As you think about how to make your restaurant’s summer menu stand out from the competition, here are some tips for creating a winning summer menu that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser by taking advantage of trends. hottest summer culinary delights of this year.
In the summer, you can’t go wrong with fresh salads. When creating your salads, think outside the box by adding ingredients that complement each other well, but also add a surprising twist to conventional salads. For example, California Pizza Kitchen brings an interesting twist to kale, the key ingredient in its California Fields Salad, which also contains watermelon, strawberries, field greens, kale, feta and pistachios. Californian wines mixed with a champagne vinaigrette.
Local and sustainable fish and seafood:
A recent National Restaurant Association survey of nearly 1,300 chefs and members of the American Culinary Federation identified sustainable seafood as one of the top ten food trends for 2014. Seafood offers lighter protein alternatives to more hearty meat dishes, which makes it an obvious choice for summer menus. Think of local and sustainable fish and seafood, such as salmon, tuna, tilapia, shrimp, scallops, and more. Of course, what you find on your menu will depend on where your freshest local fish and seafood is available.
In his article Restaurants Trends to watch this summer, News from the nation’s restaurant reveals cider will be the next big thing in restaurants across the country this summer. According to the article, cider sales in restaurants increased 40% in 2012. But year-over-year sales in the first quarter of 2013 jumped 70%.
Hearty and healthy ancient cereals:
Ancient grains, from quinoa to chia seeds, will sprout on summer menus, giving customers more versatility in flavors and textures. For example, My Fit Foods in Dallas serves their Herb Roasted Scottish Salmon and Quinoa with Chickpeas and Broccolini, one of the many ancient, grain-inspired dishes featured in DiningIn’s article, Top 11 food trends for summer 2014.
Infused ice cream:
Another interesting and tasty way to refresh your guests this summer is to add infused ice cubes to your cocktails and drinks. Discover these pretty little ice cubes infused with berries and herbs. (Include photo found here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/229839#4)
Alcohol infused desserts:
Also on the list of the 11 best food trends for summer 2014, expect alcohol infused desserts to be a favorite among summer restaurant goers, like Kickass Cupcakes in Boston making Mojito Cupcake (cupcake soaked in rum with sugarcane icing and fresh mint). Delicious…
Exotic and natural ice cream:
What better way to freshen things up while satisfying your sweet tooth than with delicious ice cream. In his article, Five Hot Food Trends in 2014 in Huffington Post, Travel Editor, GetawayMavens.com; Northeast escapade expert Malerie Yolen-Cohen reveals that exotic and natural ice cream will be a big summer culinary trend this year, including ice cream that offers the creamy texture of milk without any dairy. Chloe’s Soft Serve and popsicles are made with three ingredients: fruit, water and “cane sugar solid”.
With summer just around the corner, what inventive summer menu items do you plan to offer? Are these new offers or items brought back from previous years?
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