It seems like there is a new ingredient or cooking method every week but this one is actually a bit of an old classic that has come to life again – coffee. Although we probably all enjoy a cup of coffee and we might be used to finding this flavour in desserts, this isn’t how chefs have been using the bean recently.
Coffee is used in savoury dishes a lot in South American culture, this has been the big influence for a lot of savoury dishes in the UK recently. The bitter taste of coffee works well to balance a strong flavour of chilli or even a sweeter dish.
There is a lot of discussion and debate as to whether a great education or experience in the kitchen will put you in better stead for this industry.
A lot of this may be down to the prospective employer’s opinion but if you are wondering whether to go back to the classroom and learn or get in the kitchen, here’s what you need to know.
Over the years it has become the norm as a chef to prepare a dish in front of your interviewers for them to taste. This gives them an understanding of your skills when you are cooking, your presentation and most of all whether your food tastes good.
This can be a daunting experience for chefs both new and old but if you are prepared and stay calm during this experience it can be just as useful for you as a chef. You can spend time in the kitchen where you could potentially be working, you can familiarise yourself with where things are but also it will help you decide whether you want to work in that environment. Think about these questions to yourself: Is it clean? Is it safe? Were you told about the correct health and safety procedures that you may encounter? Is there room for you to work? If there are staff members present do they seem happy in their jobs?
Easter is just around the corner and with this period of tradition and festivities comes a few traditional foods, offering the perfect inspiration for creating a special menu. Taking a typical food or flavour from this time of year and adding it to an existing or new dish is a great way to get creative, so we’ve detailed a few Easter elements you could experiment with.
The presentation of your plate is the first impression your customer receives and a great presentation can set the whole meal off right. Let’s face it, presentation is just as important as how the food tastes when working in a restaurant environment, but how can you improve it?
Your choice of colours is so important to the look of your dish, if everything is one colour or dull, boring colours, it is not as visually pleasing or interesting. Continue reading
Exhibitions are a great way to network within our industry but also keep up to date with the latest advances and progressions within the world of food and hospitality. A good exhibition is perfect for an industry professional or even for a young chef starting out, the experience and knowledge you will receive from these shows will help you for years to come.
Hotelympia has been bringing buyers and industry experts in hospitality together for over 83 years so this is the perfect place to start or continue your experience with exhibitions. In March 2018, this exhibition is returning to London to bring restaurants, hotels, pubs, dining and contract caterers together along with the finest suppliers.
As a chef, it can be difficult to keep coming up with new and interesting recipes, no matter how much you love to be inventive. Here are a few tips on ways you can come up with some new ideas for your cooking.
Inspiration and ideas can come to you at any moment so make sure to note them down, you never know what you could be your next special. Some may be bad ideas but you can always use these as a base and improve when better ideas come along.
Creativity comes with being a chef, show this right from the start – think outside the box and do something nobody else has done. Show who you are as a person and as a chef in a unique way, this may be through video, food or even online adverts. Show a creativity and self-motivation, they will see you have the drive to do all this work because you really want this job.
Don’t sit around and wait for a job to come to you because the chances are, it won’t. If you know you want to work for a specific company or restaurant don’t wait for a job offer to come out, pitch yourself to them. Be there before everybody else, this will show you’re eager to work there and make you stand out. Contacting employers through social channels can be a good way to connect with them and show interest.
Know What You Want
A clear career path will make you stand out from a sea of chefs who just want to be chefs. Find your passion, it may be seafood or vegan food – once you have found this passion and career path you will be a much more interesting and employable candidate because they know you will love what you do. It shows that you have really thought about your career and that it is a real passion to you. It will be refreshing to see someone who knows what path they want to take and who can grow in that one specialism.
Networking is important in every industry, meeting and forming relationships with the employers and peers is a great advantage. If a job came up with an employer that you have already formed a relationship with they will be more likely to recognise your work. The best form of networking is face to face, nothing beats human interaction, especially when there are jobs at stake. However, networking can also take place on social platforms, this is still a great platform to communicate and engage with the members of your industry.
Using fruit and vegetables that are in season for your recipes can save you a lot of money and hassle. You don’t have the worry of waiting for your fruit to ripen or getting the produce shipped from abroad, most of it can be homegrown and will be perfect for these February months. Using seasonal food gives you the added bonus of easily diversifying your menu as the months change. Here are a few seasonal foods perfect for February.
Rhubarb’s sour but refreshing flavour can be the perfect addition to any desert or main course, allowing you to be creative and adventurous with your taste creations. There is so much you can do with rhubarb, it is also very high in fibre so is a great addition to any diet.