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The first of our new series: Flavor R.O.I. A case study of First Watch’s successful innovation platform - in which the daytime café is hitching on-trend flavors to the beloved potato-centric dish.

For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.

From treating menu writing like composing a symphony, to building a drink version of a Caprese salad, Jay Perry shares with us his approach to flavor strategy.

Chefs know that the secret is in the sauce. Or the dip. Or the spread. It’s those condiments that carry big flavor, impacting all of the senses in significant—and hopefully memorable—ways. Creativity is key, offering big flavor in unexpected, but enticing combinations.

Cold-pressed juices, functional ingredients, high-impact flavorings, Greek yogurt bases, favorite dessert flavors—all of these help make up modern smoothies

Although tacos hold a well-earned position among trending super stars, it might be time to look to their cousin, the quesadilla. Savory, rich, satisfying—and just as versatile as the taco

A garnish is a great way to deepen a flavor story, signaturizing a menu item with a memorable finishing touch. We’ve seen lots of innovation with high-impact finishes in bowls and salads, as well as burgers

Look beyond pasta primavera for standout pasta dishes that pull in the red-hot veg-centric trend. Pasta is a capable carrier for thoughtfully prepared, well-flavored vegetables

Driven by the fast casual segment, but adopted in both quick serve and full service, one of the biggest opportunities with bowls is how it easily taps into the plant-based trend

It’s all happening in the world of smoothies and shakes. Health-conscious moothies and bowls. Crazy freakshakes - the bolder, the better. Cold-brew shakes and cold-pressed lemonade smoothies. And nutrient-dense smoothies filled with flavor detail.

Culinary consultant Don Cortes shares with us how he views flavor as a menu strategy, using the traditional lens of culinary, but with heavy influences from his upbringing

The game is afoot. The fire is lit. The hunt is on. The stakes are raised. Quite simply—the veg-centric movement is rolling along like thunder, and with each creative, craveable dish starring vegetables added to menus, consumer expectations go up.

Savvy menu developers know that making subtle but surprising recipe tweaks can result in stand-out signatures, gently guiding patrons along for a new and memorable flavor experience

Welcome to the July-August 2018 issue from Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Cathy Nash Holley

This Grass-Fed Aussie Beef Sous Vide in Grass-Fed Butter is a prime example of a modern entrée that pays serious attention to both flavor detail and integrity of product.

John State, culinary director at Disneyland Resort, shares the trifecta of flavors that inspires him.

Luca Brunelle shares his five flavors that inspire culinary creativity

Plant-based purées are pushing further into menus, energized by a number of factors, from the hummus boom and veg-centric innovation to chefs looking to add complexity to textural combinations

See the winners of this year's trip to Italy, and enter to win a trip next year

Chefs are now looking at pasta as a platform for creative menu development. Here are five emerging opportunities that help position pasta as trend-forward, while never losing its inherent charm and likability.

The twentieth Worlds of Flavor Conference provided the opportunity to reflect on the exciting changes and innovation that have moved foodservice forward over the past two decades, and contemplate the changes to come. As global cuisines continue to exert their influence on American menus, whether highly authentic or playfully mashed-up, that world becomes just a bit smaller with each passing year.

Barbecue today invites experimentation—melding Korean with Texan, Carolina with California. It also encourages a push outside of traditional barbecue formats, moving into bar bites and shareables, and adapting flavor systems that don’t typically see a play in barbecue.

Chefs are responding to the driving demand for trend-forward menu items by spinning salads that showcase creativity in both assembly and flavor combination. Here are 12 inroads into signature salads, all offering opportunity to create a memorable, come-back-again flavor experience.

Unique breadings, global sauces, inventive formats and sustainable sourcing paint a picture of the elevated fried seafood landscape of the future.

Chefs today are stretching the potato's capability, bending it to glide seamlessly into modern snacks, sides and shareables while counting on its steady stance as one of America’s favorite comfort foods

Vegetables are so much more than the forgotten side whose role is to make people feel better about the healthfulness of their meal. No longer the also-ran to protein’s starring role, vegetables are the driver for some of the most exciting innovation happening in foodservice today.

Internationally, operators are taking the standard formula for a spritz and adding their unique personality and creativity to this popular, hot-weather-friendly beverage

Mr Bing in New York has extended into breakfast with offerings like the Maple Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bing that blends sweet and savory flavors in a craveable crêpe-like format.

In the breakfast and brunch category, today’s dining consumer seems to be particularly receptive to global flavors, along with an openness to an almost-cheeky approach to both flavors and forms.

How Haliburton creates create classic-technique reduction sauces ready to use.

