Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Patricia Fitzgerald
May 12, 2022

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Shaun Hergatt

Shaun Hergatt

Adding a whimsical touch is a smart strategy for making fun, Instagram-worthy menu items. At modern seafood restaurant Vestry, it’s the eponymous Vestry Cheesecake that’s making customers “squeak” with delight.

The showstopper cheesecake dessert is presented as a wedge of “Swiss cheese” paired with a “mouse” formed from a spiced apple chutney (featuring fresh ginger, cinnamon and star anise). Hazelnut “ears” and a chow mein noodle “tail” are delightful finishing touches.

“We call it the ‘cheesy cheesecake,’” says Executive Chef Shaun Hergatt of this signature take on a Basque cheesecake, featuring a secret combination of three cheeses, minus the traditional charred crust. Each element of the dish has been selected to advance both the presentation and the flavor. “The acidic relish of the chutney cuts through the fattiness of the cheeses,” Hergatt explains. “It’s a perfect harmony of visual appeal and top-tier taste.”


About The Author

Patricia Fitzgerald

Patricia Fitzgerald is Contributing Editor of Flavor & The Menu, and a writer and content editor for a wide range of clients and media outlets. With more than 25 years at the helm of School Nutrition magazine, she has made the K-12 foodservice segment a particular niche, but her experience also includes work in many other industries and professions, including telecommunications, packaging, disability advocacy, waste management, community associations, small business retailers and more. [email protected]