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CHAMPIONING CHEESE: HOW TO GET CHEESE RIGHT IN RESTAURANTS

With busy lives and even busier restaurant kitchens, chefs are undeniably under constant pressure to deliver with every sitting. Whether it’s speed, quality, consistency, presentation – consumer’s demands are endless and expectations ever-increasing.

That’s why Lactalis Professional have developed ‘The Smarter Dairy Solution’, specifically for professionals. Comprised of a portfolio of award-winning dairy brands, including Président®, Galbani® ​and Cricket St Thomas,​ their range of products enable chefs to deliver the quality and consistency that their customers demand. This is achieved through optimised formats for professional kitchens, such as larger packs, resealable packaging and pre-sliced alternatives. Formats which not only save time but also help to reduce waste in the kitchen without compromising on taste or quality.

And what a time to be talking about cheese and dairy. Cheese is seeing a surge in popularity both at home and on restaurant menus, with many consumers opting to reduce their meat and fish intake and chefs using cheese as an alternative means to flavour and enhance dishes.  

Adam Handling, chef-owner of the likes of Frog​ in Hoxton and Covent Garden and Adam HandlingChelsea​, is one such chef. Handling is renowned for his exciting and unique take on classic flavours and recently recreated his famous cheese doughnuts, whilst hosting an event with Restaurant​ magazine, using Lactalis Professional’s Cricket St Thomas Brie​ and Président® Camembert.​ Handling rather unconventionally serves the dish, for which he has become notorious, at the beginning of a meal, going against the idea that cheese traditionally forms part of the dessert menu. The doughnuts are cooked to order, filled nearly to bursting with room temperature cheese sauce and topped with grated Parmesan. It’s pretty much impossible to eat them without making a mess, and Handling believes that dripping cheese sauce all over the table is a sure-fire way to get diners to relax. “We sell about a 1,000 a week,” he says. “I like the fact that it’s served at the beginning of the meal when people are hungry. It also goes very well with Champagne.”

Like Handling’s cheese doughnuts, offering cheese at different stages of the dining experience, for example pairing a cheese dish with an aperitif at the beginning of a meal, is a great way to differentiate your menu whilst also being a margin-growing opportunity.

However, if tradition is more your thing, there are many ways to maximise the classic cheeseboard. The ‘Cheese Chap’, journalist and cheese expert Patrick McGuigan, believes there’s so much more that can be done with cheeseboards and that restaurateurs aren’t necessarily maximising the opportunity that cheeseboards might afford them. McGuigan suggests “opt[ing] for fewer cheeses and chang[ing] them regularly”, to keep customers coming back for more and, equally important, to reduce wastage.

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REAL CHEESE, REAL DISHES

With a range of products available in easy-to-use, practical formats for professionals, Lactalis Professional enables chefs to be more daring and creative in developing their own unique and exciting dishes using cheese.

To help kick-start your creativity, Lactalis Professional have teamed up with Chef Brian Powlett to create eight delicious recipes using products from the range.

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Here’s a flavour of what to expect:

  • A deliciously juicy, rare-breed British cheeseburger using Cricket St Thomas Goat’s Cheese​, which is smooth and effortlessly easy to slice.
  • Taking inspiration from a London Michelin star restaurant, Powlett creates a fresh chicory, pear and cashew nut salad using Galbani® Dolcelatte.​ With a mild, creamy texture and 100% vegetarian.
  • Enjoy a taste of France with a delicious Pissaladière made using Président® Camembert, ​perfect for this dish with its edible rind and excellent melting properties.

Discover all eight recipe videos and explore the complete product range at Lactalispro.co.uk​.

Ref: Restaurant​ Magazine, August 2019