We’ve been tracking winter foods and winter menu ideas for sometime. Compiling information from our very own corporate chefs kitchen, tracking industry research, listening to our client needs, and keeping tabs on what’s trending on restaurant social media sites.
Here are a few Winter Foods & Beverages Trends we think will carry us through this season, and beyond.
The Next Step in Bar Innovations. We’ve seen industry trends for craft beers and craft sodas take flight, now we’re watching as the season takes winter cocktails to the next level of bar program innovation: in-house distilleries. As the restaurant industry is constantly evolving and looking for the latest original concept, partnering with a local distillery to brand spirits or better yet, developing a unique, on-site distillery program to create spirits that speak directly to your brand … is the wave of the future of the modern bar program.
Clean Eating. New Year. New Resolutions. For many health conscious Americans, this winter ushers in a declaration of clean eating. Guests will look for ‘clean’ winter foods & beverages such as seafood, avocados, seeds, ancient grains (i.e. farro), and green tea over beef, bacon, and soda, to kick-start their year.
Cooking by Fire. Who doesn’t love the distinctive, smoky flavor of freshly fire-grilled meats, fish, and veggies? The ultimate “back to basics” method of cooking, fire-grilled foods have such a unique flavor profile and enhance the taste of foods seemingly like no other form of cooking, no wonder the fire-grilled trend is heating up winter menus from coast to coast.
Poke: Making its Mark. Pronounced POH-key, the Hawaiian specialty Poke is gaining popularity with restaurants looking to up their sushi-centric dish options. Traditionally made with freshly diced or cubed raw tuna, Poke is trending because it’s easy, healthy, and deliciously absorbs the flavors it’s typically paired with such as soy sauce, sesame oil and/or sesame seeds, chilis, and onion. Poke also proves a versatile dish where chefs can experiment with different herbs, spices, and sauces as well as feature other local or seasonal raw fish (such as salmon or octopus).
*photo: MoCo’s Founding Farmers, Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke Salad