The way to your dog’s heart is through food and lots of love. We all know this is true but just how much thought do we give to the taste and appeal of dog food? I recently attended an event hosted by Purina’s Chef Michael’s pet food line at the Institute of Culinary Education that made me look at dog food from a different perspective and even “taste” some. That is, the human dishes that helped inspire Chef Michael’s dog food and some interpretations of the pet food made for people.
The six-course tasting meal was led by Amanda Hassner, executive chef of the Purina Culinary Center along with a noted dog behaviorist and veterinary expert. As Chef Amanda shared the inspiration behind her dog and people food creations, experts answered questions and shared fun facts about a dog’s palate and eating habits.
Here’s a run through of the tasting menu:
This dish highlighted the protein, mix of grains and crunchy carrots found in the dog food.
If I were a dog, I’d dig the colorful kibble made up of different textures and colors, compared to the montone stuff we serve at home.
As I ate this dish, it was fun to learn how some dogs like to eat grass. The chimichurri was meant to give you a feel for the fresh green flavor dogs experience when munching on grass.The green bean garnish in the actual dog food provides something close to that grassy taste that many dogs enjoy.
This was tasty but I couldn’t bite down on the dried carrot without fearing a trip to the dentist the next day. The carrot was served extra tough and crunchy to highlight the textures in the kibble.
This was my absolute favorite dish and I’ll be making this for a dinner party one of these days. If the dog food is anything like what I ate, I’d be one happy dog.
This was another hit that I’ll try making at home. The mouth feel and savoriness provided by the braised short rib and brisket in these last two dishes is what Chef Michael’s strives for in the wet food line.
While this dish sounds great, it was my least favorite. I’m not a fan of chicharones, the chicken lacked flavor and the waffles weren’t cheesy enough. Although from a dog’s perspective, I get the appeal of a moist chicken dish with crunch factor.
Overall, it was a well organized and creative event that got people eating human versions of dog food and thinking about what they feed their furry friends. Before you choose a food for your dog make sure to do your homework. Research brands to learn where food is made, recall history and how recalls have been handled. Also make sure your dog’s food is aligned with your values about ingredients, their origins and how they are sourced. Always consult your vet to make sure a food regiment meets your dog’s specific needs.