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Chefs and Cooks: Working in a Restaurant vs. Working in a Hotel

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi guys!

 

I'm a newbie in the food/culinary industry, I just started working in a hotel as a commis/cook, and this is also my first ever job right after culinary school, been there for 5 months now and counting...

 

Being a newbie at all, without any actual first hand experience with working with other kitchens, I can't help but wonder, how is it like "there" (meaning, other kitchens out there).

 

Before I begin my concern, here is a background of what we do:

 

 

 

Where I work, there are 2 shifts: morning and afternoon (to late night).

 

In the morning shift, they are in-charge of the breakfast buffet, a la carte and room service for morning and lunch.

In the afternoon shift where I was assigned, we are in-charge of the kitchen's whole production: portioning of foods, cooking of sauces, garnishes, items for functions&events, prep for breakfast items for next day (marination of some bfast items, etc, etc..). On top of that, room service, ala carte service for late lunch to dinner as well.

 

The thing is, we make everything in big batches, like the sauces for example, we make big big pots of bechamel or tomato sauce then store it inside the walk-in chiller.. For meats like beef and pork, we pre-cook some (depends on the dish), then portion them then store them in the freezer for loooong time, even months until they run out. Our fish, chicken, and beef, they are all delivered to us frozen, by a manufacturer, already cut. For our event functions, for example, little Quiche Lorraines for 100 pax for Friday: We will already make it as early as Monday then store it in the freezer. (I think they do this to save time and minimize workload..) 

 

Now the thing is, for me, I don't know If it's just me, but I think that by this system, all our food loses quality. My philosophy even before I started working, is as much as possible, when it comes to cooking and serving food, I want it to be as fresh as possible, so that's what I kinda expected.. Example, I expected sauces to be made at least on the day before or the same day as it is served, or garnishes like apple-cabbage slaw etc, are made on the same day as it is served, not stored in a chiller for a month or so... Because of this, I don't think my food philosophy or the kind of chef that I want to be someday matches with the system of how my workplace currently runs.

 

My question is this: Is this really like this on if not all, most of the kitchens out there? Or, is it really how hotel kitchens operate? Is this similar with fine dining restaurants? If not, do you think I should start looking for a job in an actual restaurant instead? Is there even a kitchen out there where my philosophy or vision applies, or am I being too ambitious and traditional? 

 

With all humility, I ask you, my seniors out there, who have worked for a long long time. Thank you very much and I hope I don't come of as arrogant or anything, I'm just a curious lad. A very dreamy curious lad to say the least.

 

Cheers to all.

post #2 of 29

Hi scofield ;)

I smile at you.

I understand what you mean, and can tell you that many people think that stuff is being made fresh more often, than just now and then like you mentioned. I thought the same before I started working restaurant kitchens..... :) and had the same principles as you have now.

 

In MOST places, they usually make big batches, freeze/ chill them and make new when they run out.

Is it similar in fine dining restaurants? Well it is, at least at my place and a few others I know.

 

What do you mean with looking for a job in an ACTUAL restaurant, by the way.

Explain yourself please.

 

I suggest you go work in a restaurant kitchen and learn as much as you can, keep mouth shut, eyes and ears open.

You will see and hear much more than you expect, and soon you will learn to see things differently and understand the why's better.

I know I did :) 

post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scofield143 View Post

 

My question is this: Is this really like this on if not all, most of the kitchens out there? Or, is it really how hotel kitchens operate? Is this similar with fine dining restaurants?

 

Yes and no. Yes because that's what you do where you work.  No, not all store food for months in the freezer.  And yes and no to the rest of your questions.  Some do, some don't.  There's always a reason.

 

And it takes some skill to make 20 gallons of bechamel without scorching it.  Such skills are rare these days.

post #4 of 29
No, that is not the way all kitchens are. Any decent kitchen worth its weight is most definitely not using frozen pre portioned proteins. Period. In larger production kitchens (which hotels usually are), they will make larger batches and freeze things more often - but that doesn't mean there aren't hotels that focus on quality.

The main difference I have found between hotels and restaurants is the size of kitchen. At a hotel you will have a larger kitchen and larger staff vs in a lot of restaurants. That's a big difference when it comes to your actual responsibilities as a line cook and the pace of things. Hotels also tend to be more corporate and structured. Lessons to be learned at both.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soesje View Post

What do you mean with looking for a job in an ACTUAL restaurant, by the way.

