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Stir it up magazine Jan Feb 2015

THE MELTING POT Mini unleavened bread pizzas with mushrooms, tomatoes and sheep’s cheese “Turkey doesn’t have to be roasted and can be much more interesting when served another way.” gravadlax, cured for 12 hours then hot smoked and served as a warm rillette and finally as a paté. People are interested in different cooking procedures and they want food to be more inventive. Miniature dishes help you to show your capabilities. By serving four completely different flavours you are showing your creativity. Another example for a main course is to serve duck three ways. We use locally shot mallards and will confit the leg, cure and pan-fry the breast and,if the livers are good enough, we’ll make a liver pâté and serve it all on one plate. Ian Howard, head chef at Babylon Restaurant at The Roof gardens in Kensington www. roofgardens.virgin.com >> Miniature dishes give guests the opportunity to explore and experience more of a menu at once as opposed to limiting themselves with a three-dish menu. With miniatures guests are able to experience up to nine dishes at a time, sometimes more! Dessert miniatures definitely work well and are firm favourites amongst guests, but there also seems to be a trend at the moment of serving dishes such as lamb in three different ways. Additionally it is also popular to use the same ingredient, in different ways; for example in Babylon we use cauliflower and roast, puree and pickle it to be used as a garnish on a scallop dish. A lot of these types of dishes can be interpreted into canapés quite easily which is favoured amongst drinks receptions in Babylon. Adrian Winfield, development chef for sauce and dessert experts Macphie www. macphie.com >> Miniature dishes give diners choice and are a great way of introducing people to dishes that they are not sure of. They make great sharing platters and are a brilliant way of showcasing what you, as a chef, can do. For people with smaller appetites, miniature dishes give them the option to try different flavours without filling up on one dish. The big thing at the moment is to have strong, powerful flavours, such as Asian and South American flavours, with Chilean and Peruvian spices being particularly popular. Mini tarts, both sweet and savoury, are definitey on trend right now. For a great trio of savoury tarts, try pulled meat and Brazilian BBQ sauce, a Thai version and maybe a goat’s cheese with red onion. Mini fondues are in vogue. For desserts, however, the essence is ‘traditional with a twist’, things like Mini Eton Mess with Pimm’s in a shot glass or mini lemon meringue pies. The demand for cheesecake has gone up by 30% in the last two menu cycles, as has variations on apple pie. Try with a crumble top or with salted caramel. Miniature brownies continue to be really popular. Serve mini classic desserts in shot glasses JAN / FEB 2015 29


Stir it up magazine Jan Feb 2015
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