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Small restaurant - one man show: reassessing my approach - Page 2

post #31 of 42

Of course! I've worked in many places that had a some kind of a bain-marie rig on the flat top and still had "real estate" to cook burgers.  One place I worked at  had the pasta pot on the flat top to re-heat the pasta.  One caveat:  The water will boil and evaporate much faster, so you will have to replenish the water more often.  If the flat top is on a "low" setting you can hold items like sauced pasta, risotto, glazed vegetables, etc, in their pots and pans for 5 or so minutes .  If the flat top has two or more burners, you can have one on a higher setting for burgers, and the rest on low.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #32 of 42
Hi recky
I would (if it were me) focus on freshness ie. fresh salads and fresh ingredients all cooked to order with a French country style flair. I believe fresh is the approach to go but with simplicity. Maybe change the menu weekly , have some fun in discovery, keep the menu small but simple with three ingredients at most. This approach has a lot of prep but can be executed rather quickly, use a buerre fondue for the veg on each dish and just plate the protein . Sous vide might be something to look into for you as well since your proteins can sit in the water bath for extended periods of time. Good luck
post #33 of 42

I've used a deep hotel pan as a baine marie, even a braiser at one place. Like you, though, I don't like to hold much... fresh is always best. A few of my sauces held up in the heat, though.

post #34 of 42

Recky,

 

The charcuterie plate is ever evolving, which is the joy of it.  First iteration was a fennel sausage 2 ways, pickled shitakes, pickled pearl onions, and a slice of seafood terrine.  Sausage was rolled into a bat, sous vided for 2 hours at 159 and cooled.  1st presentation was a 4 by 1 by 1/2 stick that I brushed with Dijon, breaded, and browned.  All done before hand and put in convection to warm/crisp at service.  Scattered some pickled mustard seeds on top for presentation.  2nd was just a small slice cold with a doctored Dijon (tabasco and mustard seeds).  Shitakes were technically not pickled, they were sautéed in butter and I added a tiny bit of the sweet Asian broth I make for my rockfish dish and chilled.  Onions are halved and placed around plate for presentation.  Terrine was shrimp puree with sautéed mushrooms and baby spinach.  I placed an Arctic Char fillet in the middle (since that was fish of the day:) ).  It is sliced and placed on plate.

 

Takes 2 minutes to put together. 

 

This week I have another kind of sausage in sous vide, so I will do 2 different sausages, in some presentation and maybe chicken liver pate (if I don't get to new terrine).  The chicken liver is great.  Did it last week as a standalone.  Throw some toast points on a plate and bam, instant gourmet food.

 

RH

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrickgaliardi View Post

Hi recky
I would (if it were me) focus on freshness ie. fresh salads and fresh ingredients all cooked to order with a French country style flair. I believe fresh is the approach to go but with simplicity. Maybe change the menu weekly , have some fun in discovery, keep the menu small but simple with three ingredients at most. This approach has a lot of prep but can be executed rather quickly, use a buerre fondue for the veg on each dish and just plate the protein . Sous vide might be something to look into for you as well since your proteins can sit in the water bath for extended periods of time. Good luck

  I dunno.... I have trouble with this post.

 

1) Recky, the O.P. is in Germany, a.k.a. Deutschland, why would he want to cook "with a French country style flair"?

 

2) "keep the menu small but simple with three ingredients at the most"  Say what?  Three ingredients per dish?  Three ingredients for the whole menu?  Even if you have a protein, a starch, and a veg for a dish, you'll need at least three ingredients per component of that dish.

 

3) Sous vide... the guy hasn't got enough time as it is, which is why he's asking for advice on how to streamline.  Now he's got to get a dedicated waterbath/circulator  AND a vacuum packer and spend even  more prep time getting stuff into those bags?.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #36 of 42

 IMO using 3 ingredients n some cases can be harder then using more... hell when i would make rice based dishes i would use at most 5. 

 

Im sure cooking things in sous vide wont help AT ALL, cooking meat, poultry etc... for 36 hours is not fast and something you can prep, nor can you keep it for days. 

 

I would probably attempt a few simpler things that can keep longer. 

Purees done a day before hand , ragu and sauces that you use often made in probably larger quantities since they can be frozen. 

Stocks also made in larger quantities to be frozen. Their wont be loss of quality and they can keep for a while. 

 

I would also do some pickling, because i find it interesting and enjoy it (dont know you opinion on this). They can keep for days, and depending on the ingredient and spices can accompany a dish nicely. 

 

I also agree with cheflaynes previous posts on making traditional dishes, as well the idea on stews since they can keep for a while. 

 

You could also interchange and have dishes that dont need to be 100% cooked. Using maybe thing like carpacios or including raw to cooked items. 

 

Im also a big fan of Tarts (salty or sweet) because once made and baked that can be stored in the fridge and just baked off (2 minutes top) and they are done. Same with frozen par baked bread. 

 

I think mostly everyone has given fair advice, and you should attempt some new things. Possibly change a few items on the menu as well as keeping things traditional and rustic. Im also in favor of getting one more set of hands in the kitchen be it a dish washer doing extra work or just a kitchen help doing basic prep, and less complicated components (of course this all depends on $$$ how much you are willing to spend and can you spend it...)

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.

Dr.Seuss

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post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeSorcier View Post

That's amazing. We clobbered our Kitchenaid with too much cookie dough. I use either my 80qt or 20qt Hobart for grinding.  

