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Volume 6 | Issue 2

February 17, 2020

Plant-Based Indulgence

Custom Culinary Top 10 Trends of 2020


Plant-based cuisine: it’s not just for health nuts. Chefs are proving once and for all that the latest generation of meatless meals can be rich, decadent and mouthwateringly delicious. As plant-based burgers move into the mainstream, a new wave of inventive comfort food dishes is primed to make an impact. Creative plant-based takes on already popular menu items—from lasagna with cashew-based béchamel sauce to Buffalo cauliflower wings to raw vegan s’mores—are popping up on menus across all restaurant segments. Vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians and omnivores alike flock to these items, presenting a unique opportunity for operators to capitalize on the trend while appealing to a broad consumer base.

Plant Based Indulgence
Bases, sauces and flavor concentrates—including Custom Culinary® Chef’s Own™ Chicken-Style Vegetable Base Consommé Prep, Custom Culinary® Al Pastor Sauce and Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate—add delicious, complex flavor to a CHICKPEA FRY POUTINE. Watch the video!

Creating meatless menu items is easier than you think - especially when you take inspiration from unique plant-based dishes from around the world. Custom Culinary® products are available in a range of exciting flavors to help bring these trends to life.


Korean BBQ Meatless Burger

A plant-based burger patty glazed with Custom Culinary® Korean-Style Barbecue Sauce, on a toasted brioche bun topped with fried shiitake mushroom and cabbage slaw, served with fries and kimchi ketchup.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Corn tortillas filled with black bean, sweet potato, onion, garlic and cilantro, topped with Custom Culinary® Tomatillo Serrano Sauce, melted vegan cheese, a dollop of guacamole and shredded lettuce.

Asian Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Crispy, indulgent appetizers filled with rice, lentils, ginger, red pepper and spinach cooked in Custom Culinary® Gold Label Savory Roasted® Vegetable Base, Custom Culinary® Gold Label Mirepoix Base and Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate.


Branded Products

Gold Label Savory Roasted Vegetable
Product No. 9800
Custom Culinary® Gold Label Savory Roasted® Vegetable

Master’s Touch Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate
Product No. 9815
Custom Culinary® Master’s Touch® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate 

Custom Culinary Tomatillo Serrano Sauce
Product No. 9902
Custom Culinary® Tomatillo Serrano Sauce 

Spicy and zesty, with tomatillos, serrano chilies, garlic, lime, parsley, cilantro, olive oil and sea salt. 



Plant-Based Chickpea Mac and Cheese

Plant-Based Chickpea Mac and Cheese

Protein-rich chickpea rotini tossed in a thick and creamy plant-based cheese sauce featuring Custom Culinary® Cashew Bechamel Sauce, topped with panko crumbs and baked until golden brown. Garnished with chopped parsley.

Hot Honey Fried Tofu Sandwich

Crispy Southern-fried tofu brushed with sweet and savory Custom Culinary® Garlic Hot Honey Glaze, served on a toasted vegan bun with dill pickle slices.

Grilled Portobello Romesco Flatbread

Spicy Custom Culinary® Calabrian Chili Romesco Sauce spread over a crispy flatbread, topped with grilled portobello mushrooms, charred cippolini onion, asparagus ribbons, crispy chickpeas, fresh thyme and lemon zest. 

Farmhouse Benedict

An English muffin piled high with fried green tomato slices, grilled red pepers, seitan bacon and dairy-free cheddar cheese. Finished with a generous ladle of vegan Custom Culinary® Aquafaba Hollandaise Sauce​.

Green Curry Veggie Burrito

A tortilla filled with steamed rice, bell pepper, roasted eggplant and roasted mushrooms, smothered in a coconut-curry sauce made with Custom Culinary® Thai Basil Curry Paste, garnished with crushed peanuts and cilantro.

  • Garlic Honey Hot Sauce    
  • Thai Basil Curry Paste
  • Calabrian Chili Romesco Sauce
  • Cashew Bechamel Sauce
  • Aquafaba Hollandaise Sauce

*Products are customized; please contact your Custom Culinary® representative for more information.

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The Kids Menu Whitepaper Download


The Kids Menu: How to Make Your Youngest Diners Happy

The culinary trends that millennials championed — authenticity, customization, and transparency — are just as essential to that generation's own children. Learn how "foodie" parents are influencing today's kids' menus in our latest white paper: "The Kids Menu: How to Make Your Youngest Diners Happy."

Chef Michael Manno

Chef Talk

Chef Michael Manno breaks down the acceleration of menu trends and the evolution of plant-based dining into the flavorful, indulgent, craveable dishes we're seeing today.


Hungry for more?
Check out our FlavorIQ® video for insights behind this top trend.

Custom Culinary Flavor IQ
FlavorIQ® enables our customers' growth and success by approaching the creation of customized solutions with a bold mix of expertise, aspiration and curiosity. We develop unique products, menu concepts and "gold standard" flavor delivery systems, meeting the requirements of our customers today and anticipating their emerging needs, too. The opportunities we identify for operators and food manufacturers on a global scale are rooted in a deep understanding of the culinary arts, sensory science, consumer insights and food science. Our ultimate goal? Innovation without limits.

Custom Culinary Footer - Be True to the Food


Heather Lalley, “Future 50: Emerging Brands, 10 Trends from the Future,” Restaurant Business, July 1, 2019.


Patricia Cobe, “Recipe report: Plants on the plate,” Foodservice Director, December 12, 2019.