Menu Planing

Creating A Menu
Initial Considerations
Menu Accuracy
Writing Rules
Catering or Special Menu
Ala Carte Menu
Pre Fixe Menu

4_course_fall_menu.jpg (44907 bytes)

Early fall menu of  smoked trout, consommé, braised rabbit, and stone fruit and nuts with bavarian crème for dessert

Often I compare the making of a menu to a composer composing a symphony. The Composer uses the different characteristics of the instruments in the orchestra to weave a theme throughout a symphony. At times he or she will build movements in volume and complexity until the crescendo or climax of the piece. The chef does the same using different foods and ingredients to weave a theme throughout the meal. Different textures, temperatures, and cooking methods build on each other, from course to course up until the main entree or crescendo. The finish - dessert - must be grand and memorable as in the composer's symphony.

So, you can understand why we say that menu planning calls upon all the talent and experience of the chef. Not only does the chef have to be knowledgeable in all aspects of food, but must also understand the guests to be served, the talents and limitations of his or her staff, and the terminology that markets his or her ideas to the guests in terms they understand. Considering all of these points, several basic fundamental rules apply and are outlined under Initial Considerations and Creating a Menu.

Remembering the points outlined and combining careful planning with basic common sense with flavors, cooking methods, and texture will ensure a perfect menu composition. Keep the portion size comfortable, cook within the talents of your staff, and execute simplicity to perfection and you will achieve a successful symphony of presentation and flavors.

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