Forget the sugary oatmeal packets of the past, and don’t even think about serving up a vat of slimy, crusted-over oats on a breakfast buffet. Heart-healthy oats are having a major moment, being used in new savory dishes, as accents and even as dessert.
At OatMeals in New York City, founder Sam Stephens has done for oats what Menchie’s did for frozen yogurt. A bowl of oats here goes way beyond basic, with nearly 80 toppings to choose from including savory options like pesto, cheddar and truffle oil. Steal this idea and ask your chef to create a savory oatmeal buffet as an afternoon snack or appetizer course.
Baked oats—aka granola—have long been used to jazz up yogurt and fruit, but chefs are experimenting with new savory uses for granola. Think sprinkling it on salads or roasted veggies for crunch, or spicing things up by adding ingredients like cayenne pepper or fennel seed.
Fruit crisps are one of the best ways to take advantage of summer’s bounty. Find out what fruits are in season in your host city and have your chef create a warm crisp with crunchy oat topping for dessert. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream (with a vegan, dairy-free option too, of course).