A chef is a highly skilled and trained
professional who does more than just ‘cook a good meal’ or two. Cooking shows
on TV only give a small insight into what happens in a restaurant kitchen.
Here are eight things chefs want you to know about cooking.
A kitchen restaurant is a busy hub of activity, not just during restaurant opening hours. It’s a physically demanding workplace, so requires concentration and the ability to micro-manage some different dishes, at once.
So much prep works is done at least 12 hours before a restaurant opens. Sometimes condiments are made days before. A typical day in the life of a chef will involve the management of food service deliveries to cutting, baking and preparing food that can be made ahead of time. The cooking you see in the kitchen while the restaurant is serving is often the assembly of the ordered meal.
No dish can be different, hence why discipline is needed in the craft of displaying a meal, the same way each time it’s ordered. This is why chefs are incredibly picky about their food supplies. Uniformity of produce is very important to ensure all dishes are served the same.
Although some restaurants have their chefs sign confidentiality agreements to ensure dishes are kept signature at a restaurant, many chefs are happy to share their knowledge and new found recipes with others. What’s more important to a chef is their influence. Influence can only be gained by the sharing of this knowledge to help others. It can, in turn, help them learn something new too.
They won’t bang around in the kitchen as they respect the space they work in and the patrons dining in their restaurant. They respect their customers and understand atmosphere is part of the dining experience.
Things that don’t smell particularly appetising can lift the taste of a dish instantaneously.
The moment a meal is ordered, the pressure is turned on for the chef to deliver to a timeframe. Chefs have serving techniques to ensure the hot meal is delivered at eating temperature to a dined patron. A warmed plate isn’t a sign of a freshly cleaned dinner plate from the commercial dishwasher; it enhances the aroma (and flavour) of the meal.
Cooking can be enjoyable in a home setting, and you have free reign to improvise and test recipes. Chefs will make the same meals day in and day out. It’s repetitive work, but the pleasure is in the delivery and response from dining patrons.Being a chef is more than just being able to cook meals on demand. As you can see, there are a lot of skills involved. And this list only skims the surface of what chefs would love everyone to know about cooking.