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08 Sep, 2020

Creating our Menus

Recipe development is the heart of Detox Kitchen. We develop our recipes continually throughout the year, but each season we sit down with the whole team and plan the season ahead. It is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.

Food

The process starts with a team brainstorm, what dishes we love on the current menu and what dishes we think need changing, what ingredients are in season and what new flavours do we want to experiment with. From there, Quim, our Head Chef and I, will start to formulate some dishes.

We look at three crucial things, flavour, function and appearance. We always start with flavour; this usually means chatting about what country we’ll be drawing inspiration from. This season we’ve introduced a new tagine, Rendang curry, ramen, goulash and tabbouleh to name a few, we ensure there is always a diverse mix of culinary flavours across our whole menu.

Once we’ve decided on the basis of a dish, we start to look at the functional role of it. We look at the macro and micro nutrients in each dish to ensure they are complete and will sustain you throughout the day as well as provide essential vitamins and nutrients.

Breakfasts need to be filling, slow release carbs that will keep you full until lunch. For lunch they are always big salads that have a mix of grains, pulses, raw and cooked veggies and nuts of seeds. Dinners tend to be warm dishes, stews, curries, stir fries, packed full of vegetables and are lower on carbs and in calories.

Once we have the overall flavour and function sketched out Quim will take the concept and try out lots of variations. Every Thursday for a few weeks Quim will present the team with the new dishes and we’ll decide which ones should be on the menu. Thursdays are without doubt my favourite day at work!

Mitch, our Systems Manager, then plugs everything into our menu system and from there we can analyse the full menu from a nutritional perspective and ensure it meets all the requirements.

Next up, Quim scales all the recipes from one portion to 50. This is by far the hardest part of the job and it takes a lot of experience to understand how ingredients change when scaling. Luckily Quim is the master of this.

We do a few final development days to check all the new items off and make sure all the nutritional requirements are met. Then it’s out to you, our customers. We love to hear all the feedback from you as this really does inform the next cycle of development and helps us to perfect our product.

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Our autumn menu is available from September 14th, on our Meal Plans and Fridge Fills.

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