Menu Taps Into 2024 Food Trends

The start of a new year brings out prognastications for nearly everything in our society. There's certainly no shortage of predictions for how we'll eat in 2024. We asked CKC Good Food event catering chef Naj Bagdadi for his thoughts on the predicted trends and how they may play into his menus.

The New York Times (also ran in the Star Tribune), Technomic, Specialty Food Association and FoodService Director have shared anticipated food trends for the year ahead. Chef Naj believes some predicted trends are more attention-getting, one-time tries - savory cocktails using pork-belly infused vodka or smoked salmon-infused gin to create drinks mimicking meals - versus trends that will become widely accepted. We may see those trends emerge and be embraced more readily in culinary centers like Manhattan and later migrate to Minnesota. Other predictions are not too far fetched and are already represented on CKC Good Food's event catering menus. Consider:


Americans love to snack! It's the best way to sample a variety of foods, particularly new foods, without a big commitment. Our event catering menu includes custom-made charcuterie boards (aka girl dinners), predictible favorites like wings, a nacho bar and wedge fries, and less well-known options like hoe (Korean ceviche), sesame guacamole with wonton crisps, house-made baba ghanoush, General Tso's tofu skewers and chicken tikka kabobs.


Soup is predicted to be the dish of the year by the New York Times. Chef Naj is a big fan of soups and prepares one almost daily for the team lunch at CKC Good Food. Our event catering menu features soup buffets with a wide variety of choices, including Thai coconut soup (with or without chicken), potato leek w/chive oil, North African chicken noodle, chipotle chicken soup and more.

Globally Inspired Cuisine

Globally inspired dishes, straight up or fusion style, have been all the rage for many years, with a different ethnicity moving into the limelight as another begins to dim. In the Twin Cities, we're seeing a rise in Karen, Laotian, Philipino and Hmong cuisines and restaurants lately as Korean seems to have hit a peak the past few years. Globally inspired cuisine is woven throughout Chef Naj's event catering menu, from appetizers and breakfasts to our bars & buffets. Consider the following:

  • Thai-style satay skewers: chicken, beef or shrimp, served with cucumber salad and Thai chili vinaigrette.
  • General Tso’s tofu skewers: Firm tofu skewers glazed in tangy General Tso’s-style sauce topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.
  • Chicken tikka kabobs: Brined chicken breast kabobs marinated in a family recipe of spices, topped with tzatziki.
  • Bulgogi barbacoa tacos: Sweet, sticky, salty braised beef w/scallion salad, avocado puree and peanut-sesame drizzle.
  • Korean fried chicken: Crispy tempura-fried chicken tossed in classic sweet & spicy gochujang sauce, topped with scallions.
  • Chicken banh mi sandwich: Chicken thigh, pickled carrot/radish/onion, cilantro, jalapeno, sriracha mayo.
  • Chilaquiles rojo with scrambled eggs: Tortilla chips soaked in a red chili morita sauce with epazote. Served with scrambled eggs, crema and queso fresco.
  • Build-your-own breakfast burrito bar: Includes scrambled eggs, Mexican red rice, frijoles charros, sour cream, jumbo flour tortillas, chipotle salsa.

Not just for 'Veganuary'

Interest in plant-based eating may start with "Veganuary," but it is a year-round affair these days. CKC Good Food event catering has several menu items to accommodate vegan guests, including:

  • Grilled zucchini sandwich (omit feta) with vegan bread options of ciabatta, focaccia or baguette
  • Tabouli salad
  • Thai Coconut Soup (omit chicken)
  • Roasted eggplant
  • Black-pepper grilled portabella steaks
  • Fried baby red potatoes
  • Hummus and baba ghanoush
  • Bruschetta (omit parmesan)
  • Guacamole and sesame guacamole
  • General Tso's tofu skewers


It was but a footnote in the New York Times predictions but pistachios are not to be overlooked. Chef Naj is currently perfecting a pistachio fudge-like dessert that is a family recipe of CKC Good Food's CEO/Founder Nancy Close. She used to serve it in her restaurant, Caravan Serai. It should be available soon!


Let's work together on your next event! Submit an event catering inquiry today.