This past month, Bell Flavors & Fragrances held its first annual Flavorology event. It was hosted at The Chopping Block, located in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The event consisted of two parts: new Bell flavors and technologies for the food and beverage industries and a Chef Challenge in which five industry-renowned chefs competed for Best New Menu Concept.
The new flavors and technology portion of the event was introduced by Bell’s director of marketing, Michael Natale. He highlighted the new flavors Bell showcased in many food and beverage applications. Altogether there were over 40 new flavors highlighted.
- Pepperdew flavor from South Africa, shown in a carbonated beverage which was a cool mix of peppery flavor with a sweet note.
- Purple corn flavor from Peru, a totally new flavor that is very popular in Peru and could be a unique new concept for beverage manufacturers in the United States.
- A line of flavors were developed for Chefs, called Fresh Cut Chef Selection Herbs. One of the flavors, Watercress offered an exception fresh green profile that works very well in soup and sour cream applications.
The second portion of the event was a Chef Challenge where five industry chefs participated in an Iron Chef-style cooking challenge. They were placed into teams and given 30 minutes to whip up a new menu concept. The attendees were then able to taste and asked to judge these new menu concepts on three criteria: Balance of Flavor, Innovative Menu Concept and Overall Creativity.
Team Mediterranean was made up of chef Chrissa Byczko (Griffith Labs) and chef Brooke Brantley (McCain Foods). The menu concept was a chilled chermoula marinated diver scallop served along side a marinated lamb loin paired with a pomegranate aperitif. They combined their expertise with marinades and vegetables and infused a Griffith Labs marinade with McCain fire roasted peppers, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, gaufrette potato, and onion tanglers.
Team Thunder consisted of chef Pete Hilzim (Kajun Kettle Foods) and chef Jeff Wirtz (Blount Seafood). The menu concept was infused carnitas pork sous-vide style nestled upon a Mexican risotto and napped with a mole sauce. The mole sauce was a perfect combination of sweet and savory and really showcased the talent of what these two top Chefs can provide their customers.
Team Maverick was made up of chef Jon Draz (Miniat). The menu concept was Korean-style barbequed beef short ribs wrapped in leaf lettuce with samjang bean paste and rolled in sushi rice, drizzled with hot chile sauce and Asian barbecue glaze. Chef Jon’s concept utilized a miniat boneless beef short rib.
The overall winning team was Team Mediterranean. The winner for balance of flavor and overall creativity went to Team Maverick, while the most innovative menu concept winner was Team Thunder.