Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
June 6, 2024

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The consumer demand for barbecue flavors coupled with the popularity of pulled barbecue sandwiches invites no shortage of culinary creativity. Distinctive meat treatments (curing, smoking, braising or classic “pulling”), statement sauces and intriguing plus-one ingredients can easily elevate this humble sandwich across any cuisine application. For example, harissa-barbecue-braised lamb shank brings international intrigue and heat, the latter of which is tempered by creamy napa cabbage sweet mustard slaw. Crispy fried onion rings and a Dutch crunch roll bring textural contrast to the tender meat.

But a fresh take on a barbecue sandwich needn’t be complex to be interesting, as the BBQ Cuban Sub from Firehouse Subs proves. The formula harkens to traditional Southern barbecue, but with a Cuban twist: slow-smoked pulled pork, Virginia ham, Swiss cheese, sweet-and-smoky chipotle slaw, sweet mustard barbecue sauce, mayo and spicy pickle chips on a toasted sub roll.



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.