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Predicting Global Menu Trends

As 2017 winds down, it’s time to start planning 2018 menu offerings. Both researchers and chefs will give you their predictions when it comes to the coming year’s top flavors and menu offerings.


Suzy Badaracco | President | Culinary Tides

Suzy Badaracco is a toxicologist, chef, and registered dietitian. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminalistics, an Associates degree in Culinary Arts, and a Masters of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Suzy has worked as a trends forecaster for food industry clients since 1992. Suzy has been trained in military intelligence, chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques used by both corporate and government bodies and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 15 years. Using these techniques she has been able to successfully predict and profile government, technology, adversary and ally, food, flavor, consumer, industry, and health trends.

Jason Dowd | Director, Restaurant & Bar Branded Concepts | InterContinental Hotels Group

Jason Dowd is currently the Director, Restaurant and Bar Branded Concepts for InterContinental Hotels Group overseeing the strategy, development, implementation and on-going improvement of signature Restaurant and Bar Branded concepts. Prior to IHG, Jason was with Focus Brands where he served as Vice President of Research and Development/Executive Chef – Moe’s Southwest Grill. His vast range of expertise spans over 20+ years from Fine Dining Culinary Experience to Fast Casual Operations. Before joining Focus Brands, Jason served as the Corporate Executive Chef and Director of Culinary for Consumer Capital Partners (Tom’s Urban, Live Basil Pizza and Smashburger) and gained experience as Research and Development Managing Chef at Darden Restaurants.

Aaron Noveshen | Founder & CEO | The Culinary Edge

Aaron Noveshen is an award-winning chef, restaurant entrepreneur, and leading authority in food product development. He is the founder of The Culinary Edge (TCE), America’s leading food innovation agency that creates and launches holistic, profitable and distinctive food and beverage experiences for both local and national brands. TCE Clients include a who’s who of the top food and restaurant companies in America such as Starbucks, Jack in the Box, AMC Theatres, Marriott, First Watch, McAlister’s Deli and Eat Smart Produce. In addition to founding TCE, Aaron is also co-founder of Pacific Catch Restaurants and more recently, South Bay restaurant chain Starbird Chicken.

Biju Thomas | Owner/Founder | Biju’s Little Curry Shop

Biju Thomas is a professional chef and creator of Biju’s Little Curry Shop — a fast casual restaurant serving made-from-scratch food inspired by his youth in Kerala, South India. Biju’s Little Curry Shop is the first fast-casual concept to explore the heart and soul of Southern Indian cuisine in an easy-to-grasp and guest-friendly format. Thomas, a former competitive cyclist and author of the Feedzone cookbooks, has cooked for many top athletes in the world. Biju’s Little Curry Shop currently has four Colorado locations and was the first in-store, chef-driven concept to open in a Whole Foods Market.


Rob Pellicano | Sr. Director of Marketing | Custom Culinary Inc.

Rob Pellicano joined Custom Culinary in 2007 and is currently serving as the organization’s Senior Director of Marketing where he leads the development and execution of their brand, product, and channel Marketing strategies. Rob has a passion for enabling customer innovation with an insight-driven orientation. This passion is best exemplified through the conception, launch, and leveraging of the Custom Culinary FLAVORIQ platform, designed to provide customers with a collaborative, immersive, and experiential approach to food, flavor, and insight delivery. Prior to joining Custom Culinary Rob held a number of roles within the Unilever Foodsolutions Marketing department. Rob has over 20 years of Foodservice Marketing experience with culinary flavor systems.

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