Good chefs hate fads, those ideas that seem to pop up for a short while – every chef seems to be doing them, every diner seems to want them – and then, as if by magic, they’re gone again.
They’re not around long enough to make it into the trends tent and not quite exciting enough to energise the kitchen – in short: a fad is bad.
With this in mind, the ChefTalk forum have asked their community of professional chefs to reveal the food fads they hate the most.
From liquid nitrogen to stuffing peppers with whatever they can find, here’s a collection of chef quotes as they reveal their most hated food fads.
Stuffed bell peppers ... I just don't get it, never had a good one.
Chipotle annoys me. It seems in recent years every fast food or national chain restaurant has offered chipotle this or chipotle that, everywhere you turn. On the plus side, you can now easily find canned chipotles and usually plain dried ones in just about any market. Not like the old days when I needed to search around if I was planning on making a batch of chipotle chile or chipotle mayo or whatever.
Technique over flavor. We're at one of the Top 100 restaurants a few months back. Many, many techniques were used (quite impressive), with supposedly the best ingredients. In terms of flavor though, there were no "wow" moment. Even if the food was free (it's more like $300 pp), I would not care to have any of the dishes again. I've never been so disappointed with a fine dinner restaurant.
I took several years off eating sundried tomatoes because they were on every menu and I'm back to eating them now.
Hmm, if there is one thing that annoys me is using something to decorate a dish, that isn't meant to be eaten.
Seriously if I cant eat it why is it on my plate – thats something that just annoys me (obviously if it herbs its fine, but I have seen carrot tops, seeds, and even stems in dishes before).
The other technique that annoys me is something I have seen little but have seen it done when chefs wanna do molecular gastronomy. The good old, ~ lets sous vide this peice of meat and torch the outside of it to get it crispy...
Another pretty popular one that I hate is bacon wrapped filet mignon. Always undercooked bacon, and seemingly in the way of just a damn good steak. I'll never order one, ever.
I probably have said this already, but the fashion of piling things one on top of the other (perhaps to leave wide expanses of the dish completely white so you can drizzle sauce designs in quantities that are too small even to taste) is most annoying.
This doesn’t apply to high end restaurants but overcooking vegetables and using too much cheese in vegetarian dishes.
Micro saucing (little drops, ying-yang , etc.)
A waiter that returns to the table each 5 minutes.
There is a strange fad in Slovakia, at least here in Košice and even in the better restaurants, and that is to put a toast underneath any steak. I think this is just stupid.
Not really a food fad, but a restaurant decor fad that's been around for a while: "industrial" interiors with very high ceilings, exposed ductwork and brick, polished concrete floors, and hard seating in big rooms. The combination makes the sound of fellow diners deafening and you often can't hear the person sitting next to you speak.
Liquid nitrogen. So poorly used even by great chefs it is poorly used. I also don't care for the proliferation of bacon. In many ways I feel bacon has become a crutch for a lot of poorly trained cooks.
I wish the continuing trend of many people's version of eating/cooking "healthy" means using an overabundance of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that turn out unseasoned and tasteless would end. Chicken breasts seem to be getting bigger and bigger ... to the point that they can exceed a reasonably-sized portion. Using smaller chicken thighs with the skin and bone imparts much more flavor without adding that much more in calories, fat, etc. Without flavor, it's difficult to feel satiated. Healthy doesn't have to mean boring, flavorless ... or without an occasional indulgence. Portion controls, folks!
How about white truffle oil? Ugh. I have worked with too many guys who don't understand the "just a drop will do it" concept. Dumping a quarter of a bottle into mash potatoes makes the whole kitchen reek of something similar to diesel. Now I can't stand even a little bit of it in anything.
An over easy egg on top of everything.
1. Glazing strawberries in desserts (every bakery does that, why? Is it to keep the strawberry from spoiling too fast?).
2. Putting a big amount of glaze on anything, actually.
3. "Nuts" desserts that only contain peanut.
Sourdough everything (most of the time, they're adding fake sourdough flavor, too!)