One of the most stressful parts about hosting is making sure that you serve your guests quality food. This might sound like a lot of work but Chef Mark Russell, Loblaw's Executive Chef, says you don't have to be a gourmet chef to impress your friends. He has come up with four easy tips to creating restaurant quality food that will convince everyone that you're a chef.
1) Learn their favourite foods
Start off with some early investigative work; what are their favourite foods? Do they prefer soups, salads or other sides? Even if you’re not the best in the kitchen, your guests will appreciate being served foods that they like. If you have a friend coming in from out of town, learn about where they’re from. You might not want to make pasta for a friend from Italy, or lobster for a Maritimer, but it wouldn’t hurt to try and challenge yourself to impress them.
2) The perfect grocery list = the perfect grocery shopping experience
Once you’ve learned what your guests like to eat and about any food sensitivities, it’s time to head to your local grocery store. Check out some recipes online and make the perfect grocery list before you head out. To make a quicker and easier shopping experience, organize your list by section of the grocery store. Divide your list into: pre-prepared, bakery, dairy, produce, frozen and packaged, to save time running back and forth in the store.
3) Trust the pros
What better way to convince your friends and family that you’re a gourmet chef, than serving them foods made by a chef? As the Executive Chef for Loblaws, I can tell you that we won’t release a product or dish until it’s perfect. Inspired by family-style home cooking, innovation and the latest food trends, your guests will be convinced From Our Chefs meals are a fresh, homemade meal.
4) What is plating and how do I do it?
Sometimes we eat with our eyes and not our mouths. Plating is the act of food presentation, displaying your food in a visually appealing way. There are many different styles and ways to plate a dish, but if you get creative and colourful, your guests will be more than impressed.
For example, you can grate fresh Gouda over you Roasted Red Pepper Gouda soup before serving. The final touches are the perfect addition to show your guests that you’re a master chef.