When it comes to holiday menus, traditional dishes are often the most coveted for their nostalgic and comforting qualities. But you don't have to give up on tradition in order to incorporate the latest trends.
By dusting those traditional plates with on-trend accents, you'll be able to elevate your seasonal menus in small yet impactful ways.
Take a Trip
The pandemic pushed people to travel via their plates when they couldn't get away by planes. Thus, more diners than ever are looking for unique flavors that transport them to distant places. Take tips from 2023's top trending cuisines — like Filipino or Mexican, for example.
Serve your beef bourguignonne or extravagant roast with sides of fried plantains in tomato sauce or a heaping scoop of fried garlic rice for some Southeast Asian flair. For Mexican-American fusion, stuff your roast turkey with spicy crumbled chorizo or offer an add-on bowl of birria — the rich, slow-cooked beef stew that will warm guests up from the inside out.
Plant the Seed
If you don't already offer at least one quality plant-based entrée on your menu, you might be missing out on an entire demographic of younger folks who choose a restaurant based solely on a selection of vegan options. Reel them in with dishes that show you put as much thought into their preferences as everything else on the menu.
Jackfruit and mushrooms like lion's mane are revered in the veg world not only for their health benefits, but also for their ability to absorb any flavors and mirror the texture and shredability of meat. Marinade either in classic seasonal mirepoix flavors and serve shredded for sammies or in slices like tenderloin medallions. Drizzle with homemade cranberry sauce and plate with a side of potatoes mashed with vegan butter, roasted garlic, and hemp seed milk. Your vegan families will never celebrate without you again.
Stock Up on Sustainability
With climate change and the health of our oceans and animals in the forefront of people's minds, paying attention to sustainable ingredients and highlighting them on your holiday menu will ensure patrons know your establishment is doing its part — and that's a major factor for an increasing number of diners.
Showcase plates like whole fish and fowl double as centerpieces for the holidays — and they can ensure guests feel good about what they're about to dig into. Another seafood option like Bay Winds® Chilean Sea Bass is also a great bet. Not only is it rich in taste, with large, ivory white, oil-moist flakes, but this sea bass product is all natural and wild-caught — certified sustainable by agencies such as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Grain- and corn-fed beef can also be a big hit — even better if it's DNA traceable, like Braveheart Black Angus Beef®. Dry rub your NY strips with a seasoning using coffee that exceeds fair trade standards from a roaster committed to sustainable growing practices. Caring diners don't mind spending a little more for the assurance that their food aligns with their strong values. And especially over the holidays, ethical practices are a cause anyone can get behind.