Fruits and vegetables are delightfully moving to the center of the plate in more and more restaurants. Chef are intrigued with the possibilities. What produce items were hot in 2017? What’s now trending for 2018? Our resident Prince of Produce, the esteemed RobertSchueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, joins us with all the delicious and farm-fresh intel.
Kiwano Melon is one of the Top 10 specialty produce items for 2017 based on sales. Once grown only in New Zealand, Melissa’s Kiwano Melons are now grown in California as well. Consumers are drawn to these intriguing, yet versatile tropical fruits whose look easily captures attention. The spiky, orange colored shells of Kiwano Melons encase a soft, succulent bright green flesh. Melissa’s Kiwano Melons are mild in flavor and similar in taste to juicy, seed-filled cucumbers. Once peeled, Melissa’s Kiwano Melons can be tossed in fresh fruit salads or served as a garnish with roasted meats.
There is a new, exciting variety of Dragon Fruit coming into the marketplace from Ecuador. It’s pleasantly sweet and yellow-skinned.
The Ranch Restaurant’s (Anaheim) incredible pastry Chef is David Rossi. He was the recipient in 2014 of the Golden Foodie Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. This is “Peer Selected” award which gives the honor even more weight. (He was nominated again in 2015.)
David just returned from an intensive cacao (chocolate) tour and research trip in Ecuador with 6 other accomplished pastry chefs and chocolatiers. He visited the single origin cacao plantations of Republica Del Cacao. This is a bean-to-bar, premium chocolate entirely produced in Ecuador. Chef David also toured the dairy where they source their milk from as well as the local organic sugar cane plantations where the sugar is grown.
Chef David now uses this exclusively at The Ranch. He’s even using the chocolate in two of his special Thanksgiving Dinner menu (November 26th.) desserts including the Republica Del Cacao Chocolate Pots De Crème with Espresso Chantilly.