Each season brings different flavors and the opportunity for chefs to refresh their menus with exciting new dishes. Here are some ideas from our community on how to flex your creative muscle and bring seasonal additions to your menu.
Make It A Team Sport
"We start with an idea and brainstorm until we like the sound of the dish. Then I start working on developing recipes and plating. Once the dish is ready, we taste it until we are happy with it. Then we get feedback from the front of the house; if needed, we make adjustments and then it goes on the menu."
Martha Garcia, Executive Sous Chef of Hotel Ella (New Waterloo) in Austin, TX
Talk About It
"Before making any menu changes, Chef/Owner Suzanne Goin and I have numerous conversations with our farmers and purveyors about ingredient availability. Dish ideas are thoughtfully put together and tested many times. Our objective is to create a dish that not only looks and tastes sensational, but makes sense."
Javier Espinoza, Corporate Chef of The Lucques in Los Angeles, CA
"It all starts with a conversation about what ingredients we'd like to use and where they fit in with the structure of our menu. After that, we test, and sometimes our final product is something completely different from where we started. We then get the opinions of the front of house and wine team for pairing cohesiveness and little tweaks. The last question we always ask before adding the dish to the menu is if we would like to eat the new dish ourselves."
Joseph (Robert) Anthony, Chef de Cuisine of Gabriel Kreuther in New York, NY
Start With The Protein
Brenton Balika, Corporate Chef of Honest Hospitality in Las Vegas, NV
Benjamin Lambert, Executive Chef of District Winery in Washington, DC
"We know what works and what doesn`t and try to match traditional flavors and technique. That said, after we make some test plates, we discuss them along with the sous chefs and management, before presenting them to the corporate chef team and Chef Daniel. Before any item comes on the menu, we present it as a special so that we can get the feedback from our guest."
Dieter Samijn, Executive Chef of Bar Boulud in New York, NY
"We taste an item or dish as a team, make notes and gather input and opinions from each other, make necessary adjustments and once we are happy with the result, we will run it as a special for a few days. After we’ve gathered some guest feedback, we make any further adjustments that we deem necessary before finally putting it on the menu full time."
Dan Solomon, Executive Chef of Local Foods in Chicago, IL