People always want to know where the inspiration for a new dish comes from. Well, it isn't where you think.
I am given the opportunity to do dishes for events where there are no restrictions at all, and I have the toughest time narrowing down my choices.
The first thing I do is see what is seasonally available, this will narrow down the field some. Then my own personal style kicks in -- "redneck fusion" or Southern style with a California attitude.
Then my palate takes over.
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I also consider the time of day it will be, what else is served and the age of people at the event.
Inspiration to me also comes from not having the luxury of procrastination.
This week, I had a photographer from a magazine show up for a photo shoot on a dish which I had done in conjunction with Geraldson Community Farm in northwest Bradenton. A few weeks back, the farm brought me squash blossoms, eggplant and multiple baby lettuces. I made the dish, but the journalist showed up with no photographer. Then, weeks later, the photographer showed up. I thought it was to take my picture, so I put
on my jacket and posed. He was very nice, then he said he wasn't there to take my picture, he had come take a picture of a dish. I had no ingredients to make the original dish and he was waiting, so I walked in the kitchen and looked around and found a huge zucchini.
I thought ... I love carbonara pasta, but how about if I cut the noodles out of the zucchini and chopped bacon, toss it in a sauce pan with some goat cheese, truffle oil and top it with a poached egg? The idea came together better than if I had had months to contemplate it.
I have done many photo shoots -- and I have I never eaten the subject -- but this time I had to try it, and it was insane. A dish was born. So, as I've said before, go to the farmers market with no plan, the plan will unfold itself with what inspires you, and the love will show through. I'll see you Saturday at the market.
1 poached egg
Zucchini noodles cut thin
Heat pan with oil and butter, then toss zucchini, allow 2 to 3 minutes to cook. Toss with goat cheese, bacon, salt and cracked pepper. Top with a poached egg and serve immediately.
Chef Dave Shiplett, chef/owner of SOMA Creekside, can be reached at 941-567-4001. SOMA Creekside is at 1401 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.