Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
May 5, 2020

Gustavo Lopez photo

Gustavo Lopez

At Clay, an elevated New American restaurant, the traditional Italian gnocchi serves as a menu staple that glides through the seasons, remaining a top seller in all of its guises. In spring, the flavors supporting the gnocchi are fresh and earthy: fava beans, ramps, morels and mint. In summer, corn, heirloom tomatoes, maitake mushrooms and basil showcase the bounty of the season.

And while the gnocchi is labor-intensive, Executive Chef Gustavo Lopez says that its consistent performance makes it worthwhile. “After many attempts, the final result was what I was hoping to achieve—a gnocchi that was very delicate, but held its shape very well once cooked,” says Lopez. “Customers are usually surprised by how ethereal gnocchi is, as well as how it highlights seasonal ingredients. This dish always features something different, and that keeps our guests on their toes.”

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