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The Flavors of Winter: Menu Selection for Winter Events

Creating a menu that offers a little something for everyone to enjoy can be a challenge, especially when hosting guests from across the country or around the world. For the ideal culinary experience, offer a variety of options and include a mix of seasonal ingredients so the food is fresh, flavorful, and nutritionally balanced.

Don't believe the misconception that produce is not as fresh during winter months. In fact, some fruits and vegetables actually taste best this time of year. Citrus fruits and root vegetables are at the peak of their flavor and complement many fish and meat recipes during the colder months. “At Q Center, we change anywhere from fifty to sixty percent of our ingredients by season,” explains Executive Chef Francois Sanchez. “In the winter, we may serve a dish such as a pot-roast panini for lunch with a side of carrots and a Julienne of winter vegetables. It is a very popular option among our guests.”

Other seasonal menu items include short ribs, white fish, roast duck or honey-glazed salmon. Vegetable options include roasted Brussels sprouts, quinoa with fresh herbs and olive oil, and sautéed fava beans with spinach.

Menu offerings throughout the winter months also tend to be prepared in earthy styles – baked, roasted, and sautéed – to achieve a robust, satisfying flavor.  Roasted chicken, slow-cooked beef brisket, London broil, and hearty soup recipes leave guests feeling warm and energized.  Served with mouthwatering side dishes, such as herb roasted potatoes and maple-glazed carrots, these entrees bring out the spirit of the season.

Meeting planners should coordinate with their dedicated conference planning manager and the culinary team to design a varied menu that shows an understanding of the background and preferences of attendees. Vegetarian and gluten-free options should be considered and made available for guests who may have special dietary needs. Regardless of the size of your group or the time of year, we welcome the challenge of customizing your experience and building an incredible menu for your business meeting or special event.




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Susan O'Dea, Chicago Tube & Iron

Q Center
1405 North Fifth Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174
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