Beverages, comfort food, frozen alcoholic treats, sustainable fish and interactive menu items head the latest list of seasonal menu influences from Abigail Kirsch Catering.
The “AK Blog” on the website of New York-based Abigail Kirsch Catering cited five trends that helped to mold new seasonal menus for spring and summer created by the culinary team headed by Chef and Partner Alison Awerbuch:
• Beverages—Many of Abigail Kirsch Catering’s new offerings showcase organic ingredients (alcohol included) along with interesting infusions of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. Among the colorful and refreshing new drinks created for the season is the Aperol Orange Cocktail — a blend of farmer’s organic gin, aperol aperitivo, orange bitters and lemon syrup.
• Comfort Food—To put a creative twist on the comfort-food trend that’s taken hold over the past few years, inventive new variations devised by the Abigail Kirsch culinary team have included taking the classic Chicken Cobb Salad and packing all of the flavors onto one spoon, to be served as a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre. Chef Awerbuch’s team also transformed “your everyday fish taco” into an innovative appetizer “boasting a trio of lobster, tuna and shrimp in taro root taco shells.” And for dessert, the team concocted “a sophisticated take on cookies and milk which brings together four varieties of cookies and quite possibly the best milk shake you’ll ever taste (salted caramel malted milk).” Then there’s what Abigail Kirsch calls “the piece de résistance”—a chocolate drizzled fortune cookie with a custom scrolled fortune with a description of each treat.
- Frozen Alcoholic Treats—“This year, we took our frozen cocktail out of the push pop and took it another step by creating a cocktail popsicle with mouthwatering flavor combinations like black currant campari grapefruit and green grape sangria,” Abigail Kirsch reports. “Another cool frozen cocktail treat are our granitas served in hollowed citrus wedges. [And] our mojito and limoncello granitas were such a hit in the past that we’ve added our new watermelon vodka lime granite.”
- Sustainable Fish—“What we’re most excited about is our new sustainable fish program,” Abigail Kirsch reports. “We’ve really embraced the eco-conscious initiative to only use fish caught through practices that will lead to the reduction in the possible extinction of certain species, as well as prevent the destruction of marine habitats. Though our culinary team was tasked with using fish not normally served at catered events, they were so pleased with the new offerings in both taste and presentation. One of the standouts is our new Oven Roast Trout (wild caught from Central America), which received rave reviews from everyone at the tasting—even the skeptics who thought they didn’t care for trout (or tilapia and mahi mahi for that matter!)”
- Interactive Menu Items—The catering firm reports that it has received quite a few requests interactive menu items in recent years. One example of guest participation in creating dishes is family-style service. “We’ve managed to develop an entire collection of new, sophisticated family-style menus including our Herb-Roasted Free Range Chicken or Mushroom-Crusted Tenderloin of Beef accompanied by Corn Pudding Soufflés, Greenmarket Veggies and Sweet Potato Steakfries,” Abigail Kirsch reports.
“Another fun, hands-on dish we created are Gelato Profiteroles,” the catering firm adds. “The warm sauces (chocolate amaretto for the Tiramisu profiterole and caramel chocolate for the Banana Split) are served to each guest in individual tasting vessels, so they can have fun pouring the sauce and creating their own signature dessert presentations!”