Gather 16 executive chefs in one kitchen and watch what happens. The Greystone campus of the Culinary Institute of America was the scene in early March when the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council hosted chefs for three days of blueberry immersion. Power players from Panera Bread, Wendy’s, Applebee’s, IHOP, Disneyland, Google and others went to work to find out just what big rewards can come from making little changes.
What did the chefs discover? Blueberries deliver!
In true Top Chef-style, program leader Chef Lars Kronmark challenged the group to create dishes using various forms of blueberries, including fresh, frozen, freeze-dried, powdered, puree, pickled, juice and dried. With 44 percent of consumers finding dishes that include blueberries more appealing1, and 20 percent purchasing specific items because they contain blueberries, these little blue dynamos are a top consideration for restaurants looking to delight their customers and improve their bottom line.
So, what did they come up with? A true blue smorgasbord!
- Asian Spiced Blueberry Ribs
- Blueberry Pork Sausage
- Flank Steak with Blueberry Chimichurri
- Bacon-Blueberry Onion Jam
- Blueberry Scallion Pancakes
- Blueberry Naan with Spiced Chicken
- Blueberry Guacamole
- Blueberry Duck Confit
- And many more!
As food-savvy consumers look to experience blueberries in more unconventional forms and pairings, the Blueberry Council works to inspire chefs with culinary concepts they can use to respond to these and other shifting trends.
Want to join the fun? Contact Julie Stas at Julie.Stas@padillacrt.com to learn more about Blueberry Boot Camp and other opportunities for chefs.
- Hebert Research 2013 Usage & Attitude Study for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council