Photography by Jenna McKenney

The art of cooking has just as much to do with your taste buds as your technique. According to Jason Arbusto, pro chef and culinary director at the Bluffwalk Center, the challenge is identifying “what goes with what to make it taste good.”

Enter flavor profiles: these are the “secret weapon” of flavor combinations (herbs, spices, etc.) that can take your home meal preparation to another level. “Flavor profiles will guide you to be more creative and venture out of your comfort zone while remaining fairly simple to prepare,” he says.

On the following pages, Arbusto will not only break down three distinct profiles but he will also show you how to use them in three tasty recipes. But don’t let that stop you from experimenting with his combinations in your own unique way!

Thai Flavor Profile

Four simple ingredients can turn your basic chicken salad into a flavor bomb: Mint, Cilantro, Basil, Lime Juice

In a small bowl, combine 6 oz. of shredded chicken with a good pinch of rough chopped mint, cilantro and basil. Squeeze in lime juice and add olive oil,
salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Mediterranean Flavor Profile
Five simple ingredients can turn your Sunday Salmon or shrimp into something special: Capers, Lemon, Olives, Tomato, Parsley

6 oz shrimp
Cherry tomatoes
1 T capers
2 sprigs of rough chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil

Place shrimp in an oven safe casserole pan. Add a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half. Place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees. Once finished cooking, add a little bit of fresh parsley. Crush the tomatoes up a little bit to create some juice. Baste the seafood and serve with all the remaining ingredients on top.

Israel / Middle Eastern Flavor Profile

Four simple ingredients can upstyle your next batch of roasted veggies: Yogurt,Pine, Nuts, Mint, Pomegranate Seeds

2 large sweet potatoes
4-6 T yogurt
3 sprigs of chopped mint
2 T toasted pine nuts
2 T pomegranate seeds

Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Roast in the oven for 25-35 min at 350 degrees. Remove and let cool slightly or serve cold as a salad. Spread a thin layer of yogurt on bottom of plate. Add sweet potatoes and top with mint, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.


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