Behind The Scenes: A Sneak Into our Recipe Development Process

Ever wondered how we end up with our recipes?

Testing

We’ve written about how to write your own recipes before, but we’re always being asked about our own recipe development process and the truth is that your favourite SORTEDfood recipes go through a lot before they get to you! Here’s a taster of how we do it:

IDEAS

It seems obvious, but you’ve got to start with an idea. It can be anything from an ingredient pairing to a dish title… a trending dish or something totally weird that just pops into our heads. Oh and while we have a few ideas of our own, most of our inspiration comes from the stuff that you guys are showing us from your travels around the world or around the internet. We learn a lot from you!

Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, we hold on to that on our request list. It’s a loooooong list.

Recipe Development 1

INPUT

Hang on… we’re still not done with you and we haven’t even started writing the recipe yet! Before we get to that we ask for your advice. We write a tweet for every single idea we come up with, asking for tips and tricks to make it the best version of that dish. We’ll pick out the ideas that sound really tasty or interesting to keep in mind when we’re writing.

Chilli

WRITING

This is where the magic happens and we create something beautiful. This process can depend a lot on the recipe. Sometimes a recipe or technique we’ve used in the past can be re-used… so we can grab bits and pieces from all over to build something new. We also take inspiration from all over the web. Before starting a recipe we’ll check out what’s around already and look for different twists or commonalities between recipes. If there’s an ingredient that EVERY recipe for that dish uses, it’s probably important.

Burgers Recipe Development

TESTING

It’s time to cook. That means fooooooood! We test 6-10 recipes in a day depending on how complicated they are. We call it a recipe lab. During the cooking we try to follow the recipes exactly as they’re written – it’s surprising how much you freestyle or assume while cooking and it can really change the end result. We’re looking for something that will turn out the same for everyone who cooks it (unless you’re switching things up of course)! Anything that we change is recorded so that we can change the recipe later.

Generally we’ll either serve up a few dishes at a time or all in one sitting. We’ll take photos, then grab whoever is around to taste and discuss flavour, looks, styling and method. Anyone can give an opinion and we’ll make changes if there’s a consensus!

Chicken and Dumplings

AMENDING

Perhaps this could be classed as the boring bit, but it’s 100% essential for publishing a great recipe. At this point we’ve cooked the recipe, so now we’re changing the written recipe based on what we did in the lab. If there are just a few tweaks here and there then we’ll lock in that recipe and it’s ready to be filmed.

Nutella toastie

If the recipe needs more work, or just isn’t right then we’ll amend or rewrite, then take it back to testing during the next recipe lab. This is why sometimes you might see us tucking in on Snapchat a long while before the recipe hits your screens. It’s not often we’ll give up on a recipe completely, but sometimes they need more than a tweak before we decide they’re ready to shoot.

And we’re done! It’s finally time to film the recipe video and take some beautiful, professional photos.

Actually… NO. Whilst we maybe done, you guys certainly aren’t! Because the conversation has only just begun. The whole world talk in the comments on SORTEDfood, on YouTube and across social media debating what they would have done differently. The recipe is just a start point to our global conversation :)

Keep checking our great Articles page for more behind-the-scenes content. Want to know more about what we do day to day at SORTEDfood? Head to Twitter and ask us questions! We’ll be here to help.

These recipes haven’t yet been released. Ooh exclusive. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few months to see them crop up.

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