Creativity – the driving force of modern gastronomy

Nespresso UK Ltd

Nespresso UK Ltd

Standard Supplier 27th April 2017

Creativity – the driving force of modern gastronomy

Over the past few years, diners have become more adventurous than ever before. Chefs are now expected to provide their guests with a variety of unexpected flavours and ingredients, which is seen as being essential in the fine dining experience.

As a result, we have seen creativity come to the forefront of modern cuisine and the next generation of chefs are thinking beyond the ingredients they use in their dishes. They also consider the visual and sensory elements that could elevate their menus to the next level and push the boundaries of gastronomy – something evident at this year’s prestigious Bocuse d’Or event in Lyon, which I attended as a guest of Nespresso.

The contest, which brings together 24 of the most promising chefs from around the globe, saw them creating dishes for some of the world’s most illustrious cooks. One of the most interesting tasks set was a meat platter and an all vegan dish. Whilst many contestants saw the brief as an opportunity to develop two separate dishes, the winning US team realised how the two could be paired together in terms of taste and visual impact, to create one all-encompassing dining experience.

This concept of pairing dishes and ingredients is something that I have also begun to experiment with. At the Nespresso L ’Atelier event in London last year, my team worked to develop a coffee and fish dish – a flavour combination you wouldn’t necessarily think go together. We came up with the idea to cure sea trout using a blend of sugar, sea salt and the Dulsão Do Brasil Nespresso coffee in order to create a perfectly balanced, flavoursome dish.

Indeed, for many chefs, coffee is no longer considered exclusively at the end of a meal. From cocktails to desserts and savoury dishes, there is an evident trend in the pairing of high quality coffee with food to create a unique fine dining experience. In the past, we have seen coffee being used more on the dessert side of menus but nowadays an increasing number of chefs are experimenting pairing coffee with more savoury flavours. Nespresso has tapped into this trend and works to produce new and unique flavours that work well with a variety of dishes. The lighter notes found in high quality coffee, such as Nespresso, work well to compliment certain ingredients like chicory, lettuce and game meat including venison and hare.

Whilst these are only a few examples, it is this type of creativity that will continue to drive modern gastronomy forward and is at the heart of every chef who wants to create new and exciting experiences. Likewise, creativity is also at the heart of Nespresso, which works in partnership with chefs across the country through the Chef Academies and Coffee Sommelier program to help them understand the role of coffee in the dining experience and educate them in the different flavours and aromas.

On a personal level, I choose Nespresso for my restaurant because of the quality and consistency, but also the creativity it allows. We’ve recently started serving the Exclusive Selection range, unique flavours from Kilimanjaro and Tanzania, which we serve in specially crafted Nespresso glasses, designed to elevate the coffee taste. The way the coffee is served changes the experience, and that way of surprising the customer and breaking convention is particularly exciting.

Michael Wignall, Executive Head Chef, Gidleigh Park

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