Spring Menus Have Sprung

Spring Menus Have Sprung

It is officially Spring! And while many parts of the country are still working on warming up (Apologies to everyone in the Northeast right now) chefs are ramping up their menus with fresh and bright menu items sure to draw in a wave of hungry foodies.

Spring makes us feel renewed. The sun begins its return, flowers are blooming, and treasured ingredients like white asparagus, morel mushrooms and snow peas are coming back in season. And customers are finally coming out of their winter hibernation looking for something fresh to clear up the heavy bread bowls and hearty meals that had sustained them during the winter.  

We decided to reach out to chefs around the country and put together a short list of some of the best spring menu items across the nation to jump-start your creativity. Thank you, everyone, for your awesome submissions! 

Our criteria for selecting the best dishes are as follows:

  1. Ingredients - Are they fresh and seasonal?
  2. Visual appeal - Does the picture make me travel the distance to get this dish?
  3. Creativity - Is it unique or made to be new?

Ok, Here we go!

#3 Holla Duck 

Chef Oscar Cabezas - Telefèric Barcelona - Walnut Creek, California 

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Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

The weather shifts again and guests will soon be clamoring for all things autumn.

Higher octane and fuller-flavored brews paired with bold-flavored dishes that keep the menu offerings clean and satisfying, should round out seasonal menu changes.

The savvy guests visiting your establishment will be expecting seasonal flavors, prepared in ways that incorporate spices and ingredients from all over the world. Guests have moved beyond the American fall classics and are ready for your interpretation of a world-influenced fall dish.

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Winter Ingredient Focus: California Dates

Winter Ingredient Focus: California Dates

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

Winter presents challenges with customers, procurement, and menu originality. Sure, warm, comforting dishes are a standby, but how else can an establishment add an ingredient to completely change flavor profiles and add interest? Look no further than the California date. Delicious, complex, sweet, and in season. This underutilized fruit is a sweet flavor bomb that is begging to be used in a multitude of applications.

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Fall/Winter Flavor Trends Beyond Pumpkin

Fall/Winter Flavor Trends Beyond Pumpkin

By Suzy Badaracco, Foodable Industry Expert

A fall/winter food trends article would not be worthy of the name unless pumpkin is mentioned. One of the reasons pumpkin is again showing up so strongly this year is because it is able to simultaneously move laterally and also form new alliances. Last year, pumpkin did not share the spotlight, but to continue its upward trajectory it had to reinvent itself and form alliances with other foods and flavors of the season.  

While Starbucks didn’t create the pumpkin trend, it did champion a ricochet which occurs when a trend jumps tracks. Traditionally pumpkin has been in the bakery, but by moving it to beverages, they reinvented the profile. Since then, pumpkin has moved to yogurt, smoothies, ice cream, and savory items.

The second phenomenon that occurred is a morph — when other cousins come into the spotlight, like regional maple, caramel, ginger, eggnog, cider, maple cranberry, regional apple and pear varietals. They show off regional and historical ties, which are a more sophisticated positioning than “comfort food” this season.

Many of the fall/winter flavors boast an emotional connection for consumers since these flavors and combinations are historical to the U.S. Pumpkin and its cousins have ties to many other trends including that of seasonal, local, authentic, and regional flavors. They represent grounding flavors in an uncertain time. This is why you don’t see global flavors infiltrating the traditional seasonal flavors in the U.S.

Let’s step away from the ordinary and move to the exploratory.

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Fall Flavors Hit DC Menus, Jumpstart Seasonal Business

Fall Flavors Hit DC Menus, Jumpstart Seasonal Business

By Rick Zambrano, Foodable Industry Expert

The cool, crisp air has signaled the permanent arrival of fall in the Washington, DC area. The fruit & vegetable stands and farmers markets feature seasonal vegetables and an abundance of roots and winter squash as the leaves on trees start changing color. Seasonal holidays and trendy pumpkin spice flavors at chain restaurants trigger our focus on pumpkin, sweet potatoes and comfort foods. For area restaurateurs looking to give diners a reason to walk back through the door after summer vacations and long trips out of town, fall flavors answer the call. Food Genius, a menu and data analytics firm, indicate that 4 percent of restaurant menus in DC, Maryland and Virginia mention pumpkin. This indicates even more opportunity for restaurants to use such fall foods to bring excitement to menus. Here are some seasonally relevant dishes incorporating roots, squash and pumpkin in Metro D.C.

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