“Well, it’s officially that time of the year when the seasons change and so does the seasonal produce. That’s why we update our menu with new products and new dishes to highlight only the freshest produce possible. Back in the day, before we could get green house tomatoes or hydroponic watercress, you could only cook with what was naturally harvested in your part of the country. We’ve all heard the saying: “What grows together, goes together,” and this couldn’t be more true when considering new menu items.
One of our newest dishes to the menu is the Salmon Bowl, which includes cauliflower and a mustard vinaigrette. With spring and summer on the horizon, it just felt natural to swap out the cauliflower for summer squash and zucchini. If you just pay attention to Mother Nature, she has all the answers. It’s our job to add creativity or mark it with our own style, but for the most part if you stay within the seasons, choose local, and buy fresh.
When considering a new menu, there’s always an element of inspiration. You always hear “what inspires you?”; I’m not talking about scrolling through Pinterest for ideas. I’m talking about what really gets your gears turning. Bouncing ideas with coworkers for me is where it’s at. “What if we do this?” “How ‘bout if we try that?” You know, good ole brainstorming.
Someone starts with an idea involving a tortilla, and before you know it you have a wicked breakfast taco with chicken chorizo. True story.
One of our most prized new summer menu options was inspired by the late, great Houston’s: a Thai Steak Salad, controlled chaos on a plate with fresh, complex flavors coming at you all at once. The restaurant left quicker than we would have liked, with many of us not getting an opportunity to say our good-byes. Houston’s was known for its solid, consistent, high-quality food with impeccable service. We are doing our best to pay homage with the salad that Houston’s did so well. We’ll see how we do, fingers crossed.
Next time you’re looking at a menu, even at your local Panera, just keep in mind that every dish has a reason, and a story behind it. Happy spring!”
-Nick Janner, Woodside Executive Chef