TL SUM23 24 BAR SNACKS

Salty caviar served with an intense and dry martini, rye bread with a whiskey sour, and jalapeño rings with a margarita. These new styles of food and alcohol pairings are setting the standards in venues, being coined the ‘elevated bar snack.’ The pairings are perfect for those diners who are tired of the typical run-of-the-mill bar experience and are looking for something different. Not only visually appealing and exciting, but the pairings of specially chosen foods with cocktails can enhance the flavours in both.

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We know food wastage is often at the forefront of a chef’s mind as it minimises profit loss and reduces the environmental footprint, so it’s not a surprise that low-waste menus are popping up this summer. Being smart with ingredients, such as using the fish from head to tail or fermenting unused produce, will help contribute towards environmental sustainability and reduce food waste when creating menus.

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No one can deny the rise in the popularity of boba, a drink filled with fun flavours and small balls of colours. Originating in Taiwan, boba pearls are typically found in milk tea beverages with flavours of tapioca and taro. However, exciting new uses of the pearls have been discovered due to their versatility, endless flavour combinations and the unmatched pop and gush of their texture. We are seeing boba in cocktails to create stunning visual effects, as well as traditional French desserts being transformed into modern-style dishes topped with strawberry and lychee boba to give a fresh pop of colour.

It’s no surprise more alternative milks are popping onto the food scene, with pistachio and potato milk now shaking up the industry, expecting to be seen in cafés all around the country. Low in sugar and saturated fats, potato milk is perfect for the health-conscious consumer with a nuttier flavour and pistachio milk is not only creamy but a good source of minerals and can aid in digestion.

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A new era of technology is emerging in foodservice with AI becoming less expensive and more accessible, changing the dynamics of the industry. Many businesses are already taking advantage of AI technology as it can reduce costs and automate simple tasks, customising orders based on stock levels, and even allowing restaurants to find new customers by adopting marketing activities to reach new business. This technology is rapidly increasing in the foodservice industry with AI showing up in multiple applications, such as machines and software you could be using in your next service!

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Don’t let the hard shell of a clam intimidate you, this ingredient is bringing the flavour of the ocean onto customers’ plates. Whilst most chefs won’t immediately lean to this particular bivalve to use in their next summer special, its versatility is unmatched, often served with lemon and garlic butter. Have fun with this ingredient and let its adaptability to be paired with various flavours inspire your next seafood special.

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Mezcal’s market share is growing every year making its way into bar menus across the country. As it can be made from any type of agave plant and cooked with its core, the spirit is infused with smoky flavours not found in tequila. While traditionally drunk neat to allow the drinker to experience its intense flavour profile, it also can be used in cocktails for an unmatched depth of flavour. 

Fish crudo is taking over menus this season with its clean and delicate textures, making it a perfect palate cleanser for those hot summer days. Popular types of fish for crudo are tuna, swordfish and salmon, which can be served with ingredients such as finger lime or salsa de pane.

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Following on from the success of K-pop, Korean food is the latest mouth-wateringcuisine to be dominating the internet. Typically featuring grilled meats with kimchi, fried chicken and a Korean staple dish called bibimbap, this food is rich in spice, texture and unexpected health benefits.

Google searches for bottomless brunch have increased by over 300% in the last five years, showing this trend is here to stay. No longer is this experience just about the food, but now customers expect prosecco or an Aperol spritz, as well as entertainment including dancers and singers, alongside their leisurely meal.

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Fluffy, soft, delicious and gigantic – 2024 is the year of the soufflé pancake. Hailing from Japan, these pancakes are less sweet than their traditional counterparts, leaving room for creative toppings to be added that will dominate menus from breakfast to dessert.

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