The 10 Commandments of Prep Cooks That Every Kitchen Should Have
Q: I want to hang up a “Ten Commandments of Prep” in the prep area as a fun thing for my morning crew. I have a pretty good list going, what would you put on it?
A: The unsung heroes of the kitchen are, without a doubt, the daytime prep crew. Reducing sauces, straining stocks, par cooking ingredients, and portioning proteins early in the morning so that the line cooks can do what they do later in the day.
A great prep cook should be taken care of in every possible way and fed like a king. However, care should be taken to make sure your prep crew is staying on point, and getting the job done the way you need it to be done. So, with that in mind, here are some things I would put on my list of commandments for a morning prep crew.
1. Thou shalt label and date everything that goes into the walk-in. In legible handwriting and with a marker. No pencils, crayons, or ancient runes. Product should be placed on the shelf with the label facing out so that people don’t have to move everything to see what it is.
2. Thou shalt double check the prep list before making 300 pounds of mashed potatoes. Check the walk-in, look on the line, and triple check before making large amounts of prep.
3. Thou shalt use the smallest container possible for your finished prep. Please do not put one gallon of merlot reduction in a five gallon Cambro, or vice versa. Use the right tool for the right job.
4. Thou shalt not put a sauce on to reduce then forget about it, ever. Seriously, ever. Every prep cook should make it an ingrained habit to walk by anything that is over heat every fifteen minutes. To let something reduce for two hours then ruin it in the last few minutes is ridiculous.
5. Thou shalt never forget to put in long cook items first thing. If you’ve never felt the heartbreak of reaching for a baked potato and finding rock-hard, raw potatoes, then you are lucky. If it’s part of the early prep person’s responsibilities to turn on ovens and it doesn’t happen, then the entire day is a scramble. First things first.
6. Honor the prep list and keep it holy. Chefs and Sous Chefs don’t spend hours of everyday going through everything in the kitchen and making prep lists for their health. The prep list is the roadmap to success in a professional kitchen, follow it.
7. Finished product will be done the way Chef wants it, no excuses. If you think you know a better way, speak up. If not, do it the way you were taught to do it.
8. If asked for 45 beet gratins, 44 is unacceptable. Par numbers are important. Don’t skimp on the prep.
9. Thou shalt not allow oneself to be talked into doing line prep once the line cooks show up. When the saute cook asks you for some shallots and garlic, you tell them to fuck off. If the cook doesn’t like that, send them to the Chef, so they can tell the cook to fuck off.
10. Thou shalt never, ever, milk the clock. You have an elevated and trusted position in the kitchen. Don’t mess it up.
Original Article Here: http://www.shiftgig.com/articles/10-commandments-prep-cooks-every-kitchen-should-have