Summer-ize Your Menu

Summer’s here and the time is right to … Summer-ize Your Menu! As the longer, hotter days of summer usher in, our VSAG restaurant consulting team’s focus has been menu development.  For us, making the most of this season’s fresh fruit and vegetables, all the while staying true to each client’s specific brand strategy, is key to our summer menu development strategy.

Just as summer is our current creative focus, we know that developing your restaurant’s summer menu is top of mind for you as well.  Therefore, our creative food & beverage consultants wanted to impart some seasonal menu savvy tips:

Think Replenishing Benefits With temperatures rising and so many of us partaking in outdoor activities, our bodies crave lighter fare filled with water-replenishing elements.  There are so many ways to add fresh, flavorful, seasonal dishes to your summer tables: From freshly made juices or jams to green salads filled with fruits and veggies to delicious desserts offering guests fresh fruit and vegetable options, all are great ways to help replenish, nourish, detoxify and energize.

Visit Your Local Farmers Market for Inspiration Nothing tastes better than a ripe, freshly picked piece of fruit. And what better way to add this season’s freshest flavors to your menu than getting them straight from the farm?  There, you will be able to find traditional summer fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, zucchini and the like, but ask around and look for some interesting ways to liven-up your menu. For example, if you come across loganberries (a raspberry-blackberry hybrid) or crookneck squash (a variety of summer squash), give them a try instead of the run-of-the-mill blackberry or zucchini. Search sites like http://www.epicurious.com, http://www.tastingtable.com or http://www.foodnetwork.com for pre-or post-shopping ideas and food descriptions.

Stay True to Your Food Since fresh ingredients pack in flavor, you’ll need less seasonings, spices and sauces to bring out their true essence.  So, keep it simple and let summer’s natural flavors speak for themselves. And your guests will be sure to come back for more!

Seasonality Get to know what fruits and vegetables are in season and when. Using ingredients that are in peak season will ensure that guests get the maximum flavor and health benefits the items have to offer.

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