Keep an eye on: These.

In many of our experiences, including mine and yours, we should’ve seen many blurps and blunders in restaurants and coffee shops alike: They have some errors that you may not want to follow, as these are common blurps and blunders that will annoy customers. Just like you and me, when that little problem goes on and on again, there is a particular annoyance to it. And when you can’t keep an eye out of it, you’re going to get it. 

Unstable Tables and Chairs

We in the kitchen can still live up to unstable pots and pans, or foods being place on top of each other, ready to fall anytime. But it’s a bad repo for your guests. Remember that not everything has to be perfect, but solving little problems like these go a long way. When there are such problems, replace that empty space with something appropriate, or replace the table with a new one if the damage is bad. Often, uneven/dirty tabletops are presented on a tablecloth-covered table. This may be your move in terms of reducing cost when you’re starting a restaurant, but replace immediately once you have the budget. Place this into the FIXED COST budget. 

Continue reading ‘Restaurant Blunders – Faux Pas’


Eliminating Restaurant Hippies

I (Von Cook) personally wouldn’t blame Adam Sandler and Dennis Dugan for producing and directing a funny yet not-so-logical You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, 2008. In fact, watching the movie after our big bash in the kitchen on Saturday made me feel like I’ve lost it all – Almost lost every single pixel, piece and particle of my sanity. Then I was thinking about what Elios have mentioned in his first blog post, but I couldn’t sum up to how his Restaurant’s Internal Marketing strategy would comply much or at all by being business minded.

Suppose his strategies and concept of improving the restaurant would only take thim -THIS- far, but Elios is nevertheless one of our most creative-driven Chefs in Food Central. He thinks what we don’t, but he lacks business concepts when it comes to brainstorming for events or decisions that will use Food Central’s resources. Suppose you’re looking at these Restaurant’s Internal Marketing strategies that Elios mentioned, always weigh BASIC factors like feasibility, probability, outcome, impact, interest and desire to any specific method you’re using.

Continue reading ‘Analyzing Strategy Feasibility’

Duty of a Head Chef is Internal Marketing?

After a small meeting today with the board of Directors and Food Central’s crazy Chief Operating Officer cum Saucier Elios, we decided to give it a thumbs up and go ahead with our series of Kitchen Duties in coming blog posts which Von Cook will further explain, and type in. Today’s the day where this is decided, should be a grand opening but; there will be more of such posts in the near future, we promise. As I’ll be taking off to my patio to begin brainstorming ideas for our 2000-pax menu, let me pin down my first blog entry in Food Central’s official site and blog.

We’re going to explain today about one critical slot of a Head Chef cum Executive Chef cum Chef de Cuisine’s duties – Internal Marketing.

During my earlier days in the kitchen, where I faced my mentor who’s so strict, cunning, persuasive and everything a restaurant will need but NOT the kitchen community, I was baffled by the way we were treated. As if we were dogs chained in a restaurant, only to howl when our master whips us with a rattan cane. It got as bad as mocking up certain foodstuff when the Chef de Partie forgot to order certain ingredients, and camouflaged the newbie’s burnt Garlic bread that will only make things worse if we didn’t work together.

Little did we ever realized that with his aggressiveness, we were taught to learn HOW TO THINK, and not blindly cooking in the restaurant or being spoonfed like how we’re spoonfeeding each and every student or newbie Chef here in Food Central.

Internal Marketing – What is it?

Continue reading ‘Head Chef’s Duty – Internal Marketing’

Standardized Recipe Ideology

A standardized recipe refers to a particular standard-of-use of certain metrics in cooking – Standard sizes, time, temperature, amount, etc. Abiding by this rule creates uniformity in kitchen produce, whether or not it is tangible or intangible.

The idea of a standardized recipe is definitely not alien to many of us anymore. In fact, it has been very widely used around the globe and there are certain metrics to a standardized recipe that we must follow. In the kitchen, a standardized recipe is a crucial part of standardizing dishes, ingredients and elements in a restaurant that might lead to gain or loss during operational hours. Certain restaurants benchmark standardized recipes in their kitchen, some do not. There are pros and cons of using standardized recipes.

Benefits of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Creates an absolute standard in kitchen produce and cooking activities.
  2. Allows smooth transition between different kitchen staffs.
  3. Maintains food quality and food standards during kitchen operational hours.
  4. Guiding tool for newcomers to the kitchen.
  5. Refresh minds of kitchen staff after some time. (Eliminating guesswork)
  6. Referral material should there be any disputes.
  7. Base for costing when kitchen costs are calculated.
  8. Be a great guide to implementing a new menu should there be any need.
  9. Planning and costing purposes when a particular event needs accounting/kitchen control auditing.
  10. Prevents raw food leftovers (with good Kitchen Control)

Continue reading ‘Standardized Recipe – Guide to making your own’

Pickling Foods – Guide to Pickles

Pickles are great food accompaniments to certain food products – At least we think so. Whether it’s going to be black olives on your Cream Cheese baguette or Gherkins on your McDonalds burger patty, once it’s practical, it’ll always be practical. Pickles are easy to make and lasts very long – If you do it correctly. Do it the wrong way and it’ll spoil and rot in your cabinet or fridge. Pickles are available around Malaysia all year round – If you walk along streets like Jonker St. in Malacca, you’ll find tons of those. Also, if you go around a mall like Tesco, Jusco or Giant, you can also find them. Basically, you can’t run away from what you call these ‘Jeruk Masin‘ or ‘Jeruk Manis‘.

