian dish that a meat eater would love as well,” he says. The inspiration came from chicken-fried steak, and offers up that same level of hearty indulgence. He starts with an Idaho russet potato. After baking it, he slices it into steaks and deep fries the potato until crispy and brown. He tops it with rich peppercorn gravy. As an accompanying side, he developed a flavorful mashed potato dish, starring Idaho Yukon golds, roasted poblano and jalapeño purée and cheddar. The dish is crowned with crispy onion straws. “Combining the potato steaks with the roasted poblano-cheddar mash adds another craveable component to the dish,” says Sturm.

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Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley & Bree Williams

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