In an age where clients can tell literally hundreds of people all about their dining experience before they have even finished having it, the power of word of mouth is stronger than ever. Your job as a professional chef is to harness this type of feedback and ensure that it remains as positive as possible. One way to accomplish that feat is to offer culinary classes in your commercial kitchen. A monthly class gives you the chance to share your cooking and restaurant supply expertise with interested clientele, which will get them talking about your restaurant in a good way.
Challenging Culinary Classes
Offer very specialized classes that will challenge their students. Sushi and desserts are prime candidates for class topics since they tend to be popular foods that present a challenge even for professionals. Macaroons, truffles, and fancy layer cakes, along with cake and plate decorating sessions, present opportunities for fascinating classes that will heighten customers’ appreciation of what you and your staff do. Invest in extra pastry tip sets so that students do not need to buy materials in order to participate in the classes. Choose topics that professionals can teach to amateurs effectively but that would be difficult for people to learn from cookbook instructions or online tutorials. You can teach some of the classes yourself, but delegate specialties to specific employees. For example, if you have a sushi chef or pastry chef, they should be the ones to teach those kinds of classes. Also, if your sous chef or another staff member possesses
Since 1986, the World Food Prize has encouraged people to work towards a better, more sustainable, more accessible world food supply. Started in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the Food Prize pays tribute to “those who have made significant and measurable contributions to improving the world’s food supply." This year’s winner, Dr. Daniel Hillel, invented a farming method called micro-irrigation that enables the growth of crops even in such unlikely places as deserts. His accomplishments make it possible to expand the world’s consumer and commercial kitchen supply of food while conserving water and emphasizing quality.
Dr. Daniel Hillel, Food Prize Winner
Dr. Hillel grew up on an Israeli kibbutz, surrounded by both farming and deserts. He later secured a B.S. in agronomy and an M.S. in earth sciences from the University of Georgia and Rutger’s University, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. in soil physics and ecology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and performed post-doctoral studies in soil physics and hydrology at the University of California. Dr. Hillel has published over 300 research reports, scientific papers, and practical manuals as well as written or edited more than 20 books concerning soil and water science. He currently works with NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, developing ways to adjust agriculture to
As a professional chef, you possess a wealth of knowledge regarding the science behind the culinary arts. Understanding how proteins break down during the marinating process, the properties of fat and oil, and the characteristics that determine different cooking times for different products keeps chefs at the top of their game. Molecular gastronomy and molecular mixology take this kind of information a step further, enabling professional chefs to invent dishes and drinks that customers have never seen before and will not be able to purchase anywhere else. If you love a creative and scientific challenge, get ready to use your favorite bar shakers in ways you never thought of before.
Modernist Cuisine: See-Through Pasta
El Bulli’s Chef Ferian Adria, a pioneer in the discipline of molecular gastronomy, offers clients a truly surprising experience – transparent ravioli. He creates see-through pouches from potato starch and soy lecithin which dissolve immediately upon contact with water. They remain fairly unaffected if touched by oil or many other liquids. Customers dip the ravioli in the chef’s green pine cone infusion to begin the dissolution process, then quickly put it in their mouths, where the contents burst onto the tongue. Another avant-garde technique involves carbonating berries and other fruit through the use of dry ice or by filling a carbonating siphon with carbon
Culinology® is a term trademarked by the Research Chefs Association. It comprises a discipline requiring intensive expertise in everything from food labels to enzymes to ingredient sourcing to commercial restaurant equipment. The Research Chefs Association offers the possibility of becoming a Certified Culinary Scientist or Certified Research Chef. This year, the American Culinary Federation sanctioned the discipline’s first professional competition. This exciting and innovative field appeals to professional chefs on many levels, and opportunities abound in this fairly recent addition to the food science and culinary industry.
What is Culinology®?
Mix food science with culinary arts and the result is Culinology®. The list of Continuing Education workshops on the Research Chefs Association’s website highlights some of the most crucial components of the discipline for professional chefs. The workshops, most of which include distance learning, cover such topics as food science, regulations, processing, packaging, sensory evaluation, and commercialization. Nutrition and creativity combine to bring the food service industry and the work of food scientists together in a whole new way.
2012 Professional Competition
The 2012 Professional Culinology® Competition, the first of its kind, gained more widespread recognition for the field, thanks to the support of the American Culinary Federation and other sponsors. Competitors shipped frozen versions of their entries – each consisting of three types of tapas – to San Antonio in advance and made the same dishes
Induction cooking is one of the most exciting advancements in professional kitchen technology, and lately it has become quite affordable. An induction cook top allows chefs to work on a surface that stays perfectly cool even as it heats a pan and its contents faster and more evenly than traditional gas or electric ranges and ovens. Since these ranges work through the use of an electromagnet, any restaurant equipment that is magnetic should be suitable for induction cooking. Considering all of its benefits, any restaurant will profit from investing in such a product. To decide which induction range is best for your commercial kitchen, think about your specific needs relating to the type of food your chefs prepare and how much space you have available.
Benefits of Induction Cooktops
For the professional chef, one of the biggest advantages of induction technology is the reduction in cooking time. Especially during lunch and dinner rush, cutting cooking time by twenty to thirty percent on average – and sometimes in excess of fifty percent – means quicker service and happier clients. Make sure, however, that you train your staff in the particulars of this type of cooking since water or oil will heat so quickly that ingredients need to be chopped and ready when the liquid is poured.
One of the goals of any restaurant owner is to find as many ways to help the business as possible. You are already going to be overwhelmed with work and business so being able to cut some of it out will be extremely beneficial. Believe it or not, technology can play a vital role in ensuring that your restaurant runs smoothly at all times. Without modern technology, there is much more work that would be required from you on a daily basis. So in what ways does technology offer benefit to your business?
Before technology advanced to where it is today, something as simple as taking and processing orders and payments was tedious and time consuming. One would have to write out the order and give it to the kitchen staff. It would require consistent management of paper from beginning to end. One missing order sheet and even the books would turn out inaccurate.
Technology advanced that and now restaurants have the ability to use a POS system for most of these purposes. Orders can be entered on the screen and then delivered to the kitchen on their own display. Final checks can be printed with ease and the order can be pulled up quickly for payment.
Going hi-tech normally requires an outlay of cash, but most argue electronic equipment that tracks inventory and prevents shrinkage pays for itself. For the bar, a special pourer spout can tell you just how much liquor winds up in the glass-an interesting concept as it can be analyzed against sales data. The concept is quite simple, actually. A radio frequency transmitter is built into a waterproof pourer, and transmits the total volume of each pour. The receiver maintains the data, which is later transmitted to the computer via a cable. Optional software can spit out all kinds of reports-most importantly, the time/date of each pour and the total volume, the cost of the pour as well as anticipated sales.
Bartenders may frown on the technology that could ultimately get them in trouble. After all, no manager wants to see wastage, and free-pouring isn’t always exact, especially during peak service times. But it also aides management in assessing inventory and ordering stock. By knowing exactly what was poured (to the hundredth of an ounce), time usually spent manually counting bottles and estimating remaining amounts can be better spent doing something else, like focusing on customer service and being more involved with other day-to-day operations.