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Q & A with Chef Michael: Fall Menu Launch!

By: Good Measure Meals Q&A

We recently stole a few minutes of Chef Michael Mormino's time to ask him some insider's must-know questions about our new fall menu.  Get a peek at what's cooking currently right here.

GMM: Fall menu is live! Give us your top 3 favorite new items.

MM: Maple ginger salmon for sure! We asked for customer feedback, and we listened. Customers said they loved the presentation of a flavor-infused mix directly on top of a cut of salmon, like our Moroccan Salmon, so I created a maple-infused mixture of Asian flavors and aromatic vegetables that sits directly on top of the filet. It’s a similar presentation to the Moroccan Salmon, but definitely different flavors.

I’m so glad the weather took a turn towards cooler weather so our Creamy Tortilla Soup can be better appreciated. It’s made with pulled chicken, roasted vegetables, chiles, lime, a touch of cream and is slow-simmered with cornmeal to make a rich, well-rounded soup that’s great for fall weather.

On the more rustic pasta side, I created a beef Florentine sauce this year that is slammed full of chunky tomatoes, Italian herbs and aromatic vegetables including a heavy hit of garlic and finished off with fresh spinach. It packs a flavorful punch and is still lower in sodium than you’d ever expect. Who says cooking healthy needs to be boring?

GMM: What about these items makes them your favorite?

MM: This year, we narrowed our focus when it came to new recipes. I was able to really take my time to craft recipes for meals I’d personally want to eat. They are dialed in and really an extension of my personal cooking style during the fall and winter months.

GMM: What is one new item that surprised you during the development process?

MM: I had a request to create a Thai-inspired simmering sauce for the chicken meatballs we make by hand. I looked at our existing Thai recipes and thought – “I like these flavors, but they’re too heavy.” Just for kicks, I reversed the amounts of a couple of ingredients in one recipe and it was absolutely perfect, with more coconut notes, the perfect thickness, and a great balance of heat, sweet, and acidity.  It’s nice when your first impression nails it and you don’t have to bang away at version after version of a new recipe.

GMM: What is one new item that you had to put in extra time with, and how did you make it work?

MM: I saw the request for “pumpkin pasta” on my list this season and let out a heavy sigh. I was already besieged with Pumpkin Spice memes on the internet during the onslaught of PUMPKIN SPICE EVERYTHING season. So I dug in and made a sauce that was great on its own, and fiddled with that to get a hint of pumpkin flavor, but mostly it’s a trick of a small bit of pumpkin, a tiny bit of cream and just… a… hint… of nutmeg and cinnamon at the end.

GMM: What is your favorite item that’s coming back onto the menu from last fall?

MM: I love our Chicken Bruschetta. It’s soooooooo good.

GMM: What is your flavor inspiration for this fall in your own cooking?

MM: The depth of flavor that comes from roasting. Our family has a small house with an even smaller kitchen, and baking heats up the whole house for hours. I improvise by doing a lot of stove-top roasting in cast-iron skillets, but being able to fire up the oven and broiler and get some caramelization on pretty much anything is a welcome treat. Roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted bleu cheese, roasted butternut squash with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, baked ratatouille, you name it.

GMM: What in the Atlanta food scene is inspiring you this year?

MM: I’ve lived on the southwest side of Atlanta for years and I love the growth we’re seeing in East Point, College Park and West End Atlanta. The level of entrepreneurship on our side of town lifts my soul, with yet another small business incubation kitchen / food hall concept opening soon so that local vendors have a place to cook and sell their wares.

My family and I bike on the West End BeltLine, where we hit an AMAZING vegan food festival a couple of weeks back - the number of vegan food trucks and the variety of cuisines represented there boggled my mind. It’s really inspiring to see so many local small businesses thriving. There is also great, no fuss food (and of course, beers and spirits) coming out of the breweries on the West End as well. Where else can you bike past a craft ice cream company next to a kombucha bar? There’s so much great stuff over here!

GMM: What music has been playing lately in the Good Measure Meals kitchen as our culinary team is cooking?

MM: It’s a DJ war some days in the kitchen but we dance our way through the whole day. I hear Barry White playing on the other side of the plate glass window next to me right now. Our pre-weigh team is classic Soul / R&B all the way – Sam Cooke, The O’Jays, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin – but our cooks favor Old School Rap and more modern artists: Post Malone, LL Cool J, NWA, Young MC, Tupac and DMX.

GMM: You guys are the best! Thank you so much for all the hard work you've put into our newest additions to the Good Measure Meals menu.

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