2018 Trends: What changed in our plates?
By Lyne Branchaud, Guide Évènement
To find out, Scott Chalmers, Executive Chef, Isabelle Dallaire, Sous Chef, Johanne Beauregard, Restaurant Manager and Mélanie Lauzon, Assistant Coordinator, are happy to talk about the trends they see in their daily lives!
Hotel & Spa Mont Gabriel welcomes 2 types of clienteles. We host corporate groups on weekdays, while the weekend is much more oriented towards weddings and family customers. “The people we receive want to feel at home, but with professional cuisine,” says Scott Chalmers, the new Executive Chef who runs the kitchen team since January.
“When it comes to a corporate banquet menu, customers usually choose what will appeal to the majority. It’s a little different in the case of weddings : the newlyweds often choose a menu that will be more to their image, “says Mélanie Lauzon, assistant coordinator.
“The food component has become is taking a bigger place in the events we receive … People get information on where and how the food is grown. Local purchase and local produce are increasingly in demand, not only for food but also for wine. We now indicate it in our menus and for our customers, it is a pledge of quality, “says Ms. Lauzon.
“People are looking for the best products, the best quality with the best possible freshness. To help us meet this demand, we will create our own garden of herbs, starting this spring, in which we can directly pick our herbs … Difficult to have more fresh! “Jokes Mr. Chalmers.
In recent years there has also been a significant increase (nearly 10%) in food restrictions and allergies – gluten and lactose allergy, vegan diet, etc. “The kitchen team needs to keep up to date with their knowledge of these restrictions, which brings them to a different menu offer. “Notes Johanne Beauregard.
“We do a lot of research on the Internet to inspire us and better understand the needs … Then, we create new recipes according to the availability of local food and we play with colors, flavors and textures”, ” explains Isabelle Dallaire, Sous chef. “We try to reduce the use of fats, oil, salt and already prepared foods, while producing dishes of good taste, good quality, health and as fresh as possible. It takes more time and thought, but it’s a challenge we love to take up! “
Since the last few years, we have noticed that vegetables are in the limelight and there are all the colors, which makes it possible to offer visually interesting dishes. Shoots (eg radish), quinoa, couscous and risotto are also used a lot.
“Customers are also looking for originality … They are looking for a wow and want a complete experience! The food offered must not only be good, but it must also please the eyes, which leads us to play a lot more with the colors and textures of food. We have also developed a dessert in which we use cotton candy! It is a return to childhood assured and it always generates a lot of reactions! “, Tells us Mélanie Lauzon.
There is also a change in the choice of wines … “Customers are more and more connoisseurs and like to be advised on the best food and wine pairings. The same goes for cocktails … No more traditional rum punch, customers are now asking for original cocktails, which include fruits or vegetables to offer a colorful cocktail with innovative taste. In the same vein, there is also increasing demand for microbrewery beers. “, Says Melanie.
“Customers are looking for a whole, affordable and quality product with a good atmosphere and excellent service, and that’s what we offer them,” concludes Johanne Beauregard, Restaurant manager.