Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
September 10, 2019

Mac and cheese is America’s favorite pasta dish, and there’s no signs of that changing any time soon. In fact, it’s up 20 percent on menus since 2015, according to Mintel Menu Insights. Chefs across the country are leveraging the popularity of mac and cheese, using it as a launching pad for innovation with creative comfort fare.

“We’re seeing this in all manner of formats—from plant-forward and a-little-bit-healthier takes to over-the-top indulgent with a global spin,” says Yury Krasilovsky, executive chef with Barilla America.

He points to chef Zoe Adelstein’s Southern Fried Chicken and Cajun Mac & Cheese Waffles as a great example of using mac and cheese as a carrier for today’s biggest trends. It stars Cajun-spiced mac and cheese studded with andouille sausage and red pepper—all baked in a waffle iron.

“It works so well because it’s a great flavor combination,” says Krasilovsky. “And because it’s a unique delivery system for mac and cheese—ready for its Instagram moment.”

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