Perhaps, many of us have the big question of how some restaurants are able to offer dishes that requires various cooking techniques instantaneously with unaffected consistency. Although the process appears much complicated in our minds, for restaurants, it is about conducting a symphony of food servings in the larger scale. As much as different people executing different roles in the food serving process plays a part in the symphony, using the right cooking equipment equally does.
PREPARATION OF RAW INGREDIENTS
The speed of meal preparation in the commercial kitchen starts with the prep work that has been done in advance. While the preparation work is comparable for most dishes in a typical restaurant, each meal can be put together within 4-10 minutes given the chopping and slicing of raw ingredients have been sorted out. When ready, the chef can grab and cook the ingredients over the flame, which is what’s known as mise en place in French. When done, the meal is passed over to the waiter or food runner who does the garnishes and other final items.
SEAMLESS FOOD SERVING WORKFLOW
A wok master is one who perfectly assembles one who can cook several Chinese dishes in only a few minutes, having it all perfectly done from the same wok even though different ingredients are required to be cooked at different times and at different temperatures. Not only that, some need to be steamed and some need to be seared.
While such capacity requires skills of professional or experienced chefs, it equally involves multiple staffs, waiters and waitresses adding pots and pans, and plates at different parts of food preparation and food serving. In fact, the moment the waiter starts taking orders into the point of sale system, the kitchen is given an instruction to start.
We may consider the whole workflow a synchronized ballet, or simply human efficiency in juggling between different tables and dishes at the same time. Whichever one, the whole process needs an overseer that stands around in the kitchen to make sure everything is getting cooked in the right sequence.
Yet, without having to depend too much on the overseers, there are kitchens that have adopted the correct strategies in place with the use of the right equipment and tools, perfecting the serving of different side offerings while ensuring consistency in its food quality and standards.