Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
March 15, 2023

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Modern culinary innovation has resulted in an upgrade of standard condiments, and mustard is seeing interesting menu plays as a result. Its familiarity makes mustard a safe base for menu development, with its varying flavor profiles, textures and lively notes.

Housemade or speed-scratch condiments are a culinary tool for creating distinctive flavor across the menu. Here, we delve into how chefs can leverage mostarda, mustard aïoli and mustard crema. Each presents opportunity to entice guests with inventive crowd pleasers.


Mostarda delivers a fruit-forward mustard with the texture of a relish or chutney. It’s an ideal complement to meats, adding pungency, fruitiness and acidity.


  • Lucky Duck: Jerk-roasted duck legs + peach mostarda + yellow rice
  • Mostarda Shorty Slider: Beer braised beef short rib + pickle + truffled cherry mostarda + potato roll


  • Capicola, Egg & Cheese: Spicy capicola, egg, Muenster cheese, fig mostarda, housemade croissant — Loaf Lounge, Chicago
  • Pork Schnitzel Sandwich: Green cabbage slaw, green apple mostarda, caraway aïoli — The Ole Store Restaurant, Northfield, Minn.


Aïoli is a well-established condiment/sauce on menus. Incorporating specific mustard varieties elevates the indulgence and attraction, creating new taste sensations for guests.


  • B-Fast Carnitas Taco: White corn tortillas + fried egg + carnitas + chorizo-Dijon mustard aïoli
  • OMG! Pork: Coconut braised pork shoulder + mojo-mild yellow mustard aïoli + black beans-white rice


  • Frank Zappa Sandwich: Bourbon flank steak, caramelized onions, provolone, pickled chiles, dressed arugula, Head Hunter (India pale ale) mustard aïoli — Fat Heads, Pittsburgh
  • Steak Bites: Marinated sirloin, Dijon-horseradish aïoli — Moxies, Plano, Texas


A mustard infusion takes Mexican crema beyond the obvious into different realms. This embellished light, rich and creamy tang will provide a dramatic finishing oomph to numerous dishes.


  • Mega Meatloaf: Griddled meatloaf + maitake mushroom gravy + Pommeray mustard-celeriac crema + crispy onion straws
  • Holla Back: Whipped mascarpone + Gruyère + crispy prosciutto + honey mustard crema + Calabrian chile flakes


  • Pork Belly: Ginger congee, pickled mustard crema, bitter greens (add onsen egg) — Second Generation, Chicago
  • Pork Milanesa: Grilled lemon, arugula salad, mustard crema, chipotle beurre blanc — Livery, Indianapolis


Photo Credit: Smithfield Culinary

A signature take on a Southern classic, this Roasted Pork Po’Boy sees roasted and seared pork shoulder tossed in a whole-grain mustard aïoli and parsley, then tucked into a split bun with pickled vegetables.

GET THE RECIPE FOR Roasted Pork Po’Boy With Whole-Grain Mustard Aïoli



About The Author

Rob Corliss

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.