Flavors, Portioning & Costing; Making Of A Menu

How do you know your flavors and menu ideas work?  Not only a reoccurring question from teammates and guests, but also one that is constantly crossing our minds as well.  Some ideas sound great on paper but can be difficult to execute.  Other menu items are created unintentionally. Some combinations are surprises that seem to work without even knowing how or why.   Still others come easy and just make perfect sense.

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It is important to remember that everything is an experiment.  We don’t always know that a certain flavor combination along with the techniques used in the preparation  are going to be a success. In all actuality, they aren’t always successful.  Failure is an important piece of every success.  We have spent several hours studying, researching, testing, and discussing every dish that makes up our menus.  Nothing reaches the table until we are both fully satisfied.

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Through years of repetition and working with various ingredients we have been accustomed to how flavors work, and how most preparations affect certain ingredients.  We gather inspiration from the season, cookbooks, feedback, and the team around us.   Although there is always more to learn, we consider ourselves experts in our profession, as every Chef should be.  When it comes to food we have a trained eye and palate.  Just as a musician plays an instrument, food is our instrument and the dishes we create are the music that they make.

Another important step in the menu making process is portioning and costing.  Although it may not be the most exciting step, it is crucial to the development of a finished dish and to the success of a business.

We already know what we want in a dish, but, how much we put on the plate affects how the flavors work together, the presentation, how much it’s going to cost you, and most importantly your diet.  Overeating is just one of many problematic gastronomical issues that face our society.  We feel very passionate about the people in our community and what we are contributing to their bodies.  Thats why it is of the utmost importance we take responsibility for the amount of food on the plates we serve our guests.  At the same time we understand what an honor it is to have someone spend their such valuable time and disposable income at our establishment.  We don’t want anyone leaving feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.

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After we have worked out the portion sizes and measurements for every single ingredient in every single dish we cost out everything.  We won’t go into too much further detail as it varies from item to item.  In the end we set a price that is fair to our guests as well as our budget.

Check back for more updates soon, as well as our new spring menu set to debut March 27th.

Nick & Ryan