Gourmet dishes are about high-quality food. They are meals that are as sophisticated as they are delicious. Its French origins might not be a mirror image of its modern definition, but there are overtones. French cuisine has always focused on the enjoyment of food, this is seen with gourmet’s history with refined taste and excess. Photographs show delicately styled food over large white plates paired with expensive wine; such a large gap between home-cooked meals.

This love for food does not only have to be reserved for the elites. It is a concept you can try to achieve in your restaurant kitchen. You may not be aiming for haute-cuisine (and that’s fine); you can still carry over the dignity and discipline of the genre. Here is how you can have gourmet eats for less: 

Have consistency with cuts and cook-times

One thing fast food and fancy dishes have in common is consistency. It is the one thing that these two ways of life share. Everything else, from sourcing ingredients, food prep, and philosophy, goes in different directions. 

Try to integrate the same consistency by having your food prepped well before serving. Slice your vegetables evenly. Having even cuts means that everything gets cooked at the same time, smaller pieces tend to burn while you wait for the larger pieces to cook. It makes it easier for people to eat as well.  Leave no eggshells, bones, or tough fat. It might be something that you consider a given, but mistakes happen when in a rush. Checking the overall quality of the meal before serving is another way you can improve the consistency of your restaurant. 

Use quality ingredients

You can try to compensate for poor ingredients through skill and seasoning, but it cannot beat a well-made dish from quality ingredients. They are the building blocks of any recipe. To find the best, it means getting them at source. For the vegetable produce, go to your local farms. For fish, go to your fishermen down at the docks. For fruits that are not native to your country, for example, go online to a jackfruit supplier. There are always ways to get better ingredients at more affordable prices. 

Play with spices and season generously

An easy way to elevate your dishes is through the spices and seasoning. Do not be limited to salt and pepper. There is a whole other range of flavour that can be achieved with a little bit of tartness and heat. Historically, spices have been reserved by the elites because of their scarcity. Expeditions have been made for herbs and roots, but now they can be found in your local grocery store. There is no excuse for bland food. 

This active effort to go above and beyond for food, to continually innovate, is the heart of gourmet cuisine. You could be a small café or restaurant that doesn’t carry the name of fine dining and still achieve this essence of gourmet cuisine.

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