Dish inspiration

9
1
Joined Jul 19, 2017
so how do you all come up with your own recipes and dishes, what gives you the inspiration?

Not all of us have the pleasure of working in top places with top chefs for ideas or guidance or too bounce ideas off each other.

Do you look at a presentation of another chefs dish from books then try it with different ingredients?

Do you stick to classic combinations and try to put a little twist on it?

What about if you are entering completion, any advice on designing the dish, like how to make it stand out from the rest?

I’m considering a competition , it’s a pork chef of the year. You can either use pork belly or fillet or both. Must be local ingredients used, seasonal ( it’s in July)

I am in Scotland and was thinking about something like.

Pork tenderloin poached in milk, confit belly rib, pine nut purée , puffed grains, sesame,bbq spring onions, broad beans , IPA jus, local rapeseed oils infused with hops ( maybe some kind of salt baked baby beetroot and fruit )

Any advice? I mean we don’t always need a startch on the plate do we?

Many thanks
Sure there is some amazing chefs here who can help guide
 
452
203
Joined Oct 1, 2006
Hello Pauls019,

Until an amazing chef shows up I'll give you my thoughts. I ended up concluding that in competitions, you are really only competing against yourself. "How good can I make this".

If you actually want to try and win, you might want to do research into who the judges are and what they like. Bold flavors, subtle flavors, loads of fresh herbs, fusion flavors, etc., etc. I wasn't willing to do that so I just decided to try to impress myself.

My typical inspiration was a very long list of ingredients. In your case it would start with the pork. The local ingredient list would make up the bulk of the remaining components. I would think through the flavors and possible textures I can create using the techniques I know. An example, your pine nut puree, will you toast them before making the puree? How toasted will they be? Lightly toasted or dark toasted, or leave them raw? Same ingredient, but the end result is impacted on your choice of treatment. Is there a complementary or contrasting local ingredient that would be desirable in that puree? No wrong answer, unless no one likes it!

I'm a reverse planner. I "see" the finished dish in my mind with all of the different textures, colors and flavors then use the techniques I know to execute each component. I do attempt to not have any course be monochromatic or texturally neutral but, I don't tend to have a carnival of color either. A blend of color, flavor and texture was what I tried for.

Like you I didn't have benefit of working with other chefs. So my presentation skills are lacking. If I saw a nice presentation, I would try to modify that imagine that type of presentation using my ingredients, flavors and textures. I probably never used any of the components in the picture, I just stole the presentation ideas. Using a ring mold for the bottoms ingredient and stacking up everything else seems a popular presentation...

I really liked using a brown sauce, using roasted pork bones, that replaced some of the salt with something like a Stilton for roasted pork. A hint of a veined cheese is wonderful, to my palate, but too much would ruin and overpower the pork.

I'm sure there is a time limit also, but I am sure you already know how to organize your time!

Good luck! I'm sure you will do great!
 
9
1
Joined Jul 19, 2017
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Hello Pauls019,

Until an amazing chef shows up I'll give you my thoughts. I ended up concluding that in competitions, you are really only competing against yourself. "How good can I make this".

If you actually want to try and win, you might want to do research into who the judges are and what they like. Bold flavors, subtle flavors, loads of fresh herbs, fusion flavors, etc., etc. I wasn't willing to do that so I just decided to try to impress myself.

My typical inspiration was a very long list of ingredients. In your case it would start with the pork. The local ingredient list would make up the bulk of the remaining components. I would think through the flavors and possible textures I can create using the techniques I know. An example, your pine nut puree, will you toast them before making the puree? How toasted will they be? Lightly toasted or dark toasted, or leave them raw? Same ingredient, but the end result is impacted on your choice of treatment. Is there a complementary or contrasting local ingredient that would be desirable in that puree? No wrong answer, unless no one likes it!

I'm a reverse planner. I "see" the finished dish in my mind with all of the different textures, colors and flavors then use the techniques I know to execute each component. I do attempt to not have any course be monochromatic or texturally neutral but, I don't tend to have a carnival of color either. A blend of color, flavor and texture was what I tried for.

Like you I didn't have benefit of working with other chefs. So my presentation skills are lacking. If I saw a nice presentation, I would try to modify that imagine that type of presentation using my ingredients, flavors and textures. I probably never used any of the components in the picture, I just stole the presentation ideas. Using a ring mold for the bottoms ingredient and stacking up everything else seems a popular presentation...

I really liked using a brown sauce, using roasted pork bones, that replaced some of the salt with something like a Stilton for roasted pork. A hint of a veined cheese is wonderful, to my palate, but too much would ruin and overpower the pork.

I'm sure there is a time limit also, but I am sure you already know how to organize your time!

