Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
June 6, 2024

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The ultimate delicatessen icon, the Reuben is unrivaled in its taste and textural complexity, all centered around mouthwatering stacks of beautifully crafted meat. By applying unexpected flavoring systems, menu developers can pique the curiosity of Reuben aficionados and novices alike. To wit, rub pastrami slices in Nashville hot sauce for a controlled burn that’s tempered by kale-cabbage sauerkraut, creamy Havarti and Thousand Island dressing.

In tweaking the Reuben, subtlety is key in preserving the quintessential flavor of cured meat. At Jewish-African fusion restaurant in Richmond, Va., JewFro, the Reuben comprises all the must-have ingredients, but with a twist. The sandwich’s Zulu-Kraut is seasoned with caraway seeds as well as berbere spices, like fenugreek, ginger, chiles, paprika, cinnamon, allspice and garlic. The Awaze-Russian dressing also uses the berbere blend along with locally sourced vodka, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, horseradish and lemon juice. Compared to other recipe adaptations, these additions aren’t drastic, but they do transform the flavor profile.


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.