Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Pacific Halibut from Travelle Kitchen + Bar From Seafood & The Menu’s collection of best-selling seafood menu items of 2018

At Travelle Kitchen + Bar in Chicago, the Pacific halibut is steamed with miso dashi, spring onion, ginger and morels.
PHOTO CREDIT: Travelle Kitchen + Bar
Bill Telepan, Executive Chef | Travelle Kitchen + Bar, Chicago

When Pacific halibut is in season, Travelle Kitchen + Bar’s Jeff Vucko sells three times as much of it as the next best-selling seafood items on his menu, which are commonly salmon and scallops. He serves the halibut steamed with miso dashi, spring onions, ginger and morels.

Vucko tries to have all the seafood on the menu at any one time prepared in different styles, including grilled, pan-seared or lightly dusted with flour. “From there, we can do classic preparations with little twists, or go super seasonal and let those ingredients play off the seafood flavor, be it sweet, fatty, crispy and so on,” he says.

Vucko admits that buying seafood in the Midwest can be a challenge, and relies on his relationships with trusted purveyors. When it comes to seafood storage, Vucko has learned to store fish in their natural state to preserve the shape. “I was also brought up brining fish in a simple 5 percent salt solution,” he adds. “This seasons the fish evenly and is a method of preservation.”

From the special Sept/Oct 2018 Seafood issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read this issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.

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About The Author

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Christine Burns Rudalevige is a seasoned food writer and classically trained cook living in Brunswick, Maine. She has worked as a chef, a farmers’ market manager, and a boutique caterer. Christine founded the Family Fish Project (a website dedicated to eating seafood at home) and later worked as a lead culinary instructor at Stonewall Kitchen. The dedicated home cook and food writer has lent her voice to regional and national media outlets, from NPR to Cooking Light.