Flavor exploration is driven by a thirst for living. Most people push their boundaries at some point in hopes of achieving a remarkable experience. As a food and beverage professional, I believe it is my responsibility to assist in the journey of deliciousness however possible. This is not a time to dictate a customer’s experience, yet, enhance it through observations of what they truly desire. Creating a great flavor experience can be met by perfect pairings of food and beverage but is exponentially elevated by the moment surrounding the experience.
When working with a customer on their food and beverage selections, I think it is important to get to know what they enjoy. Their desires allow me to develop a menu experience by combining what I know of them, what Chef can produce and what wonderful wines I have in inventory. I take this approach in planning large events or simply working the floor in the dining room.
While planning an in home dinner for a charity event, the client mentioned her guests for that evening were great friends that first became acquainted during an outing in Sonoma. She recounted them enjoying copious amounts of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and discovering small craft cheeses produced locally. They marveled at the quality of beautifully made American cheese and wine. Both categories, to them, being superior when from Europe.
Nearly 20 years after their trip, I entered the event with a wide catalog of vintage Jordan Cabernet Sauvignons and several of my favorite domestic cheese pairs for the wines. For a moment, the room stood still. They all realized they were reliving an updated version of a cherished memory. The energy was electric, the event a success and flavor had caused elation.