All phenomena in nature and the universe is nothing but the process of manifesting and striving for yin-yang balance. What we can also say is, if anything goes wrong, it is due to yin-yang imbalance. Designing a menu is the same way.
Good menu design should:
o be balanced according to seasons
o consider who will consume the food
o be a balance and combination of different dishes at the same meal
o have balance within each dish.
I grew up in a family of ten; parents plus five boys and three girls. I was the youngest boy. During dinner, all ten of us would sit around a circular table. My mother prepared all the dishes. From time to time, my father would make a comment on the meal if the dishes tended to be too many cold dishes or too many hot dishes. By hot and cold, what we mean is not in terms of temperature but in terms of the food’s medicinal properties. Then my mother would make the adjustments accordingly. The suggestions made by my father also reflected the season and our physical condition.
Food is the first medicine for human beings. During summer you need more cold foods to dissipate the heat. Winter time you need more warm foods to store energy. And on the same table, there should be a balance of cold and hot dishes. In particular dishes, the ingredients should also strive for yin-yang balance. My father always stressed having food that was in season and he did not care for the exotic food that came from distances away. All the kids in our family grew very healthy.
There is much information available on the internet regarding the medicinal properties and energy of food. Blue Mountain Feng Shui Institute also offers a course, The Yin and Yang of Food and Cooking, for those interested in this subject.