Explain yourself please.

 

Hi Soesje, 

Smiling back at yah. :) Sorry, I meant working in a normal restaurant, rather in a "hotel restaurant". You know, because I assume that in restaurants they only focus on serving customers that dine there, so quality is of utmost priority (but I could be wrong too!), whereas in the hotel where I work, we have to do room service, functions, buffets, etc, on top of serving dine-in customers. So I assumed hotel kitchens focus more on producing massive quantities rather than focusing on quality (in the hotel where I work at least. Im sure not all!). Hope I cleared that one out. Thanks!

 

@kuan and @North: Very interesting, thanks a lot!

 

And I agree with everyone that whatever the case is, there is always something to learn. Definitely.

post #6 of 29

its a yes and no situation it really varies. 

 

The thing about the sauce is true tho. 

I would make 6 - 10 liters of sugo in advance so we would save time. Same with bechamel. 

Quiches i have made before hand as well. 

Prepping meat in my restaurant it happens , depending on the dish. We butcher it for the day and if we dont run out on that day we store ( but the meat in no way is cooked ) , if we run out we butcher it the next day. 

In no way do we allow cooked meat to be stored , unless its something like shredded chicken ( which we use for empanadas)  , or fish ( because we make fish cakes and we use left over cod ).

Aside from that meat after being cooked if not consumed is thrown out. 

 

Now the restaurant i worked at changed menus daily , and we would get fresh produce almost daily , so we never prepped veg and fruits weeks to come. Sides were usually made during prep or the day before if possible and not days in advance. 

 

But again it depends on the restaurant. 

I worked at a hotel before ( not in the kitchen ) as a barman ( when i was 16 ) and to be honest it was horrid. They offered me time to work in the kitchen and i in no way accepted the offer. I would see them make rice days in advance and just heat it up for service. I had even seen fried fish ( fried fish from lets say last week ) being re-cooked after being stored in the freezer. After i had put up my notice and left , i swore that i would do everything in my power to not work in a hotel again of such poor quality. Next time before i even consider working in a hotel kitchen , i wanna see the menu , and stage for 1 week , just to see how the system is. 

 

Again this depends on the place . 

Also its all a learning experience , and if their is anything i learned is that some restaurants follow "its not the ideal , put its whats possible" rule , as in its not the best way , but its close enough. I honestly understand making sauces , and quiches beforehand , but i dont think i could store cooked meat in a freezer and serve it to a client , but i havent worked at a place yet , that has done it either. 


Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 8/19/13 at 9:27pm

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post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post

but i dont think i could store cooked meat in a freezer and serve it to a client , but i havent worked at a place yet , that has done it either. 

Hi Kaique,

 

Your reply enlightened me at its best, thank you. You know what in where I work, almost half of our items in the freezer are already cooked, they will just be reheated upon order. For instance, our beef and chicken curries are cooked in big batches, then portioned in small plastic bags (160g per portion), then stored in the freezer. Same with other stewed pork,chicken,beef dishes. And yes, thank you for mentioning about rice, our coconut rice, rice pilaf, are also in the chiller, ready to be re-heated. LOL.

 

I don't know if it's just me, but in my opinion or from what my food philosophy lies (like I mentioned above), I don't like our system at all. That's why I started this thread, to know if this is the case on every kitchen.. Good to know so far that at least, not all.

 

I just felt like working here is pretty much working in a fast food and very very far from what I want the type of Chef I want to be someday. I guess I just have to learn every possible thing that I can then find a better kitchen.

post #8 of 29

I do understand and appreciate your way of thinking, Scofield!! 

if you keep it up like that you will come a long way.

But if your place has over 100 guests a day its tough to do everything a la minute.

When you make things fresh for say, a few days at once, store it in fridge/ freezer , its fresh still.

Places where collegues work, do say the sauce bases for one week, and they have 150 seats.... 

A lot depends on where you work. And mainly on how your chef thinks things should be done ....(and he usually works towards the ideas of the owner, if he himself doesn't own the place)

Its good to have principles like yours, please keep telling yourself they are good, and try to fit in where you can, without giving up too much.

It's a challenge ;) 

post #9 of 29

Scofield 143 I smile at you as well.

 

Since you..... "just graduated from culinary school" you are filled with ideas and thought on how things should be.

The real world however; changed that perception at your first job.

 

As was previously said, not all kitchen operate in the same manner.

