Difference between a Corporate Family Fare Kitchen Line and a Fine Dining kitchen line?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by macgregor, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. macgregor

    macgregor

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    So a brief intro, I recently started (again) in a family fare corporate kitchen. 

    As a line cook I dont do much cooking and neither does anyone else. 

    It got me to thinking if ALL restaurants used the same kind of structure and if line cooks in other cook positions actually cook.

    Do line cooks in Fine Dining Kitchens do more cooking or is it still fairly limited to their station?
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I assume you are asking whether fine dining kitchens use convenience products.

    If the cooks "don't" then that's probably the reason.

    Everything is pre-made and all they do is re-heat.

    Depending on the kitchen, fine dining usually means their menu is from scratch. Some places do utilize convenience products. I guess it depends on how they wish their place to be set up.

    Fine dining usually has a set up with broiler, saute, and middle. There's a guy on the opposite end of the line that calls all the shots and makes sure all the plates come out properly. That's the expeditor.

    All of the line cooks have to prepare all the items on the menu and have enough prepped for an evenings service. So the answer is

    Yes..........line cooks at fine dining restaurants cook and again this does vary from place to place.

    Fine dining is an ambiguous term.
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If they can buy it premade, then they do not need you???
     
  4. gunnar

    gunnar

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    Line cooks in some places stand around and "cook" food that the prep cooks setup for them. Other places they make the soup, make bread, chop veges, cut meats and fish and make all the sauces.

    I get bored and my mouth tends to get me in trouble in the first type of place...I'm too busy with making good food in the second type.  as I have said before, research the kitchen and food and always ask for a tour of the walkin. If it looks like a mix of the butcher counter and produce section of your favorite supermarket...you just may have found a place to cook real good food.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  5. macgregor

    macgregor

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    I think I got my question answered.

    The place I am at, a number of scratch items, and a number of premade.

    Since its family fare steak house, every person in the line does a couple of "small things". Feels more like an assembly line.

    I am not complaining and I think the experience is more than valuable, it broke my "fairy tale" dream (a little bit).

    Thanks for the replies ChefRoss, Ed, Gunnar.

    As far as restaurant terms go, ChefRoss, do you have a link?
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

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    Here's a few to get you started:

    kitchenterms.com

    Epicurious.com

    Ezinearticles.com
     
  7. macgregor

    macgregor

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    Perfect, thank you /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
     
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I think one of the main differences between a corporate/chain place and an independant one (which are usually high end) is that corporate strives for uniformity--from one end of the country to the other.  Uniformity is almost always achieved by convienience products distributed by a broadliner.

    I'm not knocking all convienience products, some are very good, and some are mediocre.
     
  9. leeniek

    leeniek

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     I am at a corporate place and while we have our products that must be consistent chain wide trucked in we do make our own crepe mix (pls don't tell..we aren't "supposed" to  LOL) and our soups are made from scratch as well as our hollandaise.  We use the trucked in stuff for the weekends when we know we have no time to make enough to keep up with the demand and same with the trucked in crepe mix.  This saves us a bundle on food costs for sure!

    Today I made my mother in law's soup for our daily soup.  I have no idea what it is called... I had it for the first time when I was dating my husband and he brought me home to dinner. She said "it's Dutch Soup" so I ate it and loved it.  It's chicken broth with chiffonade of leek or scallion, grated carrot and chiffonade of celery leaves, tiny meatballs and egg noodles seasoned with Maggi seasoning.  The maggi is supposed to be added at the table but I added it to a light taste to the pot before I served it. In my family we call it Oma's Soup but for the masses I called it Dutch Meatball Soup.  We served a Dutch couple today and they ordered the lunch soup and sandwich combo.  When their server checked on them they both were estatic that the soup was "real" and that "someone homemade this".  I have to make it again.. it sold out.  The owner even mentioned to me about the compliments he got on the soup.  He knows it well as he is Dutch and missed out on it as it was gone when he was thinking about lunch.  He did tell me what it is called in Dutch but well.. like I am going to be able to prounounce that.. I can barely speak German and Italian and that is my  background!!
     
