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Getting more efficient at prep

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guy

So i was wondering if you guys have any advice on getting prep done faster and more efficiently im not doing bad its just the sous chef looks like hes not doing s--- then before i know it he did half the prep list, I want to get like that.

post #2 of 13

One of the biggest things that helped me was learning to plan out the list properly, which means you need to know how long things take.

If something needs a long time to cook, get it on first and do the rest of your stuff whilst its cooking.

Other than that, I guess that you just get it with experience.

post #3 of 13

I'm kind of the same way, whenever I have a very long prep list and only a few hours to do it and only one other prep cook helping me I first try to get together and go over what each one of us is going to work on and than start. While working I look at what I can multi task with (i.e making a sauce while julienning onions) or something that wouldn't require 100% of my attention the entire time so I could complete smaller tasks while working on one larger tasks. And plan your prep sheet, just like kingofkings said know how long it takes to do a certain item.  Good luck!

post #4 of 13

What they said.  I also time out my list so that I'm doing all my blanching at once, all my vita prep work at once, all my veg cutting at once, etc.  Eliminate trips to the walk in, dry storage, etc by getting enough stuff to keep you busy for a while (not TOO much that the sous yells at your for leaving product out/looking messy).  All these little things will improve your day.  Also, just focus on not wasting movements.  These are all small things, but time adds up quickly.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

thanks for the replys guys, today at work i made a very simple connection but it was a revelation to me. usually i got about my tasks one at a time instead of looking at the bigger picture but i realized that its just like cooking on the line i do all the things that takes the longest first! i can have a pmodoro sauce simmering on the stove for two hours then through all my grains on the stove that take 20-30 mins and i just saved a ton of time seems simple and basic to the expeirience people but it was a relvaltion to me

post #6 of 13

Nice advices. For me the first step was just that, just need to organize and plan well what you`re gonna do and IMO it just so simple. "Not a rocket science" how many chef has saying. :)

post #7 of 13

take your mes en place home with you.  cut it the night before then put in in your pockets.  then when you need diced onions just reach into your right pocket and there they are. carrots no problem in my back pocket.  i like to keep the tomatoes in a bag between my legs this keeps my lower body cool and if you dont need them by the end of the day you have a nice tomato confit to use for the next day special,  do i need to tell you where to keep the mashed potatoes.

 

i am sooooo sorry to all the profi chefs out there that will read this.  i have worked hard this summer and the season is done and the new one will begin when i get back from my break and i have been out with some stumptgust  (best customers)  and have been reading cheftalk now for a couple of hours.  i thought this was funny.  and light for reading.  

post #8 of 13

I work in catering some my prep list are different everyday.  I make a weekly prep list for all the events that week.  What works for me is grouping things together and knowing how long those task take to do...example: blanching all items for that day at the same time, grouping all knife cuts together, doing all sauce work at the same time.....and so on and so forth.

post #9 of 13
Before you start i.e on your way to work, plan and visualize your prep from start to finish.

Always start with long projects like cooking projects.

Check the time when you start a project. See how long it takes to complete and beat it the next time.

Set up a bain right beside the cutting board for scraps.

Do all the same movements to all the items.

I.e halve ALL the onions. Peel ALL the onions. So on so forth.

Only move prepped food to storage container once at the end.
I.e dont put each mushroom nto the insert one at a time.

Place handfuls of small items i.e cherry tomatoes on your board.
Dont pick them out one at time. Dont reach into tall storage containers and pick one out at a time.

Short quick movements. reduce back and forths as much as possible.

Set ur station up with all tools knives etc ar the beginning.

do a little extra of the projects u suck at or hate. Keep practicing them until u love doing them
post #10 of 13

Have your dishwasher in the off time peel onions and carrots., and store in fridge

    . What you need first should be done first, while the longest item to cook is on the fire. If you have 2 or 3 dishes that require diced onion, do it all at once, same as parsly etc. You must develop a priority in your mind. This comes on a daily basis as you gain experience. Think of the whole process as a huge puzzle and as you mature all the peices just go together.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 13

i laughed my ass off when i read this, nice job.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kostendorf View Post

take your mes en place home with you.  cut it the night before then put in in your pockets.  then when you need diced onions just reach into your right pocket and there they are. carrots no problem in my back pocket.  i like to keep the tomatoes in a bag between my legs this keeps my lower body cool and if you dont need them by the end of the day you have a nice tomato confit to use for the next day special,  do i need to tell you where to keep the mashed potatoes.

 

i am sooooo sorry to all the profi chefs out there that will read this.  i have worked hard this summer and the season is done and the new one will begin when i get back from my break and i have been out with some stumptgust  (best customers)  and have been reading cheftalk now for a couple of hours.  i thought this was funny.  and light for reading.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kostendorf View Post

take your mes en place home with you.  cut it the night before then put in in your pockets.  then when you need diced onions just reach into your right pocket and there they are. carrots no problem in my back pocket.  i like to keep the tomatoes in a bag between my legs this keeps my lower body cool and if you dont need them by the end of the day you have a nice tomato confit to use for the next day special,  do i need to tell you where to keep the mashed potatoes.

 

i am sooooo sorry to all the profi chefs out there that will read this.  i have worked hard this summer and the season is done and the new one will begin when i get back from my break and i have been out with some stumptgust  (best customers)  and have been reading cheftalk now for a couple of hours.  i thought this was funny.  and light for reading.  

i thought this was hilarious.

post #13 of 13

My first day I would start a project, follow it through, then move on to the next.

A few days later I would start the first project, start another (or two), then move on to other things.

After awhile I would arrive, gather an armful of pots, pans, utensils, and start 8 projects, fininshing them as I went, working new projects in as I finished others.

In other words, time and repetition will make you faster and more efficient.

Knowing what to start first, what can be started and somewhat ignored, what needs constant attention, etc.will get you to the Sous' production level, or at least near it, eventually.

Be better tomorrow than you were today, and better still the day after that.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
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