Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Veg-centric Fuels Morning Meals Chefs are adding veg-centric touches to breakfast menus

Produce makes for a standout brunch menu at veg-centric P.Y.T. in Los Angeles

Breakfast’s enduring popularity has been influencing all-day menus for a while now, but chefs are now looking to ingredients more commonly seen on afternoon and evening dayparts to add innovation to morning meals. Veg-centricity has been informing savory menu development, and as breakfast adopts more ingredients and flavors, bolder produce additions have a home here, too.

Flavor complexity is the name of the game here, with the added benefit of a healthy halo inherent in produce additions. Pickled red onions, roasted tomatoes, charred Brussels sprouts.

Consider Chef Josef Centeno’s brunch menu at P.Y.T. in Los Angeles as an example: Fried Eggs with Maitake Mushrooms, heirloom cherry tomatoes and green chile; Green Piri-Piri Rice with Over-Easy Egg, bok choy, lime zest and soft herbs, or the dish of Brilliant Melon & Cucumbers with basil, nori ranch dressing and celery leaves. Veg-centricity is perfectly poised to bring a vibrancy and freshness to modern breakfast menus.

Here are four on-trend ways to liven up breakfast offerings with creative produce additions:

1. Layer into a breakfast sandwich

Lalito, a tiny all-day restaurant in New York, menus the Eggie Sandwich, a combination of thick-cut fried salami, grilled halloumi cheese, mashed plantain, pickled red onion and salsa roja on a toasted brioche bun.

2. Hash it up

No stranger to produce additions, hashes easily transform with veg-centric approaches. The Brussels Hash at Gather in Yarmouth, Maine, offers a healthy but flavorful offering of potato latke, Brussels sprouts, candied bacon, poached eggs, with a drizzle of lemon cream sauce.

3. Breakfast bowls

Breakfast bowls offer the ideal vessel to blend a balance of veg-forward taste and texture. At City Mouse in Chicago’s Ace Hotel, Jason Vincent, Chef/Co-owner, serves a Grain Bowl topped with roasted Brussels sprouts, cabbage, almonds and pickled mango.

4. Toast toppers

Avocado toast proved the platform for toast as a veg-centric carrier. In San Francisco, ABV’s seasonally changing Tartine Toast starts with a base of hummus like charred cauliflower or carrot, then is topped with seasonal produce like kale or apricots, and finished with a kick of flavor from pickled jalapeño or chile oil.

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