Creativity – the key ingredient in any menu

With the National Chef of the Year final nearly upon us, Nespresso explore the importance of creativity when it comes to developing a menu.

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Now more than ever, consumers are on the lookout to try new things, particularly when it comes to their choice of food. But with numerous types of cuisines on offer and a wide range of ingredients and flavours to choose from, how does a chef make their menu stand out from the crowd?  

This is where creativity comes in. Over the past few years, we have seen an increasing number of chefs work to incorporate more unusual ingredients - such as coffee - into their menus, to elevate their dishes to the next level.

Indeed, this is something we experienced at last year’s National of the Year finals, where James Devine incorporated Nespresso into his dessert – a soft centred chocolate and coffee tart with passion fruit curd. For James, the coffee element of the dish was particularly important, as it was vital that he had access to high-quality coffee, which bought the perfect balance of flavours and aromas to the dish. Adding Nespresso allowed him to craft the perfect winning dessert and demonstrate his creativity to the judges.

However, in order for chefs to be able to develop these more unusual dishes and help their creativity flourish, access to a variety of ingredients and flavours are key. That’s why at Nespresso we have developed thirteen Grand Crus each with a unique aroma, intensity level and taste. Our diverse range gives chefs the ability to experiment and find the flavour they feel creates the right balance for their meals. For instance, our robust, intense Espresso Forte complements the savoury taste of pork or venison, an unlikely pairing that works well because of the depths of the flavours.

Whilst it is evident that when it comes to menu development chefs need to continue to think outside of the box, at Nespresso we recognise that we also have a role to play in inspiring creativity – something that is at the heart of everything we do. This is why we work in partnership with chefs across the country through our Chef Academy and Coffee Sommelier programmes to help inspire them and develop their understanding of the role of coffee in the dining experience.

By continuing to get chefs to break convention and embrace creativity, not only will they be able to create a unique dining experience but they will also ensure that modern gastronomy continues to evolve.

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