Comfort food is always on trend. But as much as guests crave the nostalgic comfort of a dish they know well, they also want something creative and interesting – a step beyond what they might think about preparing at home. Making small adjustments can offer that interest and extend your menu. Consider how global spices, seasonal produce or new marinades or sauces might complement the classic dishes you serve.
Amid food shortages, every chef welcomes an ingredient that is readily available and less susceptible to market fluctuations. It’s a good time to fill your toolbox with some flexible, practical ingredients that can stretch your inventory. One example: plantains. They tend to be plentiful and affordable, and they add interest to dishes ranging from appetizers to entrées to desserts. But their best quality may be that they can be cooked at any stage of ripeness – so you can adapt them to changes in your menu, to shifting patterns in customer traffic and even to earlier- or later-than-expected shipments to your facility. Can you identify more powerhouse ingredients with similar qualities that might help you spread your inventory farther right now?