Let’s Talk Comfort Food

December 28, 2010 - 11:53 am 4 Comments

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We often say around the Spada office that there’s no such thing as an original idea. These yummy examples illustrate that being a genius is not necessarily about creating something new, but revamping ordinary ideas. Take comfort food, for example. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for something cheesy, warm, and delicious – no frills. The only prudent course of action? Indulging in that insanely good meal that warms your insides like nothing else can. Even if it means dealing with a skeptical waitress when ordering a grilled cheese off the kid’s menu. However, these options are often written off as “boring” or “dependable;” meals you eat when you don’t have time to make anything else. I think you’ll find that the following culinary masterminds counteract this widely believed claim by taking basic recipes and completely reinventing them.

For Cheese Cravings: Annie’s, Kraft, be gone! This girl is moving up in the world, replacing meals out of the box with more delectable varieties. When I was in NYC last summer, a friend exposed me to MacBar, a restaurant serving only Mac and Cheese. Apparently there’s another hot spot – S’Mac – that does the same thing. Imagine: Cheeseburger Mac…Primavera Mac…Mac with brie, figs and shrooms… The possibilities are endless, creating a wide range for all palettes seeking comfort food. I’d selected the Lobsta Mac: two of my favorite ingredients mixed together and served steaming hot in a quirky yellow macaroni-shaped bowl. The taste was unparalleled. The experience, borderline magical. Next up for me: shamelessly checking out the grilled cheese menu at Cheeseboy in Boston.

For Dessert Cravings: Spada’s Account Coordinator Denise just came back from a fun-filled weekend in NYC. The highlight of her trip was a 2am excursion to Rice to Riches, a restaurant that creates variations of rice pudding in any flavor you could possibly imagine. Denise had a hard time choosing (especially since pumpkin – her all time favorite flavor – was on the menu), but finally ended up savoring a gingerbread concoction that also contained hunks of pound cake. Rice pudding is one of the most run of the mill desserts I can think of, yet here it is, all spiced up with flavors and toppings. Who knew it could get this exciting?

From a marketing standpoint, comfort food providers are focused and downright brilliant for it. They do one thing only and do it better than anyone else. They are also unique in their simplicity, getting to the heart of the most overlooked recipes and making them special. Suddenly, these stereotypical “kids friendly” go-tos are transformed into à la mode dishes. When I was at MacBar last summer, there were more professionals in suits than anyone else. And you know what? They absolutely loved it.

4 Responses to “Let’s Talk Comfort Food”

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