Add excitement to comfort classics with a few easy twists. Learn how a new technique or ingredient can transform a traditional favorite into something new and modern.
Sometimes it seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is certainly the case with comfort food.
Chocolate may replace vanilla and cauliflower may become the new Brussels sprouts, but there will always be room on the menu for the likes of chicken soup, macaroni and cheese, pasta, pizza, fried chicken, meatballs, steaks, and sandwiches. In fact, comfort foods like these provide much-needed continuity as well as a platform for creativity: Guests are much more likely to try new flavors in a familiar sandwich or bowl of soup than they are to go out on a limb for grilled octopus with garlic sauce.
Even straight-up diners—the ultimate ode to all-day breakfast, comfort food, and homemade pie—are making a comeback. Silver, a “new American brasserie” that represents the next generation for the 28-year-old Silver Diner chain, features a mix of traditional and elevated comfort fare, from tomato-basil soup and Truffle Bison Meatloaf to all-day brunch and vegan Teriyaki Glazed Portabello Mushrooms.
No operator wants their menu to slip into boring sameness, or fall behind the times. Happily, there are easy ways to turn popular comfort foods into signature recipes.
Add Simple Upgrades
Some foods just sell, and customers expect to see them on the menu, but you can set your versions apart with a few simple twists of flavor, technique, or accompaniments.
Look to Regional Favorites
America is a land of comfort foods, from Yankee pot roast to Tex-Mex enchiladas and California-style avocado salad. Scour menus and cookbooks from other regions of the country to find some inspiration for new menu items.
Did You Know? Many comfort food classics include cheese and/or gravy.
Desserts Like Mom Used to Make
More than any other type of dessert, customers respond to classics like cakes, pies, rice pudding, ice cream sundaes, and all the other comforting sweets they grew up with. Even better, these desserts don’t require a pastry chef because they are easy to make in-house or outsource to talented bakers.
Content courtesy of Nestle Professional