Testing Recipes- Thai Red Beef Curry


You would think after over 30 years logged behind a stove I would automatically know the recipes I teach by heart. Because my reportorial menu changes with the wind, I find myself using the basic tried and true techniques, but tweaking along the way with new ingredients. Not knowing if the ingredient in mind will produce the same flavor, texture and look I am aiming for, I have to test and retest. Sometimes I get lucky on the first try and sometimes my results are meh at best. Testing is a critical part of teaching because if you don't and it bombs in class, you have to do very quick damage control. So I avoid this pitfall with testing at least a couple of times maybe even 4 or 5 times if it's a new recipe.

Most often it's a recipe I made back in the day, but have now forgotten the finer points of production. We also make changes specific to the class setting and equipment on the fly, so really the recipe gets a good run before it's released into the cyber world. In my defense too, I am always ready to take on the challenge of a new recipe suggested by a customer. This requires a deep dive not only into the possible ingredients in the dish, but the subject in general, the geography, the history and countless variations. This is where I usually get time drunk and fall into the abyss of the culinary web for hours. Yes, I know, dirty work, but SOMEBODY has to do this important work and today, it's lucky me!