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BEST WESTERN Abbots Barton Hotel > Blog > Creating a New Dish
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Our Head Chef, William
Britton has been working here at the Abbots Barton now for 7 months,
and during this time he has created a new bar snack menu which offers
a great selection of sandwiches and baguettes along with hot dishes
such as slow cooked old spot Gloucester Ribs and a trio of mini
burgers. You also have options of cheese or seafood platters which
are great for sharing and much more.William has also worked
with his brigade to create our seasonal dinner menus, and has most
recently been putting the finishing touches to the Spring menu. We
thought it might be nice to give you an insight into the creation of
one of the new dishes...
Pan seared King
Scallops with curried cauliflower purée, crispy shallot rings
and tomato salad.
The whole process
starts with William getting all the chefs together and sitting down
with them to discuss ideas. He will give the team an insight into the
types of meats and fish he would like to see on the menu, taking into
account the season we are coming into. Ideas will be brainstormed
over the course of a week and an outline of a menu will be formed. As
with all these things, the ultimate decision of what gets trialled to
go on the menu will be down to the Head Chef, but all ideas and
suggestions from his team are considered. Where there is a good base
for a dish, William will work with his team to develop the initial
idea and turn it into something that they are confident our diners
As with any new idea,
it's not always straight forward when it comes down to the cooking
and plating of the dish. Like all things, sometimes what you see in
your minds eye doesn't always transfer well in reality. William will
work on the dish to make any changes to ingredients or presentation
and experiment with different serving plates keeping the team
involved during the whole process.
This particular dish
took 4 attempts and a lot of washing up before they got it just
The scallops and the
cauliflower curried purée went really well together and the tomato
salad added texture, colour and a sweetness to the dish, however
William and the team agreed something was missing. Just a little
added extra was needed to bring the dish in flavour and presentation
together. So after some thought another cauliflower was produced and
William pickled some small florettes. A tiny addition they may be,
but what a difference it made to the dish and saved Chef from going
grey to soon!
Once this stage is
reached, then comes the costing and writing of the menu. The aim is
for the menu to explain clearly what each dish contains and what its
local connections are, for instance it might contain local Ashmore
Cheddar or be a cut of local lamb.
Once the Head Chef is
happy with the menus and all the new dishes a copy is sent to the
directors for finalisation.
At long last, the
launch day of the new menu arrives and the restaurant team, kitchen
team and head of departments are gathered for a tasting of all
dishes. This is such an important part of the final process as it's a
chance for the whole team to see how each dish must be presented to
ensure consistency. It is also key as staff need to know what they
taste like, so when asked by a customer they can answer honestly and
I think you will agree
that the process of creating a new menu can be time consuming and
isn't just a case of throwing some ingredients together. William and
his team strive to provide you with a delicious menu, serving local
and ethically sourced produce wherever possible and their passion for
food is unquestionable. We hope you will stop in and try the latest
menu our for yourselves.