Chefs are always looking for new flavor combinations to show their creativity and provide new offerings to their customers. A growing movement of non-traditional mash-ups is allowing chefs to do just that by combining existing cuisines to create new, exciting flavors.
Typically fusion cuisines are the combination of Asian dishes, but many new restaurants are focusing on more radical mixes such as Turkish-Korean, Japanese-Jewish, American-South African, among others. Although there are many mixtures available, Asian influences are usually one part of the blend.
Specifically, Mediterranean dishes are seeing an influx of Asian flavors. At All’onda in New York, this came about naturally. Chef Chris Jaeckle, who got his start at a Japanese restaurant, said “I kept thinking, ‘This could really use some soy sauce,’” while cooking at his previous Italian restaurant. When he started his own restaurant, he cultivated that original thought into an entire menu.
A popular place to find unique mashes of food is in the food truck community. Roy Choi is one of the original innovators of fusion street food with his Korean-Mexican BBQ, Kogi, in Los Angeles. He started in 2008 and has grown his group into four trucks and several sit-down restaurants.
No matter the type of restaurant you manage, there may be an opportunity to infuse some flavors from other cuisine into your already popular dishes. Here are few dishes to inspire your pursuit of fusion cooking:
- Coconut Curried Chicken Casserole
- Mediterranean Marinated Beef and Vegetable Kabobs
- Asian Shrimp with Mango Pepper Salad
- Indian Style Chicken Salad
A quote by Chef Andrew D’Ambrosi references the classic saying “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” when he stated “No one likes the word fusion anymore, but everyone does it.”