June 2017


Cioccolato: Chocolate Mousse / Pretzel Gelato / Rootbeer / Potato Chips / Candied Peanuts



An incredibly playful dessert concept. Packed with fun, youthful snack flavors — chocolate, pretzels, root beer, potato chips, and peanuts. Taking components as approachable as these and elevating them to a Michelin Star quality dish takes imagination, creativity, and mastered skills. 


  •  This dish is a terrific demonstration of Brisan's overarching, holistic culinary trend of "cues to childhood treats".  
  • Chocolate mousse: Aerated and "cloud-like" texture is extremely popular right now.
  • Pretzel Gelato: Novel ice creams with unique flavors are very on trend.


Want more examples of how smart pastry chefs across the US are executing the "distant cues to childhood treats" trend? Click here to request a free copy of our 2017 Culinary Trend Report.


An Investment in Loss: "Visceral w/a veneer of refinement; Nikka ‘Yoichi’ Single Malt Japanese Whisky comes to life, enhanced by a late harvest ice wine vinegar, red Hawaiian sea salt, Okinawa 'Kokuto' sugar; afterwards we fold in peach brandy, and a discreet flash of Arbil Chili... not for the faint of heart, but your courage is rewarded"


We're obsessed with Acadia's cocktail menu. Why display dish components or ingredients on a menu when you can write a sonnet? Talk about romanticizing food and beverage!


Here are some top-line trends that we plucked from this creative cocktail passage:

  • "Japanese" Whisky - Japanese sourced whisky is extremely popular, in addition to anything (ingredient or technique) of Japanese decent.
  • "Late Harvest" ice wine vinegar - Calling out specific agricultural season and/or harvest. 
  • "Red" Hawaiian Sea Salt - Calling out color and origin — bang, bang.
  • "Okinawa Kokuto" Sugar - Japanese origin sugar. Kokuto sugar is made by cooking down pure sugarcane juice — unlike traditional American brown sugar that is produced by adding molasses back to refined white sugar.
  • "Arbil Chili" - Use of chilis in mixology is also very popular right now. We're seeing this achieved through spirit infusion , dehydrated and added to sea salt rims, and with chili bitters.

Calamares Fritos / Green Garbanzos / Shaved Fennel / Preserved Lemon / Pickled Peppers / Green Garlic Dressing

Chef Ashlee Aubin


Salero does a fantastic job contemporizing classic Spanish dishes.

Chef Ashlee stays true to the original concept, while elevating recipes with modern influences. The Salero team keeps a keen eye on prevalent fine dining trends. Here are some of the trends Salero is hitting:


  • Using native language: Calamares Fritos is Spanish for "fried calamari". Obviously, for an ethnic restaurant like Salero to use native language on a menu isn't challenging convention or anything, but it is still important to note.
  • Calling out color: "Green" Garbanzos, "Green" Garlic.
  • Natural Preservation Methods: "Pickled" Peppers, "Preserved" Lemon.

Grilled Sepia with Hearth Roasted Turnip / Watercress / Smoked Onion Yogurt

Chef David Posey and Chef Anna Posey


This respected husband-and-wife chef duo are killing it at their new Danish-inspired restaurant in Chicago's West Loop. Beautiful, simple, thoughtful plates — both on the tasting menu and à la carte menu. We selected this grilled sepia dish as a terrific demonstration of what smart, savvy chefs are up to in 2017.


  • Grilled Sepia - (AKA cuttlefish or ink fish) Sepia have a relation to squid and octopus and similar in taste. They're also pretty small. The head is bright white, but body is extremely high in ink content. Since the mess of breaking down cuttlefish is so great, it takes immaculate skill and a truly trained cook to prepare cuttlefish properly. 
  • Hearth Roasted - We're seeing many respected restaurant menus across the nation applying a "hearth roasting method". If you haven't tried hearth roasted, seasonal veggies yet, we highly recommend it. It's a game changer! When fresh vegetables are respectfully and wonderfully cooked (not boiled and heat blasted to death) the flavor, aroma and texture is so extraordinary that you don't feel like you made a compromise i.e. "I do not regret ordering these veggies over the french fries!"
  • Smoked Onion Yogurt -
    • Smoked - The "smoke" thrill is very on trend right now. We're seeing "Smoke" or "Smoked" specifically called out on menus and food retail labels with quantifiable frequency. That being said, applying a smoking technique or a smokey flavor component to a dish adds meaningful depth and is something chefs have been doing forever [think: cooking over a fire]. I guess what I'm trying to say is, smart chefs don't just copy culinary buzzwords on their menu to make money, there's often tangible thought behind each concept.
    • Yogurt - The cultured dairy segment is booming! Chefs are helping to drive this trend; creative chefs understand the meaningful balance that an acidic, fermented dairy can bring to a dish > rounding from the dairy and the low pH yogurt also helps cut some the fat in a dish.

Vitello Tonnato / Signature Poached Piemontese Beef / Crispy Egg / Tuna Citrus Caper Aioli



Vitello: Veal

Tonnato: A creamy tuna sauce


We love how this classic northern Italian dish is communicated using language that provides what the modern diner is seeking: transparency, intrigue, and upfront cues for clear expectations. Here's what we mean:

  • Poached - Yes, an extremely traditional technique, but very popular right now.
  • Piemontese Beef - Consumers and diners don't necessary care if the meat quality is called out on a package or menu, as much as they care about the meat origin.
  • "Crispy" Egg -  This texture descriptor is outrageously trendy right now. But what's not to love? Many eaters love what this attribute represents. Peruse sushi menus on GrubHub®, and you will see the words "crispy" and "crunchy" called out as the very first descriptor...and those are often the highest selling items on the menu! Coincidence? I think not.
  • Citrus - Buzz buzz buzz. Mark it. This general category word — for lemons, grapefruits, oranges, limes, etc. — is resonating extremely well with consumers right now. 
Want a free copy of our 2017 Culinary Trends report? Cool.
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