  10. macgregor

    macgregor

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    Awesome.

     I asked the question because even though I am relatively early in my journey, I want to know what I have to look forward to and whats possible.
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    It's a take off on Italian wedding soup. Only that has spinach arbo rice. I never use celery leaves in anything, they are just to bitter. Every nationality has their own thing. yet quite similar to others.
     
  12. lizabu

    lizabu

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    I've never worked at a big chain but I have friends who do. The big chains have to be consistent from place to place. They do this by using prepared products. Fine dining restaurants cook from scratch. I've seen some fine dining places cooking from scratch but using the occasional prepared product such a mayonnaise or beef base to boost the flavor of a soup. It depends who you are but some people look down on this practice while others view it as acceptable.
     
  13. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Mac, think about how many scratch items you would have on your menu hiring 20 year old kids that don't give a ****, call in drunk and come in high..........Welcome to the real world of the Restaurant business. Use these places as stepping stone to what you really want to do, these restaurants fail safe everything so with a few days of training anyone can do it......................ChefBillyB
     
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2010
  14. macgregor

    macgregor

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    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Right now I am working Point Push

    Learning all my steaks, how to plate them etc etc

    How to call out, what to call out, when to pitch in and finish up the plate and how to set safeguards in place so I don't forget (like bread that has to be toasted while I am in the middle of pulling 4 tickets)

    Its kickin my @$$ but I have enjoyed it so far.

    At one point I was talking to some fancy dining restaurant owners (excuse me if I didnt use the right term, I am tired)  in the area and they all agreed that you have to learn how to work on a line at a station before you can go further.

    I did not understand why at the time, I do now. I can see there are two parts of the restaurant game, cooking is one part but what I am learning now is the other side. Reminds me of football in a way. Could be the best running back in the world, but if you don't understand plays, it doesn't really matter.
     
  15. leeniek

    leeniek

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    It is very similar and unique to the Dutch culture I guess.  The only thing I use celery leaves in is the Dutch soup as that is how my mother in law taught me to make it. 
     
  16. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Bill.. it's not just 20 year old kids who don't care, call in drunk or come in drunk and/or high. I sent a line cook home yesterday and this guy supposedly has 30 years in the business because he REEKED of alcohol when he came in and was in no condition to work.  We are a family restaurant and we have an open kitchen and there was no way I was going to allow him on the line.
     
  17. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    I agree, there are a lot of people I hire with a lot of past baggage. The first thing I tell them is, I will follow through with my commitment to them, make sure they follow through with their commitment to me, I'm never the one to falter. I hired a Culinary Grad last week he was a no show after a week of training. I hired another person a few weeks ago, they knew it all and didn't want to listen to how we do things, gone in a few days. All I ask is for them to learn our way of doing things, don't break it if it's not broken. When they have an idea after they are trained, and want to try a new soup or lunch special, I ask them to cost it out and let me know how I can help them accomplish it. I hired a girl a few weeks ago on her personality alone, she is doing great, we are bringing her along slow and she is doing a great job.............Screw the cooks that have experience, I'll mold the good people with no baggage to fit the job......................I hope all is well................ChefBillyb
     
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  18. macgregor

    macgregor

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    Coming from someone who doesn't have "years" of experience, I like this post. Not to be arrogant, but I believe I was hired for me and less for what I know.

    My only struggle, and I dont know if you guys have seen this or not, my learning curve is kinda odd. I am slow to pick up, but then I go above and beyond once I got it. One of my kids is the same way. Me and my wife try to get her to learn math/etc and its almost kicking and screaming stress. But come back a week later and its like shes been doing it for years, no struggle, no stress.
     
  19. leeniek

    leeniek

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     Mac, one of our part timers has a similar learning curve to you and once he "gets" it, he does an excellent job.  I had him on crepes a couple of weeks ago and I had fully prepared myself that he and I would change places once the lunch rush came in, but that never happened.  I have never seen anyone pick up crepes as well and as quickly as he did.  Once he got a handle on how to spin a crepe the rest just came to him.