How does test cooking work?

While most of us enjoyed the warm weather during summer, our Food Curation team worked hard in the Join Program test kitchen to finetune the autumn menu cycle. In this interview, Food Curators Naomi and Tamara explain the process of test cooking.

What is test cooking? What happens during these sessions?

Tamara: “Our process usually begins outside the office. We find inspiration when we walk through local markets, or go out for dinner. We use this inspiration to create a recipe. That obviously takes place behind a computer. When we finish typing the recipes, it is time to test and taste our ideas.

During test cooking we look at different aspects: do all flavours work together, what happens when you plate the dish, is it healthy, is it innovative, what about the texture, etc. During test cooking we answer these questions.”

Naomi: “We also ask feedback from the chefs in our production kitchen. They can tell us which dishes are feasible for large-scale production. We use their input to improve our recipes.”

How does it feel to think about autumn during summertime?

Naomi: Well, during summer you prefer to think about summer. In autumn it only rains here (laughs).

Tamara: This is one of the challenges we need to overcome as Food Curators. We get our inspiration from seeing seasonal products in local markets or restaurants. When creating autumn recipes during summer, you have to make an effort.

What can our lunch guests expect in the coming weeks?

Naomi: People can expect warm and hearthy meals. We also found ways to prepare classic autumn products, such as mushrooms and pumpkin, in various ways. This way, our dishes remain surprising, every day.

Read on: Never a dull moment as a Food Curator for Program

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