Mind to Paper to Plate; Making of a Menu

Seasonality- We definitely didn’t create the concept, but it is the key driving force behind the menu making process that we share as co-Chefs.

Even though the north wind still sends the mercury plummeting and the snow banks continue to grow, winter is winding its way to an end at last. Spring is right around the corner and with the change in season we get yet another opportunity to express our creativity and imagination with a change in menus.

The process is indeed a pleasure. One that excites us, keeps us motivated, and always looking forward. Here is a look at how we begin to gather ideas; moving from ingredients, to composed dish, to first draft of the completed menu.

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As we begin, we each start alone, looking at the ingredients that will be in season. What are the peak items of spring? We list what we hope to or think we can work with, moving then to creating generalized concepts of what we would like to do. At this stage, we sit down together and compare notes. Sometimes we have ideas that are shockingly similar, other times we have entirely different thoughts. We then discuss what we like about our own ideas and share what we like and what we would change about the other’s. From here we select our strongest players, and reformulate the others that need work, agreeing on the main items that we will feature. We then take a break to “marinate” on what we have come up with.

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 After a few more meetings, along with input from our team,  we slowly hone in our concepts to finish our rough draft menu. The difference between a good dish and a great dish is not only stepping back to look at what may be missing and letting that ‘AH HA’ moment occur naturally on it’s own, it’s also being able to not force things onto the plate. Sometimes 3 ingredients smartly paired together in harmonious fashion far outshine 6 or 7 that fight on the palate.

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Over the next few weeks we will continue to share the steps that will take us from the rough draft to the final stage of the process when we debut the new menu at the end March.

-Nick and Ryan