|Asian tasting plate with plum sauce, glazed chicken, summer roll, peppercorn tuna sashimi and fice spice duck breast.|
Stephen Taylor, technical chef for University Catering, attributes the success of this trend to several factors. Starting in the late 1990s, Taylor says, increasing globalization brought a desire for international foods that were not traditionally offered. While many proprietors wanted to expand their menus to include these items, they also wanted to maintain the fundamentals. Adding international flavors in the form of appetizers was a way for them to fulfill the demand without sacrificing the original menu.
|Chili-rubbed lobster medallions with black bean sauce and corn relish.|
Appetizers also lessen the possibility that, if the customer is unsatisfied with his order, he will go home hungry. Diners have the option of ordering several different types of hors doeuvres, and they can still get a salad or entree. Even if diners are disappointed with what they ordered, they can still look forward to the main course.
|Stacked Ceasar salad with garlic roasted shrimp. (Photos by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)|
For Taylor, planning this part of the menu is one of the best parts of his job. I enjoy it more because I can be more creative, especially with presentation.