How to (my own): plan your dinner, step 4

How to (my own): plan your dinner, step 5So now you’ve found out about the type of components in your menu, you will have to work out all the necessary details. And by details I mean each course, each component of each single course, the wine, etc…

You guys probably wonder where I get all the inspiration from.

Here’s a short list of the media I use frequently:

  • Pinterest, all types of boards about Michelin starred dishes, haute cuisine, moleculary style etc…
  • Cookbooks, all sorts of cookbooks
  • obviously the internet, has a nice amount of ideas and plating styles.
  • finally, the holy grail in my opinion: The Flavor Bible


The Flavor Bible is a book which mainly contains possible components, ingredients etc.. And their respective possible pairing. A complete guide to flavor pairing and aromatic combinations.

Check it out here: The Flavor Bible

Along with these four inspiration sources, I mostly sit down at places where it’s calm. A nice trick is to be a little hungry since it has the same effect as going for grocery shopping when hungry. You get more inspiration and ideas in comparison to being full.

A notebook and a pen is all you need to write down ideas, draw some kind of mind maps to compose a course with the possible flavor pairings.

Once you have found out about the components, the pairings, the style and the degree of how sophisticated it will be, you can start arranging the courses, define the size and scale of your menu.

For the full course dinner “laws”, here’s an extract of Wikipedia’s page:

4 course meal

  • 1.Appetizer (soup)
  • 2.Entrée/Salad
  • 3.Main course
  • 4.Dessert/Pudding

5 course meal

  • 1.Soup
  • 2.Fish
  • 3.Main Course
  • 4.Dessert
  • 5.Cheese


  • 1.Soup
  • 2.Appetizer
  • 3.Salad
  • 4.Main Course
  • 5.Dessert

6 course meal

  • 1.Hors d’oeuvres/appetizer
  • 2.Soup
  • 3.Fish
  • 4.Salad
  • 5.Main Course
  • 6.Dessert

While this is the typical arrangement, I prefer to deviate a little as you can see in my next post:

The hardest challenge yet: 8 course dinner for four people…mastered!

Previously in this series: How to (my own): plan your dinner, step 3

The next step in this series is available here!

2 thoughts on “How to (my own): plan your dinner, step 4

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