ORLANDO, Fla., June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Launched today, Seasons 52's new menu is highlighted by fresh summer ingredients such as juicy watermelon, sweet summer corn and vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes. Because ingredients reach peak freshness at different times, Seasons 52 will also introduce favorites like Black Mission figs, Italian black truffles and Georgia peaches as they become available.
"From sweet summer fruits like cherries, figs and juicy summer peaches to more versatile ingredients like crisp corn and Italian black truffles, there are endless possibilities to offer every palette," says Chef Jim Messinger. With summer officially kicking off, Chef Jim selected his top fresh ingredients of the season, and his favorite ways to dish them up.
Chef's Corner: Top Summer Ingredients
Traverse City Cherries: Known as the Cherry Capital, Traverse City, Michigan, is considered the heartland of sweet cherries in the United States. Every summer visitors flock to taste the distinctly dark, sweet fruit, which can be sourced fresh in June through August. Chef's Take: "Traverse City Cherries are perfect for a summer twist on a classic dessert – and what's more classic than Crème Brûlée?" says Chef Jim. "Creating a compote with these cherries offers an intense flavor, which can be balanced out with a classic custard." On the Menu: Try it at Seasons 52 with the Traverse City Cherry Crème Brûlée Mini Indulgence.
Summer Corn: Fresh corn is a summer staple, with harvest season beginning in June through October. This sweet, crisp summer vegetable is versatile, adding flavor and texture to dishes - or simply roasted on the cob. Chef's Take: "Corn is such a versatile ingredient, we use it to add flavor and texture to dishes across the menu. One of my favorite ways to use corn is in a silky smooth Summer Corn Soup, the sweetness of which is balanced with a kick of jalapeno, and is made in-house using 40 ears of corn," adds Messinger. On the Menu: Find fresh summer corn in-restaurant in Seasons 52's Summer Corn Soup, Grilled Chipotle Chicken Skewers, Sweet Corn & Ricotta Ravioli, and more flavorful dishes.
Black Mission/Turkish Figs: First planted by Franciscan missionaries in San Diego, the Black Mission fig is a high-quality, luscious fig sourced directly from California in summer months. Unlike dried figs, fresh figs have a distinctly smooth skin and sweet, chewy texture when fresh. They are available mid-July to the end of August. Chef's Take: "You haven't had figs until you've tried them fresh," says Chef Jim. "Seasonal figs add perfect balance to rich dishes with creamy cheeses, such as goat cheese or gorgonzola, and of course, Applewood bacon." On the Menu: Black Mission figs make an appearance at Seasons 52 in the new Fig & Bacon Flatbread and Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Figs.
Italian Black Truffles: Due to their delicate flavor and high quality, as well as the unique area in which these truffles are cultivated, Italian Black Truffles are a highly anticipated summer ingredient. Summer Italian Black Truffles come from Umbria, in northern Italy and a prime location for truffles to grow. Highly trained hunting dogs are used to find and harvest these delicate black truffles in the wild every summer. As soon as they are harvested, the Italian Black Truffles are then cleaned, inspected, and moved from harvest to in-restaurant in a matter of days. Chef's Take: "Every summer, I count down the days until fresh Italian Truffles are in-hand," says Chef Jim. "Starting July 26, guests can savor Italian black truffles in one of my favorite dishes of the summer - Fresh Summer Truffle Risotto. Featuring shaved Italian black truffle, roasted mushrooms, corn and flavorful chive oil, it's a dish that really can't be beat." On the Menu: Experience Fresh Summer Truffle Risotto at Seasons 52 beginning July 26, for a limited time.
Georgia Peaches: Juicy, sweet summer peaches ripen slowly throughout the season, reaching peak freshness in late summer – but they're worth the wait. Most of our locations will feature Genuine Georgia peaches, grown on five peach farms across Georgia. Pulling from over five generations and 130 years of knowledge on how to grow the best fruit in the Peach State, these summer staples are a treat to savor. Chef's Take: "This sweet stone fruit can be enjoyed in a variety of ways – either fresh off the vine or sautéed, grilled, baked," says Messinger, "or mixed into a delectable cocktail." On the Menu: Experience the flavor of summer with Seasons 52's Bourbon Peach Smash, a cocktail featuring Maker's Mark Bourbon, Peach Nectar and mint.
About Seasons 52: Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonal menu inspired by the appeal of a local farmer's market and what's good now. Using ingredients at their peak and rustic cooking techniques, like brick-oven roasting and open-fire grilling over oak and mesquite, Seasons 52 enhances the natural flavors of food. The menu is paired with an ever-changing collection of more than 100 wines, with 52 available by the glass, along with exceptional signature handcrafted cocktails. There's always something new to discover at Seasons 52.