Q & A with Chef J Stephen… Do many/any nice restaurants serve meals to a table “one-at-a-time-when hot” vs. all-at-the-same-time? What is the general restaurant trend around this?

Server Delivering Food


Our chef’s are all classically trained from Le Cordon Bleu. Although classically trained, when they start with us (or any restaurant for that matter) the most challenging task they immediately face is the ability to create AND provide all dishes simultaneously. This is when most aspiring chef’s “wash out” (decide that being a chef is not for them).

Delivering dishes on time goes beyond one dish and one ticket. It includes the monitoring of multiple tickets all with multiple dishes. Most chef’s use several timers to help achieve this. Our kitchen features multiple staff members, all gliding from task to task, reacting to multiple timers, to assure that each table is served as quickly as possible in a timely manner. Granted, we make all our dishes from scratch which only add’s to the complexity of the assignment and in order to cut down on the complexity and time to provide dishes, many kitchens pre-make many of their dishes. However, the basic challenge still remains.

A great example of this is the following scenario for a seemingly simple party of five breakfast at our International Bistro in Forney, TX: Our sample order consists of five dishes; (1) waffles, (1) pancakes, (1) soufflé, (1) eggs Benedict and (1) oatmeal.  Seems simple, right? Well lets give you a little insight into just what goes into crafting those dishes.

Our chef’s know that the waffles take 4 minutes, the pancakes 11 minutes, the soufflé 20 minutes, the Eggs Benedict 4 minutes to poach the eggs, 16 minutes to bake the crab cakes and the oatmeal takes 8 minutes to cook, 1 minute to slice the fruit and 3 minutes to brûlée. In addition, our chef’s are usually working multiple dishes at the same time.

This simple breakfast seems quite simple to the guest but involves great training on the part of the chef.  Now take that same ticket and multiply it by 20 tickets all in queue at once with some parties as large as 20 people! I believe that will help you understand what it means to be a chef and just what goes into providing those SIMPLE dishes all at once to your table.

Being a chef requires two often conflicting capabilities, intense focus as well as the ability to multi-task while under great pressure.To assure all dishes come out simultaneously all cooked to perfection is the magic that separates the chef from the cook.

J Stephen

3 responses

  1. Love your bistro!
    Food, especially breakfast, is a “change your life” experience, rather than the average food that so many folks now think is good.
    Such a traet!
    (One note – your website reads so beautifully with one exception: there are many plural and possessive apostrophe errors. Perhaps a good English prof reader could filter these out for you, so that your site reads as smoothly as your food eats up!)
    Thank you for your lovely treat of a bistro!

    • Regarding our (my) grammar issues, today I pay the price for being a student who was more interested in my band than my studies. Although I love to write, I am well aware of my grammatical shortcomings and am continually reminded of my English teachers prediction that “some day you will need the pen rather than the chord”! Well that day has arrived and I thank God “I told you so” offers no grammatical challenges.

      Since I do not have an editor and write on my blog late in the evenings on the spur of the moment, I would be beholden to you to let me know whenever you come across a grammatical error. I’m sure there are a few hiding in broad daylight in this reply.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: