How To Add Trending New Sea Vegetables and Edible Seaweeds To Your 2019 Menu

Last updated on March 27th, 2019

Sea vegetables and edible seaweeds make their menu debut

Seaweed Consumption on the Rise

If you run a foodservice business and want to know what’s trending in the industry and what is expected to increasingly appear on 2019 restaurant menus everywhere, it’s time to learn all about the seaweed, aka sea vegetables. Recent Nation’s Restaurant News headlines reveal that seaweed is experiencing a tide of popularity, while James Griffen, an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University, reports that consumption of seaweed is growing 7% annually in the United States – and for good reason. Bursting with a rich array of nutrients and associated with multiple scientifically proven health benefits, the growing appetite for sea vegetables such as nori, kombu, and wakame is not expected to wane anytime soon.

What are Sea Vegetables?

So, what exactly are sea vegetables and how can you add seaweeds to your recipes and menus? Neither plant nor animal, sea vegetables are classified under a group known as algae. Also referred to as edible seaweed, they grow in marine salt waters as well as fresh water lakes and seas and are commonly found on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes. While relatively new to the Western palate, seaweed varieties have been a staple of Japanese diets for millennium. Remarkably, while some types of sea vegetables require soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding them to your recipes or dishes, most require no cooking or sautéeing whatsoever. Due to growing demand, while once available only in specialty shops and health food stores, you can now increasingly find seaweed varieties in local supermarkets and grocery stores as well.

Types of Edible Seaweed

Seaweeds are categorized into three main groups, based on color:

  • Green Seaweed: Rich in chlorophyll; found in dark leafy greens and other green vegetables
  • Red Seaweed: Especially high in carotenoids; known to have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Brown Seaweed: Formidable source of iodine; popularly referred to as ‘kelp’

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Follow The Success Stories of Women Chefs Who Are Mastering The Food Scene

Female chefs are rising the ranks of the food industry

Female Chefs on the Rise in the Food Industry

Women chefs are trending. Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, baker, food truck/food station operator, bar owner, or manager of a bistro, this is good news. While female chefs are not going to be featured on your next menu, they do represent some of the up-and-coming superstars in the biz and are a formidable force to recognize and be reckoned with.

Proliferation of Women Chefs: A Welcome Trend

In what was once a largely male-dominated arena, the increasing proliferation of female chefs is encouraging, especially given the fact that more women are now enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America than men, and in light of National Restaurant Association (NRA) reports that the number of women-owned establishments has increased by more than 50% over the last decade.

This is not only good news for the female culinary stars who are now receiving their due recognition, but to the millions of delighted consumers whose tastes are being tantalized and whose palates are being pleased by scores of mouth-watering recipes and pioneering dishes created by female chefs.

State of the Restaurant Industry Past and Present

In the past, the restaurant industry has been described as generally unfriendly to women, be it in the form of sexual discrimination /harassment, poor or non-existent maternity leave policies, absence of benefits, inability to advance in the field, or failure to secure funding to begin their own businesses. At the same time, a minority of females did manage to beat the odds, mastering the food scene and becoming icons in their own right. Who doesn’t remember the groundbreaking successes of mavericks such as Julia Child, Christina Campbell, and Martha Stewart?

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Leafy Greens Capturing the Market

Exiting new leafy green options and recipes to add to your menu.

New Leafy Greens Capturing the Market

If you follow current restaurant industry trends, you have likely come across some rather odd newcomers in lettuces and leafy greens. Traditional salad fanfare still includes iceberg, Boston, and romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. However, making their produce debut and increasingly making the foodservice cut are alternative leafy greens such as endives, radicchio, chard, arugula, bok choy, watercress, and more.

New Names in Salads

When it comes to salads, you might have noticed some of the following ‘new’ names in the biz. For example, it turns out that all lettuces can be divided into one of four main categories. These are: romaine, looseleaf, butterhead, and crisphead. The familiar iceberg lettuce is in fact an example of a crisphead. Crispheads are round and feature tightly packed leaves. Butterheads, aka crisphead ‘cousins,’ are round as well, however the leaves are looser with a smoother texture. Looseleafs, as their name implies, are loosely gathered in the form of a rosette. Finally, you can spot romaine types of lettuce by their signature elongated leaves and thick white ribs.

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Learn The Latest in Chocolate News

Ruby chocolate and new chocolate menus and recipes make their debut

What’s New in Chocolate?

Attention chocoholics, chefs, and anyone working in the foodservice industry: If you’re wondering what’s new in chocolate these days, you are in for a treat! There is a new kid on the choco block and the decadent temptation has a new look, a new texture – and yes, even a new flavor!

But before we indulge in the latest sweet sensation, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and look at the state of an industry which has more than passed the test of time and taste…

Chocolate Bliss

In the words of Charles M. Schulz: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Ah, the sweet sound and flavor of even just hearing the word “chocolate…” By far one of the worlds’ oldest and most beloved aphrodisiacs, it’s no wonder that the current staples – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate – are a part of almost every menu and a feature item in so many desserts. In fact, according to market research firm Datassential, eateries continue to use chocolate in new and innovative ways, a fact indicative of its enduring popularity.

Larry Wilson, vice president of customer relations at the National Confectioners Association (NCA), further notes that whether as a stand-alone food or as a recipe ingredient: “Chocolate is a very popular product …It grows in demand during good economic times and is recession resistant.”

Currently, dynamics in the chocolate industry are reflecting general food trends for 2019, where consumers are increasingly interested in the content of what they are eating: “People are looking more at specific types of foods,” says Maeve Webster, Datassential senior director. “It’s not just tomatoes, but heirloom tomatoes; not just coffee, but dark roast. People want to know the specifics of what they are eating, so generic chocolate is not as impactful as it was.”

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What’s Hot in Wedding Dessert Trends?

Exciting wedding desserts are trending, replacing the traditional wedding cake.

New in Wedding Dessert Trends

What’s trending in wedding desserts for 2019? If you are planning on catering weddings in the coming year, you have to come to the right place. Our blog last year highlighted the hottest wedding foods for 2018; this guide will give you an updated scoop on what sweet concoctions the experts predict will appear on reception tables everywhere. To cater a memorable event that is guaranteed to make your foodservice memorable, read on for some of the most innovative, wacky, and wonderful wedding dessert ideas your palate has ever imagined.

Wedding Desserts Expected to Be Huge in 2019

What wedding desserts are expected to climb the charts in 2019? Creating a ‘wow’ factor is what it’s all about. From creative confectionary displays in unconventional shapes and sizes to personalized treats in groundbreaking flavors and textures, tomorrow’s wedding desserts are a perfect way to showcase your chef’s culinary talents and to keep your clients wanting more.

While traditional wedding desserts are not entirely out of the picture, new on the horizon are some of the following scrumptious selections, including some rather avant-garde choices:

  • Customized Ice Cream Stations
  • Pie Buffets
  • Mini Pie-Pops
  • Exotic Fruit Trees
  • Donut Towers
  • Piña Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri Donuts
  • Waffle and Cookie Bars
  • Champagne Flutes

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The Growing Popularity of Oat Milk

The growing popularity of oat milk will benefit your business

Oat milk, a plant-based alternative to traditional cow’s milk, is one of the hottest trends in the food industry! If you’re looking for a new beverage to add to your menu, look no further. A popular vegan and dairy free choice gaining widespread consumer popularity, savvy foodservice professionals are jumping on the oat milk fast track and customers are lapping it up.

Maximizing the Potential of Oat Milk

Whether you manage a restaurant, catering service, bakery, café, fast-food chain, take-out service, or food truck, this ‘Oat Milk Guide for Professionals’ will help you learn all about this rising star in the dairy alternatives food market and how you can maximize its potential to grow your business.

If you’ve been following latest trends in the biz, you know that demand for ‘non-dairy’ and ‘dairy free’ foods and beverages has never been higher. What began as a way to cater to lactose intolerant customers, has become a full-blown foodservice phenomenon as a growing public sector is clamoring for healthier menu choices, including plant-based foods and dairy alternatives. Since their debut, the variety of non-dairy products has skyrocketed, with chefs and food manufacturers creating groundbreaking recipes for dairy free ice creams, whipped creams, cream cheeses, cheese cakes, yogurts, pizzas, and more.

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Trending Desserts with a Healthier Twist

The latest desserts are innovative, eye-catching, and healthier than ever before.

What’s New in Desserts

Looking for the latest desserts to die for? Then you’ve come to the right place! This “New in Desserts” guide for bakers, chefs, patisserie owners, and anyone working in the food industry will tickle your taste buds, make your mouth water, and fill your customers’ palate with delectable delights. The latest trends in dessert menus are innovative, creative, outrageous, and simply divine…

The Latest Desserts Reflect Food Industry Trends

So, what makes this year’s sweets and confectionaries such a standout? If you’re been following up-and-coming food industry trends, you already know that demand for healthy, more nutritious foods is on the rise, as is consumer craving for savory and exotic tastes, wholesome non-run-of-the-mill grains, nostalgic comfort foods, and tropical flavors. This year’s hottest desserts reflect these trends, as evidenced in recipes with a ‘better-for-you’ spin and in unprecedented concoctions such as hummus shakes, grain-free granola, Mexican hot-chocolate sauces, passion-fruit whipped creams, gluten-free sandwich cookies (aka alfajores), chocolate-chip avocado doughnuts, and more.

Healthier Sweets

Also new on the menu of nutritious desserts are baked goods featuring less artificial ingredients, more whole grains or no grains at all, low-fat and no-fat alternatives, diabetic recipes, and heart-healthy options which allow customers to have their cake and eat it too!

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Promote Smoked Foods on Your Menu to Increase Business

Smoked Food is the Biggest Trend in Catering

Catering Trends: Smoked Food

When it comes to catering and keeping up with the latest trends, there’s no rest for the weary. Just when you thought you had a handle on the latest trend – be it craft butter or Greek cuisine – along comes the next big thing and the cards are in the air. Now it’s time to prepare for the era of smoked food of all kinds. It’s hard to ignore the appeal of smoke-flavored foods; from the distinct taste to the pleasant and distinctive aroma, smoked foods are definitely rising in popularity.

Smoke is Not Just for Meat

We spent some time in a recent blog discussing how you can incorporate barbecue into your catering menu, in particular Korean barbecue. But smoke is not just for brisket or other cuts of meat and, in fact, nearly any food or dish can be smoked. The Smoke restaurant in Dallas, Texas, serves a cedar-wood infused tequila cocktail and they are not alone – smoky cocktails are all the rage. All you need in order to cook up original and delicious smoked foods are some wood chips (such as hickory, maple, cherry, mesquite, etc.), a grill or smoker, a variety of herbs and seasonings, and your own instinct, imagination, and creativity and voila, a smoked food is born.

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Learn About Butter’s Renaissance and How You Can Make Your Own

Butter is Making a Comeback and It’s Better Than Ever

Butter is Back

Butter is having a renaissance. As a growing number of consumers try to avoid foods that are perceived as artificial and unhealthy, such as vegetable oil-based margarine, butter is experiencing a revival. The food pendulum is always swinging and what is shunned one year can be embraced the next. So it’s not surprising that butter – natural, fresh from the farm, and simply delicious – is staging a comeback. And, like many foods of late, the fancier the better. Premium innovations from national brands, as well as from regional family-owned creameries and artisan culinary professionals, are helping drive the better-butter business and it seems like the sky is the limit.

Americans Love Butter

Back in 2014, food author/expert Mark Bittman wrote in The New York Times that “Butter is Back,” and the trend that he predicted is continuing. Consumers are buying more butter at the retail level and chefs are cooking more with butter, as well. Recently, McDonald’s announced that it would switch from vegetable oil to real butter to grill eggs and to spread on toast, English muffins, and bagels. Signs in branches now state, “We cook with real dairy.”

Butter is at a 40-year high in per-capita consumption, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2016, volume sales for butter were more than 735 million pounds, representing a significant increase from the previous year. Volume sales of margarines and spreads, on the other hand, were down 7.1%. In terms of dollar sales, butter was at about $2.8 billion (up 2.7%) during the same period, while margarine showed a decrease of 7.8%, down to $1.4 billion. These stats are even more surprising when you consider that ordinary butter is about two or three times the price of margarine, while premium butters often command more than five times the price per pound of margarine.

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Caterers Embrace Shoppable Recipes as the Latest Convenience

Last updated on August 30th, 2018

Use Shoppable Recipes to Make Your Life Easier

How Shoppable Recipes Can Transform the Catering Industry

As a busy caterer you’ve come to realize that your chosen profession, while often exciting and fun, is also exhausting, hectic, and stressful. The competition is right behind you, deadlines are looming, and clients are always breathing down your neck. Because intensity and pressure are an intrinsic part of the industry, and usually good for your adrenaline, you should nevertheless be on the lookout for ways to make your life easier with conveniences and shortcuts that shave time off the labor-intensive process of food preparation. We’re here to help you do this by introducing you to shoppable recipes, the quicker, easier way to put food on the table at catered events.

Meal Kits Led the Way to Shoppable Recipes

For years, home cooks (especially those who don’t like to cook) have been looking for easy ways to feed themselves and their families. Enter the meal kit, the subscription and delivery service that sends customers pre-portioned food ingredients and recipes, so they can prepare homecooked meals, which caters to consumer demand for quick and easy food prep. Meal kits also give consumers a chance to experiment with new recipes with the ease of having all of the ingredients pre-packaged precisely for that specific recipe.

As a caterer, however, meal kits won’t work for you, as your clients are looking for your food and your ideas, and not something that comes out of a kit. The next big thing out there, designed to make your life easier, is called “shoppable recipes,” and these can actually change the life of a caterer forever.

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