A select group of chefs with ethnic expertise discuss BBQ

Clockwise from top left: VIEWHOUSE's WASABI & SWEET GARLIC CHICKEN SALAD; MINIGROW's CHICKEN JAWN; BESSOU's CHICKEN KARAAGE

Chicken moves into stardom when chefs show it some love, developing recipes that are delicious and trend-forward. Here are three dishes that stand out—each bringing a different approach to a very familiar protein.

Three desserts that offer a unique experience while delivering comforting familiarity that seals the deal.

The Pumpkin Blossom Quesadilla from Akhtar Nawab at Alta Calidad reimagines the quesadilla, making it crisper and cleaner

Hispanic-style cheeses from California tap into the continuing popularity of Latin cuisine on menus today. Chefs are showcasing creativity by leveraging Hispanic ingredients in craveable, delicious dishes.

This Gorgonzola Steak Salad gets an unexpected but welcome garnish of crispy fried onions

In on-trend salads today, textural treatments allow chefs to add a layer of complexity that drives consumer excitement and a sense of adventure

This Moonshine-Laced Baked Beans with Sweet Potatoes stand out with a signature, boozy profile (see recipe below)

When it comes to BBQ, chefs are upping their sides game, leaning into the plant-based phenomenon and offering their guests big flavor with modern takes of traditional sides like barbecue beans

Modern bruschetta builds lend themselves to creative and signature offerings highlighted by seasonality

Chefs are innovating in the bruschetta category, matching its appeal with modern takes on flavor and texture combinations

This Mole Amarillo Tostada boasts Oaxaca’s famous mole, along with pulled chicken, crema and pico de gallo, all on a corn tostada

Modern Mexican cuisine is diving into authentic cookery from different regions in Mexico - one of the regions being explored thoroughly is Oaxaca, thanks to its rich culinary heritage and its craveable cuisine

This Cold Fashioned sees an energizing combination of cold-brew coffee, brandy, vanilla and bitters

Loved by consumers for its less bitter, less acidic, smooth, fruity flavor, cold brew is also making a play at the bar, where mixologists are leaning on those qualities to add backbone and panache to their cocktails

Chefs are featuring pasta in unexpected, flavor-forward ways—and their guests are loving it.

Popular flavor systems can be re-tooled in ways that capture interest and deliver the promise of their original builds. Here are three great examples of creative play around road-tested flavor systems.

Chefs are discovering mole's potential, leveraging its earthy, rich blend of nuts, warm spices, chiles and more

Innovation in the cocktail space continues to thrill the thirsty and the adventurous, wowing with intriguing flavor combinations and head-turning presentations

Fresh purées can wow even the most discerning palates. Fruit purées, zests and blends help chefs add precisely the right flavor to a curried ginger peach sauce, instantly transforming Moroccan chicken brochettes into a menu best-seller.

Ousia offers its Donut Pikilia: Housemade sampler of Halva Mousse with hazelnut chocolate, Mastiha Yogurt Mousse with pistachio glaze, and Spiced Apple

Chefs continue to showcase creative burger development, leveraging the huge opportunity in one of America’s favorite dishes. We bring you three burger builds that demonstrate innovation.

Innovating with wings showcases the constant need to update, tweak and improve—even on proven classics

Signature Flavor: “This dish is a sensory roller coaster. You get smooth, creamy, briny, crispy, smoky, salty, sour—all in one bite.”

The egg has ratcheted up its culinary pedigree in recent years. No longer just a morning food, it's now an entrée, a showstopper, a pizza topper, and a starring global ingredient.

A smart way to up your plant-based offerings

Chefs are pickling crudités for high flavor impact

RECIPES

Bacon, Maine Lobster and Tomato Sliders
These Maine Lobster sliders combine mayonnaise with more unexpected spices and garnishes like bacon, fennel and Sriracha.
A hearty hash made with cubed Idaho® Potatoes, braised short ribs and eggs. A delicious dish that will really stick to your customers’ ribs.
Pig out on these golden fried Idaho® Potatoes topped with mouthwatering carnitas, chorizo and bacon. Makes for a delicious starter dish or sharable plate.

GALLERY

FROM OUR FRIENDS

For Spokane, Washington–based chef Adam Hegsted, beef means profits across his restaurant group, from the pure craveability of a Teres major steak, cooked sous vide then grilled, to Spaghetti-Stuffed Meatballs that turn a beloved classic literally inside out.
How Haliburton creates create classic-technique reduction sauces ready to use.
A select group of chefs with ethnic expertise discuss BBQ
The Pumpkin Blossom Quesadilla from Akhtar Nawab at Alta Calidad reimagines the quesadilla, making it crisper and cleaner
Hispanic-style cheeses from California tap into the continuing popularity of Latin cuisine on menus today. Chefs are showcasing creativity by leveraging Hispanic ingredients in craveable, delicious dishes.

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