Fine Dining & Everything that Goes into it: Chapter 2

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Importance of Having a Talented Executive Chef

A Fine Dining restaurant isn’t a diner – you can’t walk in and expect a grilled cheese sandwich just because the kitchen has the ingredients and they ‘can make it’ much like you can’t walk in and expect a dish that used to be on the menu but is no longer, just because you’re ‘special’. A well-run restaurant will have a set menu full of options that isn’t exhausting to look through like that of a Cheesecake Factory for example, (which is literally a book, and everything has chicken in it) and that menu will change regularly; whether seasonally or as chef desires. It’s important to understand that Chef isn’t your personal cook; any respected chef reserves the right to say ‘No’ to ridiculous modifications; especially during rush hour. Of course if it’s a matter of an allergy, the kitchen is likely to accommodate; at the end of the day it’s all about pleasing the customer. However, if you’re going to come in and demand something that isn’t on the menu, you better re-evaluate your position in life because unlike in your home where you’ve managed to keep everyone under your whip, Chef isn’t your bitch. Chef is a creator and a leader; constantly under stress and pressure he/she motivates and supervises a team of other talented people to make sure that you have a Fine Dining experience. A truly talented chef will stray from things that can be found in any other restaurant, and instead create something original; a work of art. And much like with art, you can’t expect to have a great outcome if you’re using shitty tools. That’s why fresh ingredients are essential in a properly run kitchen. You can’t get away with chopping up some old fish and throwing it in a soup in attempts to save produce at a Fine Dining restaurant; no one would even think of doing that because it’s quality is always number one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen sauces being used and reused and the bases of vegetables that were no longer good towards anything substantial being chopped up into much smaller pieces and shoved into burgers or something; I’m sorry, that’s not Fine Dining; that’s Shenanigans.

Craig Polignano

*Introduction can be found here

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