One of the most important aspects of professional cooking is developing recipes. A well-developed recipe achieves balance and consistency.
In this quick guide, we will discuss the steps chefs follow in developing recipes, and how meez has enhanced the recipe development process.
Inspiration and Ideation
Chefs can be inspired by art, seasonality, architecture, makers, ingredients or a story we want to tell. Professional chefs are as inspired by dishes at restaurants and meals our grandmothers used to make like anyone who cooks.
Once we have an idea, we think about the ingredients and flavors that will go into the recipe. We consider any restrictions or preferences that our diners or intended audience may have, including budget. Then we work with those guidelines.
Research and Visualization
Researching can entail visiting a farmers market, tasting the same ingredient from different purveyors, traveling, experiencing cultural influences and studying topics. We often consider sustainability, locality and if the businesses we work with align with our standards and goals. We consider making substitutions for ingredients that aren't available or that are too expensive.
We visualize what the dish will look like and play with texture, shapes, colors and plates.
With meez, we can export an order list to source ingredients and keep notes and sketches in our Docs. We can even keep a R&D concept separate from production concepts to save each version of a dish until it makes a menu.
Drafting a Dish
We record the ingredients and instructions for a recipe in meez as we go. It's important to be as specific as possible when writing a recipe so that anyone who reads it will be able to successfully replicate the dish. You can drag and drop a photo or video into each prep step to make this easier and to look back as you compare test versions.
We document everything we do when testing a recipe: ingredient amounts, temperatures, times, techniques. We evaluate salt, sweetness, spice, acid, fat, texture, umami and more to achieve balance and play with portion sizes, flavor combinations, elements and components.
We often test with the back of house team to collaborate on feedback, ideas and iterations. Chefs might try a dish as a special for diner feedback as well. The tasting notes can be recorded in Docs as a menu is developed.
It's crucial in a professional culinary setting to record clear and concise recipes as they're developed, iterated and executed. With meez, you can convert units of measurement, scale, cost and see nutrition information as you build the recipe. It's important that anyone who comes into work can replicate the recipe with all the content saved in meez, from the prep to photos and videos for plating. We often organize in recipe books based on station, season or section of the menu.
Once the recipe is developed, the chef can share view access with the team, copies with friends and colleagues, and a public link on social media when desired.
Develop your next recipe in meez by signing up for free here!