Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – Don’t Forget the Seafood!

Media Spotlight – A monthly review with the freshest culinary insight! All of our spotlights are inspired by Menu Innovator®. For more information on Menu Innovator®, email

Our Media Spotlight found this season’s most talked about cuisines to be:
1) Asian
2) Mediterranean
3) Southern
4) Latin
5) American

Our most talked about culinary topics included:
1) Vegetables
2) Locally Sourced Foods
3) Charcuterie
4) Seafood
5) Summer Comfort Food

In our last blog we talked about the new groove of barbecue – creative, immersed with layers of flavor and fun! Summer may mean barbecue with meats, poultry, vegetables but what about seafood? In the summer as temperatures get higher appetites get lighter, quick cooking fish is a natural choice. As we slide into summer different varieties of seafood become available. Chefs are developing seasonal seafood items with the freshest ingredients. Classic preparations with a twist as well as seafood interpretations of other menu favorites are offered as summertime specials.

New varieties of salmon swim onto the scene. Wild King and Chinook salmon are available in mid-summer. But off season, salmon chefs have to be creative to satisfy guests. Faroe Island salmon is found in open waters in between Scotland and Iceland and are very close in flavor to King. Scottish Salmon is the fastest growing variety appearing on 25% more menus than a year ago. Other salmon varieties include Coho, silver, sockeye, red salmon. How about a maple-brown sugar and bacon glazed roasted Scottish salmon? Chef Michael Leviton at Lumiere in Newton, Massachusetts serves Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon raw, as tartare, cured with lemon and herbs or smoked in a pate.

Monkfish with the texture of lobster is often called “the poor man’s lobster”. Who would guess such a great tasting fish would come from such a “different looking” critter? This summer it is abundant in New England and North Carolina waters. Damien O’Donnell at Harbor Bistro in East Hampton, NY serves a Monkfish and Chorizo Kabob with couscous sautéed with pancetta and tomatoes.

A “reel” pleasure, of course, is lobster. Lobster, whether grilled, steamed, baked, stuffed or butter poached, is a hit. Rialto in Cambridge Massachusetts served lobster hot off the grill accompanied by polenta, bok choy, tomato, porcini and mint. Butter is fantastic to dip lobster into but honey, ginger, wasabi, cilantro and caviar? They also give added flavor to the cooked crustacean. And we can’t forget the summer staple – Lobster rolls are everywhere! Increasingly popular food halls take advantage of this cult favorite. They offer anything from craft beers to flights of pastries – and of course, lobster rolls! Famous chefs have set up stalls offering take offs on many of their menu specialties. At Ponce City market in Atlanta, Food and Wines “Best New Chef” Anne Quatrano will make fish–shack-style sandwiches like Tarragon Flecked Lobster Rolls this summer. Chef Adam Geringer-Dunn has his version of the lobster roll, a Lobster Corn Dog – battered lobster on a stick. He serves it with a tarragon aioli creating a new version of the classic roll.

Fresh flaky cod is a New England favorite. Cod is quickly becoming more popular in the fish tank. It’s a cold water fish, giving it a clean taste, and its low in fat and calories. Fish and Chips, one of the most relatable dishes, is traditionally made with New England cod or haddock. What about twisting it a bit? The dish is a great platform for incorporating many global and regional breading, batters and sauces. Beer batters are seen more and more as a fish and chip coating. What a better way to show off a special craft beer! At Flossmoor Station Restaurant in Flossmoor Illinois, Fish and Chips is made with cod dipped in Station Master Wheat Ale Beer Batter and served with Zephyr Golden Ale Tartar Sauce. Kitchenette in San Francisco served a Fried Achiote Marinated Cod Sandwich. Add an Asian twist by marinating fish in ponzu sauce. Serve additional ponzu on the side with traditional tartar sauce.

Whether grilled, roasted, fried, sautéed or baked, fish is a healthy, light summer favorite. Varieties are plentiful and lean towards any culinary profile. So, get hooked on all new ways to eat the catch of the day!

Eat Well.

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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