A happy kitchen…

Some of this stuff was just unbelievable...when its finished, you know why you did it.

…is always a clean kitchen.

That’s what comes first. I’ve always been uncompromising on this & as any former or current employee will tell you, I’m obsessed.

Nothing good will come from anything less than a pristine workspace. I’m not ashamed or embarassed to tell you that the first people to be asked to leave my kitchen are the ones that slack on clean up or organization–if they can’t master that basic skill, they can’t cook in my eyes.

In our (and most) kitchens, you can’t proceed until you have mastered the basics and this is all the more important with a new restaurant. So much develops in those early days of an opening, critical to the success of the entire staff.

It’s not just about the cooking in the beginning, everything in our world has a base layer to build on. I humbly submit to you that in this profession, the biggest mistake is moving on too fast, & you see it a lot. Cooks advancing to quickly, leaving to soon, forgetting the basics–the most important stuff. It’s a huge lesson, one that’s not lost on me. As I get older I try to instill that in my crew even more. There is a reason your going to spend all day on one small job, one piece of equipment, one small seemingly insignificant patch in the corner of the kitchen…you don’t realize what’s happening when your doing it.

But really, you’re learning the most important lesson. It all starts with the basics.

So that’s where we begin in the kitchen. The relationships are already forming, the trust amongst my staff is growing and their reliance on each other is as well.  In other words, a team is forming. It starts with the cleaning…


3 responses to “A happy kitchen…

  • Patrick Maguire

    I also feel that in this era of open kitchens, it’s critical to remember that the public is watching and noticing everything. Some customers judge a restaurant by the cleanliness of their bathrooms. Kitchen cleanliness and staff hygiene is imparative when it comes to building trust with customers, especially in an open kitchen setting. I agree with you that it all starts with the basics.

  • Fun and Fearless in Beantown

    I had a roommate once who was a great cook and considered herself a “foodie” but never focused on cleanliness. From crumbs and cat hair all over the table to vegetables rotting in the fridge, she never respected her kitchen and that definitely made me trust her cooking less. Cleanliness in the kitchen is so important and sadly often overlooked.

  • MichellePC

    I used to work at several restaurants and bakeries that had awfully dirty kitchens/cooking areas – now if my own kitchen at home has a crumb on the counter, I immediately clean the entire room. When I go to a restaurant, I don’t just expect the kitchen to be sanitary, but the bathroom and eating areas better be clean, too.

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