Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recipe Block??

Sometimes, I find myself in a bit of a freeze. I wonder if I've exhausted my imagination and am no longer able to create new and exciting flavors.
This is part of the challenge of running a kitchen alone. I rarely have someone to bounce ideas off of and so I begin to feel that I've hit a block...a recipe block.

This week was one of those times. I have been trying to dream up new flavors for the menu and add some more spunk to what Brooklyn Treat Shoppe already offers. But, I kept tripping over the same cliché "classic" flavors. Nothing new was coming to mind and I was starting to get really frustrated.

I had a meeting scheduled with the players of Theatre Askew's Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE). While I was excited about the meeting, I was (honestly) a little apprehensive about what I could offer them since I was smack in the middle of this "recipe block".

The production they're currently working on is titled "Home/Away". Where they explore the question - "When you think of home, what feelings, associations, and memories arise for you?" 
When I saw the video trailer and read more about the play, I decided, Brooklyn Treat Shoppe HAS to be involved.

I work so closely with the concept of home in my day to day. The concept of “home” is important to me – personally and to my business. In dreaming up the flavor concepts for our menu, I always have to realize that “home” is different for everyone. So, naturally, not only am I a fan of this production’s message, I wanted to give to their community and help them spread their message.

With the support of the directors and playwright, Brooklyn Treat Shoppe will be selling at the concession during their performance dates (May 26th through the 30th)**.
I wanted to make this a sensory interactive experience for their audience.  The flavors for sale on our table to be a nod to their characters lifestyle and/or culture.

When I explained my idea to them their eyes lit up as they imagined what flavors bring them back to what they considered home.  These kids blew me away!

Since I come from an Italian/American household, it's tough for me to think outside of that cultural box when it comes to flavors of home. These young people brought me into their homes and into their lives for just a short period of time and allowed me to see what flavors make them the happiest.

Some of them responded with an over the top and highly intense memory of flavors their mom's used to put together and others really had to dig hard to find the food that brings them back to a special place. This was just a small glimpse into how very different home is for each of us.  I walked out of my meeting with them totally inspired. They completely changed my outlook on flavors in a matter of moments.

I'm absolutely looking forward to working with everyone who is involved with TAYPE! I look forward to seeing the production and getting a complete look into these character’s homes.

A special thanks goes out to Lambie, Eleet, Luis, Andrea, MariaIsabel and Titi for getting me out of the block and allowing me to face full frontal flavors! You are all really amazing people.  Thank you.

Keep your eyes peeled for our newest flavors inspired by what each of them feels is a taste of home.
Tickets for these performances are FREE.  So, get on it!
See you at the theater!

**Brooklyn Treat Shoppe will be donating a portion of our profits from these events to the future of TAYPE.