Fall Scoop 2019, which focuses on “Global Discovery Made Easy” and features cuisine with Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern influences, was launched by US Foods on September 16. Frozen components figure prominently in the flavorful product lines, which were inspired after analyzing research from Datassential revealing that 54 percent of American consumers say they have gone out of their way to try a novel global food dish. This made it crystal clear that restaurant diners and other foodservice customers are especially hungry these days to explore new flavors from around the world.
In an effort to help operators stay competitive and meet this growing demand, the leading foodservice distributor in North America collaborated with nationally recognized chefs Diana Dávila, Thai Dang and Sameh Wadi to advise on many of the globally inspired products featured in the new Fall Scoop line up. Chef Dávila is the owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería in Chicago; Dang is the executive chef and owner of HaiSous, also in Chicago; and Wadi is the executive chef and owner of World Street Kitchen in Minneapolis.
“Today’s diners are more adventurous, and they expect diverse, authentic food experiences,” said Stacey Kinkaid, vice president, product development and innovation at Rosemont, Illinois-headquartered US Foods. “Chefs Dávila, Dang and Wadi shared incredibly helpful insights and feedback on Scoop products with Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian influences, such as al pastor, beef shawarma and bulgogi beef. By focusing our efforts on items our operators would normally not have the time, resources or experience to create on their own, we have delivered turnkey solutions they can add to their menus with confidence.”
Spicing Up Latin Style
Chef Dávila, a 2019 finalist for the coveted James Beard Award (Best Chef: Great Lakes) and a 2018 semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category, is a recognized authority on Mexican cuisine. She drew from almost 20 years in the restaurant industry to advise on Scoop products such as the Chef’s Line All Natural Al Pastor.“
Chef Diana Dávila
Creating al pastor with US Foods was an exciting challenge because it’s typically a street food in Mexico that takes time and special equipment to prepare,” said Dávila. “In staying true to the authentic dish, the Chef’s Line All Natural Al Pastor was cooked on a spit, so the meat comes in shaved slices with charring. It’s a savory and delicious product that is already seasoned so it can quickly be prepared and added to any meal.”
Here are details about products made with the ingredients and flavors of Latin America:
- Chef’s Line All Natural Al Pastor. This all natural whole muscle, boneless pork shoulder is hand-stacked on a vertical spit, fire-seared and sliced from the cone and seasoned with a Mexican-inspired blend, including annatto, onion powder, garlic powder, lime juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Monarch Fire Roasted Corn and Poblano Peppers Blend with Onions. Fire-roasted with char marks, this time-saving, versatile dish is a blend of sweet corn, poblano peppers and yellow onions, and contains no oil or added seasonings.
- Del Pasado Mini Chile Rellenos. Inspired by the popular Mexican entrée, this product features diced, roasted poblano peppers blended with mozzarella and Cotija cheeses and is battered with corn masa. It is easily paired with a variety of dipping sauces.
Asian Cuisine Going Mainstream
Asian cuisine has become a staple in many people’s diets, with 54 percent of consumers in the United States eating foods influenced by Asian recipes at least once per month, according to Datassential.
US Foods partnered with Chef Dang, a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist (Best New Restaurant and Best Chef: Great Lakes), to advise on products with multiple culinary influences from East Asia, including Korean, Vietnamese and Taiwanese. Dang is known for his innovative and modern takes on classic Vietnamese dishes at HaiSous, which was recently recognized by Thrillist as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in America.
Chef Thai Dang
“I was excited to share my creativity with US Foods and adapt some of my favorite Asian flavors into the new Fall Scoop products,” said Dang. “The Chef’s Line All Natural Bulgogi Beef stands out for me because it can be served in so many ways, like in a stir fry, lettuce wrap or even as a bulgogi poutine. Operators can put their own spin on a product like this and turn it into a dish they know their diners will love.”
Highlights of Fall Scoop products made with Asian influences include:
- Patuxent Farms Red Curry Seasoned Popcorn Chicken. Whole muscle white poultry meat is fully cooked and lightly seasoned with Thai-style red curry. In fact, the use of red curry instead of the traditional yellow curry was a result of Dang’s culinary influence. This popcorn chicken is a versatile and time-saving product with an on-trend flavor profile influenced by the popular Taiwanese street food scene.
- Pacific Jade Korean BBQ Style Spring Roll. This dish helps restaurant operators bring global flavor in a handheld format and includes flavors reminiscent of traditional Korean barbecue, including tender beef, vermicelli, gochujang, pear purée and mirin.
- Chef’s Line All Natural Bulgogi Beef. This Korean cuisine favorite is made from a whole muscle USDA Choice Beef and marinated in a Korean-style sauce that includes soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and onions.
Layers of Middle Eastern Flavors
Diners are increasingly seeking out Middle Eastern food, with 51 percent of consumers in the USA preferring to eat such fare at a restaurant rather than making it at home, according to Datassential.
US Foods teamed up with Chef Wadi, a self-described “spice connoisseur” who is well known for creative use of spices, to bring the foodservice distributor’s customers Middle Eastern products that remain true to their authentic flavors. It should be noted that Wadi is also a five-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and takes a contemporary approach to Middle Eastern cuisine.
Chef Sameh Wadi
“I think the reason so many people love Middle Eastern food is because it’s often made with darker spices and ingredients that have layers of flavor, and shawarma is a great example of that,” said Wadi. “I’m really proud of how well the Chef’s Line All Natural Beef Shawarma can translate for operators’ menus. We tried a few versions to get the seasoning just right, and through different tastings and iterations we created a delicious blend of spices that takes the product to the next level.”
Details of Fall Scoop products made with Middle Eastern culinary influences follow:
- Chef’s Line All Natural Beef Shawarma. This all-natural product is produced in an authentic process: marinated, hand-stacked and carved from cone and seasoned with authentic Middle Eastern-style spices, then flame-seared.
- Devonshire Premium Cheesecake Topped with Honey and Almonds: This decadent cheesecake offers Middle Eastern flavors and is made with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, real honey and a cardamom-spiced graham cracker crust.
Southern Hospitality Made Easy
Fall Scoop was also enhanced offerings with items featuring Southern flair, which were created in collaboration with US Foods’ regional chefs from the Southland. These foods include the Devonshire Croissant Beignet, a twist on the classic beignet made with croissant dough, and Del Pasado Chile con Queso Dip, which features a cheddar cheese base and blend of peppers.
About US Foods
Generating approximately $24 billion in annual revenue, US Foods distributes products to some 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators across the United States. The company employs 25,000 employees at more than 60 locations.