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Jody Shee
Kansas City
Discerner of food and foodservice trends
Interests: guitar, writing, books, following food and foodservice trends
Recent Activity
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I’ve noticed a few super creative menu-mashup LTOs lately. It’s time to revisit this engaging in-your-face seasonal spectacular. Anything that draws a doubletake is also a good social media buzz generator. My favorite recent mashup is from Smokey Bones. It’s a House-Smoked Brisket Sundae served in stemware. Say what?! They... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2024 at SheeFood
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Today’s menu inspiration is brought to you by “C” for “Color.” It’s what I’ve noticed most about recent innovative limited time offers and new menu items in general. Using color, you can hit on all the culinary trends your operation and your guests crave. I’ll show you. Cyclical considerations. There’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2024 at SheeFood
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If you’re looking for a beverage LTO opportunity or an interesting platform to expand your reach, you’ll want to take a serious look at bubbles. As in boba beverages. I can think of 10 good reasons why tapioca pearls have legs and why now is the time to look into... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2024 at SheeFood
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When I was a teenager, I hated pizza. That was back in the 1970s when the pizza pie pretty much came in only two versions: pepperoni and supreme that was heavy on the green peppers. I’m not fond of either, so I was the pizza veto in our family when... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2024 at SheeFood
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I see two competing eco-friendly food/foodservice trends going on, and I wonder which one is going to dominate in 2024. In one corner, you have the plant-based animal-protein look-alikes that the big chains busted their buns to launch, relaunch and over launch. Many restaurant behemoths already squarely have Impossible or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2024 at SheeFood
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As we look ahead to 2024 food trends, we aren’t ready to let go of comfort food yet. Yes to mac & cheese in various forms. But there’s another category that has more to give. That is stuffed foods. And not just with cheese and bacon, per the American comfort... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2023 at SheeFood
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As temperatures dip, it’s clear that we’ve transitioned into mac and cheese weather. This dish, a staple since our earliest memories (and one of my favorite topics to write about), offers more than just a simple meal. It might reign as the ultimate comfort food—a menu genre that has emerged... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2023 at SheeFood
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Look at it and weep that you didn’t think of this first. It’s the Jack-O’-Lantern Pizza at Peter Piper Pizza. Look at that pumpkin-shaped crust with the pepperoni arranged into a face. I was going to say that I’ve seen pumpkin everything except pizza! So here we are again this... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2023 at SheeFood
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One thing is for sure, when a natural disaster happens, foodservice folks are the quickest and most generous responders. I looked into that for a community service article I wrote for the Sept./Oct. 2023 issue of The National Culinary Review magazine. Amy Sins, chef/owner of Langlois in New Orleans, jumped... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2023 at SheeFood
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When I first wrote about robots in restaurant kitchens four years ago, the prevailing concern wasn't about technological advancements, but the palpable fear of robots taking jobs away from people. And like a good journalist, I asked my restaurant sources who were using robotics their thoughts about that. These early... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2023 at SheeFood
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Can you believe that sriracha is still hot? I was writing about its global-flavor trendiness back in 2017. And here we are with the vibrant sauce still ruling the roost six years later. Particularly the iconic Huy Fong Foods brand with the rooster on the bottle. In spite of spotty... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2023 at SheeFood
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It’s hard to put my finger on what it is about Hawaii that makes every trip down the highway headed toward point B like a vacation. But I’ve lived on Kauai for six years now, and I never take my surroundings for granted. I still pinch myself that I get... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2023 at SheeFood
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There may not be a physical boundary between the U.S. and Canada, but you could consider Canadians’ love affair with poutine a clear food divide. After Canada’s French fry/cheese curd/gravy dish launched in Quebec in the 1950s, it gradually blended into the culture as the culinary symbol of comfort and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2023 at SheeFood
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I think the inner kid in all of us comes out at breakfast. The morning daypart is a whimsical food playground for both research chefs and the patrons who simply can’t turn away from what they see. Culinary dreams are made of cereal, waffles, donuts and pancakes. It is certainly... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2023 at SheeFood
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Right now, foodservice operators are knocking themselves out to beat everyone else with chicken. Quit the chicken beating already! Pull yourself together and imagine other opportunities—like pulled pork. It can be economical. You don’t need the best cuts. You don’t have to lose any more sleep contemplating the best way... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2023 at SheeFood
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To start off 2023, I think I’ll hand a golden lettuce leaf to Chipotle. It’s gone way beyond the typical BFY New Year’s menu LTO. But first, let me say that when Brian Niccol took the Chipotle CEO reins from Steve Ells nearly five years ago, I didn’t think he... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2023 at SheeFood
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We’re into the last lap of 2022, and I wonder if I’m the only one who notices that end-of-the-year LTOs are refining the sugar industry. I would be more worried about the onslaught of stuffed and stacked cookies, ice cream, cakes and donuts, but we all know that diet-friendly January... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2022 at SheeFood
It’s time to start crystal-ball gazing into what’s up for 2023 on menus. Whole Foods has already come out with its top-10 food-trend list. One stands out as a solid repeat for the past few years, but with a revised name. Nostalgic foods. We’re not calling them comfort foods anymore... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2022 at SheeFood
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In the world of menu item mashups, I think the cronut may have been the first one to catch my attention. Dominique Ansel is credited with wedding the croissant with the doughnut in 2013 at his New York bakery. That may have been when the mashup term was coined in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2022 at SheeFood
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The food world woke up around August 12, 2019. That was the day Popeyes launched its spicy crispy chicken sandwich. Now, that wouldn’t be so noteworthy, except they ran out of them in two weeks. Completely. R&D chefs arose. We are still seeing “me-too” launches daily. The takeaway from that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2022 at SheeFood
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As long as there are potatoes, there’s still profit-building potential for inflation-struggling restaurants. And not just QSRs, but all segments. From an operator’s perspective, French fries are an easy snack, side, bar menu, appetizer. But you need to see these skinny spuds from the consumer point of view. Fries have... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2022 at SheeFood
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I wish I could have titled this Hot Tamales, but I see no evidence that tamales are hot right now on American menus. But strangely, they are hot here on the island of Kauai—not in restaurants, but along the road from food trucks, roadside stands and from front yards next... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2022 at SheeFood
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Ethical raising of food is a thing, as you know. Some food-producing options beg the question, just because you can, should you? I believe robots in the kitchen fell under that for a minute. Some cried “foul!” at the potential of taking a job away from an employee. Then came... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2022 at SheeFood
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As I look at future food trends—2022 and beyond—I think plant-based meat and dairy alternatives have the most legs. Some trends are consumer driven. But plant-based adds a sustainability layer that investors are keen to finance to the finish. Oh, and BTW, consumers are along for the ride. I also... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2022 at SheeFood
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Health, nutrition and plant-based sensibilities aside, a big menu trend I see for 2022 is the outpouring of cheese. It fits within nostalgia, comfort, familiar, crave worthy and delish with applications that a guest probably wouldn’t make at home. As long as there are R&D chefs, there will always be... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2021 at SheeFood