Good luck! I'm sure you will do great!

Hello Pauls019,

Until an amazing chef shows up I'll give you my thoughts. I ended up concluding that in competitions, you are really only competing against yourself. "How good can I make this".

If you actually want to try and win, you might want to do research into who the judges are and what they like. Bold flavors, subtle flavors, loads of fresh herbs, fusion flavors, etc., etc. I wasn't willing to do that so I just decided to try to impress myself.

My typical inspiration was a very long list of ingredients. In your case it would start with the pork. The local ingredient list would make up the bulk of the remaining components. I would think through the flavors and possible textures I can create using the techniques I know. An example, your pine nut puree, will you toast them before making the puree? How toasted will they be? Lightly toasted or dark toasted, or leave them raw? Same ingredient, but the end result is impacted on your choice of treatment. Is there a complementary or contrasting local ingredient that would be desirable in that puree? No wrong answer, unless no one likes it!

I'm a reverse planner. I "see" the finished dish in my mind with all of the different textures, colors and flavors then use the techniques I know to execute each component. I do attempt to not have any course be monochromatic or texturally neutral but, I don't tend to have a carnival of color either. A blend of color, flavor and texture was what I tried for.

Like you I didn't have benefit of working with other chefs. So my presentation skills are lacking. If I saw a nice presentation, I would try to modify that imagine that type of presentation using my ingredients, flavors and textures. I probably never used any of the components in the picture, I just stole the presentation ideas. Using a ring mold for the bottoms ingredient and stacking up everything else seems a popular presentation...

I really liked using a brown sauce, using roasted pork bones, that replaced some of the salt with something like a Stilton for roasted pork. A hint of a veined cheese is wonderful, to my palate, but too much would ruin and overpower the pork.

I'm sure there is a time limit also, but I am sure you already know how to organize your time!

Good luck! I'm sure you will do great!


Thanks you for the advice, it is really appreciated!!! This is some of the things that I can do ( my level) . It’s hard to get the confidence up when you are not consistently working in the rosette restaurants etc . But again thanks for the pointers!
 
1,342
865
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Hi Pauls019.

You seem to be asking a few different questions. The first questions is "how do we all come up with our recipes and dishes?"

The process is different for everyone. There are recipes that inspire other recipes and then there are recipes that are inspired by the availability of ingredients and what those ingredients are. its up to the individual chef to figure out what to do with them. I think that's the essence of the creative process. How each chef goes about it is what makes them unique.

Your second questions asks "Do you look at a presentation of another chefs dish from books then try it with different ingredients?"

Sometimes. I have looked at a presentation scheme and wondered how it would look if created with different ingredients or presented in a different way. I would try it out and sometimes my idea seemed better to me and sometimes it didn't.

"Do you stick to classic combinations and try to put a little twist on it?" - Yes.

"What about if you are entering completion, any advice on designing the dish, like how to make it stand out from the rest?"
- I've never entered a competition. Never had the time. So, for that answer, I will defer to the others in this thread who have had that experience. :)

Lastly, I do not have any advice for your dish suggestion other than simplicity sells. Are you focusing on the garnishes and accompaniments more than you are the dish itself? Its very easy to lose a great melody in the orchestration.

sgmchef sgmchef made a great suggestion that you should do your research on the judges and come up with something that plays to their individual likes. But, remember, when it comes to foods that people like, they almost always have that dish that serves as the basis upon which all other dishes of that sort are judged. So, you could be "battling ghosts", so to speak. But, on the other hand, it could very well be the advantage you need. Who knows?

I hope this helps. Good luck! :)
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
4,509
998
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Hi Pauls019. You have packed a lot of questions into your post. For the time being I am going to ignore most of your questions about finding inspiration and focus on your competition. I agree with the other 2 chefs. You need to do some research. If this competition has been running for a few years there are probably lists (and pictures) of previous years' winners and runner ups. Find those lists and see what has won in past years. Your dishes look really good, but lots of time these competitions are more focused on things that people at home can make, because ultimately many of these competitions are marketing. Doing something so presentation intensive could backfire on you. That is why you need to see what has won in the past. Even if they are looking for something nicer, I would still look at your plating and consider removing at least 1-2 items. Focus on a few components and make sure that they are executed flawlessly. Your original post listed 9-11 ingredients on the plate. That is way too many. Some chefs can make that many things, on a plate work, but most chefs/cooks, can't. They just don't have the palate and experience to pull it off. The flavors just end up becoming a jumbled up mess. Again, not saying that it can't be done, but you need to be very confident in your abilities to pull it. You are better served by fewer items on the plate that you can really focus on making sure they all compliment each other.
 
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