Remember that Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry David has a sandwich named after him on his favorite deli's menu, but he's none too pleased with its unappetizing contents? To add insult to injury, he has no say with the owner as to his namesake's fate and desperately attempts to swap with Ted Danson's much cooler club.
You don't have to subscribe to the Home Box Office to be familiar with this practice: when restaurants name menu items, typically sandwiches or sushi rolls, after customers. Heck, the Miami New Times even has one at our neighborhood sandwich shop, The Daily Creative Co. We feel David's cream cheese pain and have sandwich envy of Six Degrees (The Mag,) which we enjoyed yesterday with its salty sweet combo of turkey breast, cranberry chutney, caramelized onions, lettuce, swiss and herb mayo on a baguette. Guess beggars can't be choosers.
But with the Cobaya group Jacob recently covered, this practice is being taken to whole new level of customer menu influence, where "gourmet guinea pigs" focus group new dishes for restaurants experimenting with their menus. And the founder of that group, known to many as @frodnesor, recently had a recipe of his own inspire a dish on Neomi's Paradigm dinner menu: black garlic aioli. Chef de Cuisine Chad Galiano explains:
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The aioli is spread across the bottom of the plate. He mentioned
making black garlic aioli at home, so we incorporated it into this dish
of Korean style bbq pacu ribs, homshemiji tempura, and sesame leaf
'dolma'. He doesn't want credit for simply mixing black garlic and
mayo, but that's how the circle of ideas work. I'm sure thousands of
chefs and others get their daily inspirations from their morning
I bought some Korean black garlic at Norman Bros. and was pondering
what to do with it, and so tweeted the question. Chad directed me to
some resources, and I toyed around with a couple things, including a
black garlic "aioli" (my magic recipe: take some Kewpie mayo; mash some
black garlic into it). I must have tweeted that too at some point, and
Chad took it from there.
Strengthening the two-way street that is the kitchen-customer relationship one emulsion at a time... Now how's that for food for thought?