How we design your perfect dish

We’re experts in developing delicious sweet and savoury dishes for our clients and your end customers. Each brief is unique and means a chance to get creative in the kitchen, but before we break an egg or open a bag of flour there are a few things to consider to make the development process as effective as possible. These are the key questions to think about when it comes to making the perfect dish for your menu.  

How do you want the dish to taste and feel?

Some clients will come to us with a clear vision of what they want, while other times they bring us looser inspiration points and perhaps a key ingredient or two. Identifying what you do, and don’t want in a dish is the best place to start. 

Are we updating an existing brownie with a new flavour profile? Are we replicating an existing well-loved dish that you need on a larger scale? Are we drawing on existing dishes to combine elements you and your customers love? Or are we creating a completely new dish from scratch? 

Taste, obviously, is a huge component of any dish. It’s helpful to think about any flavours you want to include, the mouth-feel of the dish, and how you want the dish to feel, whether that’s modern, traditional, wholesome, exciting, fresh or co-existing with any key elements from your brand.

What are the dietary requirements of the dish?

From the start, we’ll consider which, if any dietary requirement the dish must cater to. We’re experts in free-from cooking, and can create dishes to suit vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diets. 

Understanding what you need from a menu – perhaps that’s gluten-free and vegan dishes, or more vegetarian options that appeal to meat eaters too, helps us plan and create dishes that are free-from certain ingredients, but full of taste and flavour. It’s also important to understand any salt and sugar levels you want to work within to ensure dishes can be created in line with these. 

What are the key ingredients and what’s the budget?

When considering ingredients it’s critical to factor in things like making sure seasonal ingredients are available, navigating using branding products and working within minimum order quantities to make sure we can practically make dishes without hiccups. 

From the offset we’ll be thinking about any key ingredients, and if they are unusual, how we can source and bring these in on budget. It might be that we need to find work around – for example using flavoured syrups rather than fresh flowers if we have a unique floral flavoured dessert.  

Budget is another piece of the puzzle, and while core ingredients are fairly static, the cost of bespoke ingredients can vary so will need to be considered in the development process.

How will you serve the dish?

At the development stage we consider how the finished dish will be transported and served – will it be frozen and served warm or cold? Far from being an afterthought, these elements can have a significant impact on how the whole dish is made.

How much plating up will be required by your staff? Will they need to finish the dish in house, or would you like it ready to go? Embellishment can be done at the production stage or just before serving depending on budget and individual requirements.

How can we make the dish a reality?

While the sky’s the limit in terms of creativity, sometimes ideas are impossible to put into practice or prohibitively expensive. It might be that it’s impossible to bring a dish in on budget, that a specific shape won’t work for a particular type of tart or that one key ingredient isn’t available, but with a bit of creative thinking we’re able to consider other alternatives that still meet the brief. 

We are in the business of innovation and creation, but also being realistic about what can really be created, and how to balance the various elements to create the best outcome. We always work collaboratively with clients, sharing our ideas on how we might be able to adapt or work around to make their vision come to life.