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An anatomy of a great meal

The Mixtape Chef Approach

· Reflections

What was so memorable about your favorite meal?

What was your last memorable meal? And what was about it that stood out so much? Unless you are a chef or hardcore foodie, chances are it wasn't that fancy plating or the perfect leopard char prints below the pizza crust that nailed the perfect Neapolitan pizza. We believe the key to a great meal is more fundamental than that.

When we opened The Mixtape Chef, we searched deep within us to find answers and they eventually became our guiding principles. Here are 3 things that we believe make a meal a memorable one.

1. Invoking that food memory

The best foods are often that invoke a certain food memory from the past; that joy you felt when your mother made that special 5 spice fried chicken to reward you, that fuzzy feeling when your grandfather bought you that attapchee flavoured ice cream after picking you up from school or the Txuleta you had in Spain where the weather, the setting and everything was perfect. That particular taste registers in your deepest sub conscious as a food memory and links that taste to a powerful set of emotions. This is the same reason why certain tastes "bring" you back in time.

It also explains why we tend to crave for comfort food, these familiar tastes have great nostalgia and tend to be connected with comforting memories from the past.

As much as possible, we try to invoke your food memory through a series of questions to best understand you and hopefully, connect you with your food memories.

“Food memories feel so nostalgic because there’s all this context of when you were preparing or eating this food, so the food becomes almost symbolic of other meaning,”

 

2. Context and Background

Cooking is an art form and the final dish is the artist's art piece. Before the final art piece is presented, there are countless careful decisions taken to ensure the way it tastes, it's presentation; it's intended flavour profile, the specific variety of ingredients to achieve the best flavour and even the intended manner the guests are to enjoy the dish. Like most great art, context and background bring life to art and I believe it does as well for food. The background circumstances which made an artist's work unique, gives his art meaning and appeal; likewise, understanding the origins of the dish does as well.

If you have been following us for awhile, you would have realised we are super fond of the classics! We believe if the recipe has withheld the test of time, perfected through decades of iterations, it is perfect in its own right. Furthermore, beyond how seamless the ingredients work together, the classics often give insights into one's culture and history. There is a reason why the Neopolitan Margherita pizza is quintessentially the most classic Italian pizza, it was created as a tribute to Queen Margherita to Italy's flag colours of Green (basil), White (mozzarella) and Red (tomato sauce). #Context

This is why we love to serve classics from the countries where we have travelled to and we try to present to you in its most authentic form as possible. With a private chef and a small dining setting, we are able to share with you- in detail, about the dish and what went into creating the dish, its inspiration and history.

3. The Social Factor

Food is the ingredient that binds us together

The dining table; the quintessential family symbol: it is at the dining table where most family and friends bond, it is at the table where most of the best conversations happen; it is at the table where many of our most memorable memories are made.

However, with increasingly busier lifestyle, the pervasion of home food deliveries, combined with this age of social media, we feel strongly to ensure that the social aspect of a meal is held upon.

Hence at The Mixtape Chef, we made the decision to serve our dishes family style as much as possible and insist on everyone having the same menu for the communal dining experience. Arguably, the ambience, the table setting, the company, the laughter, matters just as much, if not more than the food itself.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this piece which took us a long time to write. We are trying to find more content to write about in the blog, so if you have anything you would like to us to write about, feel free to share in the comments below!

Last but not least, The Mixtape Chef is a private dining experience where we serve up rustic homecooked food for you and your friends in the comfort of our cosy home. Make a meal booking for you and your friends or find out more at www.themixtapechef.com. Take care!

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