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View Full Version : How do restaurants make _______ to order?



slowtyper
03-07-2012, 02:11 AM
Thought it might be interesting to find out how restaurants make certain things to order in terms of the pre-cook, storage, and reheating stages.

One thing I've always wondered is flan (served warm of course). Assumed its always a make before and reheat thing, but I always wondered if there is a more elegant solution since there is guesswork on how to much to make beforehand and possibility of running out if not enough are made or waste if they aren't ordered.

I know its often served cold but I mean in a more savoury application, I like it warm.

Any other things you have wondered about?

SameGuy
03-07-2012, 02:25 AM
I've always wondered about MTO risotto, and the poor schlub on the line who has to stand there, stirring it constantly for 25 minutes, just for me... and then someone else orders it!

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 02:36 AM
I've always wondered about MTO risotto, and the poor schlub on the line who has to stand there, stirring it constantly for 25 minutes, just for me... and then someone else orders it!

I don't make this so I can't tell you the exact timings but restaurants do this by parcooking a big batch of rice then cooling it down. This cooled parcooked rice can now be portioned out and used to make risotto the way you normally would, but much faster.

This would be a good technique to use if you intend to make the dish at a dinner party at home.

SameGuy
03-07-2012, 02:45 AM
Hmmm... risotto with strawberries and taleggio cheese... maybe! Thanks!

MadMel
03-07-2012, 04:28 AM
However there are restaurants that do cook their risottos from scratch.. The menu would usually specify a minimum waiting time... For flans and tarts, I make the base/crust and blind bake and chill/freeze. The filling is filled in and then the whole pie/tart is baked.

I wonder if any restaurants make their hollandaise/mayonnaise to order though.. That would be quite a feat if your busy.

hambone.johnson
03-07-2012, 08:47 AM
I don't make this so I can't tell you the exact timings but restaurants do this by parcooking a big batch of rice then cooling it down. This cooled parcooked rice can now be portioned out and used to make risotto the way you normally would, but much faster.

This would be a good technique to use if you intend to make the dish at a dinner party at home.


the majority of places do make rissotto this way, the best way i have found is to almost cook the rissotto DRY durring the par blanch phase. this way the starchy liquid doesnt solidify with your rice durring cooling. that starchy liquid can make your reheated product more challenging as well becuase it doesnt make the rissotto very creamy and clean it makes it starchy. so if you do it make sure to use a rubber spatula, and stir it a lot and get almost all the water out of it before laying it on a sheet tray with a SILPAT, dont use parchment paper cause the paper gets soggy, then put it in the walk-in.

if you are cooking to order its usually in a coursed out pre-designed menu from a station that is set up to do that. So the rissotto might be the 5th course in an 8 course menu and its fired immediatly upon order and the person cooking it usually doesnt have anything to do with courses 3 or 4 or maybee even 2,3,4 to allow them to keep up with the order.

generally if your doing pre-cooking for most anything you need to think of the food as a "blanching" stage. Blanch and shock all the food so the time it takes to pivk it up when its ordered and to be plated is less than 7 or 8 minutes. so if you need mushrooms, you would sear them in a hot pan in oil/butter, drain them and cool them, then for service they are added to whatever you need to for pick up. Assembly is the same way. if you go to a wine bar or whatever and they have a flatbread pizza, chances are its already assembles on a flatbread dough that has been blanched off and topped with the stuff that needs to get hot. then onto a pan and in the oven, garnishes are added after cooking and out to the table.

Craig
03-07-2012, 10:07 AM
However there are restaurants that do cook their risottos from scratch.. The menu would usually specify a minimum waiting time... For flans and tarts, I make the base/crust and blind bake and chill/freeze. The filling is filled in and then the whole pie/tart is baked.

I wonder if any restaurants make their hollandaise/mayonnaise to order though.. That would be quite a feat if your busy.

I know people who claim they can make mayo in no time by just tossing everything in a jar and hitting it with an immersion blender.

dragonlord
03-07-2012, 10:48 AM
that probably works if you have pre-weighed ingredients based on trial and error over a period of time.

Craig
03-07-2012, 01:29 PM
that probably works if you have pre-weighed ingredients based on trial and error over a period of time.

