Think Outside the Pumpkin

The Kitchen Crew likes to stay creative at TLS.  That may seem obvious since cooking is considered a creative craft.  It's easy to get creatively numb in this craft, creative as it may be.  Customers have their favorite dishes. Trends come and go and while chefs may try to put a creative spin on the trend, it is essentially what "everyone else is doing."  In our kitchen, a creative idea quickly goes from, "Wow, this will be so cool," to "How many of these do we need to make?"  (The answer is always 800).

Enter Thanksgiving.  This is the time of year that certain flavors are cherished and even expected.  I believe in honoring food traditions but it is easy for this meal to feel creatively empty.  When I was in culinary school I took this to the extreme.  I had family over to our house and I served "my" spin on Thanksgiving.  We had Stuffed Leg of Lamb, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Potato and Cornmeal Latkes, and Pumpkin Creme Brulee.  It was a fantastic meal.  Everything was spot on and flavors were perfect...and I'll never do it again.  I could see the reactions to the food and while the response was positive it was tinged with the fact that this is not what they wanted.  It turns out, it was not what I wanted either.  I think I did a roast chicken dinner the following week just to hit my craving for the Thanksgiving meal.

So our Kitchen Crew is working up a fabulous menu of traditional Thanksgiving treats.  Boom.  There it is.  End of story.  Roast Turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie.

Hmmm...pumpkin pie.  This is a polarizing dish.  Folks seem to love it or hate it.  Those that love it are split into the "Purists" and the "Whipped Cream" factions.  Sounds like a chance to enter some creativity...
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