New culinary experiences your catering menu can use
EVERY year we watch the culinary world expand and evolve and 2019 is no different. Benchmark®, a global hospitality company, observes their resort and hotel executive chefs and culinary experts to understand what tomorrow’s customers will want and need. This year their list includes:
- TEA - Tea isn’t a new concept, however, as health consciousness continues to rise the natural benefits of tea are putting it in the spotlight for a broader range of events.
- MEAT - Tech-food companies are currently exploring ways to bring ‘meat’ quality to non-meat offerings for a more sustainable dining option. The industry is also beginning to offer new cuts, like the Vegas Strip steak (from the shoulder area).
- FERMENTED - A nod to #1 with tea, kombucha, fermented tea, has grown its following in the last year. The ‘good gut’ craze for fermented foods is still on the rise; kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, and more increase probiotics to improve the immune system.
- CRICKETS - New, readily available, low cost protein options are being used around the world.
- FARM-TO-TABLE 2.0 - More resorts are partnering with local farmers, creating custom farming for chef menu development.
- WHERE YOU SIT - Consumers are learning to sit down and enjoy a meal out again, slowly moving away from online and mobile, food-ordering services.
- VEGETARIAN - Menus are continuing to grow ample vegetarian and plant-based offerings. More dishes are becoming vegetable focused with proteins as the complement.
- CHARITY - More chefs and hospitality vendors are working closer with forms of humanity relief efforts.
- SuUBSTITUTIONS - Culinary experts are changing up widely-used, and well-known items for substitutions of flavor. From lime to cumquat, kale to dandelion greens, honey to sweet potato, and more.
- DIETITIAN - The new right hand in the kitchen is the professional dietician. Personal nutrition statuses will likely gain more commonality among groups.
Joshua North, Executive Chef, The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa (a Benchmark property) shared his experience with the coming trends. “Meetings coming to our lakeside Southern Wisconsin region have been interested more and more in experiencing the rich diversity of farm grown produce and fresh dairy from local farms such as Maple Leaf Farms, River Valley Ranch, and BelGioioso farms,” expressed North. “One way we deliver an experience that is regionally unique is by offering a shared meal experience we are calling “The Long Table.” Dining should be a time people get to know each other and communal dining is a shared experience promoting conversation.
Communal dishes prepared and presented by our culinary team allows us to share the story of the farmer or cheese maker. People love good food, but the story behind how it got here and how we chose to present it makes it more memorable.”