Or if you're not that particular about consistency, which I strongly suspect to be the case in this instance. :lol2:

memorael
03-07-2012, 01:55 PM
aren't there some new techniques to make mayo using hydro-colloids? I don't see a good reason why someone would want to make mayo from scratch though or hollandaise for that matter... or most any sauce except salsa fresca maybe??? Most sauces that include some sort of stock I think get better by spending some time in the fridge so the flavors mix or mingle together.

bieniek
03-07-2012, 02:25 PM
the majority of places do make rissotto this way, the best way i have found is to almost cook the rissotto DRY durring the par blanch phase. this way the starchy liquid doesnt solidify with your rice durring cooling. that starchy liquid can make your reheated product more challenging as well becuase it doesnt make the rissotto very creamy and clean it makes it starchy. so if you do it make sure to use a rubber spatula, and stir it a lot and get almost all the water out of it before laying it on a sheet tray with a SILPAT, dont use parchment paper cause the paper gets soggy, then put it in the walk-in.

if you are cooking to order its usually in a coursed out pre-designed menu from a station that is set up to do that. So the rissotto might be the 5th course in an 8 course menu and its fired immediatly upon order and the person cooking it usually doesnt have anything to do with courses 3 or 4 or maybee even 2,3,4 to allow them to keep up with the order.

generally if your doing pre-cooking for most anything you need to think of the food as a "blanching" stage. Blanch and shock all the food so the time it takes to pivk it up when its ordered and to be plated is less than 7 or 8 minutes. so if you need mushrooms, you would sear them in a hot pan in oil/butter, drain them and cool them, then for service they are added to whatever you need to for pick up. Assembly is the same way. if you go to a wine bar or whatever and they have a flatbread pizza, chances are its already assembles on a flatbread dough that has been blanched off and topped with the stuff that needs to get hot. then onto a pan and in the oven, garnishes are added after cooking and out to the table.

Lets straighten risotto thing out. I dont think it is possible to cook it totally to order. Lets say you have 8 sourses menu, starting cooking you rice but the customer is slow eater and enjoys food and wine and buzz. Is seatinglonger, your rice bocomes cooked. But the customer aint ready? You chill it, and then whats the difference between the one cooked few hours before?

Maybe "maybe" its possible In places where you would like to spend half an hour waiting for it, then in the middle of you enjoying your foccacia/herbs/drinks risotto arrives just the second its cooked perfectly. But if it arrives when your in toilet, gets overcooked and what then?
All the fuss for nothing, not mentioning how much would that portion cost, huh, if you have one chef for one portion for one section?

When I worked in Trattoria every pizza and lasagne would be assembled and dough for pizza rolled a la minute. Even in the heaviest rush. I think Id rather wait for pizza, but it aint risotto, which can easily get gluey...

hambone.johnson
03-07-2012, 03:35 PM
Lets straighten risotto thing out. I dont think it is possible to cook it totally to order. Lets say you have 8 sourses menu, starting cooking you rice but the customer is slow eater and enjoys food and wine and buzz. Is seatinglonger, your rice bocomes cooked. But the customer aint ready? You chill it, and then whats the difference between the one cooked few hours before?

Maybe "maybe" its possible In places where you would like to spend half an hour waiting for it, then in the middle of you enjoying your foccacia/herbs/drinks risotto arrives just the second its cooked perfectly. But if it arrives when your in toilet, gets overcooked and what then?
All the fuss for nothing, not mentioning how much would that portion cost, huh, if you have one chef for one portion for one section?

When I worked in Trattoria every pizza and lasagne would be assembled and dough for pizza rolled a la minute. Even in the heaviest rush. I think Id rather wait for pizza, but it aint risotto, which can easily get gluey...

I have read about and know cooks who have worked at places, usually nationally recognized big names and the rissotto is cook litterally to order. its pre-weighed and the onions and garlic are mised out ahead of time and it is done in service per order, they say it sucks and its very challenging, but these are people working in micheline starred restaurants and thats how the chef wants it. easiest written report of this is the newer eddition of "kitchen confidential"(released with some extra writings in the back) when Tony describes the restaurant next to his in NYC and the quality of service they do there, they make it from scratch, and his writing is reflective of how absurd and rare it is. i have worked with cooks who worked in NY at some of the french Micheline starred restaurants and they say the same thing, it sucks, but its what your ordered to do. i've never personally done it.

You are correct with the pizza thing. and in my previous post i was using a flatbread pizza at a wine bar as an example. not a "real" pizza dough at a propper pizza joint where you have a multitude of options and toppings and what not. i was thinking of a place that might have one flatbread as an option on a menu as an app or small plate and they dont have any options for topping, just that one pizza.

SameGuy
03-07-2012, 05:08 PM
Thanks for all the insight! I can't believe I started meaningful discussion for a change. ;)

ptolemy
03-07-2012, 06:15 PM
Here is my take on it: If someone orders a risitto, he or she should know that it takes about 18-25 minutes to be cooked. So, they should expect as such. The staff should tell them if there is a delay or anything or maybe a reminder to pre-order them.

I think you can precook onions/garlic other sides for risotto, but it has to be cooked to order.

ThEoRy
03-07-2012, 06:19 PM
Arborio rice is par cooked for about 18 minutes then laid out on a sheet pan to cool quickly in the fridge and later finished off to order.

