Do You Run a Pub? Gluten-Free and International Cuisine Books to Spice Up Your Menu
Having the most beautiful pub in your neighbourhood is not enough anymore. In hospitality, competition is always daunting. With a growing interest in international cuisine and many people needing gluten free options, pubs’ clientele demands more than the classic burgers, fish & chips and the green risotto as a veggie option.
Spicing up your menu isn’t an impossible deed. In fact, it’s just the opposite: it may be much easier than you imagine. Let’s start from the basics. You’ve got a five-star chef and a great EPOS system that allows you to store recipes and calculate amounts with just a few clicks. How can you feed your system?
Rather than spending hours digging into the Internet or in your favourite bookshop, we bring you some help. This list of books is a shortcut that’ll save you lot of time (and, when talking about business, time means money) seeking the right recipes and help you improve your menu.
1. Gluten free. Although they’re still more expensive than regular ones, nowadays supermarkets have a gluten-free section. However, a problem comes up when we’re talking about eating out. Remember that you can put the mark in your neighbourhood offering a gluten-free option (or options!). In fact, many local bakeries already have gluten free alternatives among their cakes.
Barbara Cousins is one of the pioneers of this eating lifestyle, starting to write the book series Cooking Without in the 80s. First editions of them are easy to find on Amazon and, although a bit unsexy – they don’t have Instagram-style images, it’ll bring you many ideas on how to cook without gluten, without sugar, without yeast and without dairy. And if you have a menu as varied as this, who could resist a visit to your pub?
2. International cuisine. The infinite section! Although we’ll suggest only two ideas:
Persiana, by Sabrina Ghayour. This collection of recipes from the Middle East was considered the Best Cookbook of the Year by The Observer in 2014. It was the debut book of the British-Iranian Chef wanting to celebrate the flavours from the regions around the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Aware of the limitations of her British audience, all the ingredients Sabrina uses are easily available in British supermarkets. A recommendation that will never fail: Turkish Adana Köfte Kebabs.
Basque, by José Pizarro. Spanish cuisine is slightly more than adding a bit of chorizo to your recipe. London-based Spanish chef José Pizarro, who runs three restaurants in the capital, has collected his recipes and tricks. Not only does he celebrate the quality and variety of Spanish ingredients, but, like Sabrina Ghayour, he adapts his dishes to British palates, pockets and reality. Our suggestions: merluza in salsa verde (hake in green sauce), an easy-to-made fish plate, and the chicken stewed in cider & apples, which will make your Sunday roast clientele salivate as soon as they step onto your pub.
Obviously there are much more recipes than these ones. And much more books too. Read and explore and test and try and experiment. Not only does your menu lay on your chef’s experience and imagination, but also on your providers, your premises, the price your customers are willing to pay and their tastes. Be creative but don’t forget about being realistic too.