Tapas Meal and Tasting Menus Appeal
There has been a recent rise in the popularity of tapas meals, and tapas bars. Customers are drawn to the option of ordering small, usually inexpensive portions, because it gives them the option to sample many different dishes and essentially build their own meal. Tasting menus create a similar dining experience, by most commonly including many small food items, tapas, selected by the chef. Though the customer does not have the freedom to choose the creative foods they will get to taste, they are given many small courses that make up the chef menu. They are able to assess the culinary skills of the creative chef in one meal. The selections on the chef menu for these tapas meals are a great way to draw back customers who like the creative cooking they sampled. The tasting menu gives the chef an opportunity to flaunt his/her talent in creative cooking. Chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry explained the concept of a tasting menu. He said that when a diner takes the first bite of an amazing dish, it is an experience. By the fifth bite, however, it is less exciting. A tasting menu seeks to combine creative cooking with beautiful presentation to keep the “first bite” experience going for the duration of the meal.
Tasting Menu Basics
A tasting menu, by definition, offers small portions of several dishes to make up a meal. Though the options of creative foods to include are endless, some basic guidelines should still be followed. Since the tasting menu is meant to be a meal, in itself, it should contain a protein, starch, and vegetable. The glory of the tapas meal is in creative foods and variety. Customers are looking for dishes they would not typically see on the regular menu, often presented in a more impressive manner than an entrée. Using a tapas plate, with a small section for soup and another area for a small side dish, for example, adds a dynamic appearance to that course on the chef menu. Despite the guidelines, there are an infinite number of options of what to serve. Some tasting menus are themed around an ethnic cuisine, a main ingredient, a main color scheme, or a type of cooking method. Sous vide cooking is very big right now. This cooking method consists of packaging ingredients in vacuum packaging and cooking it at a controlled, constant temperature for an extended period of time. Though it is most common to cook meat using the method, vegetables, fish, and poultry can be prepared this way as well. Though a theme can draw some customers, tasting menus can be appealing by promising interesting dining made by a creative chef.
The Drawbacks of Creative Cooking on Tasting Menus
Since a tasting menu is not usually offered every day, in a restaurant, certain dishes run the risk of not being appetizing to each diner. Fortunately, since the chef menu consists of numerous dishes, there really are no drawbacks. If a diner does not find one dish to his liking, there are many others that can win him/her over and convince him/her to return to the restaurant. Tasting menus tend to be slightly more expensive than regular meals. They tend to require more work to be done by the chef and workers in the kitchen. Nonetheless, the profits for the business and the interesting experience for the customers making Tasting Menus a safe bet for attracting business.