Global Flavors: The Journeys that Inspire Our Menus

March, 27th, 2020

As people’s taste buds continue to expand, they are craving more interesting flavors beyond those found on traditional menus. This emphasizes the need for the food and beverage industry to add more international fare or globally inspired items to their offerings. At 12th Street Catering, we are constantly seeking the art of the adventurous, inspiring, and on-trend menus so can we can meet those client’s needs with culinary innovation!

We offer a wide range of international menu options, such as:

  • Moroccan cuisine with dishes like Roast Leg of Lamb with Tunisian Spices and Tomato-Fennel Masala Ragout, and Mint and Basil-Crusted Salmon with Preserved Lemon and Ginger Marmalade
  • Spanish cuisine with dishes like Smoked Paprika Rubbed Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Demi-Glace and Classic Seafood Paella with Saffron-infused Rice, Scallops, Shrimp, Mussels, Peas and Red Pepper
  • Thai cuisine with dishes like Pan-Seared Chile Lime Sea Bass Thai Basil and Lemongrass Gremolata, and Stir-Fried Eggplant, Carrot and Red Pepper Medley with Oyster Sauce, and so much more!

Inspired by traveling
Our love of exploring new cuisines sometimes leads us to exciting destinations abroad, where we taste new foods and learn new ways to present these items. We return to our home in Philadelphia inspired, exhilarated, and enthusiastic about what we experienced.

Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. On a recent trip to South Africa, some of the 12th Street team had the opportunity to visit a farmers’ market in Cape Town where all kinds of vendors exhibited and sold their wares. This gave us great inspiration on artisan products and delicious cuisine indigenous to the region, including:

  • Home-cured meats and locally made cheese
  • Unique fruits and vegetables and aromatic spices
  • Interesting non-alcoholic specialty beverage offerings (which will be a food and beverage trend in 2020)
  • Action stations and creative displays

While in Cape Town, our team also had the opportunity to attend formal whiskey and wine tastings. They also met cookbook authors and learned about the unique techniques and recipes, and our team was able to bring signed copies back to our kitchen to learn and incorporate into our repertoire.

Sharing our experiences
Jon Jividen, Chef and Culinary Director for 12th Street Catering, enriches the lives and palates of our clients by bringing a global flare to each plate.

“Culinary experiences, food culture, dining, and interacting with the people that create and practice local food traditions top my list of to-do’s when I have reached my travel destination,” Chef Jon said. “Being a professional chef, I want to experience the foods, dining habits, ingredients, methods, and food customs of the people that are woven into the fabric of a culture.”

These types of experiences are extremely educational, inspiring, surprising, exciting, and useful. We bring these ideas, recipes, methods, and sometimes ingredients back home, where they are added to what Chef Jon calls the 12th Street “culinary bible.”

“All of this translates into being able to offer our clients an ever-expanding repertoire of new culinary experiences,” Chef Jon said. “My best food experiences that truly represent a country or particular locale and its people have been found in places like the food stalls in the streets of Mexico City; the dusty backroads and bustling mercados of Oaxaca; the open-air markets and tiny fishing villages of Greece; the sleepy villages in Southeast France; and hole-in-the-wall tavernas of Spain.”

Chef Jon brought back a one-of-a-kind Greek salad presentation he experienced with his wife during a visit to one of the Greek islands after a stay in Athens. The presentation, back in Philadelphia, was tested, replicated, and has since found a permanent home on our list of specialty salads.

“I can repeat that same type of story in relation to other food experiences I have had in my travels. And, you will find them on our menu,” Chef Jon said.

Leave your passport and take our hand for an unforgettable culinary journey! Let us cater your next event and take you to new places.

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