By Mara Papatheodorou, Your Tastes & Traditions Expert
Big things come in small packages but bigger better and bolder flavors are being created on sensational small plates! The current small plate phenomenon sweeping its way onto restaurant menus may seem like a fad but this is far from the case. In fact, this delectable tradition has been part of the beginning of memorable meals around the world for centuries.
For Ancient Greeks and Romans to French, Italian, and Spanish Nobility as well as Russian Tsars, English Royalty and American Aristocracy, miniature arrays of diverse and delicious delights were originally created to whet guests’ appetites as an enticement to what followed. Any and all appealing creations were acceptable. These included chunks of cured meats and cheeses to slices of spiced breads with creamy dips and spreads, to opulent olives and vibrant vegetables to pieces of fresh or smoked seafood.
Small plates by any other international name- canapés or hors d’oeuvres in France, antipasti in Italy, mezes in Greece, tapas in Spain, zakuski in Russian, starters in England, appetizers in America- are truly still small plates to savor while sipping. From then to now, the culinary concept and its concoctions have evolved enormously. What has changed is that these flavorful perfectly sized small plate portions have now become eclectic full dining tasting experiences unto themselves that leave multiple sensational everlasting impressions on patrons’ palates.
FEATURED CHEF SPOTLIGHT: EXECUTIVE CHEF MICHAEL BRYANT, THE CHURCHILL – LOS ANGELES, CA
Bigger beautiful bites beckon on a smaller plate sensation that is piled high with sustainable seafood and fresh farm ingredients seasoned with gorgeous garlic and happening hot harissa. Take a look at how Chopped Winner and Executive Chef Michael Bryant at The Churchill LA uses the Matfer Bourgeat small copper pan for a ravishing small plate result. > Featured Chef Spotlight
TOOLS FOR THE TASTE:
As an executive chef, you know that less is more and fresh is best. Use Matfer’s Copper Round Frying Pan, Copper Egg Pan, Classic Ceramic Pan, Chef Tweezers, Fish Spatula Turner & Multi-Purpose Kitchen Knife for your own small plate signature dishes.