Reinventing Czech Cuisine

Challenge

As part of an international studio, our mission was to design a product or concept which involved cuisine as well as characterized the culture of the Czech Republic. The parameters were minimal, as long as designers were considerate to maintain the integrity of the Czech culture. Some students chose to focus around utensils or seating arrangements for dining options, but I selected to re-design a typical Czech dish, and integrate food science with design principles.

Solution

A Czech dish of Goulash was chosen, specifically for its lack of visual appeal as well as health benefits. While traditional Czech goulash tastes incredible, it is not much to look at, nor should you tell your doctor you eat it twice a week. Extensive research was conducted to determine traditional ingredients as well as determining which ingredients could serve as potential substitutes. The challenge was in creating a tastier, healthier dish that incorporated typical ingredients found in the Czech marketplace. After experimenting with recipes and consistencies, and by taking cues from other forms common in Czech cuisine and architecture, a final concept was selected, and the dish began to take shape.

Results

Using non-traditional techniques, but traditional ingredients, the typical Czech dish of Goulash was reinvented to appeal to an improved food experience. Specific elements of texture, color, health and visual appeal were improved upon to create a dish that could potentially be served in higher end restaurants. The traditional recipe was tweaked by the introduction of braising the stew meat in Czech beer, offering pureed cauliflower instead of heavier breaded dumplings, adding roasted potato nests and fried onions for texture and garnishing with bright green chives and red peppers for a visual flourish. Finally an international influence was prominently expressed in the case of the stacking often found the Peruvian Causa Rellena, and served as forms of inspiration as well as continuing the multicultural trend occurring in the Czech Republic.