Plan Your Menu or Go Shopping? Where do you start?


Chicken and Egg, which one comes first?

Menu and Shopping, which one comes first?

I was working on my next art exhibition press release when a comment by Chef Erin French on ABC's “The Chew” caught my attention – “I never do my menu until I have done my shopping”.  Well that may works for a restaurant chef but not a good idea for us who want to be creative at home. 

There is no doubt that shopping at the farmers market is very exciting where you are indulged with wonderful fresh and colorful produce. I personally feel like a kid in a candy store.  I get very excited and want to buy everything as it all look so fresh and delicious.  

But often, when you go shopping with no idea what you want to create for your nightly or weekend family meals or an intimate dinner with friends you buy ingredients that you won’t use or don’t know what to do with and end up wasting money, time and food.

At the same time, I never feel restricted by the menu I have prepared in advance of shopping.  As a matter of fact, my menu changes even while I am cooking.  Because that is the spirit of improvisation!

The idea of menu planning is to have a structure and a game plan to go by. If you see something at the market that boils up some creative idea, by all means go with your creative instincts!  

Remember, Plan – change plan – improvise – be creative.