Unlike the warmer months of the year, which often drive diners out of their own kitchens in favour of restaurant dining, the autumn weather is perfect for staying in. This makes it all the more important to create an enticing menu to draw in diners. To find out exactly how you can do that, read on for our guide to updating your menu for autumn.
Swap Out Seasonal Vegetables and Proteins
In the culinary world, much like in fashion, each season should usher in new choices for consumers to enjoy. For chefs and caterers, this means using a different set of ingredients than they would in summer. This seasonal swap will allow you to not only make use of seasonal produce, but it is also in line with consumer expectation for heartier dishes as we move into the colder months of the year.
Once the weather starts to get chilly, diners tend to lead towards more filling dishes, packed with proteins and starchy vegetables, rather than the lighter options that proved popular in summer. To cater to this changing demand, start by swapping out your side dishes for ones that include seasonal vegetables. Fresh produce in autumn includes butternut squash, pumpkin, potato, kale, and cabbage – all of which can be used to create diverse dishes full of vibrant colour and flavour.
You should also consider adding beef and pork to your menu if they don’t already feature, as they are ideal for autumn dishes like stews, pies, and this delicious spiced cottage pie recipe. These plates will no doubt be enjoyed by diners in autumn in the same way that lighter proteins such as chicken and salmon always prove to be popular choices in summer.
Switch Up Your Spices
While the change of seasons will see many caterers swapping out cold dishes in favour of hot ones, you should also consider changing up the spices that you use for your menu. This offers another way to create the warm and comforting flavours that diners will be seeking in autumn.
Herbs and spices play a key part in both sweet and savoury autumn dishes, perfectly complementing seasonal favourites like pumpkin. They also add a real depth of flavour to your menu. Seasonal staples like ground cinnamon are the perfect finishing touch to popular desserts like apple pie, while whole cloves can be used to develop the flavour profile of a wide range of savoury dishes from curries to braised meats.
Don’t Forget About Desserts
No seasonal menu change would truly be complete without paying some attention to your dessert selection and ensuring that this too is refreshed for the months ahead. As the temperature begins to drop, ice cream and chilled desserts should be swapped out to make room for comforting sweet treats like sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble.
These baked desserts always prove popular in autumn, serving up a slice of comfort to replace the fresh and light summer dessert choices. For a convenient way to update your dessert selection for autumn, why not try our Frozen Caramel Apple Pie or the Individual Gooey Belgian Chocolate Pudding.