Degustation is the simultaneous tasting, analyzing, and appreciation of several carefully planned dishes. Each represents a chef’s culinary prowess and highlights how far she/he has progressed. This is displayed through the types of food, cuisine and cooking techniques used by the chef. Furthermore, it focuses on the senses i.e. taste (sweet, salty, hot, sour, umami), sight, hearing, touch, and smell. The exquisite presentation is another area of focus and food is made to look like art. At degustation restaurants, the menu includes the following features.
1. All Menus at Degustation Restaurants Have A Theme
A number of dishes are served but have a certain theme that is evident throughout the meal. The progression of dishes is carefully planned so that flavors do not clash. Accordingly, amuse bouche, entrées, appetizers, mains, and desserts are all executed keeping the central theme in mind.
Additionally, to make it more interesting contrasts in color, temperature, richness, flavor is used. For example, lighter dishes begin the meal, heavier dishes in the middle and something light and refreshing finishes it off. Different colors make the dish ‘pop’ and look more appealing. Diverse temperatures like a cool palate cleanser provide relief between two rich but hot dishes. Sweet flavored dishes, however, are usually served towards the end while savory dishes are served in the beginning.
2. Along with Talent, They Showcase the Ingredients Too
Talent is the chef’s ability to cook the food she/he focuses upon, with the expertise required. It means dishes have to be cooked to perfection, by choosing appropriate cooking techniques (traditional/innovative/combination) and executing them correctly. In addition, respecting the ingredients is important and this includes their correct preparation, cooking, and presentation.
Preparation, for example, can include filleting the fish correctly so that it is not butchered or does not have any bones left inside. Cooking is the correct technique based on the type of fish chosen and according to the dish being prepared. It could be steamed, deep-fried, baked or prepared using any combination of these or other techniques. Each technique, however, has to be executed correctly. The presentation is important because a customer eats with his eyes first and the dish has to be impressive in looks too. It is a combination of absolute perfection in every aspect, which results in perfectly executed dishes. This is one of the qualities all degustation restaurants pride themselves on, as the degustation restaurants aim to deliver an impeccable experience.
3. The Number of Dishes Served at Degustation Restaurants Can Vary Greatly
A menu can have any number of dishes ranging from about five to even twenty. But each is usually paired with a beautiful carefully chosen wine that complements the dish being served. Furthermore, various textures are taken into account including soft and hard, smooth and creamy, crisp and crunchy. Each has the potential to elevate a dish and take it to the next level. So, textures are always selected thoughtfully keeping the dish in mind. They additionally balance a dish, bring it to life and make it interesting to eat.
4. Different Types of Food Can Form Part of a Menu At Degustation Restaurants
The menu can include meat, poultry, fish, and some that combine various proteins together. They are usually served with a vegetable accompaniment and a gravy or sauce. Some dishes also showcase vegetables and highlight the beauty of the local produce. Cheese is included either at the end of the meal or as part of the dishes being served. As a separate course, a selection of cheeses is served on a platter with equally beautiful wine, including soft, firm and hard cheeses. This provides for an assortment of flavors and textures as well.
Thus, degustation restaurants provide a unique experience for any guest. They allow you to see where a chef has come from and where she/he is going. It is this culinary story that makes a degustation extraordinary and special.