These pickles (as mentioned above) are used to just eat like that – But the ones that we’re going to mention here are those which you’re going to incorporate them into your foodstuff. Pretty neat for a start, but students (living in campuses or houses) can benefit a lot from these. Alternatively, housewives can also use these on their dinner table.

Common Pickling Methods

There are four (4) common pickling methods:

  1. Alcohol-based pickling
  2. Vinegar-based pickling
  3. Salt-based* pickling
  4. Oil-based pickling

*Brine refers to the salted water in salt-based pickling.

Continue reading ‘Pickle & Pickles – Pickling Foods’

Selecting your pots and pans well for your kitchen can do you good in the long run. Always remember to keep a good watch of the practicality of the pan rather than its brand name, style, fashion or maybe, price. Keep in mind that you’re the one who’s going to use the pan or pot – The skillet you’re holding will be the base of your cooking activities, and they will also be the ‘holding’ item for your food.

Before purchase, always ensure that you can feel the pan. As much as you’d like to purchase it online, it’s better sometimes to just walk into the shop and feel them for yourself. There are certain ‘cheaper’ materials that can give you an extremely bad cooking experience, while some may just provide you with an overwhelming cooking solution. Some pots and pans yield different cooking results (but of course, it depends also on many other factors). When you’re doing your kitchen shopping, be aware that not all expensive pots and pans are great.

You might just end-up paying the heavy import tax after all. If you want to look into pan solutions, check out this post. Look at point 9, 10 and 11.

Exhibits below show various types of cookware materials used in a kitchen.

Continue reading ‘Food Guide – Selecting Pans & Pots’

What alternatives to common food seasoning?

When we talk about food seasoning, we always refer to common food seasoning like salt, pepper, chicken powder, monosodium glutamate (MSG) or Ajinomoto (it’s a brand name), white pepper, fish stock powder, etc. However, there are always ways to enjoy hot & cold, sweet and savory foods without the need to actually use these seasonings. Especially salt, when there are much health concerns about it.

Food Central is trying to keep up with its Food Alternative usage by applying methods like Flavored Salt & Sugar and Flavored Oil as we mention of, plus other methods we use to reduce usage of common seasonings. Today, Food Central would like to introduce certain metrics and methods of Food Alternatives available in the kitchen that you can use other than just your regular salt. Besides, these tips rocks – And our customers really love them.

Continue reading ‘Food Alternatives – Alternative Seasoning’

The BreakEven point?

Many of us know what’s the breakeven point in accounts – It’s especially important to constantly update, analyze, scan and learn from the restaurant cost sheet (below) as we move along in a new business. Getting regular updates regarding this serves many purpose – And today, we’re going to look into what data will this chart serve and how we can take the analyze; on the plus, move towards the next step.

Break Even Point

Break Even Point

Definition of Breakeven Point

The Breakeven point literally means the amount of Total Revenue (Gross Profit) is equal to the amount of Total Expense (Costs). Thus, there are no losses or gains in that particular point. Anything above the breakeven point is considered profitable, and below is loss. Breakeven could also be termed in another way as the point where previous investments (on the restaurant) were already covered, and losses are already covered.

Continue reading ‘Cost Control – The Breakeven Point’

Chef in Training – The Culinary Training

All of us humans live on food – And the world’s interest on food has risen dramatically over the years of human dominance. Rising Apprentice Chefs has shown their capability to craft the culinary industry to their creativity for the general public for years now, and as time pass, things just got better. Culinary training gets better every now and then; with colleges and universities offering training for Chefs, there is no doubt this industry will continue expanding and reach greater heights in the near future.

Food Central has seen many rising and upcoming Chefs (those who do and do not work in our kitchen) who possess so much interest and a wondrous amount of influence in the Culinary line. As much as we’d love to train everyone and in the future, provide Online Chef Training for not only Chefs/Cooks but also for the service-oriented staff and managerial levels, Food Central would like to present these posts as a guide to them first, before apprehending their time and take more effort into looking at each and every one personally.

Back to the topic, Culinary training. Our topic for today is:

Culinary Training for Chefs

Continue reading ‘Apprentice Chefs – Professional Chef Training’

Are you restaurant-friendly?

If you’ve worked in a commercial kitchen before, you’d probably know that there are actually many disputes between the service and kitchen staff. Service staff will always be rambling their way about the quality of food, the time taken to cook and kitchen staff will be swinging their mighty ladle or fillet knife around saying, “Get the hell out and come back when we RING THE BELL.” This is just an example of disputes between the kitchen and service staff.

Among FAMOUS events that cause arguments are:

Continue reading ‘Restaurant Ethics – Building Internal Relationships’