Author :chef ssentongo Geoffrey
Your Section on “Execution “
I am by no means a professional chef, and I don’t even know one, but I think the same rules apply.
I do the cooking at home as I totally love that. My children’s and Girlfriends always say that I missed my calling. I almost never work from a recipe. Creating good food, and great tasting food for that matter depens on your knowledge of your investments and how adventurous you are.
Firstly, you must have a basic idea of what you want to achieve. What flavor profile are you looking for, what combination of herbs and spices will best suite my needs. Also, decide who is going to be the main star and work around that.
Secondly, start out very simple. Don’t over-complicate. With proper salt, pepper and garlic, you are in most cases 50% there. The use of other herbs and spices and /or ingredient should compliment and enhance the flavor of your main ingredient, and not alter it’s taste.
Thirdly, use fresh products if available. Fresh produce just have a beter taste.
Be creative, sit and write down a basic idea /recipe of what you think might work. Test it out in a small batch, and always taste while you go along. If you need to change an ingredient or the amount of that specific ingredient, write it down. Work methodically, according to what you have written down, and if there is change, I’mmediately write it down.
I have learn as I taste a new soup, dish or anything different on the menu. I would try it, I would even ask the chef how she or the chef how she or he cooks it, and what’s in it. All ingredients are in season, and sometimes they would add an ingredient to enhance the flavors like fresh herbs and put less dried herbs. It is a matter of food sensory experiences like taste, smell and having a “light bulb” moment and the adage that “it if taste great, it goes well together”. Sometimes I discovered a soup is on the menu, and then found out that this recipe is coming from a sandwich. It means that ingredients that came from another form of the original recipe is coming from a sandwich.
I work as a garde manger which gives me the ability to make sauces, dressings, and new forms of salads with vegetables, fruits, and some proteins.
I even follow some guidelines from cooking techniques and some baking too. I follow a 3-5 ingredients recipe then enhance it more using the “The flavor, Bible” by Karen page on which ingredients go well together, but I also talk to customers on what kind of salads they like to appear on their menu, and see if there is a food trend going on, so I can make few composed salads they like to eat during service.
It just really depends but having an open mind, the capability to do it and making a recipe that is easy to make, prepare and cook will expand your culinary knowledge, applying proper techniques and technical know-how, and knowledge of flavors are keys of making recipes and menu development.
I would suggest that it is not that complicated… not easy, but not that complicated. It begins and ends with technique. Chefs and cooks learn and master cooking techniques. The tools and processes of the trade… how to cook things… frequently, from a particular cultural perspective, but I think there is more similarly here, rather than huge differences in how to cook stuff.
Some would say that there is a science of how to pair flavors. See: http://www.chefsideacafe.food.blog
Others, use local ingredients to riff on food concepts from distant places… but I think it all comes back to cooking technique and knowledge of flavor.
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