To judge one kitchen for their practices does not give you an insight to the way it is in the rest of our industry.

Fast paced high volume kitchens must be organized and produce products on demand.

To do that, sometimes products must be made and stored.

What you are experiencing at the place you are at is how the Chef wants it done.

Watch, listen, and learn. Remember what you're seeing, as you go on in your career, you will balance the information

and utilize what you have learned....good or bad....as a subjective rational.

 

 

 

Northcak........"Any decent kitchen worth its weight is most definitely not using frozen pre portioned proteins. Period. 

 

You couldn't be more wrong.

Do you say this out of the belief that  pre-frozen, pre-portioned proteins are a bad thing?

Perhaps you, as well, have never experienced working in a restaurant that does this.

If the frozen product is handled correctly from purveyor to plate there is no loss of quality.

Again....I say that the Chef in charge sets the rules.  Even hotels, as you mentioned, can offer quality products made from scratch.

It's the Chef, not the restaurant.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

 

Northcak........"Any decent kitchen worth its weight is most definitely not using frozen pre portioned proteins. Period. 

 

You couldn't be more wrong.

Do you say this out of the belief that  pre-frozen, pre-portioned proteins are a bad thing?

Perhaps you, as well, have never experienced working in a restaurant that does this.

If the frozen product is handled correctly from purveyor to plate there is no loss of quality.

Again....I say that the Chef in charge sets the rules.  Even hotels, as you mentioned, can offer quality products made from scratch.

It's the Chef, not the restaurant.

I disagree completely. Your definition of quality is probably a little different than mine. Peace.

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthCack View Post

I disagree completely. Your definition of quality is probably a little different than mine. Peace.

 

You haven't yet encountered what the industry calls freezer beef.  :)

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

Northcak........"Any decent kitchen worth its weight is most definitely not using frozen pre portioned proteins. Period. 

 

You couldn't be more wrong.

Do you say this out of the belief that  pre-frozen, pre-portioned proteins are a bad thing?

Perhaps you, as well, have never experienced working in a restaurant that does this.

If the frozen product is handled correctly from purveyor to plate there is no loss of quality.

 

 This is true , i dont see a problem with it being pre-frozen and pre-portioned as long as it hasnt been pre-cooked <_< 

Would you really grill a steak and freeze it , just so when it comes to order you would just heat it up. 

 

Sure having it cut , and frozen is fine and there is no loss of quality , that is true , but what really gets me going is cooking something , freezing it and just heating it up <_<. 

Obviously this statemente is to be taken towards meats , in general. I know of many things that are made before hand , and frozen , and heated to order and its practical. 

Obviously we arent gonna make creme brulee to order so having it made before hand is fine ( as long as it wasnt made last month LOL ) 

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post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post... but what really gets me going is cooking something , freezing it and just heating it up <_<. 

Even a stew or chili or some soups? talker.gif

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post #14 of 29

Also our arguments are relative , because none of us here are working at the same places , and have worked at the same places , everyone has different experiences , so the answer to wether or not its okay really varies on what is being cooked and frozen and if these methods are being done correctly. 

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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Even a stew or chili or some soups? talker.gif

Lol yeh i knew someone would take it there XD. 

I edited but not fast enough for Pete to see that mild error...

 

But its fixed LOL

 

And to me it really depends on whats being cooked , i make stock a week ahead of time to last the whole month lol. XD 

But im not cooking rice days in advanced ( Ill make it during prep for that day ) , freezing it , and heating it. Like i said it really depends on the dish and product. 

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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post

Obviously we arent gonna make creme brulee to order so having it made before hand is fine ( as long as it wasnt made last month LOL ) 

 

Hey you know somebody makes a mix.  Add cold water, and then sprinkle this brown stuff glaze on top.  Takes one minute.

post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post
... it really depends on the dish and product. 

Hear, HEAR!

 

A la minute does not mean good.

 

Frozen does not mean bad.

 

Cooked, chilled, and heated for service does not mean bad.

 

Good means the flavor, texture, appearance, and taste satisfy the recipient!

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post #18 of 29
I was under the impression that fresh proteins meant that they had been frozen once, especially seafood - which is typically frozen on the boat for storage. For a non coastal restaurant it's damn near impossible to get fresh, never frozen seafood unless its flown in daily - even then it's probably 3 or 4 days old and not as fresh as the frozen "fresh" product. Same goes with freshwater fish - would you rather eat something wild caught and frozen or farm raised and never frozen? I'm almost always going to go with wild caught.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post

Lol yeh i knew someone would take it there XD. 

