What does a chef or cook really want for Xmas, apart from new knives and more time off?
It’s the subject of the latest post from chef Paul Sorgule, who’s written for us frequently, over on his Harvest America Ventures blog.
Sorgule identifies 12 things that would really make a difference to the daily lives of chefs and cooks in kitchens and would put a smile on their faces as the year draws to a close.
Take a look at the list below, is there anything missing? Let us know over on our Facebook page.
Chefs and cooks wish for...
1. VENDORS WHO LIVE UP TO THEIR PROMISES
The right product, at the right time, in the right condition is not always a given from the vendors that a chef works with. More often than not “Trust” is not something that can be assumed.
2. A KITCHEN TEAM WHERE EVERY COOK SHARED IN THE PASSION FOR FOOD
Chefs typically build their reputation on the passion they have for ingredients, styles of cooking, flavour profiles, creativity and consistency. Life would be much simpler if every cook shared this passion for the craft and the product.
3. COST CONTROL WOULD BECOME EVERYONE’S PRIORITY
When cost control and profitability lie in the hands of the chef alone then success is very hard to reach. When cooks and service staff treat ingredients and their associated costs as if it came out of their paycheck then control and profitability works.
4. COOKS WOULD PUT THEMSELVES IN THE SHOES OF THE DISHWASHER
Use it and clean it, think twice about the number of pots and pans that you use, thoroughly scrape and properly stack pans and dishes, rinse before food turns to concrete, don’t fill soap and sanitiser set sinks up with dirty pans – you can’t clean items in water that is already compromised – wouldn’t this be a wonderful world?
5. UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS WOULD POINT OUT THEIR DISSAPPOINTMENT BEFORE DOING SO ON YELP AND TRIP ADVISOR
When social media review sites become the guests preferred outlet for dissatisfaction then the restaurant and chef never have a chance to correct something that isn’t right.
6. COOKS WOULD UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES FACED BY THE SERVICE STAFF AND VICE VERSA
Both jobs are challenging and when each person learns to appreciate the other then the resulting team effort makes work a lot easier to tolerate.
7. EQUIPMENT WOULD NOT BREAK DOWN ON WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS, OR AFTER 5PM
Why is it that things always seem to break down when it is either impossible to get a repairperson on site or they charge double for after hours service?
8. EVERYONE WOULD RETURN ITEMS TO WHERE THEY BELONG
“Where is the blade for the Robot Coupe, the top for the VitaMix, the piano wire whisk, the kosher salt, Olive Oil, and the list goes on and on.” Remember 'Mise en Place' – everything has a place and everything is in its place.
9. COOKS WOULD LABEL, DATE, AND ROTATE FOODS WITHOUT BEING TOLD TO DO SO
How hard is it to take a few seconds to make everyone’s life a lot easier and maintain the integrity of ingredients? Combine #9 with #8 and you have a winning formula.
10. CARING FOR GROOMING AND UNIFORM WOULD BECOME AUTOMATIC
Look the part, look like a professional, take pride in your appearance, and add to the professionalism of the kitchen.
11. COOKS WOULD ALWAYS TASTE BEFORE ASKING THE CHEF TO DO SO
Chefs should not be the guinea pigs – one of the most essential parts of the job (as professed by Chef Michel LeBorgne) is TASTE–SEASON–TASTE. When a cook relinquishes this responsibility to the chef then he or she will never truly learn how to cook.
12. UNLESS A GUEST TRULY HAS A FOOD ALLERGY THEY WOULD RESPECT THE EFFORT PUT IN TO BUILDING A DISH WITH COMPATIBLE INGREDIENTS AND FLAVOURS
I know – the guest is always right – but shouldn’t the guest be willing, when they go out to eat, to learn something new, to expand their palates, and to give some respect to the skill of the chef and cook? Try it first – who knows, you might actually like it.