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Over-egging the menu


PSmith
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Not sure if this is a world wide phenomena, or if it is just confined to the UK, but there seems to be a fashion for chefs to "over egg" the menu.

No longer do we have "beef" but occasionally we get the type of cow, where in the country it was reared and sometimes the farmer.

Now I know that chefs want to demonstrate that they are able to source good products, but I find it mildly amusing that there seems to be a bit of an obsession with some of them. I am sure it wont be long before someone adds the GPS coordinates of the field where the veg were grown.

This is one of my favourites and part of my latest blog post.

Roasted fillet of Australian Kobe beef

Nestling in a Kent garden pea puree, temptingly accompanied by a succulent spinach and onion compote, to die for triple-cooked Maris Piper chips and Indonesian long pepper sauce."

Anyone else got any other examples?

http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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Yeah just naming the ingredients not describing the tastes or how "succulent" the meat is. I'm a fan of naming the dishes "a fall garden" "tour of spanish flavors" and then naming the ingredients in the sub text.

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

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I'm a big fan of intentionally vague menus--i.e. Alinea or Attica.

Agreed, if I trust the chef enough to put myself in his hands. If I'm less familiar with the restaurant, I'd prefer that the menu give some indication of preparation.

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I opened this thread thinking there are too many eggs now in dishes.

Me too, and thinking: "thank heavens, it's not just my imagination..." One dish with a poached or soft-boiled egg on a menu is nice. But lately I'm seeing dinner menus with two or even three egg-centric items. I don't know if it's just trendy or unimaginative, but it's boring.

But PSmith, to your point, I am with many others here. The overdescription of menu items--and providing the provenance of everything--has been standard here in the states (at least in many restaurants with ambition or pretention) for a long while. When it highlights the main ingredients, fine, that often tempts me to order something. When it's every marginal ingredient and seasoning, it seems like overkill. Am I the only person who enjoys trying to figure out the "secret" ingredient? Of course waitstaff should know the details in case of questions about allergy concerns. But otherwise, I prefer the anticipation of a little mystery.


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Me too, and thinking: "thank heavens, it's not just my imagination..." One dish with a poached or soft-boiled egg on a menu is nice. But lately I'm seeing dinner menus with two or even three egg-centric items. I don't know if it's just trendy or unimaginative, but it's boring.

It's almost like somehow chefs just discovered farm eggs and how many ways you can use them.

Back on topic though. I've always had a weird thing about not pluralizing ingredients. Menus that say "carrot, beet, herb" for an example. Does anyone else have a problem that there's more than one of each vegetable in said dishes? "Carrots, beets and herbs".

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

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I've seen that sort of thing so much (at least in NYC, it seemed to reach its frenzied worst in the 1990s) that I now only notice it enough now to regard it as a warning sign to eat someplace else, or I may end up with the waiter cosying up to my dinner party to share his feelings on The Tao of Pooh (yep, happened).

@mgaretz, 'over-egg' is figurative, and exclusively (I think) a Britishism.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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Being lactose intolerant I'm always dismayed at menus that are over-cheesed. Cheese in everything, if not the main dish then the sides.

Haha pretty much every American chain restaurant commercial. "Try our new 4 cheese stuffed manicotti, try our new garlic bread 4 cheese pizza".....ugh

Edited by ScottyBoy (log)

Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

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@mgaretz, 'over-egg' is figurative, and exclusively (I think) a Britishism.

LOL - forgot that it might get lost in translation. "Over Egg" is as per the link - mostly used to describe something that is being "bigged up" - as in food that is made to sound posher than it really is.

However, as another lactose intollerant, I am in agreement with the "over cheese" - and rarely is there a dairy free dessert on the menu, even if there is, it will be sorbet.

Is it just the UK that has the "Thrice cooked chips" (fries in the US). Twice is enough.

http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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Is it just the UK that has the "Thrice cooked chips" (fries in the US). Twice is enough.

PSmith, I must respectfully disagree - triple-cooked chips are wonderful, and the only way I do them at home now.

But back more or less on topic ... I've been uncomfortable for some time with the fashion for menu items in the form 'Sautéed/poached/roasted/pan-fried/whatever pieces of ingredient A with some ingredient B, thoughtfully garnished with ingredients C, D and E and slathered in a sauce of ingredient F'. Yes, all those things may well be in there but to me it just makes whatever it is sound far more complicated than it really is.

And lovingly coated in larks' vomit. (Quick, who knows the reference?)

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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Is it just the UK that has the "Thrice cooked chips" (fries in the US). Twice is enough.

PSmith, I must respectfully disagree - triple-cooked chips are wonderful, and the only way I do them at home now.

But back more or less on topic ... I've been uncomfortable for some time with the fashion for menu items in the form 'Sautéed/poached/roasted/pan-fried/whatever pieces of ingredient A with some ingredient B, thoughtfully garnished with ingredients C, D and E and slathered in a sauce of ingredient F'. Yes, all those things may well be in there but to me it just makes whatever it is sound far more complicated than it really is.

And lovingly coated in larks' vomit. (Quick, who knows the reference?)

Crunchy Frog!
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