Fresh Food and the Stuff of Dreams

If you’ve ever watched Kitchen Nightmares, you may have a different kind of omnivore’s dilemma: is my food fresh? In kitchen after meal after restaurant, Gordon Ramsey identifies owners trying to pass off frozen food as fresh, or processed meals as homemade. You may begin to wonder if it’s possible to find a real made from scratch restaurant in Avalon, GA.

Consumers eat 82% of their meals at home. When people do go out to eat, increasingly they want the kind of meal they would make if they had the time and leisure. People long for a real, cooked-right-there meal with fresh ingredients. Local produce is a huge bonus.

With this desire for freshness, why do so many restaurants still rely on frozen or processed foods? The answer is as close as almost any episode of Kitchen Nightmares.

Lack of Talent

Almost anyone can prepare a meal that will at least partially nourish their body. It takes craft and practice to become a chef, though. There are approximately 940,000 people employed as chefs of some kind in the United States. Only a fraction of those, though, have taken the time to complete a thorough culinary education and/or apprenticeship. While there are some individuals who can create stunning meals with no formal training, those individuals are rare.

Lack of Money

The truth is, sometimes fresh ingredients cost more. Cooking fresh all the time can be particularly tricky in a restaurant with low volume. Fresh ingredients go bad quicker than frozen or processed foods, creating a potential for more waste.

Lack of Motivation

Every home cook knows that the pre-packaged, pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables are a whole lot quicker to get on the table than the fresh-from-the-field variety. What the home cook sacrifices in flavor, they more than make up for in convenience. When a professional chef gets overworked, bored, or burnt out, the effort of working with fresh produce can seem overwhelming. The job already requires physical exertion and hard work under harsh conditions. Throw in a lack of motivation and the chef will almost certainly look for every shortcut.

Fortunately, the failing restaurants portrayed on television are only a fraction of what is out there. The vast majority of restauranteurs acknowledge and welcome a consumer’s desire for something fresh and made on site. That’s why many of the 2018 restaurant trends cited by the industry speak to local sourcing and honest ingredients.

So, reality television aside, you can plan a night out with confidence. You will surely find a made from scratch restaurant in Avalon, GA, where the chef has no lacks to speak of.

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