Menu Inspiration

Mark & Jorge’s 2024 Menu Trend Predictions

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Article by Mark Patel, Italian Specialist & AP Specialist, Shamrock Foods New Mexico and Jorge Cazares, Center of Plate Specialist, Shamrock Foods Colorado

In the ever-evolving world of culinary delights, staying ahead of trends is crucial for keeping your menu fresh and exciting. As we look ahead to 2024, let's explore some exciting trends that are poised to make a big impact on the dining scene. From elevated comfort foods to unique dining experiences, here's what you can expect to see in the coming year.

Comfort Food 

The comfort food trend is taking a sophisticated turn, with a focus on elevated classics. Bread bowls are making a triumphant return, not just for soups but also as vessels for unique creations like butter candles. Expect innovative twists and upgraded classics as this generation of chefs brings their culinary prowess to menus. 

Renaissance Of Unique Proteins 

Tinned Fish continues its meteoric rise. Tinned Fish, mainly imported from Spain and Portugal, are making their way onto menus and even into specialty grocers. House-made forcemeats are making a comeback in a big way. From mousselines and mousses to pates and rillettes, these traditional delights are gracing menus once again. Pair them with artisanal bread for a nostalgic yet sophisticated dining experience. 

Simple Ingredient Meat Alternatives 

Complex meat alternatives are out, and protein-forward products made with simple ingredients will rise in 2024. They offer a wide range of benefits that are good for our bodies. Some simple ingredients to look out for are mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh, and legumes. 

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are having a moment, but not just your everyday cremini and shiitake. Foraged mushrooms are taking center stage, aligning with the rustic and cottage-core emergence. Foraging is making a comeback, influenced by current social trends, adding a touch of authenticity to your dishes. There are about 1,600 mushroom species, but only 100 have been recognized as edible, and 33 species are cultivated for consumption throughout the world.  

Walnuts:  While all nuts are nutrient-dense, walnuts have more plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and essential polyunsaturated fats that have been studied for their role in reducing inflammation, heart health, brain health, and more. 

Legumes: Beans and Lentils are staples in plant-based diets thanks to their nutritional profile, and legumes can provide a cost-effective, high-protein substitute for meat in almost any dish. 

Plant-based brands are capitalizing on the trend and developing and creating innovative faux seafood products utilizing a variety of vegetables. Try carrots masquerading as lox, trumpet, or king oyster mushrooms subbing in for scallops, Or Root Vegetable Konjac (Yam Cake) as sushi/sashimi rolls & poke bowls. 

Spice & Tang 

As today's diners increasingly seek diverse and adventurous tastes, restaurant menus are transforming into vibrant tapestries of international influences. From the bold and spicy notes of Tajin, reminiscent of Latin America, to the brightness of Yuzu to the comforting embrace of Spanish and Portuguese tinned Fish, the global pantry is inspiring chefs worldwide to push boundaries and redefine the culinary journey. In this dynamic gastronomic realm, the world is truly on a plate, inviting food enthusiasts to embark on a flavorful exploration that transcends borders and captures the essence of diverse cultures. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of global flavors and discover the culinary tapestry that defines the dining experience in 2024. 

Butter Boards! 

With social media, food has exploded, and ingredients that can turn into a sensation with consumers are recognized. Say goodbye to boring butter. Butter boards featuring an array of compound butters are becoming a thing. Picture a cheeseboard, but with different flavored butter spread directly onto the board. Accompanied by house-made breads and crackers, this trend adds a touch of indulgence to any dining experience. We love Shamrock Farm's Butter ) for these applications! Build a great board with a selection of Artisanal Provisions products. 

As we step into 2024, these culinary trends promise to captivate the taste buds of your customers and elevate their dining experiences. Embrace the rustic, the innovative, and the unexpected to keep your menu at the forefront of the culinary scene. Are you looking for help designing your menu? Reach out to our team to build a better 2024 for your operation. 

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