Sometimes we do pan sauces a la minute but for the most part reductions, beurre blanc etc are made pre shift. It's not on the menu but we get Bearnaise requests and it is made a la minute upon request. That's always fun when you're in the weeds.

I'm the king of all mayo at my place! If we ever run out for whatever reason people start freaking out. I relish the opportunity to step in and bust out a fresh batch in the robot coupe in about a minute. It's strange to me that people are amazed that you can make mayonnaise. "You can make mayo?!" I'm like "Taste it." The response is always, "Wow that's even better than Hellmann's" lol

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 06:23 PM
Yes I love making fresh mayo in small batches with my immersion blender (for home use). Very fun to whip it up IMO.

However I have trouble getting mine to the consistancy of Hellman's. If I put it in the fridge, the next day it is more like hellman's, however the first day is more liquidy.

What ratio do you use for mayo?

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 06:25 PM
Arborio rice is par cooked for about 18 minutes then laid out on a sheet pan to cool quickly in the fridge and later finished off to order.

Sometimes we do pan sauces a la minute but for the most part reductions, beurre blanc etc are made pre shift. It's not on the menu but we get Bearnaise requests and it is made a la minute upon request. That's always fun when you're in the weeds.

I'm the king of all mayo at my place! If we ever run out for whatever reason people start freaking out. I relish the opportunity to step in and bust out a fresh batch in the robot coupe in about a minute. It's strange to me that people are amazed that you can make mayonnaise. "You can make mayo?!" I'm like "Taste it." The response is always, "Wow that's even better than Hellmann's" lol
What's the most pain in the ass thing you have to do for a pickup?

Kyle
03-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Here is my take on it: If someone orders a risitto, he or she should know that it takes about 18-25 minutes to be cooked. So, they should expect as such. The staff should tell them if there is a delay or anything or maybe a reminder to pre-order them.

I think you can precook onions/garlic other sides for risotto, but it has to be cooked to order.


Well here's what I'm wondering... how quickly do people expect their dinner? I'm 26 and tend to blow what little extra income I have on toys and beer so I rarely get to eat at anything closely resembling a nice restaraunt. However, when I do go out to a nice place, I want to enjoy the company I'm with, have a couple drinks and relax. I don't want to rush in and out. I don't expect my meal to be ready in under 20 minutes. Do people really think 25 minutes is too long?

ThEoRy
03-07-2012, 06:59 PM
Yes I love making fresh mayo in small batches with my immersion blender (for home use). Very fun to whip it up IMO.

However I have trouble getting mine to the consistancy of Hellman's. If I put it in the fridge, the next day it is more like hellman's, however the first day is more liquidy.

What ratio do you use for mayo?

You have to remember you are most likely using warm oil to make it and the friction from the spinning blades also heats it up as well. Of course the next day after refrigeration it will be thicker from having been chilled. I always keep that in mind. Ratio? I just eyeball it. If it's too thin add more oil. Going off my hollandaise recipe I guess I can put about 1 lb of butter/fat per yolk but I don't know if that translates to mayo recipes. The yolks in hollandaise are fluffed up over triple their size before I stream in the butter.

I start in the robot coupe with the yolks and water then whiz em up and stream in the oil. After I get the mayo/aioli the proper thickness I like to add acid in the form of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar, then I season with kosher salt, fresh white pepper and a tap of cayenne.

MadMel
03-07-2012, 07:03 PM
You have to remember you are most likely using warm oil to make it and the friction from the spinning blades also heats it up as well. Of course the next day after refrigeration it will be thicker from having been chilled. I always keep that in mind. Ratio? I just eyeball it. If it's too thin add more oil. Going off my hollandaise recipe I guess I can put about 1 lb of butter/fat per yolk but I don't know if that translates to mayo recipes. The yolks in hollandaise are fluffed up over triple their size before I stream in the butter.

I start in the robot coupe with the yolks and water then whiz em up and stream in the oil. After I get the mayo/aioli the proper thickness I like to add acid in the form of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar, then I season with kosher salt, fresh white pepper and a tap of cayenne.

Whole or clarified butter?

tkern
03-07-2012, 07:10 PM
To interject: its all preference. I prefer clarified but some (salty and I had a brief conversation about this) like whole butter.

And regardless of what thomas keller says, put your acid and mustard at the beginning of your aioli, not the end.

ThEoRy
03-07-2012, 07:21 PM
I use clarified in the hollandaise.

And yes, for mayo I sometimes start with the acid and the yolks together then stream in the oil. Trouble is sometimes you don't want to start with too much acid as it's harder to adjust later without losing product or making too much.

memorael
03-07-2012, 08:14 PM
To interject: its all preference. I prefer clarified but some (salty and I had a brief conversation about this) like whole butter.

And regardless of what thomas keller says, put your acid and mustard at the beginning of your aioli, not the end.

