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Chefs named appetizers that should never be ordered in a restaurant

Yulia PoteriankoLS Food
Professional chefs advise choosing something seasonal and truly gourmet

A good restaurant dinner should start with an appetizer, a small dish that is meant to whet your appetite and set the tone for the whole meal. But something too simple, not seasonal or authentic, according to professional chefs, can greatly spoil the gastronomic experience.

Eat This, Not That! asked chefs about the appetizers they would not recommend ordering in restaurants.

Brian Motyka, the chef of a seasonal restaurant, named vegetable dishes, in particular salads with out-of-season products, as his taboo. "When I see a classic Caprese salad in the middle of winter, I avoid it at all costs, just like in summer when I see Dutch asparagus," he says. After all, Caprese is made with tomatoes and basil, which are in season in summer, while asparagus is harvested in spring. "Food will always taste better when it's local and seasonal," Motyka is convinced.

Experts do not recommend ordering raw oysters and shrimp as an appetizer. The quality of these seafood products directly depends on their freshness, so instead of a delicious appetizer, there is a chance of getting severe food poisoning. "If you can't see the ocean or it's not a restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood, I would avoid these dishes because there are other great offerings on the menu and your stomach will thank me," Grant Morgan, the chef of the Texas restaurant, told the publication.

Eric Duchene, the chef of a 5-star hotel restaurant, agrees with him and advises to avoid shucked oysters. "These oysters often lie for some time in a cool environment. You can tell that they have not been shucked fresh when you squeeze a lemon on them and they do not move. Pre-shucked oysters can be bitter and unpleasant," he warned.

Separately, experts do not advise ordering a shrimp cocktail, as even a child can easily prepare this dish at home. Sous chef Paul Chadwick points this out directly. He advises choosing more complex dishes with these crustaceans. "We offer an amazing shrimp appetizer served in a creamy New Orleans-style barbecue sauce. The shrimp are always perfectly cooked and served with crispy garlic crostini," he said about the alternative served at his restaurant.

The chefs also advise against ordering sausage slices, because at the end of the day, it will be just beautifully arranged slices of ordinary meat products. "A fancy charcuterie board is almost always overpriced and may contain mostly products that you can find already prepared at your local grocery store," warns Brian Hatfield. He advises ordering this appetizer only from those establishments that make their sausages.

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