I am sure that you are all feeling the same as me: Enough with the snow already!! As if that is not a nightmare, throw in all the sub-zero weather and there is no room for the fun and exciting thoughts of spring, and spring menus. But if we let Jack Frost dampen our creativity then we will be behind the eight ball when spring bursts on the scene. After all, this is Chicago so it will be snowy and 20 one day and sunny and 60 the next, so you better start thinking about those menus. Your guests are going to want to get out of their houses and get active. Look for a surge of people wanting to escape the cooped up confines and enjoy some great new foods.
Even though we may need to reference spring specialties online or from a book, now is the time to start preparing for such specialties as ramps, spring mushrooms and lettuces and much lighter dishes than we have been featuring. Understand what trends will be the focal point this year; it may be BBQ with the wonderful smell of smoke in the air or it may focus on the earthiness of spring lettuces and baby vegetables. The farmers markets will open and everyone will be craving fresh. So be prepared!