3 tips to create your own original recipes | Vegan Chef Inspired
The secret to creating an original recipe is the work that comes before you even set foot in the kitchen.
Of course, once you have an idea of what you want to create, you’ll spend some time in the kitchen testing recipes.
But if you’re looking for guidance on where to start, here are 3 things you can do to create an original recipe with a purpose.
Step 1. Always take notes
Whenever I am inspired by something I see or taste, I will make a note of it.
Sometimes, it will be a dish at a restaurant or a piece of fruit at a market. Other times, it will be cooking videos on YouTube. Whatever it is, I will make a note of it for later.
There are so many mediums for note-taking – from sticky notes to Evernote. Find one that works best for you. I do mine in the trusty Notes App on my phone.
Step 2. Think about what you’re creating for
The time of year or season is always a great place to start.
The fact that we can source pretty much any ingredient at any time of year is a luxury, and it often makes us forget about the seasonality of ingredients. Using seasonality as a theme to start gathering ideas is both simple and meaningful.
So, when it comes to creating recipes for a new Virtuous Pie menu, I’ll look at the time of year this menu will launch, and which vegetables will be in season.
Most farms in British Columbia have a calendar available to see what will be upcoming.
When reviewing these calendars, I’ll often find a vegetable that sparks inspiration or curiosity, especially if it’s something I have not worked with before.
Step 3. Seek inspiration
The final step in gathering ideas for a new recipe is surrounding myself with all my recipe books. I will flick through the pages, reading recipes, looking at photos — disappearing into a world of imagination.
I often look through the same ones each time as I am not looking for a recipe to use. I am just filling my mind with inspiration.
My main thought is usually “How will I make this Michelin star dish from a fine dining establishment fit on a pizza in a casual setting?” Cue more staring into space and pondering.
I’ll look at the plating and how that can change the feel of a dish. I’ll look at pairings as well. For example, if I use a certain vegetable, I’ll consider the flavours and textures that will complement it.
Now that you’ve gathered all the inspiration you need and have your mock recipes ready to test, it’s time to head into the kitchen for some testing.
The trial and error of recipe testing is a lot of fun but there will be more failures than successes overall.
So, it is important to enjoy the process and know that it is okay if you don’t nail it the first time!
Curious about our new fall menu? Try out the seasonal flavours that inspired it here.
Vegan Chef Inspired is our blog series where Operations Manager Matthew Blandy writes about running a vegan restaurant in Vancouver.
ABOUT VIRTUOUS PIE
With locations in Vancouver, Victoria, and Portland, Virtuous Pie is an elevated fast-casual restaurant, focused on handcrafted vegan pizza and ice cream. We also offer a variety of appetizers, drinks, and desserts, creating the ideal space for sharing a meal with loved ones.
From day one, we decided that we would take a handcrafted approach to our menus. Our plant-based cheese and beloved dairy-free ice creams are all made in small batches by our dedicated kitchen teams in-house.