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Ever wondered how the Gastronomixs team creates and publishes new components and dishes? First of all, you should know that Gastronomixs has its own professional Test Kitchen with all the equipment a chef could dream of. Our chef Nik explains: ‘My job as a Test Kitchen chef is to stay up to date with all the trends and developments in the food scene. That obviously involves checking out social media, reading the latest cookbooks, talking to other chefs in the Netherlands and abroad, and regularly going out to eat. All this gives me new ideas for new components and dishes.’

Our chef has an ‘ideation session’ about every two weeks, during which he applies his latest inspiration to new recipe ideas that are often still in the first stages of development. After purchasing ingredients, he sets to work in the Test Kitchen.

Did you know?

Whenever users submit recipes, say they’re missing certain components, or report that their attempt at a recipe failed, this is a cue for our chef to do extensive research. We always listen to feedback!

Thorough checklists – testing can begin

Thorough checklists – testing can begin

Whether at the office and in the kitchen, we love lists! Before chef Nik starts testing and preparing the mise en place, he draws up a checklist of everything that has to be prepared. These checklists often outline the technical side of a recipe, such as the estimated quantities, which are tweaked according to the first test results. As all components are ticked off in an orderly fashion, the working atmosphere in the kitchen remains nice and calm.

Did you know?

When we work with a guest chef, as we did recently with UK-based Gareth Ward from Ynyshir restaurant**, our chef has a long chat with guest chef about their recipes. They discuss the essential points of the working methods, and if there are any interesting serving suggestions, they’re sure to talk about them as well. These recipes are all tested in our kitchen, so you can save time and avoid wasting food!

A well-prepared, balanced start is half the work

A well-prepared, balanced start is half the work

Armed with the checklist, it’s time to get things ready in the kitchen. ‘Well begun is half done’ might sound cliché, but it’s absolutely true. Weighing ingredients is extremely important when testing recipes, as the first test results provide information for a second test. This guarantees that the recipes are as accurate as possible, so that you can always rely on our recipes being correct.

A mass of timers

A mass of timers

Timing can make or break a preparation: it can be the difference between perfectly cooked and irreparably burnt. That’s why our Test Kitchen has various timers to ensure that everything runs smoothly during testing. And once again, precision is our goal!

Doing ten things at once

Doing ten things at once

As you probably know better than anyone else, chefs need to be multitaskers. A couple of pans on the stove, mixer and an ice-cream maker running, oven pre-heated, quickly tapping a keg... Sound familiar? When chef Nik is preparing components and dishes, it’s very much the same story. But with proper planning and forethought, the various preparations and tests fit together smoothly. That’s also how we get the most out of a test day, so that we can provide our users with as many new recipes as possible. So, alongside being multitaskers, our Test Kitchen also need to be good stress managers!

Storing and cleaning

Storing and cleaning

At the end of a day of testing and mise en place, all components are carefully stored and labeled in the Test Kitchen. Everything is also thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the next day – the photo shoot. It’s always important to have a tidy, clean kitchen, which is we clean workbenches regularly between jobs. Hygiene is a top priority!

A highly productive photoshoot

A highly productive photoshoot

When taking pictures of components, we always ensure that the photo does justice to the preparation, which is why we ‘serve’ the component as you would in your restaurant. We artistically smear creams over the plate and pour sauces onto the plate directly from the saucepan. We also take such sharp images of crisps and brittles that you can almost feel the texture. We often shoot about 24 components in an afternoon, plus one or two dishes. We don’t spend time on frills or food styling that doesn’t add anything: we want to provide timeless photos that showcase the texture of the preparation and – obviously – get your mouth watering! Once you’ve seen it, you’ll want to try it out in your own kitchen!

Photos selected - job done

Photos selected - job done

After all the photos have been shot, we select the best ones. Once they have been touched up, our job in the kitchen is done! That’s when the office work starts: finalising the recipes, final editing (a linguistic check), translating the recipes into English, and uploading them onto the website. This often takes about two to three weeks.

As you can see, the Test Kitchen puts in a lot of effort to provide you with a constant stream of new, tried-and-tested components as well as high-quality dishes. The test work we do saves you – the chef – a huge amount of time. We hope you enjoyed having a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in our kitchen: from making a checklist to all that photo editing.

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