Smoked blueberry soup. Oyster mignonette with blueberry vinegar. Pickled blueberry succotash. Spiced Indian chicken dusted with blueberry powder. These are the cutting-edge creations you can expect to see on menus following a forward-thinking chef invitational at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) April 12-14.The event, which was hosted by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) on the heels of the college’s Annual Flavor Summit, brought together 16 innovative chefs from across the foodservice industry. The objective was to arm them with culinary concepts they can use to respond to shifting consumer preferences and trends, including increased interest in global flavors, authentic ingredients and healthy options. “Blueberries are a great ally to chefs looking to attract an increasingly health-conscious and adventurous group of consumers,” said Mark Villata, executive director for the USHBC. “We know Americans associate blueberries with the dynamic lifestyle they want for themselves, and that ‘halo’ effect extends to the dishes and dining establishments that use blueberries.” “Now, food-savvy consumers in their 20s and 30s are gravitating toward blueberries in more unconventional forms,” Villata said. ”Foodservice operators are realizing that, for this new generation of consumers, blueberries aren’t just for breakfast and dessert.”
For more recipes, sourcing information and usage/storage tips for various forms of blueberries, visit www.blueberrycouncil.org/foodservice.