Why Stainless Steel is the Professional Chef’s Countertop of Choice

Quality Stainless Steel Countertops: A Must from the Start

Stainless Steel Countertops: The Ideal Restaurant Kitchen Surface

The equipment used in a commercial kitchen has to withstand both the test of time and the demands of constant, daily use. This is true for cookware and smallwares, such as pots, pans, and knives; and heavy equipment, such as range tops, ovens, and refrigerators; but, in particular, it is especially true of restaurant food preparation surfaces. Prep tables, counters, and cutting surfaces are essential to any commercial kitchen, and when it comes to making this vital purchase for your kitchen, the experts recommend eschewing the beauty of granite and the timelessness of butcher block. Instead, for no-fail results and long-term satisfaction, choose food preparation surfaces made of stainless steel.

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Six Tips for Picking the Perfect Restaurant Seating

Restaurant seating is one of the first things your diners will notice and it can make or break their dining experience. What keeps diners coming back to your restaurant? Here’s a hint: it’s not just the food. In fact, a variety of factors impact whether your restaurant is appealing or off-putting.

And while seating may be one of the last things you think about when it comes to restaurant planning, it’s not only one of the first things diners notice, but can make or break their dining experiences. (…Read More…)

Color Code for Food Safety

Color coding kitchen tools can help prevent cross-contamination in both commercial and home kitchens.Food safety is a constant and major concern for commercial kitchens as well as many home cooks. In an effort to prevent cross-contamination, many regulating bodies require separate cutting boards to be used for poultry, fish, meat, and produce. Little labels are sometimes used to mark food preparation equipment based on the type of ingredients it is used for. But labels can sometimes go unnoticed which presents a danger of cross-contamination in the kitchen. Color coding food preparation equipment can provide an easy and stand-out way to identify and notice which equipment should be used for which foods. Follow these steps to get started.

Choose you food categories

The amount of separation between ingredients in a commercial kitchen largely depends on the venue’s menu and its budget. For example, a vegetarian restaurant will obviously not need separate cutting boards for fish, meat, and poultry, since those ingredients won’t be used, but may consider having dairy and non-dairy equipment or even equipment used only for the preparation of gluten free foods or foods containing allergens. With celiac on the rise and allergies as dangerous as ever rampant amongst the population, even small amounts of forbidden ingredients can have a serious and dangerous effect on diners. Choosing to differentiate between the food preparation equipment of various foods can help increase food safety in such cases. Other venues offering different types of meat, fishes and poultry should separate the ingredients and the equipment used to prepare them based on the ingredient type  (…Read More…)

Guidelines for Food Safety During Catered Events

Good sanitation, proper food storage, and the right equipment are the keys to food safety during catered events.Food safety is a concern that every food business has heard about. Strict legislation has been passed on the topic, and the public has taken note of the damage which can be wreaked when food safety is compromised. Catered events pose a particularly difficult challenge when it comes to food safety, due to the nature of food service at such events. Many additional measures must be taken when handling and serving food at a catered event, as opposed to a regular restaurant. Catering businesses should map out the process from the time the raw ingredients are received, to the time to food reaches their diners, and pinpoint critical control points where food safety may be compromised. These points are often at the transitions between heating and cooling, where there are optimal conditions for harmful bacteria to grow. When analyzing the items and conditions which present a hazard to food safety, as a general rule of thumb, bacteria like what we do: all types of food, at room temperature to body temperature, and, like us, they also require water to grow. When applying this rule, it becomes clear that dry croutons are less of a risk for bacterial contamination than rice, for example.

Food Transportation

Catered events are occasionally located in a venue with the proper accommodations for preparing food from start to end. However, oftentimes this is not the case, and caterers must transport the food to the event and reheat it right before service. Food transportation can be (…Read More…)

Changing your Menu Often: Should You, or Not?

A constantly changing menu can keep a restaurant interesting for returning customers.

A constantly changing menu has the potential to build customer intrigue, persuading loyal customers to frequent the venue on a regular basis in order to get a taste of the chef’s new creations. However, constant menu changes require monetary investment in the form of ingredients for recipe and dish trials, and work hours for employees responsible for developing the dishes. A changing menu also presents a danger of disappointing customers who will fall in love with a dish that they know won’t be repeated in the near future. Weighing the pros and cons of having a menu that changes often should be done on a venue to venue basis in order to reach a good decision about whether or not to adopt the custom.

Why you Should

People get bored really easily. I’m sure we can all relate to that feeling of staring into a full fridge, not knowing what to eat, bored with all the options and possibilities we can think of. One cure for that could be to dine out. The wide variety of restaurants (…Read More…)

Choosing a Commercial Mixer

Large commercial mixers with an electric lift feature will offer the most comfortable dough preparation process for bread bakeries and other food businesses with high output of dough products.

Commercial mixers are must-haves in pretty much every bakery and in restaurants preparing their own doughs. For many businesses, they are the limiting factor in determining the amount of work which can be done and the amount of dough which can be prepared; in other words, they define the amount of demands which can be met. Since a bakery which has the potential to sell 100 loaves a day will not be able to do so easily without a relatively large commercial mixer, the mixer can play a large part in defining the size and profits a venue can reach. In order to choose the right mixer for the venue, various specifications should be considered.

