Let’s talk about menus and dishes. My life evolves around them quite a bit as you can tell based on my Instagram. Those dishes on my profile, well, not many of them have ended up in a menu. Looks isn’t everything and it all comes down to taste. The dish has to work on many levels.
First of all, I’m not a fan of menus that stay the same for days, weeks and even months. Our dishes change slightly every day. Sometimes it’s a must and is defined by seasonal ingredients. Sometimes its spontaneous and sometimes it just happens out of a spark of inspiration given by an ingredient, nature, people or just about anything.
I mostly get new ideas on my spare time, when I shouldn’t think about work. You know, like during jogging or washing laundry (just kidding, I don’t really wash laundry that much). I always carry them with me, though. The thoughts on food, that is.
Every dish we have is a part of a bigger entity – the menu. When changing a dish or even a component of a dish, you need to take all the other dishes in the menu into account. It’s like a puzzle, where all the pieces have to fall into place.
I think a lot on my own, but I don’t like to keep the ideas to myself. They usually get refined later with other people around me. You need colleagues to make good become great, even if you have the final say in things. An idea, which is being tossed and turned around through brainstorming, is more likely to become great. It’s also much more fun to develop a dish with talented colleagues. You might hear something that you’ve never thought of before. We test a lot of dishes and only a small part actually ends up in the menu. You don’t change something just for the sake of it.
When do I have time to brainstorm AND test the dishes? Well, we always manage to make some time between services and use it for an efficient brainstorming session.
Speaking of creating new – have you heard of our Olo Garden already? I will tell you more about it soon. Now I have to go and polish our new à la carte menu with the team.