Chef’s Fare: The handwritten menu

Josh White

Columnist

The handwritten menu is a joy to behold. Something ever changing and not set in a locked typeface. The promise of the new and different. The whims of the day.

Typically it’s better to order from the concrete list of things perfected, tried and tested. But the joy of reading the creative process, studying the first drafts. The equivalent of seeing the band before they were famous.

When we read a menu we read a piece of work that has taken years of experience to perfect. The hand written menu is the future of this work, we are the focus group viewing the pilot. We need not give feedback and can simply slip away, but the cockles you will warm sending a compliment to the kitchen after eating such a dish is something you cannot deprive the world of. Often competition led, the specials board should have a bravado about it. This should not be repurposed left-overs but an ambitious look at what could be.

The guest will always leave the better for it whether success or failure, for the kitchen doesn’t matter, now you know tomato and chocolate does work well, that blackberry and coffee does not. You are braver and you are smarter.

The greatest food website ever devised by science and A.I. has been shut down, rendering many a chef useless. So it is back to the books and back to the chalk board. We have to make our own mistakes and that is truly a joyous caper.

So here’s to testing on the brave and the loved ones. Eat up, many a person has gone on to lead a perfectly normal healthy life.

You do not need accurate measurements for my recipes you must instead have fun.

Mole sauce

1 onion chopped or sliced

Some warming spices like turmeric and paprika, maybe cumin?

Simmer onions and spices together with plenty of oil and salt

1 or 2 tins of tomato depending on your preference

add and leave on the lowest heat for 30 minutes to let the flavours meld

(feel free to let it burn on the bottom- it’s still good, just harder to clean the pan)

Dark chocolate pellets of a good quality please

Blend tomato mix and add chocolate slowly until it tastes wonderful but not too chocolatey

This is a terrific sauce for any Central or Southern American foods.

Josh White has been in many an entertaining kitchen whilst feeding some fabulous people with the finest foods. A life spent in the basement of wondrous locations provokes enchanting episodes. Head chef at Dose using the best techniques from ancient history to today, bringing you something new on a very familiar plate. If you need any recipes or advice let him know and he will be happy to help.

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