The 5 most common creative challenges

By Chef Network Team posted 9 days ago


The 5 most common creative challenges

Every chef, at every level encounters creative challenges in the kitchen. Whatever challenge you face; you'll have to take a problem-solving approach. Creativity is a skill that can help you a lot in this! Yes, you read that correctly: creativity is a skill, not a talent. Creativity may come more easily to some people than others, but it's definitely something you can develop and build upon. In this blog, share a list of the 5 most common creative challenges you could face in the kitchen and give you a few tips and ideas on how you can overcome them.


#1: Inspiration from Other Chefs

When you're inspired by a beautiful creation from another chef, you don't want to just copy it. You can create your own dish by playing with the individual components. Take out something here or a few components there from the dish that inspired you and combine them with other ingredients you have available.
For example, we found ourselves inspired by this dish from Margot Janse and decided to change a few elements to end up with this remake. Similarly, this dish by Mark Best formed the inspiration for this remake.
Do you see how it works? You’re not stealing ideas, you're remixing them!


#2: Supplier Offers

Your supplier brings you an offer so good that you just can't refuse. For example, tomatoes that are right at their seasonal peak and at a low price. But how are you going to make the most out of this product?
You want to use the tomatoes in your daily and weekly menus, but in a new and creative way. It all comes down to how many ways you know to prepare tomatoes. If you can prepare the ingredient in both a savoury as sweet fashion, then it’s a win-win. Now you can incorporate a new ingredient in several ways on your menu!
And the best part is working with these offers and being creative means earning more money!

#3: Leftovers and Waste

Let’s say you use kale regularly in your kitchen. What do you normally do with the bits left over after preparing the stalks? Have you ever considered using them for a tarte tatin?
This part of the vegetable is edible and shouldn’t be seen as waste. Start to think of all the new dishes you can create with the by-products you tend to throw away.
Can you use broccoli stalks or parsnip skins to make something tasty? Yes of course! Almost all vegetable skins (e.g. parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, aubergine, leek) are fantastic for deep frying. And what about those king prawn heads or crayfish shells? – they could be used to make a type of broth or oil.
We all have old bread from time to time. Think about the fantastic rustic croutons or French toast you could make with it.
Another no brainer: dried pumpkin seeds! Such a shame to throw the seeds away, if you can turn them into an edible product in a whip. Right?


#4: Taste Combinations & Techniques

You've discovered a great taste combination, but how are you going to prepare the ingredients? Composing a dish is an art in itself. The flavours, structures, and temperatures have to be right and ideally, it should look good too.
When you decide on the taste combination, you start to think of techniques you need to prepare the ingredients. To give you some inspiration, the current 10 most popular techniques on Gastronomixs are:
  • Deep-Frying
  • Emulsifying
  • Caramelisation
  • Working with a Siphon
  • Making Dough
  • Whipping
  • Brining
  • Boiling
  • Fermenting
  • Marinating


#5: Dietary Restrictions and Allergies

It’s a common occurrence, you have a guest who cannot eat a particular component in a dish because it contains gluten, lactose or another allergen. Or they prefer a vegetarian meal.
We’re researching this one for you. More and more components free of specific allergens and ingredients are becoming available on Gastronomixs. We’re giving you the opportunity to quickly adjust your dishes and source quick alternatives to these ingredients.
On the 4th of December, we’ll launch some very interesting vegan components. Keep an eye on our platform or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to find out what’s new.


Do these creative challenges sound familiar? Gastronomixs helps chefs discover the different options available with each of their ingredients.

Haven't got a Gastronomixs account yet? Experience for yourself how Gastronomixs could help you by trying the platform free of charge for two weeks!


Free two-week trial

Gastronomixs Tomato Component | Chef Network
Gastronomixs Tomato Component Example

Gastronomixs Logo | Chef Network
This blog is brought to you by Gastronomixs

Gastronomixs is the online idea generator that enables chefs to stay ahead of the game!

More than 27,500 chefs are currently working with this online tool, which contains thousands of recipes from all types of cuisines. Chefs can quickly create new dishes or make changes to existing ones as the recipes are provided in the form of building blocks. For just €7 per month or €70 per year, you have full access to the platform. But you can always first try a free two-week account to see how Gastronomixs can inspire you.