Menu Project, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by headless chicken, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    I'm doing a menu project in my food theory class, 2 menus are seasonal (ie fall, winter, spring, summer) and the 3rd is a Valentine's day menu. Between the 3 menus, I should be able to put together a 4th menu by taking various items from each menu. It'll be a fixed menu, 1 item for each (appetizer, soup, main + a side item, and dessert).

    So far, I've come up with the following.
    Fine/Causal Dining
    Asian themed
    Health concious food

    I'm wondering if anyone can give me some insight on making a menu. It dosn't have to include prices or heavy details on what the item is. Chef wants this menu mostly for it's design and how well it was put together. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. greg

    greg

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    If any of these menus are full menus, cross-utilization of product, particularly the highly perishable items, is a key. For example, on our current menu, we use red snapper as a sandwich for lunch and for bouillibase and a miso-braised entree at dinner. We use shrimp in bouillibase, an appetizer and for paella.

    Availability of quality product for the time of year is something to consider, as well. Vary your flavors; don't make everything tart or everything sweet. Also, vary the textures of the food. A little humor or your own personality in a menu doesn't hurt, either. Look at some of the things Thomas Keller has done that are pretty tongue-in-cheek (just that phrase gets me thinking about a possible dish).
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Chicken. Make some menus and we'll have some fun. Cummon! :)
     
  4. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    So far, I have a sweet and sour thai salad for summer and congee with grilled eal for the winter soup. I had considered something from my grandmother's. A cold rice noodle salad with either a chilli or ginger vinagrette topped with either blanched bean sprouts or pickled carrots and dicon raddish finished with a sprinkle of toasted peanuts (which I'll do opional).
     
  5. mirepoix man

    mirepoix man

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    I'm sure you will be able to come up with some great menus. Just remember, that proper spelling is also a very important component of menu writing. So...remember that you spell eel this way, not eal. If I was your teacher, I'd deduct marks for incorrect spelling! Beware! :chef:
     
  6. newbiecook

    newbiecook

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    Gee headless...I hope that your teacher for food theory doesn't use this site.
    I'm also a student at GB.
    I thought you weren't alloed to look for homework held on here!!!
    LOL
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    We need more than that Chicken. Cummon! :) Give us a real menu or three!
     
  8. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    My group does have a lot more and so do I but to come up with something original that fits an Asian fine dining eatery and healthy isn't very easy. I've been thinking up ways of putting venison in and more exotic fish like butter fish (I think it was called, something native to African waters).

    I really wasn't asking for like stuff to put on the menu, more like how to approaching the task, where to start, what to consider and all. We vaugly talked about menu planning and got a few pointers.

    so far
    3 asian skewer - malaysian chicken satay, indonesian pork stay, and japanese teriyaki
    Lemon Grass Vichyssoise
    Traditional Birds Nest soup or Traditoinal Sharks Fin soup
    Thai Green Curry Salmon w/ Jasmin rice
    Bitter Mellon or Chinese Eggplant stuffed with Shitake Deuxelle (still debating that one)
    Green Tea Sorbet with soy milk sauce (if reducing soy milk works, I may try that this weekend)

    I have a few other items that I'm in the works of adjusting. I'm also considering items that are considered medicinal rather then just healthy since its big in the Chinese culture like the sharks fin and birds nest soup. A Ginsing dessert would be interesting though I highly doubt most of this stuff would sell.
     
  9. chef from va

    chef from va

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    hey headless i am also working on a menu project.

    remember that just because you use a classic technique doesnt make it unorigional. for example, pad thai is one of my absolute favorite asian dishes for my final in international cuisine i made a pad thai using denver leg cut venison and large freshwater prawns. adjust the sauce a little to taste I.E. i like to use oyster sauce instead of fish sauce and i usualy use cellophane noodles instead of rice sticks. also using different plating techniques and garnishes that might not be classical can make a dish origional. if you take these tips and apply them to some other dishes you could get some interesting new dishes
    some i came up with are....
    - black truffle and pork golden bags
    - sashimi using local fish from the chesapeake bay and the atlantic coast
    - chicken potstickers with a lingonberry and merlot dipping sauce
    - roasted quail freid rice :)lips:)
    - peking quail
    - toasted coconut creme brulee (using thai coconut custard recipe using duck eggs)

    just a few ideas :chef:

    P.S. when many fishing companies harvest sharks fins they simply cut off the fins and through the fish back into the ocean to die, for this reason many professionals over the years have boycotted this product.
     
  10. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Menu looks allover the place chicken. So far you're jumping from Thai to Chinese to Malaysian to Japanese to Indonesian.

    Malaysian and Indonesian satay are slightly different, and it depends on region. Folks aren't gonna understand the subtleties of Indonesian vs. Malaysian satay. In anycase, that dish is way too confusing especially with the teriyaki thrown in.

    For me, the menu doesn't hold together properly yet or is heading in odd directions. I know this is just the start. You have strong Southeast Asian flavors like Thai green curry and very subtle Japanese flavors like green tea. Sharks fin soup is lame man, forget that.

    It's gonna be tough doing the bitter melon. It takes getting used to.

    The main thing about Asian themed menus is, if you are gonna advertise, you better deliver on flavor. For the salmon, you better not give me a piece of grilled salmon with two tablespoons of "sauce" artfully presented underneath the salmon! LOL! :)
     
  11. headless chicken

    headless chicken

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    Well, these are items spread accross 3 menus. My group hasn't come down to setting up what will go on which menu just yet. But I guess your right about the skewer item and the sharks fin soup.

    Another thing that'll hit us with bonus marks is pairing a wine with our menu items. Does anyone have any good online references?
     
  12. chef from va

    chef from va

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    try using lemon grass in place of a skewer to that will deliver some great flavor and might give you some points with presentation. :chef:
     
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW can you make your coconut creme brule come out silky smooth? ie., a true creme?
     
  14. chef from va

    chef from va

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    it comes out with just a little bit of the coconut texture but it is pretty close. i got some coconut from the asian market that i frequent, its almost powdered but they called it shredded. toast it in a salamander and stir it about every 10 seconds until a consistant golden. for the custard i did a classic creme brulee but replaced 10% of the heavy cream with coconut milk (not water the thick pasty stuff). cook over a double bouler and use vanilla sugar (i find that using extract with this can cause a slight bitter aftertaste) after that just bake chill and caramelize like normal creme brulee. i made a 13x9" pan of it for a cristmas party at work and they loved it.

    P.S. if you use duck eggs it gets a much richer flavor and texture :chef: