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Vegetables are at the forefront of the culinary media scene. They appear boldly as salads and main dishes, and softly as infusions and food dye replacements. No matter the cuisine or meal, they are a part of the conversation. Here are a few highlights of vegetables in fine dining.
As Food Dyes
Chefs are swapping food dyes for homemade food colorings. Vegetables, teas, and spices are just some of the alternative options, but vegetables offer some of the most vibrant colors. Cabbage creates the ideal blue while beets offer a vibrant red. Vegetables are already considered one of the main components of healthier dining, so they naturally fit as an alternative to harsh chemicals and dining.
Salads are all about crunch, texture, and flavor! Crisper greens lend themselves to charring. Layers of quinoa, burrata, crunchy pickled carrots, and drizzles of sauces such as chimichurri add complexity and prevent plate fatigue. The Cowboy Up Salad – crisp romaine, steak, red onion, roasted chickpeas, chimichurri, roasted potatoes, blue cheese vinaigrette from Garden Bar in Portland, Oregon is the perfect example of modern salads playing on different textures. Other noteworthy ingredients include Greek yogurt, beans, nut butters, tofu, and bloomed seeds. The possibilities are endless!
The continuous upswing of hummus brings forth exciting preparations like hummus topped with fried cauliflower, crisp chicken skin, dried cherries and marjoram from Middle’terranean in San Francisco. Hummus is one of the many items contributing to an increase in chickpea demands. Consumers show interest in plant-based options and crave Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian foods – making the chickpea an ideal ingredient. They build bowls, work into salad concepts, and develop into bar bites. Chickpeas even replace mayonnaise!
Vegetables are more exciting than ever. From the most complex to the simplest of meals, vegetables can make or break your dish. How are you utilizing vegetables on your menu?
Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.
In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.
The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.