I edited but not fast enough for Pete to see that mild error...

 

But its fixed LOL

 

And to me it really depends on whats being cooked , i make stock a week ahead of time to last the whole month lol. XD 

But im not cooking rice days in advanced ( Ill make it during prep for that day ) , freezing it , and heating it. Like i said it really depends on the dish and product. 

What error? What's fixed? Didn't get that sorry :)))

 

I agree with stocks/master stocks though :) In your opinion, does soup and stews ok to store and chill for a while? 

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scofield143 View Post.... In your opinion, does soup and stews ok to store and chill for a while? 

Quality of the final product is the goal.

 

Which results in a better quality:

  • a soup/stew cooked to perfection, quickly chilled, then gently heated for service, or
  • a soup/stew held at service temperature (in California 135°F (57°C)) for the legal duration (in California, indefinitely)

 

Same question applies to dishes such as Osso Buco, Chicken Cacciatore, etc.

 

Extend the question to include freezing, not just putting it in the freezer, but chilling, then quick freezing to avoid cell rupture.

 

Now add in Sous Vide techniques, not generally an a la minute technique. crazy.gif

 

Is it bad practice to freeze cakes and other baked products?

 

Generalizations are generally incorrect.

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post #21 of 29

It honestly varies <_< 

 

Depending on the dish and the components of it , some things can be made ahead of time , on time , or just heated for service. 

 

Ill use an example if i may....

 

 

The above dish is Pork Medalions with a Demi , sauteed veg and Parsnip Puree.... ( from pork challenge last moth ) 

 

The meat was cut and portioned that day , but cooked to order. 

Greens had been cut during prep , but were blanched and sauteed to order

Demi was made days in advanced

Parsnip puree was made during prep and heated and plated during service. We had made a huge batch so we also saved portioned some and froze another. The frozen portion was defrosted and used that week as well. 

 

The dish was fine tasted great , and all components were handled with care using proper methods. No in the end it did not affect overall taste or quality of the dish. 

 

Now all the components of the dish were each handled differently so how you use , save , cook , etc... varies on the product , dish , and component. 

 

Im sure their are methods i used to cook , and save certain components of the dish that not everyone may agree with , but in no way did it affect the quality. 

- The pork was not entirely used up all that day , so why not save it ( it was not cooked just portioned )

- The veggies were pre-cut , i dont see a problem saving them , and seeing how they look the next day to see if they are useable , if not ditch it

- Demi , well we made a huge batch , didnt use it all that day , so stored it properly and used it once again

- Parsnip puree , we had a huge batch frozen , the batch that was unfrozen was portioned to order , and used immediately. 

 

and i quote:

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post

Also our arguments are relative , because none of us here are working at the same places , and have worked at the same places , everyone has different experiences , so the answer to wether or not its okay really varies on what is being cooked and frozen and if these methods are being done correctly. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiqueKuisine View Post
... it really depends on the dish and product. 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

Hear, HEAR!

 

A la minute does not mean good.

 

Frozen does not mean bad.

 

Cooked, chilled, and heated for service does not mean bad.

 

Good means the flavor, texture, appearance, and taste satisfy the recipient!

 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

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post #22 of 29

Fresh is best.  Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part who wants to eat frozen anything if you can have it fresh?  Freezing expands cells, losing water and original texture, usually depleting vitamins and minerals.

 

 I was part of an opening team that came into a poorly functioning restaurant in a well known hotel in NYC.  We changed concept, flipped the kitchen and had an all star crew.  The 'union' wages went out the window, as did a lot of the cooks.  We changed the way that hotel did business and the way the food was perceived.  Yes, we made batches of amatriciana sauce that lasted 3-5 days (not frozen), and soups to last 3 days or so.  Yes, we sous vide half chickens for pollo alla diavola, but thats where the batch prepping basically stopped.  We had a prep crew that could kill any task, we roasted 3-6 suckling pigs a day, had a pasta team of 2 or 3 people doing production of fresh pasta (yes, we portioned and would freeze it in bags), we had an overnight baker making croissants, cookies, caramel buns, olive oil cakes for the morning, we had a banquet staff that portioned their own fish, broke down strip loins.  

