Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Flavor & The Menu
June 15, 2021


Chris Newcomb

Chris Newcomb

Family recipes are oft-cherished heirlooms passed from one generation to the next and sometimes, if we’re lucky, shared with an audience that reaches far beyond the Sunday dinner table. At Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual café chain with locations across the Southeast, the secret behind the top-selling Newk’s “Q” Sandwich is a signature white barbecue sauce. Co-Founder and CEO Chris Newcomb explains the recipe was developed by his father Don, another Co-Founder of the business, and is loosely based on white barbecue sauces he discovered while vacationing with the family in Florida.

A longtime core menu item, the sandwich build starts with toasted French Parisian bread, a wide baguette with distinctive open-flare scores. All-natural chicken breast, grilled in-house daily, is piled high, along with crisp bacon and Ammerländer Swiss cheese. But the secret, Newcomb says, “is all in the sauce!” The white barbecue sauce is mayonnaise based, featuring vinegar, hot sauce and a proprietary seasoning mix, making a creamy complement to the build.

About The Author


MIKE KOSTYO is the resident Trendologist and Associate Director at Datassential, one of the food industry’s leading market research and trends companies. In this role, he oversees the company’s content division, including its heritage Trendspotting publications and custom client publications, and he leads trend immersion tours and ideation sessions across the country. Mike was a recurring guest on Fusion TV’s “The AV Club Show”; has been featured on WGN Radio, CBS Radio and Gimlet Media’s “Why We Eat What We Eat” podcast; is regularly featured in newspapers and magazines; speaks at numerous conferences across the country; and was a judge on Food Network’s “Eating America.” Kostyo has a Master’s in Gastronomy from Boston University, plus certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, wine and artisan cheese production. In his spare time, he teaches cooking classes and participates in a monthly food swap in Chicago, which he co-founded. [email protected]