What’s Cooking this Summer?

Our culinary team is hard at work this summer researching seasonal trends, exploring ingredients and preparations, and creating interesting, flavorful menus for our clients.

We asked our R&D specialist Amanda Webb to give us a glimpse into our kitchens to see what’s cooking this summer.

Hyper Local. Sure, the term locavore, defined as “one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible,” isn’t new to culinary teams, says Amanda, but eating organically and locally has become the new, and encouraged, norm for diners.

As this trend has made it’s way into restaurants across the country, straight from American family farms that grow and harvest our nation’s bounties, chefs have taken note and taken their enterprises to the next level, becoming hyper local, says Amanda. Sourcing plant-based foods and ingredients from within the same community (3-5 mile radius) or growing their own product, such as rooftop gardens and herb walls, are helping owners an operators develop plant-based recipes and plant-based restaurants.

Also on the rise, says Amanda, is producing traditionally outsourced products, such as spirits and craft beer, in-house. Up and coming brewers and distillers, such as the folks at Founding Spirits, are building their restaurant businesses with innovative techniques and even tours to offer guests special behind the scenes access to their facilities and the product that is created just a few yards from where it’s served. Now, that’s hyper local at its best.

Kombucha on Tap. Amanda and her team are also liking kombucha cocktails this summer. Kombucha, a fermented, probiotic-laden tea beverage, has gained popularity with local craft companies popping up and partnering with local restaurants to serve their product at the bar. An excellent (and healthy) alcohol alternative, some restaurant bar programs are taking this trend to new heights, serving kombucha on tap. Others, say Amanda, are mixing it with their favorite spirits and creating some of this summer’s most refreshing and unique seasonal cocktails.

*photo: Founding Spirits distillers, Jon Arroyo & Bob VanLancker, at work.