Why is this? the acid part?:scratchhead:

BTW you can make risotto in like 4 min if you pressure cook it, I don't know of any restaurant that does it nor have I tried it but the Ideas in food blog team has done it and the results are good according to them.

SameGuy
03-07-2012, 11:08 PM
I just spoke with a friend, originally from Umbria, who owns and runs a fairly large five-star hotel and banquet hall on the outskirts of town and he says they only make risotto to order, from scratch. Even when it's a set course in the banquet hall with 300 guests, it's made from scratch an cooked start to finish. A la carte they have five or six different risotti on the menu, and rotate through about a dozen variations. He gave me some good ideas to try (pear & taleggio, asparagus and potato, strawberry & brie and a few others). He says they most often use Prosecco instead of white wine, and vegetable broth in about 2/3 of them because of the more delicate flavors and aromas.

slowtyper
03-08-2012, 01:26 AM
Another thing I've wondered is how restaurants deal with tomatoes.

When I buy tomatoes for my home (just regular store bought tomatoes) I leave them out on the counter for a few days and then eat them, as I've always been told not to store them in the fridge or they lose a lot of flavour.

This is all fine and dandy for me, because I don't eat tomatoes often, but if I ate them every single day it would be hard to manage (buying them very frequently to have them ready to eat daily, buying too much if I skip a week of eating them, etc etc).

Lets say the restaurant serves them raw in a salad. How do they deal with buying and storage?

bieniek
03-08-2012, 05:57 AM
I can easily believe there are some twisted chefs in french starred restaurant, if instead of french cuisine they serve risotto. Saying that Im aware that these days everything goes.

Slowtyper, there are places wher eyou have 3 positions on the menu using beans, yet you are only allowed to order in grams for your next day. And its not cause of lack of fridge space.

I wonder, I always thrown thyme to risotto when it was literally 30 seconds away from going into be spreaded onto tray, cause I believe the thyme flavour gets overcooked and dead after too long cooking, yet its better for the rice to cool down first....

But I have to cook one for myself the other way and taste.

Craig
03-08-2012, 07:53 AM
Why is this? the acid part?:scratchhead:

BTW you can make risotto in like 4 min if you pressure cook it, I don't know of any restaurant that does it nor have I tried it but the Ideas in food blog team has done it and the results are good according to them.

The acid should kill any nasties in the raw egg, but I'm not sure how well it would work after you add all the oil. The risk is pretty minimal to begin with though, especially if you're using good eggs which you really ought to be if you're making mayo from scratch. Also, a little lemon/lime juice tastes good.

Why water though? I've made quite a bit of mayo and I've never put any water in.

And I make mine by hand. With a whisk. One drop at a time. This is something that would definitely not work to order in a restaurant :lol2:

NO ChoP!
03-08-2012, 08:34 AM
You cannot make risotto properly in a pressure cooker. It takes constant stirring to bring out the creaminess.
I worked at a top rated restaurant that was known for its risotto; we cooked every order singularly and to order. The saute station did it, while also doing pasta dishes. A wooden spoon and stainless pot were key...

As far as NATO or imulsified vinaigrettes, a good chef should be able to knock a batch out in literally one minute, consistantly.

NO ChoP!
03-08-2012, 08:35 AM
Mayo, not NATO...damn auto correct...

ajhuff
03-08-2012, 08:56 AM
Another thing I've wondered is how restaurants deal with tomatoes.

When I buy tomatoes for my home (just regular store bought tomatoes) I leave them out on the counter for a few days and then eat them, as I've always been told not to store them in the fridge or they lose a lot of flavour.

This is all fine and dandy for me, because I don't eat tomatoes often, but if I ate them every single day it would be hard to manage (buying them very frequently to have them ready to eat daily, buying too much if I skip a week of eating them, etc etc).

Lets say the restaurant serves them raw in a salad. How do they deal with buying and storage?

We keep a case of tomatoes in the walk in. Can't speak for finer establishments. :)

-AJ

ThEoRy
03-08-2012, 06:14 PM
Tomatoes should definitely be held at over 55 degrees f. However, we just don't have the shelf space in the pantry and unfortunately I'm sure if I kept them out in the open kitchen they would grow legs and walk away.

I use the water when I start the mayo in the robot coupe to add a little height so the blades can actually hit the product and for some reason I am able to start the emulsion much easier. I've tried it without it and it can be hit or miss on splitting. /confused face With the added liquid I have never split one however.

SameGuy
03-08-2012, 09:58 PM
Mayo, not NATO...damn auto correct...

LOL!!

http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com/13603/the-25-funniest-autocorrects-of-dyacs-first-year/

bprescot
03-09-2012, 12:23 PM
Mayo, not NATO...damn auto correct...

Ah dang... I had visions of Keller and Blumenthal just going apesh!t and taking out NATO in a minute flat. You gotta admit... that would be pretty bad@ss.