 

Granted not all hotel kitchens can have this luxury.  It was a great kitchen, but to answer your question, its not always like you describe.  Freezing proteins would never have happened.  And yes, we were busy.  150ish for lunch, 320 for brunch on the weekends, 220 for dinner, sales of $33,000 on a cranking Friday or Saturday.  Most everything was fresh.  It can be done, but the expense of staffing a place can be crazy.  2 dishwashers, 3 prep crew, 2-3 on pasta production, a butcher, 3 cooks, 2 pantry just for lunch transitioning into another 5 person kitchen.  I've had the privilege of working in places that use some of the best product and don't compromise; they're out there.

post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cacioEpepe View Post

Fresh is best.  Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part who wants to eat frozen anything if you can have it fresh?  Freezing expands cells, losing water and original texture, usually depleting vitamins and minerals.

 

 I was part of an opening team that came into a poorly functioning restaurant in a well known hotel in NYC.  We changed concept, flipped the kitchen and had an all star crew.  The 'union' wages went out the window, as did a lot of the cooks.  We changed the way that hotel did business and the way the food was perceived.  Yes, we made batches of amatriciana sauce that lasted 3-5 days (not frozen), and soups to last 3 days or so.  Yes, we sous vide half chickens for pollo alla diavola, but thats where the batch prepping basically stopped.  We had a prep crew that could kill any task, we roasted 3-6 suckling pigs a day, had a pasta team of 2 or 3 people doing production of fresh pasta (yes, we portioned and would freeze it in bags), we had an overnight baker making croissants, cookies, caramel buns, olive oil cakes for the morning, we had a banquet staff that portioned their own fish, broke down strip loins.  

 

Granted not all hotel kitchens can have this luxury.  It was a great kitchen, but to answer your question, its not always like you describe.  Freezing proteins would never have happened.  And yes, we were busy.  150ish for lunch, 320 for brunch on the weekends, 220 for dinner, sales of $33,000 on a cranking Friday or Saturday.  Most everything was fresh.  It can be done, but the expense of staffing a place can be crazy.  2 dishwashers, 3 prep crew, 2-3 on pasta production, a butcher, 3 cooks, 2 pantry just for lunch transitioning into another 5 person kitchen.  I've had the privilege of working in places that use some of the best product and don't compromise; they're out there.

 

Hope re-ignited. Now I would seriously kill to work in that place. That's awesome. :)

post #24 of 29

Mmmmm...

 

Actually, if you read Jaques Pepin's biography, he did a lot of batch cooking and freezing.  Most of his collegues (which included Julia Child...) could not discern any quality issues with his entrees and soups.  Keep in mind this was back in the '70's when freezers and freezing technology was not what it is today.

 

Myself, I find if a protein has been braised and is frozen with it's sauce, there is very little--if any, quality loss.  Of course, it goes without saying that the packaging and freezing process must be done correctly.

 

While you can get fresh, never frozen bacon, most places, from the high end hotels to the low end diners use frozen.  And unless you have personally butchered a side of beef or pork, you can never be 100% sure if the meat was frozen--either in portions or in primal cuts.

 

The quality of the food is sole responsibility of the Chef.  The Chef's choices are dictated by his/her foodcost, labour cost, expectations of the diner, and equipment available.  I see noting wrong with using frozen meat and vegetables in a lumber camp where supplies are only brought in every two weeks and you are given $12.00 per man per day as a basic budget.  I see nothing wrong with cooking and ricing potatoes, keeping them on the mise en place  and making mashed potatoes to order because the owner demands having mashed pots on the menu, but you only sell 3- 4  portions per service.  

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #25 of 29
I work in a tiny resturaunt We do little to no trade during the week. Monday to friday we have one cook to do everything including washing up and clean the kitchen. Our trade is sat and Sundays so we do batch cook sauces for then.

Our steaks are cut and vac packed. That gives us 4/ 5 days. Chickens that are needed for burgers, goujins etc are poached up to 3 days

Rice we batch cook for three days. Sauces for two days. Potatoes two days

We blanch chips for up to three days ahead

There is no loss of quality. But then we aren't a fine dining place and when there's one person working all stations it's all we can do
post #26 of 29
I think the biggest message here is as long as you're providing a meal with no lack of quality and pleases your customers is What matters.

