August 30, 2011

Tasting as a way of life

I have worked in the food industry for a long time. Right before I started my studies at CIA, I was very concerned that I’d put on a lot of weight. It was at that point that a friend gave me some advice that’s stuck with me ever since: “Taste Everything, Eat Nothing”. Basically, when you prepare a recipe or are introduced to a new food, taste it then move on. That means, a tablespoon, not a full serving.

It’s not always easy. When you do a chocolate dessert sampling, the temptation to keep going back for more can be very strong. I do try to do things to help avoid this.
– Always do your tastings right after you’ve eaten a meal. If you’re full, you’ll want to eat less.
– Don’t skip meals because you have a tasting.
– When at a food show, don’t eat anything you’ve had before. Do you really need to taste Jalapeno Poppers? Never had one before?
– Save your calories for things you need to try.
Think about how much better you’ll feel if you don’t fill up on too much food.

Do I always follow my own advice? Of course not. The chocolate raspberry tart I just worked on tasted as good at the end of the slice as it did on the first bite. That said, I do try to be “good” — I know the pay off is much better in the long run.

March 9, 2010

The World Premiere

There are a lot of people blogging about food.  It seems to me that most of them blog about what they’re cooking or what they’re eating.  These are important to me.  I love to cook and I really enjoy food but that’s not what I want to focus on.

I like looking at how food is marketed.  What is it that companies do to try to get their food to fly off the shelf or off of the menu and into someone’s mouth?

Why do I want to write about this?  I’ve spent most of my adult life working in food.  Went to the CIA, then worked in pastry.  Transitioned into corporate and worked in the test kitchens at Kraft including a stint as their Senior Corporate Chef in the Foodservice Division.  Owned a restaurant for 4 years.  Got an MBA (okay, that’s not really food related and I admittedly spent 2 1/2 years eating soft pretzels for dinner) and have worked as a culinary business consultant for a while.  I’m surprised by some of the ways food ideas are thrown out there.  Recipes with no purpose often do more harm than good.

You’ll see what I mean.