From Idea to Plate: Developing a Recipe

Staff Writer
The artistry behind the creation of restaurant dishes.
Heirloom Restaurant
Grant Crone
Heirloom Restaurant

It begins with sight, then smell and finally taste — the way we eat is a completely sensory experience. While this process seems like second nature, the artistry behind the evolution of a dish from conception to plating can be highly complex.

Some chefs begin the creative process at the stove, others begin with a trip to the market. For Chef Michael DeMaria of Heirloom Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz., each dish begins at the drawing board. All of the recipes that DeMaria has created for his restaurant can be found in his trusty notebook, which he calls his chef's book. Every page is a thorough mock-up of how DeMaria envisions the final dish to look and taste, including detailed instructions for execution and full-color sketches to aid in presentation. While the recipes begin as figment of DeMaria's creative psyche, it is the job of his sous chefs to use the book  as a step-by-step guide for bringing the recipes to life.

DeMaria’s chef’s book is organized by season, which reflects the seasonally rotating menu at Heirloom Restaurant. While some of his signature dishes, such as beef short rib ragu, are available most of the time, the bulk of the menu changes on a quarterly and monthly basis.

We are pleased to bring you a series pages from Michael DeMaria's  previously unpublished chef's book. The following recipes have been specially adapted, since DeMaria and his sous chefs typically follow his original short-hand recipes from the book.

Click here for the From Idea to Plate: Developing a Recipe Slideshow.

Click here for the Lamb T-Bone with Rutabaga Dauphinoise and Mint Pesto Recipe.

Click here for the Cinnamon Scented Duck with Bacon Sauteéd Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Puree Recipe.

Click here for the Lump Crab Cake with Roasted Garlic and Basil Tartar Sauce Recipe.