Size

As stated above, the size of a commercial mixer defines how much batter or dough can be prepared in a venue. Power and durability when mixing heavy loads go hand in hand with the size of the mixer. Whereas venues should aim not to be limited by the size of their mixer, purchasing an overly large mixer can be an unneeded cost and take up much-needed room in the venue. Since new businesses may not know the mixer size they will need after their initial opening, renting or purchasing a secondhand mixer may be a good way to start.

Lift Features

The way a commercial mixer lifts is often not an issue for small businesses. Any kitchen-savvy cook or baker recognizes and knows the typical manual lift which lowers the mixer to a comfortable height for filling, and lifts it to the appropriate height for mixing. However, for larger loads, electric lifts can be more comfortable. Especially for bakeries with high bread sales, the amount of dough which can be conveniently prepared at once is extremely important for business. The type of lift is one of the factors which will affect the potential output of the business. However, for smaller businesses, the added costs of such a feature may not be worth the investment.

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How to Select the Best Pans

A grill pan offers a quick way to get those beautiful “sear” lines on foods.“Pan” is a general name for cookware most often used to prepare foods on the stovetop. Pan-cooked food is a restaurant’s dream, since it’s usually quick to cook and easy to observe, lowering the chances of ending up with a burnt product. Almost every type of cuisine uses a pan-like cooking method- from laffas cooked on taboons in Middle-Eastern cuisine to French crêpes. As cookware has become more sophisticates, the types of pans available have increased. This article provides a short summary of important factors to consider when selecting types of pans that will serve restaurants and caterers.

The Type of Pan

Frying pans are the most commonly used pans. They come in many different materials from cast-iron to Teflon-coated. Each material lends itself to the preparation of different types of foods. While heavy cast-iron pans are great for preparing and heating stews and some types of pasta dishes, non-stick pans are best for delicate dishes such as omelets and fish. Plain old frying pans can be a great alternative to a wok for stir-frying vegetables, chicken, beef, and other ingredients.

A grill pan is a great alternative to having a full-out grill, giving foods those fantastic, sought-after lines. However, they will usually give the food less of a smoky taste when compared to a real grill, which can sometimes be an advantage, but a disadvantage at other times. Grill pans can be used to grill everything from steaks and Portobello mushrooms to gnocchi and cheeses. The heavier the grill pan, the more effective it will be at giving the foods char-grilled lines. (…Read More…)

Clear as Glass: A quick guide to making glassware purchasing decisions

There is nothing like a tall glass of milkshake on a hot summer day.

Glassware is the best option for almost every beverage in almost every restaurant and bar. Though sometimes the multitude of glasses available for different types of beer, wine, and cocktails can be overwhelming, in some cases having a few different glasses on hand can have definite advantages for the drinker’s experience. Different glasses offer different benefits, depending on the drink. A downside to using glass cups is the cloudy buildup that sometimes accumulates, making the glasses seem less attractive. The stains are caused by the residue in hard water, making it important for businesses to consider alternative water options which will better preserve their glassware. By planning glassware types and quantity before purchasing, serving drinks with their compatible glasses, and properly maintaining glassware, food and drink establishments can maximize the usefulness and appeal of glassware.

Cold Drink Glasses

Cold drink glasses are usually tall, with many different styles and shapes to choose from. The condensation, ice cubes, and bubbles of a Coca-Cola in a clear, tall glass, on a hot summer day is irresistible. This effect provides a benefit of serving many types of cold drinks in clear glassware, making them the most popular option for restaurants and bars.

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Staying Cutting Edge by Keeping the Right Knives On Hand

Chef knives are classic, must-have, all-purpose options for a commercial kitchen.I’ve met so many home cooks who just don’t get why chefs are so attached to their knives and why they need so many different types. Some even think it pretentious that cooks insist on high quality, versatile knife collections. They cannot fathom the added speed and facility which good knives can give during food preparation. They are unaware of the dangers of using the wrong type of knife for a certain purpose or one with a dull edge. Here are short descriptions of five types of usual and slightly unusual knives and how they can help in a professional kitchen.

It is important to note that almost equally as important as investing in good knives is investing in a good knife sharpener. Even the highest quality knife needs to be kept in top shape in order to do its job efficiently and safely.

1. Chef Knives

Of course, any discussion about knives in a professional kitchen must include some type of statement in praise of chef knives. Chef knives have long, relative big blades and are a versatile option, cutting anything from vegetables to meat. Many different sizes are available, with both the blades and handles made from a variety of materials. The type of blade preferred depends on the cook, but having a knife composed of one, continues piece of metal allows for efficient cleaning. The size of the knife is important as well. Small-built cooks may have a hard time maneuvering extra-large knives, while some of the small, thinner chef knives I’ve encountered can be uncomfortable to hold and cut with, sometimes even chafing away at hand skin. (…Read More…)