Food dégustation is a phenomenon that has constantly evolved and has become quite synonymous in trendy restaurants as well as in homes.
Its a great way to develop your palate and explore different flavours and textures.
According to Wikipedia dégustation is "the careful, appreciative tasting of various foods, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef's signature dishes in one sitting."
Chef Lecturer at leading training institution for Hospitality Management and Professional Cookery, Capital Hotel School, Marlise Whelan says dégustation can be anything from five to twenty courses which can consist of tiny, sample dishes which can include many or just one desired sensory component.
“The food can be quite complex, or in fact as simple as your mom’s macaroni and cheese - as long as the skills, techniques and, most importantly, flavours are true,” says Whelan.
Below are the tips to keep in mind when designing dégustation dish.
The flavours should be intense seeing that the dish is small. The different components’ flavours should complement each other, in order to create ‘magic’
The textures promote and aid the ‘mouthfeel’ to help in the overall experience. To achieve this, you should consider cooking methods and techniques such as molecular gastronomy (Spherification, foaming, leathers, jellies etc.)
E.g protein, starch, vegetables. The richness will also play a role in determining the amount of courses.
The dish should look appealing. You create excitement from the first time you see and smell a dish, up to the time you put the first bite in your mouth. You can look at dégustation meal as a ‘theatrical’ experience. From the first dish to the very last – it leads up to the highlight or climax.