Holistic Community

We just concluded another exciting year at the Flavor Experience conference in Newport Beach, CA with California Walnuts as a Pinnacle Sponsor. This unique industry event showcases trending menu ideas through culinary insights, applications, and menu solutions to a top group of 600 foodservice operators and culinary leaders. We spent the week immersed in the newest trends and serving up a variety of innovative dishes from our team of chefs. Attendees enjoyed a variety of global and plant-based menu items with California walnuts, including California Walnut Veggie Thai-French Coconut Curry, Beijing Bing Crepe with Chinese Spiced California Walnut “Meat” Crumble (an absolute favorite among the chefs and operators), a savory Vegan Pâté made with California Walnuts, French Lentils, and Mushrooms, and a refreshing Walnut, Avocado, and Fruit Superfood Smoothie Bowl, to name just a few.

In case you weren’t able to attend this year, we are happy to share the latest trend insight from the respected Chef Gerry Ludwig along with some great information on how you can incorporate these trends into your menu using California walnuts.

Middle-Eastern Gets Mashed-Up

Bringing authentic Middle Eastern flavors to familiar dishes is currently in vogue. Weaving in ingredients like barberries, tahini, halva or za’atar into mainstream burgers, salads, or bowls will spice up your menu and expand your audience! Try this Walnut Tabouleh recipe, or these Roasted Freekeh with Dried Figs and Walnuts.

African Cuisine Spans the Globe

Bring the Carribean, Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the American south to the table by drawing on African diaspora inspired cuisine. Give beet hummus, kimchi, or spinach chutney a whirl, or try the African Squash Soup with Walnut Cream and Muhammara Walnut Shakshuka recipes.

Modern French

Modern French cuisine has been gaining popularity all over big cities like Los Angeles and New York City. Put an innovative twist on the classic French flair, increase your use of egg-based dishes, caviar, and charcuterie platters to stay up on this new craze. If you weren’t able to sample our modern French dishes at The Flavor Experience, the recipes will be available on our website soon, including the Beijing Bing Crepe with Chinese Spiced California Walnut “Meat” Crumble and the savory vegan Pâté made with California Walnuts, French Lentils, and Mushrooms.

Bread and Butter

Once utilized as a complimentary prelude to a meal, elevated bread and butter can now be added to a menu as an appetizer or shared plate to boost sales. Upgrade to compound butters that can be made either sweet or savory like we’ve done here to pair with a variety of artisan, house-made breads.

Snacks, Shareables, and Bar Bites

Give diners a chance to taste a little of everything with light platters and shareables. Stay creative and on trend using fried veggies, fried balls, and meat-based snacks. These Turkish Style “Kibbeh” Meatballs incorporate several trends and can be made ahead of time, frozen, and then finished in a deep fryer for easy service.


Let’s face it, plant-based isn’t slowing down anytime soon. But there are some standout veggies that are proving their versatility on menus. Utilized in a variety of cuisines and dayparts, eggplant can be used in dishes other than eggplant parmesan. Consider this sophisticated vegetarian Eggplant-Walnut Paté as an appetizer or this Smoked Eggplant & Walnut Puree to accompany kebabs.

Unique Tacos

Tacos are no longer limited to Latin flavors. Mix up the typical fillings and create your own versions with your favorite flavor pairings. Whether you want to spice it up using gochujang in Walnut Stuffed Korean Street Tacos or keep it simple, yet nutritious with a variety of superfoods in these Hickory-Smoked Walnut Street Tacos with Superfood Slaw, Avocado, Cotija, and Pickled Red Onion, the options are endless.


With its quick prep time, cost-effective base, and highly versatile flavor possibilities, porridge is regaining popularity. Toppings could range from short rib braised with five spices and jujube dates to fennel in black bean sauce. Or, keep it simple by adding a nutty twist to the traditional breakfast cereal with this Korean Walnut Rice Porridge.
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