“Cooking is the only art form that indulges each one of the senses.”
This time of the year, I spend my time glued to a computer screen creating new menus for the season ahead. As the warm weather arrives, my menu acquires all the inspirations of spring, and summer to come. Fresh and newly available vegetables and summer fruits grown by our gardener, fill my thoughts and guide my imagination toward new ideas.
Within my menu design, I divide down and separate the elements that will combine in perfect harmony, the overall sensory experience.
I want my entrées to be light and fresh, with sweet and sour notes across the board.
When designing the mains they must encompass various elements of flavour, colour and texture, from savoury and crunchy, to sweet and creamy all in one dish.
For my desserts, I experiment with textures and flavour combinations that marry together the three must-have dessert ingredients: sugar, crunch and contrast.
Lastly, combining all these elements in a beautiful composition to complete my piece of art.
Cooking is the only art form that indulges each one of the senses, and is what I aim for in my menus. From sight to smell, touch to taste, the secret behind great cooking is understanding that to create a memorable dish, you must awaken all the senses! Designing your menu, whether it is for a restaurant or a special dinner, is easy and effortless if you keep this in mind.
As we approach the holiday season this process can be easily translated to home cooking and holiday get-togethers. When choosing your meats and accompaniments for your family feast you want to treat the whole buffet as one dish, and aim to check off all of the sensory ‘boxes’. Offer a variety of flavours by selecting recipes that focus on in-season produce and different tastes. Some sweet, some sour, salty, savoury, bitter dishes.
Allow the aromas of your roast to float through your home. Make sure each dish looks visually appealing by dressing with olive oil and fresh herbs or edible flower petals on top. Textural contrast is an absolute essential among your dishes. Include some crunchy items, some soft and creamy, some tender juicy protein and more — remember it is a feast!
Lastly, always try to add on an incredible wine to compliment your menu.
Since the early days of Ascension, Head Chef Patrick Jankovic has been a pivotal part of the incredible creations from the kitchen; the heartbeat of the estate. His dedication and devotion to uplifting his dishes every season is admirable, and in light of the new Ascension summer menu, this is indeed evident.
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