Whether you plan to work as a line chef in a restaurant or are looking at opening your own eatery, there are some basics everyone should have in mind. Just as you wouldn’t show up at a construction site without a hammer if you were hired as a carpenter, the professional kitchen needs a few basics to make it run smoothly. Here is our list of what we feel are the basics to keep that kitchen running like a pro.
Dress the Part – Shoes
Yes, this may sound crazy but every kitchen staffer knows that you can expect to be on your feet for the entire shift, so be ready for it. You can help make this a bit easier by investing in fatigue mats, but since a kitchen needs to be constantly cleaned, most professional kitchens stick to a clean floor that can be hard on the feet. So invest in the right shoes from the start so you can then focus on making great food.
The Right Cut – Knives
Any chef worth their salt will tell you that the right knife can make all the difference. It isn’t just that it needs to be sharp, it needs to be the right knife for that particular job. Investing in a set or two of high quality knives can mean getting the job done right the first time. Many chefs travel with their own knives; the type is so personal to them. So before investing in high end fancy equipment, take the time to get to know your knives.
Slice it up – Berkel Slicer Magic
When things get humming in the back kitchen, you want your staff to be on top of it. One of the great tools of a back kitchen that will help is having a top of the line meat slicer, such as the Berkel Slicer to keep everything moving along quickly. Whether you run a deli with the best of local meats or a five-star restaurant that caters to the moneyed crowd, this is one tool you can’t do without. From thick cuts of that grass fed beef to thin slices of prosciutto for appetizers, a meat slicer like the Berkel will ensure the kitchen never slows down, even as the orders heat up.
Keeping it Clean
While the right tools are essential, don’t forget that keeping that kitchen clean, both on the counters and on the floors, is going to be important to the success of your eatery. Not only will a dirty kitchen get you closed down in the case of an inspection by the Health Department, it is also dangerous. Kitchen floors get messy fast, and mopping them down is the best way to keep them from becoming a trap for slips that could cost you your best cook. Wet floors are dangerous as well, so be sure that when it is mopped down at the start of the day, it is also cleaned and swept on a regular basis until it is safe to apply that mop. Never mop a floor in the middle of a rush, it will only court disaster.