Thinking Of Opening A Restaurant: Equipment

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Large Appliances

Stoves:

Open Burner: Direct, adjustable heat.

Flat Top: Thick Steel plate over the heat source that provides indirect heat.  Requires flat bottomed cookware and time to adjust settings.

Ring Top: Concentric rings and plates that can be removed to expose the burner.  Indirect or direct heat.  Has a higher BTU than an open burner.

Conventional Oven: Indirect heat source located at the bottom with adjustable shelves.

Deck Oven: Food is set directly on oven floor.  Single or multiple levels available.  Think pizza oven.

Convection Oven: Fan blows hot air through oven allowing food to brown more efficiently.  Often used for pastries and baked goods.

Combi Oven: Temperature, moisture content and air flow may be controlled.  Used for cooking and holding food.

Salamander: Open Box like apparatus with heat source located in roof.  Generally used for intense browning (glacages)

Grill: Heating source (built in or added) is located below a heavy duty cooking rack.

Walk-In Refrigeration: Used for cold storage or freezing.

Reach-In Refrigeration: Larger version of a home refrigerator/freezer.

Under Counter Refrigerator and Refrigerated Drawers: Used primarily around the work areas.  Some drawers designed to hold specialty products such as fish.

Small Appliances

Ber Mixer: Immersion blender either electric or battery powered.

Electric Blender: A machine that purées, Emulsified and crushes. Composed of a solid housing containing motor base and the blending jar  Never fill more than 2/3 full.

Electric Food Chopper or Buffalo Chopper: Heavily built machine with a rotating bowl that passes under a hood where vertical blades chop the food.

Electric Food Processor: Heavy motor encased in plastic or metal housing with a detachable bowl and cover and various blades with specific functions.  It can chop, blend, mix, purée, knead, grate, slice and julienne.

Electric Meat Grinder: Freestanding motor housing, as well a feed tray, and blades of varying sizes.

Electric Meat Slicer: Substantial machine with a metal encased motor as the foundation and a circular cutting blade attached.

Mandoline: Hand slicer supported by folding legs with a number of different sized blades used to cut vegetables into a variety of shapes, sizes and thicknesses.

Steam Jacketed Kettle: Used to make large quantities of stocks, soups, sauces and pastas.  Two quarts to one-hundred gallons.  Steam circulates through the kettle walls to provide heat.

Tilting Shallow Kettle: Large stainless steel unit with a hinged lid for making large quantities of sautés and braises.

Hand Tools

Channel Knife (Canneieur): Small Knife used to channel fruits and vegetables into decorative patterns.

Chef’s Fork: Longer handled, longer toned fork that keeps the chef’s hand from the heat.

Chinois: Conical strainer with a handle.

Chinois Etamine: Bouillon strainer.  Constructed with fine metal mesh.

Perforated Chinois: Used when fine straining is not necessary.

Food Mill: Metal basket utensil with interchangeable discs and hand crank used to separate solids from skins, seeds, etc.

Kitchen Scissors: Sturdy shears to cut butcher’s twine. Or kitchen paper or for trimming fish or poultry.

Needle Nosed Plyers / Tweezers: Used to remove fine bones from fish.

Parisienne Scoop: Melon baller.  Used to cut fruit or vegetables into small balls.

Pastry Spatula: Long thin spatula used to assist in cake decoration.

Ricer: Basket or cone shaped utensil with small holes and a plunger used to force small foods into grains.

Scales: Essential in pastry making.

Scrapers: Numerous styles:

Metal Bench Scraper: To clean off workspace.

Plastic Bowl Scraper: To remove dough from mixing bowls.

Spatulas: Large metal ones used to flip vegetables, meat, poultry.  Rubber, composite, wood spatulas also used for various techniques.

Spider: Long handled device with a shallow almost bowl like shaped disk of mesh or perforated wire.

Spoons: Wide variety of sizes and shapes and materials.

Stem Thermometer: Measures degrees through a metal stem two inches from the tip.

Tamis: Used for fine straining of liquids, aka tammycloth.

Tongs: Helpful in turning, lifting and plating food without puncturing it.

Trusing Needle: Long skewer like needle used to truss poultry.

Vegetable Peeler: Small fixed or pivoting blade with a handle used to peel vegetables and fruit.

Whisks: Thin, flexible wire whips used to incorporate mixtures. Balloon whisks have large somewhat spherical centers to incorporate air into foods such as egg whites.

Vegetable Cooking: A l’anglaise

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Definition: Allows vegetable to be cooked prior to use, then reheated at time of service in a restaurant.

  • Fill large pot with water.
  • Salt to taste of seawater.
  • Over high heat bring to a rolling boil. Do not cover.
  • Add vegetable and cook until barely tender.
  • Drain well.
  • Shock in ice water. This stops the cooking and sets the color.
  • Drain well.
  • Pat dry.
  • Place in a container and cover with plastic film. Refrigerate.
  • To serve: reheat required amount in a small pan with butter and seasonings.
  • Serve immediately.

Stephenson’s Apple Farm: Family Influence

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I’m too young to remember going to this restaurant, but fortunately my family bought their spiralbound cookbook.  So many of the recipes have become family classics. It’s actually hard for me to imagine not having these recipes in my repertoire, sure I’ve made some subtle and some not so subtle changes to their recipes over the years though the inspiration iscompletely Stephenson’s Apple Farm.  Unfortunately the restaurant closed in 2007, but lives on in many homes.  My own thought are echoed here:

”I remember arriving at Stephenson’s and running down the stairs to the lobby where there was a barrel with ice cold apple cider and these little 2-ounce paper cups. I must have filled mine 10 times.

I remember walking into the Parlour, the first room to the left of the lobby, red velvet wallpaper and a little faux balcony, one of eight dining rooms at the Old Apple Farm Restaurant. I remember the paintings on the wall, the white tablecloths, starched napkins, candles on each table and the big glasses.

We sat down, and my father immediately ordered two dozen apple fritters and some chicken livers. All the boys were served cider in big chilled glasses, while Mom and Dad sipped apple daiquiris. They were served on little cocktail napkins with Stephenson’s logo and a bite taken out of the apple. Did I mention the bowls of fresh apple butter served with the fritters? How about the corn relish? Oh my …“

~ JASPER J. MIRABILE JR., “Kansas City Star”

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Smokes & Ears

If I had a bucket list, or more importantly a culinary bucket list this would be near the top.  It wouldn’t be McCradey’s or Husk in Charleston, it wouldn’t be one of the numerous fine dining restaurants in Atlanta or New Orleans…it would be these two humble little sandwiches steeped in history.