It’s a tale as old as time. Mother’s Day rolls around, and menus take their formulaic, hideously predictable form; prawn cocktail, smoked salmon, chicken liver pate followed by roast breast of chicken, a terribly concocted pasta dish, and then the desserts are recently defrosted profiteroles or some cheesecake that needs a stonemason to get through the base.
Let’s not forget that “welcome” drink for good old mum, an awful “fizz cocktail”, or cheap wine that was on special at the wholesalers.
We can do much better for the women who brought us all into the world. So how about we shake things up this year?
I can already hear the answers from industry stalwarts, “but we sell loads of that!” And my answer to that is, “yes, because mums don’t complain when their children make an effort.”
Here’s a thought: make your menu smaller and use the time to create better-composed dishes with more thought and care.
If you don’t have the skills base or the time, great suppliers make artisan quality versions of whatever your heart desires. Please find them and use them.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many mothers over the years. Interestingly, these women tend to be adventurous eaters when dining out and enjoy trying new and exciting dishes that they wouldn’t typically prepare at home; asparagus and poached duck egg, steak tartare, Ceviche, seabream, oysters, mussels, clams, venison, lamb, guinea fowl and a glass or two of damn good, chilled (insert your favourite fizzy drink here). I dont know why we think they have some limited palate that will shatter like glass if we throw any flavour at it.
My final thought is this: Despite the economic challenges, we all have only one mum, so for one day a year, let’s put aside all these issues and create one extraordinary, bloody tasty and unforgettable fanfare for Mother’s Day. After all, she deserves it.
“Mark has been an industry professional for over two decades, working in outstanding venues in the UK and across Europe, including well known TV chefs and Michelin starred chefs. He has also been on various TV and radio channels over the years and is writing for some of the most popular food publications in the country.
Having been a head chef for many years, Mark has now stepped away from the stove full-time and his expertise is now being passed on through training, consultancy and demonstration cookery, both in person and online.”