From adding their own unique ingredients to jazz up a standard sauce base to answering the call for healthy, ethnically influenced recipes, Canadian chefs have a growing number of options for topping their creations with delicious sauces.
Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News spoke to chefs and industry suppliers to get their take on the latest trends and innovations in sauce and base recipes. Read on to see what our panel of experts had to say.
What are some of the most exciting trends and developments when it comes to sauces and bases for restaurants in Canada?
Krista Brown: I am really excited about all the sauce and base trends that I am seeing. We are experiencing rare, unique flavours and textures that are introducing a new “bold” into common dishes. Some traditional dishes from contrasting backgrounds are finding their way into Canadian restaurants and hearts. Personal health is only picking up steam in the food and beverage industry. Healthy versions with lower fats, sugars and sodium have taken over the market. We are all creating sauces and bases that are light and fresh, creating flavours that complement the dish without overpowering its origin. One of the most popular trends in 2017 is all about fresh selections. You will find chefs are taking pride in growing their own ingredients and garnishes free of pesticides and herbicides. In many cases where they are unable to grow their own produce, you will see restaurants drawing from other local sources such as markets, farms and orchards.
Graham Hayes: Big, bold and real flavours are what I see in store for Canada for the rest of 2017. And by that I mean, I think more and more Canadians are starting to embrace real barbecue. Before I go on, there is a difference between grilling and real barbecue. If anyone has been to the Deep South in the U.S. they will know what I am talking about. There is nothing wrong with grilling at all, but in terms of flavour trends I see barbecue and smokehouses becoming increasingly mainstream. Of course when it comes to true barbecue you have to have the right sauce. These sauces have to be authentic and base in the real roots of barbecue.
Ryan Marquis: We are on the cusp of the smoky trend of sauces and flavours such as chipotle, smoked barbecue sauces, and guacamole entering mainstream. Influenced by the trend that people are seeking healthier menu items, new sauces that are entering the growth phase and aligning with this new trend and considered ahead of the curve are based around herbs and fruits. You’re beginning to see apple-flavoured barbecue sauces, lemon and herb dressings and sauces, cucumber flavours, ginger sauces and even basil sauces and drinks. The vast range of flavour between different fruits and herbs will open a large variance and change in flavour. This new trend of flavours will pair well with chicken, fish and salads and we should see an increase in these menu items.
Marilyne Petitclerc: Food trend predictions for 2017 unanimously call for healthy foods with benefits ranging from low sodium, to allergen free, to natural “clean label” ingredients, and others. These trends are significant as they will have a big impact on the health of Canadians. Our answer to this trend is our LUDA H line of gluten-free, lower sodium soup bases and sauce mixes for the foodservice market. Another mega trend that has an impact on sauces and bases is authentic ethnic foods, which also includes authentic Canadian flavours, such as poutine and maple. LUDA offers a large selection of authentic poutine sauces, with recipes expertly crafted by Québécois chefs.
What are the key factors that are currently driving recipe innovation and the use of sauces and bases?
KB: Gourmet made simple. With time being so valuable, consumers are looking for pleasure-seeking options that can be achieved in a short time frame. Sauces and bases play a valuable role here, giving new life to simple pasta dishes, stir-fries and even sandwiches. With more of the population becoming health conscious, consumers are looking for ways infuse flavor without the return of high calories and fats. Sauces and bases are a popular way to achieve these results.
GH: A major factor that is driving recipe innovation is that people want to eat so-called real food. They want to truthfully know where it’s from, who made it, what’s in it, and is it good to go into my body. People want real food and there isn’t anything much more real than eating food that tastes rich and full of flavour. The biggest challenge is knowing what foods to serve and how to make them fit on your menu….