Fashion is an industry famous for its natural-selection style of doing business. One day you’re in, the next day you’re out, as Heidi Klum preaches during “Project Runway.” The notion isn’t all that different from the one facing restaurants, says Stacey Kinkaid, senior director of product development at US Foods.
Coinciding with the rise in communal dining culture, small plates and appetizers are not only becoming more unconventional, but these complex, composed dishes are outshining entrees. Smaller portions that pack a punch are offering diners the chance to try multiple dishes and chefs the chance to flex their creativity.
Chefs around the world are putting more plants on the menu, no longer just as inventive sides and inspired small plates—as the main event. Entrees like cauliflower steaks, elegantly sautéed mushrooms, and flavorfully seasoned legumes are leading the way.
Meatier, heartier fall fruits are finding the spotlight on full-service restaurant menus this fall, transforming from dish accent to star. “The trend is lighter, healthier fall meals, like duck paired to sautéed persimmons,” says Maiki Le, executive chef at Los Angeles’ Upstairs 2.
The Plant Based Foods Association, a trade association representing 114 of the nation’s leading plant-based food companies, released new data showing robust sales in the plant-based foods industry with dollar sales growth of 20% over the last year and sales topping $3.
Beyond what mom made, chefs are transforming this creamy, gooey dish into something imaginative. Here are a few thought-provoking mac ingredients crafting comforting, cheesy bites. 1. ChocolateMixing in international influence, chef and owner of Boston’s The Lower Depths, Brian Poe, creates depth through Taza: a Massachusetts-made chocolate with Mexican ingredients.
Full-service barbecue menus balance long-established roots with creativity in an effort to honor history while also staying relevant. Plates still represent traditional methods, but pitmasters are experimenting with what can be smoked while attending to diners’ changing desires.
When John des Rosiers opened Inovasi nearly a decade ago, he spent years refining the menu to get the quality just right at the upscale American bistro located in Chicago’s northern suburb of Lake Bluff.