Preparing and sharing food is an integral part of every culture worldwide. Families often cook together and pass recipes down through generations of home cooks. As international travel becomes more convenient, more people are leaving their favourite local foods behind to pursue a life abroad. Heritage cooking can help people enjoy their childhood favourites from anywhere, and many restaurants are experimenting with nostalgic dishes on modern menus.
What is Heritage Cooking?
Heritage cooking is about embracing your roots and preparing traditional meals that remind you of your childhood. It highlights ingredient combinations and cooking techniques that “taste like home” – adding warm nostalgia to every bite. Many immigrant and first-generation chefs are known for heritage dishes that introduce foreign flavours to western regions – expanding people’s tastes and building acceptance and celebration of diverse food cultures.
Reasons Behind the Heritage Cooking Trend in 2022
The health crisis of 2020 left many people feeling homesick, especially when living abroad without the option to travel. Restaurants and bars closed, forcing people to dust off their family recipe books and get creative in the kitchen. Many people that were missing their family members started preparing comfort food to remind them of happier times – often choosing heritage recipes from their childhood.
As the world reopened, many chefs adopted the heritage cooking trend with a new appreciation for familiar favourites that look, smell, and taste like home. The food industry has also shifted towards simplicity in recent years, celebrating raw ingredients and rustic flavours that often come with heritage cooking.
Incorporating Heritage Recipes into a Restaurant Menu
Adding traditional dishes to your offering is an exciting way to spice up your menu and spoil your guests with foreign flavours – here are four tips for heritage cooking in your restaurant:
- Draw inspiration from your ancestry
Try cooking your grandparents’ favourites from childhood – whether that’s classic Calgary bison, Chinese wontons, or Adobo from the Philippines. Ask your staff to share their stories for a truly unique blend of cultures and cuisine.
- Make food from scratch
The joy of heritage cooking is making bread, pasta, pastry, and sauces from scratch. You can try to use simple recipes with minimal ingredients and train your staff to make as many condiments and sides in-house as possible.
- Pair a rustic dish with a modern presentation
Old school food doesn’t need to look homemade – the best Calgary chefs use photo-worthy contemporary plating styles even for simple heritage dishes.
- Invest in the right restaurant equipment
Get commercial kitchen equipment that can handle the demands of preparing heritage food for many guests at once. Warmers go a long way in keeping homemade flatbreads fresh, while prep tables help organize stir-fry vegetables into ready-to-use portions.
Buy Restaurant Equipment in Calgary
The FED is a trusted supplier of high-quality restaurant equipment in Calgary and beyond from leading brands such as Atosa and Omcan. Our well-stocked online store makes shopping for commercial kitchen supplies quick and easy – setting the stage for a perfect heritage menu from preparation to plating.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.