[Sca-cooks] garnishes

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Jul 15 13:23:37 PDT 2007

On Jul 15, 2007, at 2:38 PM, aeduin wrote:

>> Anybody ever get mortrews to look good? Maybe a mortrews of fish with
>> saffron and candied lemon peel, I dunno...
>> Adamantius
> But wouldn't that make it an essential part of the dish?  <gdr>

Why, yes, I believe it would. Amazing, these coincidences...

> At one point in time one of my duties was apple swans, carved
> watermelons and other such fripperies.  But they were usually
> centerpieces on buffet lines, decor on appetizer trays etc.  It's
> what I get for working for a contract caterer in a museum.

I think many people want to know and be reassured that they've got  
skilled cooks  feeding them, but they don't necessarily want  
"skilled" food. I don't think I've made any such garnishes since  
school, except for nice little scallion brushes for hoisin sauce.
> But, garnishes on dinner plates had better be functional.  I think
> the sprig of parsley on the steak was designed to remind you that you
> were in a fancy place and overpaying for your dinner was acceptable.

I wonder... once upon a time a really high-end steak house, or a fine  
restaurant serving steaks of some kind (and after all, what is a  
tournedos or a filet mignon or a Chateaubriand in its original form,  
but a steak?) would often serve them with something like a broiled  
tomato Provencale on the side. If properly made, one could argue from  
the vantage-point of the old-style garlic-wary 1950's and prior  
diner, that you needed that parsley to chew on after the tomato.

As for overpaying for your dinner, that's a potential issue, but I  
like to think that my own efforts have added value to the raw  
ingredients sufficient to justify some pretty high prices. Of course  
in practice it doesn't always work out that way.


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