Trends & Insights
Product Versatility - A Chef's Secret Sauce
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Running a kitchen is no easy feat. From training and managing kitchen personnel to supervising all culinary-related activities, chefs are critical to the success of every food establishment. Between building a menu, controlling food costs, streamlining operations and reducing food waste, a chef’s responsibilities begin long before plating a meal.
Forecasting food consumption and right-sizing food purchasing and inventory can mean the difference between a successful operation and one feeling famished. A best practice shared among chefs – from the five-star restaurants to the greasy spoons – is extending product versatility.
Perishable items – such as meat, poultry and fish – are not only the costliest meal ingredients, they also require ample cold storage and timely consumption. Getting the most out of these menu staples can simplify both purchasing and inventory challenges.
Chicken, regarded as one of the most versatile products in any kitchen, is the basis for signature dishes at virtually every restaurant on the planet. Its mild taste and culinary adaptability lend itself to widespread menu usage. Steak also is turning up on nearly every page of the menu, offering a premium protein beyond the traditional entrée. Whether in an appetizer, on a salad or in a sandwich, its flexibility provides chefs with flavorful dishes that command a premium.
“Everyday challenges like portion control, food costs, limited walk-in space and efficient food prep are top of mind with food service professionals, which makes them a priority for us as a supplier,” shared Doug Santschi, VP of Marketing at AdvancePierre® Foods. “While on-trend and delicious food is a prerequisite for any supplier relationship, understanding and addressing those challenges with innovative and versatile food solutions is key.”
While it’s true that a chef’s signature dishes are more culinary art than science, the success of a food establishment is not solely reliant on dining experience. The profitability of a kitchen is decided before the ovens are preheated and the burners are ignited. Product versatility adds that dash of “science” in a successful kitchen’s secret sauce.