This week our cooking columnist Chef Martin Anderson, from Sonder, discusses the implications of buying cheap, low-quality food, and considers the statement “price tells, quality sells”.
“Price tells quality sells”
Some of you may remember that tagline from many, many years ago, it was part of the ad that we used for our former family business Moynes Coal in Bridgend and although the business has long since shut down due to retirement and the passing of family members the saying is still used and still rings true.
Let’s break it down, price tells! Well what does that say? The price of an item you are buying tells you just how good it’s going to be, what do you think?
Buy a car for €500 you’re gonna get €500 worth of car, buy an economy plane ticket and yes you’re going to be sitting in a Swilly bus seat – it’s that simple.
If you see 10 fillets of chicken for €5.99 then you are going to get €5.99 worth of chicken, it’s not going to be organic or free range! Chances are it’s not even going to be fresh, it will have more air miles than Richard Branson’s golf clubs and will be so well soaked in preservatives and gas that it will have a Masters in Bio chemistry!
When you see an offer like this you are convinced that it’s good value for money, I watched a YouTube video recently where the lady ordered 500kg of chicken fillets by mistake instead of 5kg, for starters who orders chicken fillets in bulk for a normal home, 5 kg of chicken is nearly a stone weight of chicken, that’s a lot and anyway what a way to select fresh food! It’s going to end up either dumped or freezer burnt, what a wast, are you telling me that a trip to a local butcher or shop is difficult?
I’ve said before I have a 0% wastage policy in Sonder, we either sell it or run out and start fresh the next day, on occasions when we do have any food left over from the carvery it’s cooled and donated to the Letterkenny Food bank and shared around.
Quality sells, simple!
if you have a great product or menu item and it’s tasty, fresh well presented and reasonably priced then you are on to a winner for sure. There is absolutely no need to undercut the food item to make it popular, it maddens me so much to see establishments sell bulk produced food at cheap prices just to get you in!
A €5.00 main course… seriously it is impossible to produce , cook , serve , wash the plate and pay the VAT on a €5.00 main course!
That’s if they are even paying their VAT! Cop on , all these establishments are doing is ruining things for the real food lovers and producers.
They are praying hard that you’ll buy a flavoured latte or dessert so that they can scrape a bit of profit from you, desperate food produces desperate measures as far as I can see!
I appreciate there are special offers from time to time and early bird menus too but this does not solve the problem , this merely prolongs the agony of establishments that are struggling to keep staff busy & turn some cash .
You are the customer , if you continue to support places that undercut real food establishments then the real ones will close and you will be eating frozen , ropey food for the rest of your life .
Show your support to the locals , dig that wee bit deeper into you pockets and give that bit extra to real food establishments and don’t be fooled into thinking that you are getting good value for money , real food establishments buy real food , they pay real wages , vat , rates & taxes on a regular basis , we are the future of food and we support local farmers , butchers , fishmongers & local jobs ! Will you change ?
Follow me on snapchat @cheftothestars or like our page Sonder on Facebook to see what real food is about .
This weeks recipe has been a favourite of mine for many years, cheese & garlic potatoes.
This recipe is full on, real cream , garlic & real potatoes.
It’s no secret we use Ballyholey Farm potatoes in Sonder and John hand selects the potatoes we use for our lunch menu , so take a spin over to Ballyholey farm shop or call to the artisan market and get some .
Chef Anderson’s luscious cheese & garlic potatoes.
You will need:
>A deep roasting tray or oven proof dish
>Chopped garlic , at least 8 cloves
>Allow 2 medium peeled whole potatoes per person
>2 chicken or vegetarian stock cubes
>Grated red cheddar cheese
>Pouring cream, at least 1 litre ! I know it’s a lot
>Steam or gently simmer your peeled potatoes until just cooked .
>Drain and allow to cool slightly , while they are cooling heat the cream and garlic together and as it comes to the boil add the stock cubes and mix well until they dissolve .
>Slice your potatoes and layer in your roasting tin , pour over the cream mix until the potatoes are covered , cover with a sheet of baking parchment and then tin foil .
>Roast at 180c until the cream has reduced and thickened . This takes about 40 minutes .
>Remove the tin foil and paper and sprinkle with the cheese and then a little paprika return to the oven and cook u il the cheese is melted and golden in colour .
>Serve straight away or allow to cool and reheat in portions as required .