KA has a lifetime waranty.
I just called their customer service department and a few days later received a new machine with bowl, paddle and wisk.
Put your machine in the box and use the pre paid shipping label.
Have done this twice in five years.

mimi
post #38 of 42

WHAT! We took it to a repair shop who, believe it or not, never said a thing about a lifetime warranty.

post #39 of 42
Yeah I didn't know he was in Germany but that shouldn't matter anyway, don't you have a Chinese restaurant in your town?

And I meant to say three items per dish, not for the whole menu (common sense man), obviously with the small menu he has presently it's still difficult to get completed, so yeah go smaller then.

And since he has to travel so far to the markets he really doesn't have time to waste braising/stewing. Yes, sous vide takes some prep but seriously, I'm not sure how long it takes you to prepare sous vide parcels but it takes me about about 30-60 minutes. And actually you get get ahead pretty quickly.

Look he has no time on either front; getting his kitchen stocked AND executing service by himself, this type of cooking is effortless if you know what your doing. And every kitchen isn't producing plates every minute open so it would be easy to keep up with small prep in the beginning of service and at the end. And by the way I work 12--14 hours a day at work (might not be by myself) and in a 12 hour day it's about management of you time. It can be done, you'll just have to TiVo wink.gif
post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for all your input! Strangely, I didn't get any notifications for a couple of days, so I've only just seen everybody's contributions.

 

I've read everything with great interest, and a lot of knowledgeable things have been said. Perhaps I should provide more information about my place. My philosophy, for want of a better word, has been borrowed from the French bistro or bouchon, where traditionally fairly simple, rustic, yet tasty, dishes are produced from cheap ingredients, i.e. ox tail rather than beef tenderloin, lamb stew rather than a herb-crusted rack, coq au vin rather than chicken breast olives with a smoked salmon farce. Making great dishes from cheaper ingredients is actually a passion of mine and the customers seem to love it, because it's the kind of stuff people no longer cook at home.

I have access to top-notch local meat and trout while most of my veg comes from farms in the lowlands, some 20 miles from here. And so it goes without saying that my food is all about freshness and seasonality. Invariably, I look at traditional regional recipes (we're located in a kind of triangle of western Germany, Belgium and nort-eastern France) and attempt to produce authentic dishes with minor twists or modern-day updates. Occasionally, Italian-style cooking sneaks into it, for example the use of herbs.

 

In many ways, this restaurant is a dream come true, as I can try my hands at almost anything that tickles my fancy as long as it meets a certain price point and sticks to the rustic theme, as my customers are clearly not into fusion or nouvelle cuisine.

 

I really like KaiqueKuisine's suggestions of pickles and tarts; the former take no time to plate as a component and the latter would be a great addition to my menu.

 

As far as sous vide is concerned, I really don't know the first thing about it. I'm pretty old-school and don't even own a convection oven. Just a plain old gas-fired oven underneath the hob... ;-)

post #41 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recky View Post

Thanks a lot for all your input! Strangely, I didn't get any notifications for a couple of days, so I've only just seen everybody's contributions.

I've read everything with great interest, and a lot of knowledgeable things have been said. Perhaps I should provide more information about my place. My philosophy, for want of a better word, has been borrowed from the French bistro or bouchon, where traditionally fairly simple, rustic, yet tasty, dishes are produced from cheap ingredients, i.e. ox tail rather than beef tenderloin, lamb stew rather than a herb-crusted rack, coq au vin rather than chicken breast olives with a smoked salmon farce. Making great dishes from cheaper ingredients is actually a passion of mine and the customers seem to love it, because it's the kind of stuff people no longer cook at home.
I have access to top-notch local meat and trout while most of my veg comes from farms in the lowlands, some 20 miles from here. And so it goes without saying that my food is all about freshness and seasonality. Invariably, I look at traditional regional recipes (we're located in a kind of triangle of western Germany, Belgium and nort-eastern France) and attempt to produce authentic dishes with minor twists or modern-day updates. Occasionally, Italian-style cooking sneaks into it, for example the use of herbs.

In many ways, this restaurant is a dream come true, as I can try my hands at almost anything that tickles my fancy as long as it meets a certain price point and sticks to the rustic theme, as my customers are clearly not into fusion or nouvelle cuisine.

I really like KaiqueKuisine's suggestions of pickles and tarts; the former take no time to plate as a component and the latter would be a great addition to my menu.

As far as sous vide is concerned, I really don't know the first thing about it. I'm pretty old-school and don't even own a convection oven. Just a plain old gas-fired oven underneath the hob... ;-)


Sous Vide is a circulatory water bath with a tempeture control device ensuring the desired tempeture is maintained at all cost for as long as you need. When I suggested the sous vide method for you I wasn't trying to push michelin level food but you would also be able to do dishes like was suggested like shanks or stews and such. I worked at a place that did Osso buco , it helps with shelf life and makes any dish very tender. Also the product is individually vacuumed sealed and can sit in the bath for 12+ hours without ANY deterioration or loss of quality. Once a order comes in just pull out and serve, unless it's something you need color on then sear it quickly and slice. No loss of vital juices or flavor, everything (if you choose) can go in the desired dishes bag. It might be worth looking into, good luck brother.
post #42 of 42
Rocky, how big is the flat top? I've for sur used then to hold food in the past. find yourself a steam table pan, fill it with water just like a steam table, and throw in the 1/3 or 1/6 pans of whatever you need to hold . Keep an eye on the temp of course.
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