Ayushi Arora walks a mile in BrandChef of FresCo Ankit Mangla’s shoes to find out what really happens behind the swivel doors that lead to the inner sanctum of a restaurant – the kitchen.
Brand Chef Ankit (right) with Head Chef Dhruv, planing the upcoming week’s buffet menu. “Work timings often depend on the operations. You could start at 3am and finish 3am the next morning. Each day is different.”
There IS a plan. “We usually chalk-out a detailed buffet menu with preparation methods, and paste it on the kitchen’s wall for Junior Chefs to follow diligently.” Okay, so its more like your morning prayer and weekend assignment all rolled into one.”
“When we’re expecting VVIP’s there is an even more detailed plan. Failure is not an option!”
Weigh in – Even food is conscious about packing on the pounds. “Putting out consistently great food means standardising everything right down to the tiny details.”
Chef Ankit creates a Red Wine-Chicken Sauce “Yes, we wish we could sip on some in the process. No, we don’t!”
“Sampling multiple glasses of wine to learn about its nuances, is just another day on the job for some of us.”
“Interacting with guests is always fun. Brilliant ideas come from the most unexpected places.”
“We LOVE hand-written notes, keep them coming.”
Nothing perks us up more than some genuine appreciation (and a few selfies) with a good-looking guest.
“Trips to Italy only mean new ingredients to play..umm…work with…”
“But travelling for work or during training also means running around, and every hour spent on our feet is fierce.”
“We get an average of three to five minutes to wrap-up our meals. We often eat standing up and are already planning what to get back to cooking before we finish.”
“Bulk orders only mean that we bring out the big boy toys that we don’t always have the opportunity to use. They preserve pre-cooked food prepared for parties or big orders of many guests.
The Cold room is a walk-in refrigerator that we sometimes step into for a much needed one minute-icy break.
“Premium meats that look fun, funky or exotic are usually the subjects for our candid photography.”
“The most interesting part about being a Chef is meeting people from different walks of life with different tastes and upbringings, and finding out that there is always a middle ground. It is strange how you can always find something from cultures that overlap and often these make for the beginning of very good friendships.”
“Of course, being a chef , you’re bound to run into some fabulous food and great chefs along the way.”
Food, sleepless nights, torn shoes, cuts and burns, deadlines, training and thinking on your feet go hand-in-hand with a Chef’s life. If you have an insight or a comment you’d like to share, leave us a comment or tweet to us @wecallitwow. We’d love to hear from you.