America’s ever-changing menu trends are a key component in the evolution of the foodservice industry. Chefs and menu developers are able to capitalize on the dynamic nature of food and flavor preferences as a point of differentiation and an opportunity to customize their offerings for a unique food and beverage experience. At Flavor & The Menu, we think the following trends present big opportunities.
American-born Taiwanese Chef restauranteur Chris Cheung has quite the killer resume – having cooked with famed chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Vong and Jean-Georges. Currently, he serves as the executive chef of Tansuo restaurant in Nashville, and also runs NYC’s restaurant, East Wind Snack Shop – known for delicious dumplings and being one of the last standing Taoishan Tea Houses in NYC. But before all this came to be, Chris was living in China, studying dim sum in Hong Kong and farm-to-table cooking in the villages of Shanghai. Chinese cuisine isn’t just a passion for Chris, it has been his life’s passion. So naturally, the National Peanut Board wanted to know more and shot Chris five questions to learn more about the art behind his cuisine.
Chef Jernard Wells is the self-proclaimed Chef of Love. Famous for his time spent on Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen, Chef Jernard believes food and love go hand-in-hand and wants everyone to know how easy cooking can be – and how much excitement it can add to your life. The National Peanut Board sat down and dug into how the Chef of Love shares his passion for food, social media, and of course, peanuts.
Robert Egger is the CEO of L.A. Kitchen, a non-profit that generates fresh meals for those in need, and provides inter-generational culinary training for underserved individuals. He’s also a founding board member of celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that brings together a network of chefs to help empower communities to rebuild after a natural disaster. Together, their organizations have partnered to help feed those affected by the fires.
Having boarded his 100th flight of the year, it’s fair to say that Chef Michael Levine spends a lot of time with his head in the clouds. But Mike stays grounded in a mission that matters. He is striving to end childhood hunger one meal at time. Through a company he founded, Global Food Solutions, which was recently named one of fastest growing companies by Inc.com, Mike is getting closer to that goal. We spoke to this Forbes 30 Under 30 winner about why he’s passionate about good food for kids, how he got to where he is today, where the industry headed and how peanuts play a part.
At Snackbar restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi, executive chef Vishwesh Bhatt is serving up Southern fare with global flare. His Indian roots add cultural influence to his culinary repertoire, but it’s common ingredients like peanuts that inspire his bold, global approach to Southern cuisine.
“Southern food is more than fried chicken and biscuits,” said Virginia Willis, James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and Editor-at-Large for Southern Living magazine and author of the popular column “Cooking with Virginia.” Though many people associate Southern food with deep fried and butter-laden meals, Willis argues that misperception overlooks the rich cultural history and agricultural nature of the cuisine. She sees the regional fare as a wholesome way to use fresh, local ingredients, like peanuts; and she’s helping others rethink Southern food.
When you’re a finalist for the James Beard Best Chef: Southeast award three years straight, you must be doing something right. Chef Steven Satterfield’s simple but elevated farmstead cuisine guides Miller Union’s offerings. A perennial favorite, the boiled peanut and field pea salad, graces the menu for a limited time during the early days of Georgia’s peanut harvest in September and October. It's also uniquely made with green peanut oil, a gourmet finishing oil similar to extra virgin olive oil made from freshly harvested peanuts,
College and university dining directors are tasked with delivering nutritious, flavorful meals that appeal to their young, discerning foodie clientele. While not all dining departments have mastered the course on “Healthy and Delicious Dining 101,” some are beating expectations by tapping into today’s food trends – specifically the increasingly popular cuisines of Southeast Asia.
When you imagine a classic menu in the American South, what comes to mind? Fried chicken, pork BBQ, mac and cheese and collards, for sure. Kimchi fried rice might take you by surprise then at Chef Lee Gregory’s restaurant The Roosevelt in Richmond, Virginia. But Chef Lee says this dish makes perfect sense for a Southern menu.
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