Some of the best things in life comes from the simple things we already have. Even my menu is looking a little slim these days, and honestly, I kind of like it. I've grown to love the simplicity of my menu and offering dishes that are straightforward home-style cooking; the recent addition was Chicken & Dumplings. I've forgotten about this until I was reminded by someone, and this dish definitely evokes classic Americana. Comforting without guilt, reminiscent of Grandma's kitchen. Speaking of old school cooking, the Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta & Kale, also made a debut on the menu. A small plate to slip an introduction at how carefully complicated I take simple cooking, it's not an easy task to say the least. But it is quite enjoyable at the same time, I really do appreciate a compliment when someone enjoys eating my food. An old lady approached me the other day and whispered kindly to my ear, "I'm glad you had a short menu, it made it easier for me to decide." And that was simply it.
I've been working with the same ingredients in my inventory since we opened doors last December and quite a remarkable feat that makes me really happy with what I do. It's also humbling to cook the same ingredient over and over and over... winter is the perfect season to get intimate with an ingredient, when there're very few to choose from. Of all things, Chickens are what I'm finding to be worth more than a staple in the pantry. It adapts to my whim and also flexible on the menu. I did take down a regular item from my line-up, Chicken pot pie, and it was surely missed by many. That's really hard to beat but it also makes an interesting challenge to outdo the popularity of the pot pie. Regardless, the ingredient is the focal point before the recipe is even written and that's how I mostly change the line-up on my menu.
A word of advise, enjoy the simple things. I realized today that I am lucky to be where I'm at. It's been a rewarding and humbling experience to own my own restaurant but it also takes a lot of energy to keep feeding it. When I'm by myself prepping I can collect my thoughts and enjoy the experience of it all. I am proud of my achievement and I really do hope that it shows on the food that I cook.