Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
March 3, 2020

When it comes to deli favorites, there are a handful of flavor fundamentals. The seasonings, spreads and schmears that elevate deli go-tos are versatile culinary tools that provide chefs with a depth of new menu inspiration. Put these four deli flavor pillars to work as fresh complements to a range of items across the menu.

1 Pastrami Seasoning

Look beyond beef brisket and spice up other categories:

  • Gravlax, tuna, shrimp
  • Bacon, cured meats
  • Pork, poultry, game, burgers
  • Mushrooms, eggplant

2 Everything Bagel Seasoning

Lend an aromatic punch to a wider variety of formats:

  • Fries, chips, potatoes
  • Pizzas, flatbreads
  • Fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables
  • Coleslaw, potato salad, hummus, soups

3 Yellow and Grain Mustards

Get a boost from the infusion of new flavors:

  • Tarragon and golden beet
  • Porter and dried cherry
  • Sun-dried tomato and Urfa chile
  • Smoked carrot and sumac

4 Cream Cheese

Give the classic schmear a modern touch with the addition of bold blends:

  • ’Nduja and capers
  • Pistachio butter and dates
  • Pickled fennel and glazed lemon peel
  • Apple butter and garam masala

About The Author


ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu. [email protected]