Dairy Diaries with four chefs from the region

Dairy Diaries with four chefs from the region

We asked four chefs to share their dairy secrets and tell us which products they cannot bear to substitute.

Vegan dairy
There is a growing trend for vegan cream and vegan dairy products, which are challenging to use as they taste different. That being said, there is demand from consumers today, and we are constantly exploring creative solutions to exceed expectations.

Choice of dairy
The choice of dairy products often influences the taste of our final product, such as ice cream. The fat content has an impact on the texture too.

Cream is essential in a mousse to provide lightness. If you have a cream that does not expand, your mousse will be denser.

The latest trends in dairy focus on vegan options, such as vegetable milk or margarine. In my opinion, this trend won’t last long. Real dairy is crucial to our recipes, and this is what gives the flavors, aromas and textures.

Why the right dairy matters
A tasty croissant can’t be prepared with margarine or any other fat substitute. Visually, it might look similar, but in terms of taste you cannot replicate it or have the same emotional experience. I believe that each dairy product is critical to a recipe. For example, a creamy cheesecake needs a good cream cheese from Normandy, or a crème Chantilly requires a top-quality cream containing 35 percent for it to be rich, fluffy and aromatic.

The cocoa juice from Valrhona (OABIKA) is a product I enjoy using. It is versatile, juicy and delicious. I can’t wait to share my new creations soon!

Talking substitutes
We are witnessing greater demand for soya milk, almond milk and lactose-free products from guests, regardless of the country or where the guests are from.

Selecting the right dairy
As with everything else, the right ingredient matters. The dairy item needs to be tasted and selected based on the dish.

Kitchen essential
Among all dairy products, I would say milk over butter, as it is actually used in many dishes, regardless of whether it’s in liquid or powder form, or even a milk substitute.

Beyond butter
During my travels, I have noticed several Asian flavored butters, such as wasabi, seaweed and turmeric. However, I’m a fan of smoked salted butter because of the aroma.

Role of dairy
The choice of dairy definitely plays an important role in the quality and outcome of any pastry.
In the case of the creams, for example, more than just flavor, aspects such as texture and consistency are very important for achieving the desired outcome.

I’m Italian, so the dairy product that I can never substitute is definitely mascarpone, the very popular cheese used for making the famous tiramisu. You can’t call it tiramisu if it doesn’t contain mascarpone!

Butter trends
One of the latest trends in butter is substituting classic melted butter with noisette butter or brown butter. The ability to overcook the butter here helps to achieve a great caramelized taste with a distinct aroma.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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