Monday, November 03, 2008

Daring to be different

If you let me think of something I always want to think differently. Although most of the times I don't appear daring, I do check my environment first (meaning the Executive Chef and the General Manager) if my idea will let the top people conspire.

I am now starting to compile my list for our Deli Shop which is still under the management's scrutiny. While waiting for the final design, I have written down some ideas. Sure, all hotels would offer the same basic items. But how can I be different from all of them? Gimmicks? New packaging? New concepts? The list goes on.

Knowing that most pastry chefs struggle to keep standards the same on a daily basis, I have embraced the idea of KISS - Keep it simple, stupid! You might have heard of it many times but there is so much sense to it. If you are a pastry chef who wants to spend your life in the kitchen then KISS is not for you. Perhaps a kiss from your GM would suffice. Pun aside, my aim is to ensure that my staffs see something different and learn ways that are not usual. I heard one of my staffs saying: "We are a great team, chef!" I asked him why. He replied: "While other hotels just duplicate the works of their previous mentors, what we are doing is completely different. I haven't seen what you are creating right now in hotels I have worked before. The ideas are entirely new."

Taking it from my own staff, I have started concocting my own recipes. Well, it is more painstaking than I thought because the procedures have not been written before. I have to write a new "manual".

Below is just a sample of what I have created so far. I call it Cookie Monster. By its name, it doesn't look scary or anything but it is for my love of cookies that brought about this cake. It is made of layers of chocolate and vanilla sponge cake arranged in a way that creates unique layering. It's fun to make and look at, right? And the flavors are just right - of course it is "infused" with crushed cookies.

The cake below is an unfinished creation. I have a better idea of how it should be presented. But for now let's just take it as it is. This is my very rocky road cake. It has gotten its name from the unique filling. is not time to tell.

By the way, the topmost picture is the chocolate painting that I made as a last minute response to the hotel's request.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greetings Chef Nouel!

I appreciate your philosophy of "KISS"! Quality & consistancy are the most important in the industry and what guests are seeking! Some of the best ideas are the simplest.

Yes, it is always great to think "outside of the box" and reach out for new ideas and presentations. This is why the culinary industry is where it is today! This is what makes our profession so rewarding.....change, change & change!

Great work & keep up the inspiration!

The Gypsy Chef!