Have you ever gone to your favorite restaurant to have that one dish that they make, the one that brings you back again and agian; Only to say, 'it just wasn't as good as last time'. A few weeks later you give it another shot and find that the same dish was fantastic, 'better then it ever was'.
Yesterday, while in the commercial kitchen where I spend much of my time, I was working with a relatively 'new' employee whos job it is to prepare food for the Vero Amore kitchen where I am the Corp. Exec Chef. As a prep cook, it is his job to work from our recipe book,
turning basic raw materials into usable finished and semi-finished products such as salad dressings, Mozzarella cheese, pizza dough, and so on. I have observed that he goes 'by the book', that is to say that he measures everything as per each individual recipe and follows the instructions to the tee. This should insure that it's the same every time right? Wrong!
When following printed recipes there are several things to remember. We are often using live products such as herbs or produce, even spices, each with it's own inherent taste values. That is to say, for instance, when making fresh basil pesto the leaves we use today will taste different then the ones we use next week.
There's an old saying used by computer software writers..."s..t in, s..t out". This is true in making good food as well. Making a great meal is more like art then it is like rocket science and it all starts with the prep. When putting together the various items that you will later combine into you 'masterpiece' remember to use your senses. Listen, see, smell, feel, and taste. Each of your facilities holds a sensual key to the quality of the food you are preparing, cooking, and serving.
Cooking great food is reliant on a 'Now' experience. Enjoy the moment....and then enjoy the food.
(Pictured here is Chefs Scotty's South West Spice/Rub...great as an enhancer or a rib. Available on our web site.)