March 10, 2017
The Wedding Rhyme of Menu Design
from Chef Brian Dragos
Everyone has heard the traditional wedding rhyme, “Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue…and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” Years back when I worked at sea with the Military Sealift Command as a culinary instructor, we used this rhyme to help Chief Stewards write and balance their menus. Here’s how it translates:
Something Old A traditional menu item— like pot roast, meat loaf, pot pie. Stick to an culturally authentic recipe.
Something New A cutting-edge recipe or new trend. Maybe a koji taco, sushi burrito, or Mexican pho.
Something Borrowed Borrow from a faraway land, but staying true to traditions— like carne adovada from New Mexico, cheese curds from Canada, or a Moroccan rice dish.
Something Blue Think ‘blue plate special’. Items like macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, and tomato soup. Even southern fried chicken.
And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe This part of the rhyme equates to variety, consistency, and guest satisfaction. It’s accomplished by diversity of assortment to eliminate the dreaded menu boredom. Everyone gets their favorites and also can branch out to other cultures and flavors.
Adapted from M. Gaultney, J. Cason, L.Martinez, and B. Dragos