Monday, December 7, 2015

Culinary Industry Advice From Ballymaloe {that I don't want to forget}

Darina Allen's Dining Room Table
Darina Allen invited the students for dinner in her home.

The students of the September 2015 12-Week Cookery Course have cooked their final exam meals for Darina's tasting, sat for four separate two hour written exams, we've finished up last goodbyes at The Blackbird, and knives are packed-up ready to head home destined for a new adventure. The ending, of course, is bittersweet but exciting to be headed into the unknown because, You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. With that, I'd like to write out some learning points I don't want to forget (not that I'd be re-reading, or anything).

Becki and Darina

Use a freaking recipe and don't deviate. If you do deviate, make sure and document so you can recreate later.

Making dessert portions in smaller, more manageable sizes is desirable for many reasons. Not only to increase your profit margin, small bites are much more approachable than calorie-laden cookies the size of your head. Americans are obsessed with everything being bigger, better, larger everything. Be different. 

Have a signature menu item. Customers want to come back for your classic dishes expecting consistency. 

Darina Allen's Kitchen Table

Don't give your customer too much food, watch portion sizes, and be aware of the food in the waste bin at the end of service. You'll determine where you can save money by any superfluous garnish, sauce, sides, etc. 

Alternative meat is now more important than ever. We can't eat chicken 4 times a week. Culinarians MUST get creative with wild game, fowl, venison, quail, fish from local waters, and foraging your local area.

Never waste a scrap. Ever. Reuse everything, even if you feel like a hoarder or old Yiddish Oma. It's the difference between having a vacation in the Canaries, or not.

Cooking and food is so very personal.

And…finally...You'll never know it all, but you can try. Leave a comment below! x, Becki

4 comments:

Tracy McDonagh said...

I love this post - makes me sad already! XX

Becki Melvie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tracey! I walked up three or four flights of stairs today during my regular work routine and it felt so energetic! Missing all my Buttermaloe friends!

Catherine said...

I love love love it!!! Haha we will all be hoarders! Everytime I finish peeling carrots or dicing onions I look for the hens bucket for the scraps! :( :( Keep in touch x

Daina Penny said...

Love this read Becki! Can't wait to hear all about it! Drinks?!?!