I agree myself I prefer to use fresh everything when possible but some places you don't have that luxury. One of the most important parts of cooking is taking What you can get and elevating it to a higher level. Also on the frozen food thing a lot of seafood has to be braught I'm frozen and is still fresh. On other meats it can be done just make sure that when you freeze and thaw you do it correctly or else you could cause quality dammage.

Ps: Don't forget that when you make a sauce and let it chill I'm the fridge it gets better with that chance to meld more.:3
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by scofield143 View Post

Hi guys!

I'm a newbie in the food/culinary industry, I just started working in a hotel as a commis/cook, and this is also my first ever job right after culinary school, been there for 5 months now and counting...

Being a newbie at all, without any actual first hand experience with working with other kitchens, I can't help but wonder, how is it like "there" (meaning, other kitchens out there).

Before I begin my concern, here is a background of what we do:



Where I work, there are 2 shifts: morning and afternoon (to late night).

In the morning shift, they are in-charge of the breakfast buffet, a la carte and room service for morning and lunch.
In the afternoon shift where I was assigned, we are in-charge of the kitchen's whole production: portioning of foods, cooking of sauces, garnishes, items for functions&events, prep for breakfast items for next day (marination of some bfast items, etc, etc..). On top of that, room service, ala carte service for late lunch to dinner as well.

The thing is, we make everything in big batches, like the sauces for example, we make big big pots of bechamel or tomato sauce then store it inside the walk-in chiller.. For meats like beef and pork, we pre-cook some (depends on the dish), then portion them then store them in the freezer for loooong time, even months until they run out. Our fish, chicken, and beef, they are all delivered to us frozen, by a manufacturer, already cut. For our event functions, for example, little Quiche Lorraines for 100 pax for Friday: We will already make it as early as Monday then store it in the freezer. (I think they do this to save time and minimize workload..) 

Now the thing is, for me, I don't know If it's just me, but I think that by this system, all our food loses quality. My philosophy even before I started working, is as much as possible, when it comes to cooking and serving food, I want it to be as fresh as possible, so that's what I kinda expected.. Example, I expected sauces to be made at least on the day before or the same day as it is served, or garnishes like apple-cabbage slaw etc, are made on the same day as it is served, not stored in a chiller for a month or so... Because of this, I don't think my food philosophy or the kind of chef that I want to be someday matches with the system of how my workplace currently runs.

My question is this: Is this really like this on if not all, most of the kitchens out there? Or, is it really how hotel kitchens operate? Is this similar with fine dining restaurants? If not, do you think I should start looking for a job in an actual restaurant instead? Is there even a kitchen out there where my philosophy or vision applies, or am I being too ambitious and traditional? 

With all humility, I ask you, my seniors out there, who have worked for a long long time. Thank you very much and I hope I don't come of as arrogant or anything, I'm just a curious lad. A very dreamy curious lad to say the least.

Cheers to all.
I be worked at some places that did a lot of banquet service that did not do this I certainly don't do it and would not let one of my cooks keep his prep around for more than a day in advance it sounds like u need to be looking my advice is to try and work under the chef that can teach u the most if u have a chef that half asses it he is only going to teach u the same
post #28 of 29

Yes, unfortunately, most restaurants and food services of all types take shortcuts. Of course, according to Cornell, 59% of all restaurants fail in the first year, and up to 75% by their fifth year, so doing what "most" restaurants do is probably a bad idea.

 

While you are starting out, I think the most important thing is to make sure you are in financially "successful" kitchens. Poorly run kitchens are rarely financially successful, though many with only "average" food are, if they are run well. What I am saying is that if this is a financially successful kitchen, absorb what you can from it. Despite the food quality issue, it sounds as if the kitchen is well organized. Learn from that. Learn the tools and the processes they use and discard the crap, like portioning and freezing product.

 

Every financially successful kitchen has something to teach. Gather what this one has then move on. Good, fresh food is getting more common in our country. It's happening mostly in larger metros in independently owned restaurants. If you want to move to learn about producing better quality food, I suggest following the James Beard Foundation and seeing if you can get into the kitchen of a chef, or chefs, that are highly regarded within that organization. In my city, most of the best restaurants have been started by chefs that either won JB awards or worked in the kitchen of someone who did. it seems like 3 or 4 of the best chefs in town are pumping out employees who go on to run their own restaurants.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #29 of 29

wow tons of opinions on this topic! agreed it depends on budget, who is running it, their quality issues blah blah blah  truth of the matter its the lesser of two evils, just remember. ... there both evil lol

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