I think there's something great about eating the thing that your food comes in. A crunchy foil housing a gooey centre. Gooey things can be delicious but they’re, well. . . gooey. So in the kitchen, I’m always on the lookout for new flavour delivery vehicles. A cool looking, crispy and compact way to present the goo to varying numbers of guests, with various dietary requirements. This can be a tricky manoeuvre, especially, for the first course. It’s always a little more intricate, and it sets the stage for the meal. Working from a set menu, you want to be sure you get everyone's attention right away.
We all know that gluten is particularly troublesome these days, and cooking without it can be ... challenging. Please don't get me wrong. Gluten intolerance is a curse, and not just for the chef. My tastebuds ache for people who can't eat pancakes. Genetically modified wheat strains are wrecking us and our stomachs. But for the record, when I've custom made a gluten free menu for someone who eats pancakes for breakfast, it increases my intolerance.
Enter the potato basket. Imagine something between and potato chip (crisp) and a french fry (chip) strong enough to hold your soup, but tasty enough that you could eat a bag of them. Now fill it with just about anything you like. It’s perfect.
It took an incredible amount of experimenting to get them right, but it was worth all the smashed muffin tins, and now, when I’m serving a large number of guests, I have a uniform delivery vehicle that can be customised to even the most specific of dietary requirements... unless of course you're allergic to potatoes.