Hi everyone! Today, I’m going to tell you what you have to consider when planning your menu when it comes to preferences and allergies.
As crucial as the occasion or the spirit of the menu, so is the person you are going to cook for. Whether it’s the partner or the whole family, nobody is gonna eat stuff they don’t like. Is there something they’re not really fond of? Does somebody dislike onions because they always get flatulences? No problem! Just leave it out.
Be sure to also avoid ingredients like pepper or mustard if you know the person doesn’t like spicy stuff.
On the other hand, try to make their favorite dish the most attractive possible. In my case, I made a deconstructed Linzer Torte and made every single component on the dish as perfect as possible. (Read more about it: The 6 course menu 2016)
Does the person like something unique such as truffle, saffron or tonka beans? Then opt for a nice and well prepared dish with one of these ingredients.
You see where I’m going. Creating a menu can be very individual and is almost always about pleasing the other person, so keep this in mind.
My own challenge: How about making a menu which nicely matches the preferences of your partner, but also has an ingredient that they hate. Your challenge is to combine, prepare and subtly experiment with this special hated ingredient in order to make it taste like it’s actually quite good. In my opinion, that’s sort of the bull’s eye of a menu.
I’m pretty lucky my girlfriend hasn’t any allergies. But just imagine what a pain it would be if you cooked something nice and the person just doesn’t even touch the food because “there’s shellfish in it, I can’t eat that”. And you’re just there, wondering why you even bothered to prepare this lobster soup, just because it’s fancy and all.
Here’s a list of the most common allergies and intolerances you might want to consider asking the guest:
…and then there’s sesame seeds, sulfite and a lot of rare allergens you will need to think of too.
Be careful on these ones because allergies must be taken seriously!
I know this article is quite short but it is an essential step in the planning of your menu.
Looking forward for the next step? Here’s a little spoiler: It’s going to be about flavor pairings, usual ones as well as particular ones. Plus, I’m going to give a few tips about books and methods for staying inspired.