Street food continues to impact the culinary world at the highest levels. An example is the Citrus and Ancho Braised Lamb Tostada that wows guests at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania. Scott Mole, executive sous chef of the 216-room luxury resort, says he found inspiration for his creation, which showcases tender leg of lamb redolent of citrus and smoky chiles, in the tostadas of a humble little Mexican street food stand in southwestern Michigan. Mole’s recipe is one of six Simply Street Food menu items chosen from more than 100 dishes created by chefs from Omni and Global Hotel Alliance properties. At the Omni Bedford Springs, the tostada is one of the three best-selling street food items.
What are the high points of the Citrus and Ancho Braised Lamb Tostada?
I like the heat from the ancho chile, which is one of my personal favorites. I really like the smokiness and the little bit of citrus that it naturally has. A lot of people wouldn’t think of making a Mexican dish with lamb, but I think the ancho and the lamb really work well together.
How authentic is your tostada compared to those the Mexican stand serves?
It’s a tostada, so you can’t really dress it up too much. I just wanted to turn it on its head by making it with lamb. Actually, they make the tostada with pork at the stand, and it is delicious whenever I get it.
How big is the street food opportunity now?
Putting street food items on a menu is a fresh look. The popularity of street food trucks and stands has really exploded in the last few years, with the Food Network and the Travel Channel highlighting them. It is another way for people to get some really creative food that maybe restaurants can’t do.
How do small street food items like the tostada go over with guests at the hotel?
It is true that people are attracted to smaller dishes. It is a healthier way to eat, compared to having a 16-oz. ribeye. I think people are learning to eat smaller portions more often, rather than the three traditional meals. For something different that is quick and fresh, I think it is a great trend, and I applaud Omni for getting on board.