Spice Up Your Fall Dishes with World Flavors

Spice Up Your Fall Dishes with World Flavors

The fall season has landed upon us and it is the perfect chance to think of new ways of incorporating world flavors into your menu, at least, according to our industry expert Brian Murphy. “The increased desire for world flavors provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with different spices,” Murphy explains in his latest post.

Truth is this desire is highly driven by millennials who are eager to explore the world through their food. According to the National Restaurant Association’s Top 10 Hot Trends report, “Consumers' sophisticated palates, driven by international travel and access to a wider variety of ethnic cuisines right here at home, inspire chefs to immerse themselves in food from around the world” fueling the ethnic food trend.

This does not mean you have to stick to traditional ethnic dishes. It’s OK to experiment. Guests seem to be more open-minded and are ready to try different depths of flavors and your take on worldly dishes.

So, spice up your food offerings!

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The Chef Crossover of Cultural Cuisine

The ethnic food category has grown tremendously within just the past year. Ethnic influences are gracing more menus, have opened doors to new concepts, and breathe new flavor into America’s dining landscape. And now, we are seeing more and more chefs with no cultural background in the cuisine they are concocting helming the kitchens of them — not many, but a few. And they’re making it work just the same.

Tyler Akin, former sous chef at Zahav and current restaurateur of Stock in Fishtown, is a prime example. Akin’s restaurant is based around pho, a type of Vietnamese soup, but he is not in fact Vietnamese at all — rather, Scottish and French. In the past, he has cooked Greek, Thai and Middle Eastern. Read More

The Rise of Ethnic and Street Food in Fast Casual

Foodable Network

Foodable Network

Ethnic food in the fast casual space is booming. On social media platforms, the Restaurant Social Media Index shows that this category has increased 9.4% in engaged social consumers and activity for dining out within the past year. Ethnic food is also the third most frequented segment during lunch, after Sandwich and Fresh Mex, according to Foodable Labs Fast Casual Social 100 Report.

Stemming from this category is street food, a trend in the culinary world we have seen emerging for quite some time now. Fast casual concepts in particular are catching on. Chef Rick Bayless’s Xoco in Chicago is a great example of going more Mexican street food and less Fresh Mex. And it makes sense that fast casual is the arena in which these experiential foods are being showcased in — the risk is lower, the audience is more perceptive to this category, and resources can be more easily scaled. Read More

Fine Dining Embraces More Ethnic Flavors on Menus, and Middle Eastern Cuisine is Having a Moment

 Pickled Octopus with Greek vinegars and herbs, sundried tomato, capers and olive salsa. | Foodable WebTV Network

 Pickled Octopus with Greek vinegars and herbs, sundried tomato, capers and olive salsa. | Foodable WebTV Network

Now, more than ever, we are seeing new flavors take the forefront on menus. Ethnic cuisine has become embraced, especially by Millennials. The rise of ethnic concepts within the fast casual sector of the restaurant industry, for example, has become one of the Top 3 most frequented segments, after sandwich and Fresh Mex, according to recent RSMI data*. But with Millennials having most spending power in more affordable sectors like fast casual, what’s to say of fine dining?

Perhaps Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t as known to willing push their palates, but, according to a recent piece in the New York Times, fine dine guests are appreciating these new tastes, as chefs are beginning to really infuse more ethnic cuisine into their menus, and more ethnic ingredients into their dishes. Middle Eastern in particular is having a moment. Read More


*Stay tuned for our Annual Fast Casual Social 100 Report, coming soon!