Chef & CULINARY Insights
We know that diners order seafood when they go out. Why? Either a lack of skill in forging fishy dishes at home, the lingering aroma that clings to the walls, or the perception that seafood is reserved for dining out experiences. For whichever reason, customers press for wondrous preparations. Beef consumption is down, vegetables are moving to the center of the plate, and seafood is controlling a lustrous spot on the menu. So, what’s next?
“I think chefs are now getting into these flavors because you are able to shock the palate and surprise it in a fresh and clean way rather than using rich fats or heavy sauces, says Ani Meinhold, General Manager/Partner of Phuc Yea. “At a time when chefs are minding their health and lifestyle, Southeast Asian flavors are a remarkable and aromatic way to to add bursts of flavor to a number of preparations.”
Food and dining trends are always changing, from foam-infused dishes to pork belly everything, something is always on trend in the culinary world. And lately, there have been certain international trends making their way to the United States’ restaurant scene. Many chefs and restaurant professionals have seen a rise in street foods, global fusion, and menus catering to the hungry vegetarians.
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island is an experience unlike any other. What makes this restaurant unique? The ingredients are foraged, and if they're not found in the forests surrounding the concept, they are grown in a private culinary farm or caught in the sea in which the island lives.
Dessert remains a favorite even for grownups. Roughly one-third of guests order dessert when dining out. So it’s safe to say that many consumers can’t resist a sweet after dinner treat, especially when it’s in a mini portioned dessert. Desserts are often dependent on the seasons.
The restaurant menu is the singular most important element of any operation. Yet, it is often relegated to a half-hearted (or misguided) effort at best, and a comical jab at juggling food cost at worst. Where is the logic? Food is the product of any restaurant. Restaurants fail when they either don’t stick to their mission.
By Donald Burns, Foodable Industry Expert
Take a look at your menu. Go ahead. Take a look as if you were casting your eyes upon it for the first time. It is making a statement that supports your brand identity or a cry for help? Being self-critical for some is just downright difficult. It's so easy to point out the flaws in other restaurant menus and hard to see the flaws in our own.
Your menu is the one thing that every guest will look at. It's so important, yet why do so many not give it the full measure of respect it deserves? Let's fix that. Now, in order to give your menu a real chance at change, you will need to leave your ego at the door. Don't worry, you can pick it up later — but you must be objective on what is best for the brand.
Get some blank paper and pencils. We are going to construct a visual mind map that will set you up for success. If you are ready, then here are the 10 steps for a total menu makeover.
Below, we share some of our favorite shots from our travels around the country. Enjoy!