The Kitchen Set Up By a Chef!
The Kitchen Set Up By a Chef!
Recently our church rented the local community center for a crafts bazaar. We were going to serve lunch so the kitchen was to be used. As we set up what did we find? We found a kitchen that was set up for use by a Chef. The cookware was stored on pot racks and on shelves. Everything was in the proper place, stored very efficiently and handy for use. As we unpacked the food we were going to prepare, it was an aweany feeling to be capable to use such fine restaurant equipment. After all the bags and boxes were emptied we were ready to cook any good food to serve to our hungry customers.
Now that I had time to survey the whole kitchen area, food warmer and server, the pots and pans, the pot racks and all the cutlery and cooking utensils, I found any interesting facts. Yes, any of the pots and pans were very oversized as compared to the cookware as seen in most homes. The reason for the layout of the kitchen and the types of utensils, pots and pans found was easily understandable. Where I was puzzled was the type of different metals used in the pots and pans. I thought all would be made out of the same metal in this restaurant style setting. As customers started coming to the bazaar any were associated with this community center. One woman had spent a considerable time in this kitchen and her work consisted of cooking for a senior citizens retirement home. When asked about the different metals of the pots and pans, she explained to me any of the reasoning in the kitchen set up.
She started at the food warmer and server. This was made out of stainless steel. The reasons were that this was the heart of the food serving and would get the most use and abuse over time. This unit had to be strong but also had to be easy to clean and disinfect. Stainless steel was the top choice for this application. Stainless steel is easy to clean and is not as porous as another metals, so this metal does not have as some places for bacteria and germs to get trapped. Stainless steel will wipe to a extraordinary shine and is very appealing to the eye. This is the first thing you see if you are in line to purchase food. What a extraordinary first impression!
The next area was the stock pots or soup pots. These were made out of cast aluminum. The reason was to have a large pot, but not a lot of weight. These pots would be heavy enough when being used at a dinner. Cast Aluminum provides even bases as compared to the side walls. This gives excellent even heat transfer in a large pot, and when also provided with tight fitting lids, these pots will hold heat without a high burner setting. This provides very hot food without the food sticking and burning. The cast aluminum also was fairly easy to clean.
As the tour continued we talked about the smaller pots and pans. There was quite a selection to choose from. I was told the top was to always use a pot or pan that had a lid to help keep the heat in. A tight fitting lid would also prevent the food from being dry or burnt from too much evaporation of cooking water or juices. She showed me the rack of smaller pots and pans (same as used in house kitchens), that was her favorite to use on the stove top. These were made out of stainless steel also. The big advantage, I was told, to these pans were their multi-ply bottoms. The bottoms were made out of 2 plies of stainless steel with a layer of aluminum sandwiched between. This provided the pot or pan to have even heat distribution, no hot spots and could be used with lower heat settings. Also for healthy cooking the pots and pans would require much less water when used, due to their tight fitting lids. The pots and pans cleaned up very easy, and as with the warmer/server mentioned above the stainless steel wiped to a really terrific shine.