In the Mood

Author: Cristi Kempf       

Mood-Food Trend

Dallas’ CANVAS Hotel’s Mood Menu pairs dishes with complementary cocktails.

Remember mood rings? They were supposed to change color with your changing emotions. In the ever-evolving F&B landscape, one hotel is drawing on that trend to help match your mood to your menu with drinks and appetizers that signal whether you’re cheerful, mellow, or flirty. That’s the idea behind Dallas’ CANVAS Hotel’s Mood Menu, which pairs dishes with complementary cocktails. The menu, created by Chef Jeana Johnson and bar manager Leann Berry, builds on the mood-food trend. And, the chef says, such combinations are an option for events.

“We did have an event last week where we featured Bold and Energetic,” Johnson told Convene recently by email. “Bold” in this case means flash-fried shrimp with spicy yellow salsa paired with a drink made of Captain Morgan spiced rum, Coco López, pineapple shrub, lime, dehydrated pineapple, and cherry. And for the “Energetic,” CANVAS serves caramelized coconut pork meatballs washed down with an Ambar añejo tequila, RumChata, and Night Rider coffee concoction.

Mood-Food Trend

Bold cocktail by Dallas’ CANVAS Hotel’s Mood Menu

Bold and Energetic are two of the featured moods on the colorful Mood Menu with Flirty, Cheerful, Mellow, and Chill rounding out the offerings at CANVAS, located on South Lamar Street not far from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas.

“Leann Berry and I created the concept of the menu not to speak to the mood you might currently be in, but the mood you are trying to achieve,” Johnson said.

For instance, the person who has had a long day and just wants to feel “mellow” before going to bed “would choose the warm lemon, white chocolate, and almond cookies paired with a lavender-scented martini,” she said. “We thought this would be a perfect nightcap to woo someone into a restful night’s sleep.”

While people have been using chocolate to beat back the blues for centuries, the relatively newer mood-food trend capitalizes on the functional food category push to make food do more than sustain, asking that it have an impact on feelings. There is ice cream that claims to lull you to sleep and stress-reducing airline food.

Planners looking to add feeling to their F&B, Johnson said, could build a menu around the mood a group or company identifies with most, or they could use food to drive the mood of an event.

For example, the Chill option with salsa flights and WhistlePig Rye Whiskey served neat would be a good choice for a gallery opening, she said. Planners for an entrepreneurial networking event might choose the Bold option.

CANVAS’ Mood Menu was inspired by the customers, Johnson said.

“You’ll often hear ‘what are you in the mood for’” she said. “We’re putting the customer in the driver’s seat of their own experience.”