Gordon Food Service takes a singular approach to recipe creation and development, providing first-to-market opportunities for operators. “We only write and talk about things we’ve tasted,” says Nick Gonring, Associate Corporate Consulting Chef. “Our mission is to create thought starters that will turn into winning menu items for operators.”
The process for creating Kitchen-Tested Recipes includes three steps that lead to the ideas loaded into Recipe Manager and shared in consultations with Gordon Food Service customers.
Step 1: Street-level trend tracking
“We visit Chicago, Los Angeles and New York—three cities that open more restaurants than any other in the U.S. market,” Gonring says. With visits to about 40 newly opened restaurants per city, the team tastes more than 1,000 dishes, documenting every flavor experience, every dish, every menu.
Step 2: Distill menu trends and opportunities
After the research tour, the team studies its findings. The findings are categorized into an annual trends report module, and select examples from the research for ideation. The R&D team then interprets and reinvents dishes experienced on the tour. “We look for emerging themes with underlying repetition,” Gonring says. “Our goal is not to replicate the dishes, but to take the core concepts and alter them into our own iteration.”
Step 3: Recipe testing and standardization
The kitchen-testing begins with a rough draft of about 20 recipes per module. “We carefully notate our processes, documenting yields, record time durations, scaling ingredients, and tasting as we develop, then revise the recipes,” he says. When the testing and retesting is complete, each recipe is plated, photographed and uploaded to Recipe Manager for customer consults.
Try Our Kitchen-Tested Recipes
Visit gfs.com/ideas and click “Recipes” to see what trends our chefs have translated into dishes.