As Chefs, I think we all are programmed to design a Dinner Menu around stand alone dishes that contain the full story of the dish on one plate. Portion sizes may vary, but the concept is the same. We create recipes that can be told on one plate…but what if we branched out and used more to tell the story?! Use several plates, hell, use the table like Chef Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago!
My point is, dream bigger and tell a larger story. Anyone can do it, no matter where you are. You don’t have to be at Alinea or Eleven Madison Park.
THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING
USE THE WHOLE TABLE
Stop giving them charcuterie boards on little paddles and build one that can take up a good portion of the table. Not only does it look impressive, what it does is it forces the guests to interact with one another by passing food or putting items on each others plate. Simple psychology shows that we as a species enjoy interacting with each other and crave companionship. When they have a really good time with each other, they leave you amazing reviews.
I’m NOT talking about wings, pretzels and fucking mozzarella sticks. I’m talking about REAL food that’s delicious and made in a way that it still maintains some semblance of what it used to be and contains nutrients people will need. Any chef apprentice can roll up an egg roll, fry it and throw it on a plate. When you see appetizers that are designed with real thought and execution, then I know there is someone on the line that takes pride in what they do.
Ever get to a restaurant and you’re not impressed with the appetizers but all the Entrees look amazing? I usually do this and would rather have mini versions of the entrees to taste and share. It’s not just personal choice, I often receive this guest feedback and pass it on to my clients. All those that have taken the advice have seen at least a 12% increase in sales, and that’s the low end.
Chef Hurn has 19 years of Culinary Experience; most of that being in Luxury Resorts and 4 Star Hotels. Learn about how you can work with Chef Hurn at