Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hopes for a Happy Moo Year

Following in the footsteps of @thepolishviking, I’ve put together my own list of trends that I hope to see fade away in 2013. In addition, I’ve also put together a list of things I’d like to see become trends in the upcoming year.

Trends that I hope fade away in 2013:

Enough sauce for the dish
Pork Belly
Many of you who follow my blog know that I love pork belly, and I am addicted to the pork belly sandwich from Drift Food Truck. However, it’s become a trend, and not a good one. Everywhere I go there is pork belly, and in many cases, it is not the not as the main ingredient of the dish, but rather a superfluous element, simply chucked on the dish with some other protein as the main attraction. When pork belly is done right, and incorporated properly, it’s a wonderful ingredient. However, when used just for the sake of being used, it’s not given the attention it needs to be done properly. So not only does it not seem to meld with the other components, but often is not cooked right in these cases. Please give pork belly the respect it deserves. 

Cauliflower Puree
Every time I see the words “cauliflower puree”(See the picture of the Crispy Fennel Pork Belly), I groan. I groan because what ends up on the plate is this white, bland looking and tasting puree, inevitably plated with the “spoon push” technique, under a protein. I think we all know that cauliflower doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it, so if you’re going to use it as a puree, please season it. But can we stop using it as a way to show off proteins? Particularly when already plating on a white dish.
Pigeon tastes moolicious!

Decorative Sauces
So I detest the spoon push, as well as the swirl, drizzle, droplets, and painted on sauces (See the picture of the Lemon Curd Tart with Saskatoon Berry Coulis). I’m also not a fan of foams or emulsions. Why you ask? Because if it’s a sauce, and it’s meant to complement the elements on the dish, then there needs to be a decent amount of it so that I can combine it with everything on the dish to eat with each forkful. Instead utilizing sauce as a decorative element has made it nearly impossible to taste it because there is never enough, and I often find I have to scrape up what little exists with my fork. In which case, don’t even bother with a sauce if you’re just going to decorate with it instead of having enough on the plate so that the diner can actually taste it.

After travelling around Europe this fall and getting to see and try many things that are the norm there, here are some things I’d like to see become trends in 2013:

Raclette at Borough Market
Other Meats
We are all familiar with fish, chicken, lamb, pork and feeb (eek!). Slowly but surely we are starting to see other types of meats and off cuts make their way onto menus here in Edmonton such as bison, rabbit, and offals. However, most places serve offals and rabbit as feature items, whereas in Europe, these items, plus my new favorite meat, pigeon, are regularly found in higher end restaurants in Europe. I’d like to see more mainstream restaurants think out of the box and slowly introduce more diversity when it comes to meat dishes in their restaurants. If rabbit could become a regular menu item somewhere in Edmonton, I’d be a happy little Moo!

Tasting Menus
Tasting menus are a common sight at higher end restaurants in Europe, however not so much so here in Edmonton. They allow diners to try a larger variety of items – usually starting at 5 courses up to a dozen - that the restaurant offers on their a la carte menu, only in smaller portions. It’s great for those who just can’t make up their mind, or want a dining experience. However, I understand that these can be costly and difficult to plan for when restaurants try to figure out their food costs. It also means that a restaurant is unable to turn tables as quickly as these generally take a lot longer than your average meal. However, I’m hoping that slowly but surely, we will see a few restaurants willing to try this. Whether it’s items off their regular menu, or a once a month event that allows their Chef’s to unleash their imagination on a room full of diners, tasting menus are a fun and filling way to spend an evening.

Cheesecake in a Jar
Cheesecake in a Jar
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? Ok, I know there are plenty of you who don’t, but for those of us who do, you’re probably as tired as I am of New York Style Cheesecake, am I right? Both Charcut and The Pig’s Ear do a divine Cheesecake in a Jar that is light, fluffy, and not too sweet. This form makes cheesecake easier to consume for a singular person, as it’s not as dense and heavy feeling as the traditional slice of cake. Although I have seen this item offered in a few places in Edmonton, they seem to have missed the point and simply deconstructed the traditional cheesecake and put it into a jar, instead of transforming it into something different.

Chocolate Soufflé
I know that chocolate soufflé is incredibly temperamental to make, and can easily be ruined. However, there are plenty of places all over Canada, the US, and Europe that can make them and have them on their regular menu. I'm not sure if they have an oven dedicated solely to desserts, but I do know that it's not impossible to make made to order chocolate soufflé at a restaurant.

Chacuterie at Borough Market
New Farmers Market Vendor for City Market
I’ve been going to City Market fairly regularly over the last 3 years, but year after year, it doesn’t seem to change much. When travelling around Europe this year, we managed to make it to quite a few farmers market, and lamented the fact that there are so many opportunities that seem to have been unexplored at our market. If anyone is looking for an idea for a business to start for the farmers market, some of my favorite vendors while travelling sold chacuterie, raclette, vegetable pates, fresh pasta, and goats milk ice cream.

Dessert Food Trucks
We are verging on a very vibrant food truck scene here in Edmonton; however, unlike some of the bigger cities, we still lack food trucks that focus on more specialty items, such as desserts! Crème brulee, artisan ice cream, panna cotta and macarons on wheels! Can you imagine? I’m hoping that someone here in Edmonton is working on bringing this to our streets sometime soon!

1 comment:

  1. If you want exotic meats check out Get Cooking's Italian game class :) Bison, quail, wild boar, rabbit :) Agree though, we need to get more adventurous in YEG... but its coming!!


Note that all comments are moderated prior to posting.

Comments that are offensive and abusive in nature, contain profanity, or demean others will not be posted. You must provide a name in order to post a comment, anonymous comments will not be posted.

Comments that are controversial in nature or generate debate and dialog are welcome.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...