Chef's Tasting Menu

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by blue_wolf, May 3, 2005.

  1. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    I was talking with one of the waitresses last night and she mentioned one of the restaurants in town (Morimoto's) does a chef's tasting menu once a month. This sounds intresting, but I'm not sure exactly what it is. Is it a tasting menu like I've heard of or something else. I feel kind of foolish for asking, but I am a small town boy and have never heard of this before last night. Any input?
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Also called degustation menu. Many courses, smaller in size, sometimes accompanied by unspecified in between courses not on the menu, and sometimes with chef's special treat or two before the degustation menu officially begins, and sometimes with another special off the menu treat after. (isn't that weird?)

    Normally paired with a flight of wines, about three or four.
     
  3. cape chef

    cape chef

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  4. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    Thanks for the replies and now on to the next question. I'm guessing these get printed up or the waitstaff knows what it is. Or, do patrions just go blindly into the world of taste, led by the chef. Thank you for the input.
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    It takes significant server training to be able to pull off these things. The menu needs to be printed, with every course described in pretty good detail. What's the main item, where it's from, how it's cooked, sauce, how the sauce is made, what garnishes it comes with, how the garnish is made, etc. You get the picture. It can be quite a drawn out affair.

    If you're good, and you're well known, then there's a better chance of drawing people to this type of thing. Your menu descriptions can be less detailed, but the servers still need to know what they're doing. It's sometimes useful to introduce these menu items as features first, one at a time. Get the servers used to your style, and then slowly incorporate them.
     
  6. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    Thanks again. This is something that sounds intresting, but not something in the near future. The current menu has been in place for around 1 month, we're going through the first menu changes now. I figure we may try this in about a year or so. We do wine tasting once a month, so maybe this could go hand in hand with that, or just something else to draw in business. I'm just getting the game plan together for the things I want to see happen (not that they will, but one can sure try and hope). Thanks again for all the help and info. You all are the bomb. :cool: :D
     
  7. cheftodd

    cheftodd

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    A chef Tasting menu can mean 1 of 2 things in the culinary world. Usually it means it is a type of tryout for a new chef at the restaurant. It can also mean a tasting rating all new possibilities on the menu.
     
  8. cheffette

    cheffette

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    here's what i know about tasting menu's. most i have seen are re-vamped versions of the same products we use every day, except in this case we are pushing the shelf life on some. that is not to say that's a bad thing but its a way to put a spin on the special du jour. if you decide to add this option to your menu i highly suggest you make it chef's choice only, no exceptions, reservations required. doing one of these on the fly in the middle of service will make you wish you were dead. happy cheffing!
     
  9. mikeb

    mikeb

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    If she's talking about a Japanese restaurant, then she's likely talking about an Omakase menu, which is a tasting menu that the chef picks out for you, usually on the spur of the moment. Often in Japanese restaurants you sit at the bar, and get to interact with the chef as he's preparing your courses, he'll send you little bites of food as he makes them. It's my favourite way to eat in restaurants in general, you get to try alot of interesting stuff that the chef might not otherwise serve, and often foods that never find their way onto a printed menu.

    Although I've worked mostly in French restaurants (although I have worked with several very skilled Japanese cooks), we did similar meals for some valued customers. Many of these menus got downright silly, my old boss (this is after I left the restaurant, still keep in touch) served a whole lobe of roasted foie gras with whole black truffles and porcinis as a course as part of a chef's tasting menu... Another restaurant I worked at did a 12 course menu, with fresh white Alba truffles on every course (we used several thousand dollars worth of truffles on a table of 12). Caviar, matsutake mushrooms, sea urchin, game and many other delicacies would find their way onto a chef's tasting menu - often they were too expensive or the supply too limited to put on the printed menu.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omakase

    Everything depends on the restaurant and chef you're visiting. For some it's an excuse to blow out product, or to draw business, for others it's a chance for the chef to personally serve you, to serve customers stuff he's not able to normally, and to be generous.