Equipment In Action
Whether the venue is a food truck or a display kitchen, the art and science of food preparation continues to captivate restaurant and foodservice customers. Meal items prepared on a grill, griddle, plancha or wok range in full view of diners provide evidence of freshness, quality and personalization. In a sense, the theater of food production adds value by connecting those who consume meals with the skilled professionals who create the finished products.
The vicarious delight so many Americans take from watching ingredients being transformed into appealing meals helps to account for the popularity of cooking shows that have become staples on TV networks such as The Food Network and Bravo. The time constraints and instant peer reviews built into these shows’ formats add drama and suspense. What they lack, however, is any focus on the equipment and hand tools whose use professional cooks must master to knock out winning appetizers, entrees and desserts. Given the mass audiences TV cooking shows are developed to reach, this is not surprising. But it does reveal a knowledge gap that deserves to be filled.
Every day, thousands of restaurant and foodservice operators and culinary staff hit the streets and go online to shop for new and replacement kitchen equipment. In many cases, they are confronted by an over-abundance of choices, as popular equipment categories teem with products from a plethora of suppliers. Unless prior experience has established allegiance to a particular brand or model, most would-be equipment purchasers are hard-pressed to select the products that are best suited to their individual menus and concepts.
In our opinion, it seems what’s needed is a convenient way for operators to experience equipment in action and learn from culinary staff why this particular oven or that specific braising pan was selected to accomplish different production applications. The obvious medium for this form of equipment education is video, shot on-site in working kitchens, and our plan is to create such resources in the very near future. We’ll be telling you more about when and where such videos will be posted soon.