Why roasting and charring are becoming this fall’s hottest techniques

Simplot Roastworks

From Simplot

The appeal of roasting is as old as cooking itself.  Cooking something in the oven or over an open fire, at high heat with an uncovered pan, produces juicy, well-browned food that patrons love.  Beyond the additional flavor and color, adding “roasted” to the description of a menu item can help increase the perceived quality of the dish.  Of all proteins, chicken is the most often roasted.  But roasted fruits and vegetables are also popular, as roasting accentuates their natural sweetness.

Just add fire

Fire-roasting, a method of roasting, is an important prep option to consider for your menu this autumn.  The more intense, complex flavors and rich color that vegetables develop when cooked over an open flame are popular with patrons and a great match for the season.  And as wood-burning stoves and open-flame cooking continue to grow in popularity, so does the technique of charring.  It is most commonly used to add smokiness and texture to a wide range of vegetables and seafood. 

Exercised with care, the dark arts of charring can conjure a world of flavor. And this can translate to higher pricing power.

Top nine charred items:

  1. Tomato
  2. Onion
  3. Corn
  4. Orange
  5. Pineapple
  6. Lemon
  7. Cauliflower
  8. Steak
  9. Chicken

Turn up the heat this fall

Techniques like roasting and charring add a dimension of homemade authenticity to the menu, perfect as temperatures begin to drop and diners start to seek out more comforting dishes.  And with great products available like Simplot RoastWorks® Roasted Vegetables and Fruit, it’s never been easier—or more profitable—to offer these unique flavors to your customers.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
food waste

With awareness growing about the scope of food waste in America, foodservice operators are ramping up zero-waste efforts—and coming up with more culinary-focused solutions. It’s estimated that 40% of food produced in the United States is wasted, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Although an increase in composting has redirected some of this food waste from landfills to on-site gardens and farms at a number of operations, noncommercial chefs are re-evaluating food scraps for their menu potential.

University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn., has a longstanding...

Ideas and Innovation

Jehangir Mehta, chef-owner of Graffiti Earth in New York City and an avid food waste crusader, created a soup from food scraps that even has its own hashtag: #eatmycompostsoup. There’s no standard recipe for the item, which he also introduced to the dining program at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Instead, the coconut-based soup features vegetable peels, stems and roots left over from the day’s prep and what Mehta calls “cosmetically challenged” vegetables—ingredients that previously may have found their way into the compost bin.

“Using vegetable scraps and ugly produce in...

Industry News & Opinion
wood-fired pizza

Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield, Mo., opened its new dining hall with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early July, according to OzarksFirst.com.

The new dining concept was designed with employees in mind. Foodservice directors and designers worked to listen to the employees and used their suggestions in the final design, which includes a more open concept and a broad, bright bank of windows.

“I think that it just sets the mood,” said Amy Partain, director of nutrition and food service at Mercy. “I think that it will be a place that people go to recharge, a place of...

Managing Your Business

Four years after the federal Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) launched for public K-12 schools, school districts around the country are figuring out how to make it work for their districts. The popular CEP program allows schools with a high percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch to offer meals to all students enrolled there at no charge.

Now some districts, after testing CEP in pilot schools, are expanding the number of schools where the program is offered. Others are pulling back, either because the percentage of eligible families at those schools...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code