Three operators tell FM how they use international flavors in their appetizer menus.
Events Manager, ETMC Pavilion
East Texas Medical Center Regional
“Our catered events tend to have appetizers that are influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine, Cajun, and classic Southern food.
“Quesadillas are always popular. Duck and crab are great fillings, and we even make crawfish quesadillas.
“Deviled eggs are a classic appetizer that we make Cajun style by adding a little crab and some cayenne, and we make them Tex-Mex with pico de gallo and avocado. Mix it up with deviled eggs — don't be afraid!
“Wings are always popular. We find the little drummies are best for appetizers, as they are easier and less messy to eat in a social setting. Except for the Super Bowl…then all bets are off!”
Bon Appetit/Lesley University
“Hummus, babaganoush (puree of roasted eggplant) and tabbouleh (a Middle Eastern grain salad) are healthful favorites lately.
Cheese Barag (Armenian turnovers) stuffed with goat cheese and caramelized onions are a great appetizer choice. Jamaican bruschetta with shrimp and mango is a twist on the traditional Italian flavors on bruschetta.”
The New York Times/Restaurant Associates
New York, NY
“In the café, we have an international station with three side dishes and three main dishes. We're marketing to a large crowd, so we always have something recognizable, but there is room for more interesting items.
“Mini Quick Picks are two-to-three bite items with lower prices. One of the most popular is a a Thai beef salad: a julienne of roasted sirloin or hanger steak, bundled inside a crispy scallion pancake with all the classic Thai ingredients: red onion, cilantro, lime, chili pepper and mint.
“We also have a salad inspired by Spanish flavors with white beans braised in garlic, onion and celery, topped with a dice of serrano ham (dry-cured Spanish ham).”