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Show kitchens are the trends for the future


Show kitchens are the trends for the future

May 24, 2021

By Remona Divekar

In an exclusive interaction with Kitchen Ideas, Rajesh Shetty, Executive Chef, TFS-Performa, T-2 International Airport, Mumbai shares the intricacies in the making of a functional restaurant kitchen.

Indian fine dining has come a long way where many new trends and trendsetters have changed the definition of cooking which was believed to be women-centric only. Chef-led, millennial-driven has caught up with the professional kitchens in India evolved over time in terms of perceptions, likes, tastes as far as cooking and kitchens are concerned.

It’s not just about the food anymore but an experience, as gourmet dishes are a kind of theatre served with the food. There are many facets to the role of being a chef who has evolved and upgraded over time and has set out to preserve the integrity of all ingredients used. Many new thoughts, concepts, ideologies, besides equipments, tools and ambiences come into practise in the life of a chef playing a significant role in the overall functioning of the kitchen.

The kitchen set-up

According to Rajesh Shetty, Executive Chef, TFS-Performa, T-2 International Airport, Mumbai, “A professional kitchen combines aesthetics with functionality to accomplish various cooking tasks with utmost ease. Where it differs from a residential kitchen is that this is meant for larger volume of food cooked and served with a great degree of handling and is constructed for greater quantity, durability, speed, efficiency and economy.” Typically there is a station for every type of cooking such as baking, prep work, cooking and canning directed towards utilising kitchen equipment for maximum efficiency and at the same time maintaining a service that is clean and attractive to both worker and the viewer.

He adds, “Few food service operations depend on nothing more than range and oven, an assortment of pots and pans, knives and other hand tools. With the evolution of modern technology progressively specialised and technically advanced tools are required to reduce kitchen labour. Much of this kitchen equipment is so complex or sophisticated that only first-hand instruction and practice will teach how to operate effectively and safely. Other items especially hand tools is simple and needs no explanation but require much practice to develop good manual skills. Thorough knowledge of kitchen equipment is essential for the success in the kitchen.”

The must have equipments

The most important requirements for the correct operation of a commercial kitchen are the design, layout, material used and equipment along with a functional workflow to meet hygiene and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Point) standards. Professional kitchens now come with a list of smart gadgets that are now made available to chefs to change the style of cooking and enhance food presentation e.g. immersion blenders, sous vide machine, smoker and nitro gun etc.

The oven and the range top are the two workhorses of the traditional kitchen, which is why the two are so often found in the same units. Range tops are still the most important piece of kitchen equipment, even though many of its functions have been taken by other tools, such as steamers, steam kettles, tilting skillets and ovens. Ovens in addition to roasting and baking can do jobs normally on the range top that include conveyor ovens, which carry food through the oven on a steel conveyor belt; holding ovens or warmers designed to hold many types of foods at serving temperatures for extended periods without drying out or overcooking. Some of the food can be simmered, stewed, braised, or poached in.

Grills are used for the same cooking operations as broilers, except the heat source is below the grid that holds the food rather than above it. Many people favour the taste of grilled foods because of the ‘charcoal’ taste that is actually created by smoke from meat fats that drip into the heat source. And griddles are flat, smooth, heated surfaces on which food is cooked directly. Pancakes, French toast, hamburgers and other meats, eggs and many potato items are most frequently cooked in griddles.

Tilting Skillet also known as the tilting brazier and tilting fry pan, is a versatile and efficient piece of kitchen equipment that can be used as a griddle, fry pan, brazier, stew pot, stock pot, steamer, and bain marie or steam table. Some other indispensable kitchen equipment, according to the chef, are mixers, food cutters, slicers, refrigerators and food processors besides various sizes of pots and pan. French knife or the chef’s knife is the most frequently used knife in the kitchen, for general purpose chopping, slicing, dicing and so on.