|Re: that Kitchen topic again! Don't Panic!||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: lilbert (lilbertconcentric.net)|
|Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 20:59:06 -0500|
Wow! He really has said some alarming things, this professional cook of yours. I think that you need to listen to what he says with a grain of salt. You will not be cooking professional meals, you will be cooking for a crowd. Hopefully, you will be cooking one menu for everybody. That is entirely unlike a restaurant. You don't need to truck food in, either, for heavens sake. You will not be cooking every night, and won't be storing perishables for long- they'll just go bad. We experimented in the beginning with buying food in warehouse quantities, and it was a total bust. Someone had to recieve and put away the supplies once a week, and we couldn't order enough stuff to get a guaranteed delivery every week. We also had way too much food to store. Your goal should be to use everything you buy in one meal, with exceptions like condiments and dry goods, like beans and pasta. You don't need a walk in cooler. They are hugely expensive to purchase and run. Buy the biggest home refrigererator you can find. You will learn to cook simple delicious meals by trial and error(also check out Mela Silva's food column in the cohousing journal) and it won't take all day. Usually, in our groups of three cooks, shopping, cooking and cleaning are divided up according to who likes to do what and has time at different times of day. For instance, one person does shopping the night before, ore earlier. He takes about an hour to two hours. Then he has to waork the day of the meal and comes in for an hour toput the finishing touches on the meal and cleans for another hour afterwards. Another person has time to cook during the day, and puts in all her time cooking, about 4 hours. Third person comes in half way through cooking and cleans up with person # one. This sort of thing can take some time to figure out, but I think your professional's estimate could be cut in half or more. It will be more work when you first move in, but you'll get the hang of it. I've even done an entire meal myself in one day, but it's exhausting-strictly an emergency measure. As for the professional appliances, consider that carefully. Professional stoves get VERY hot and can burn little fingers- I'm assuming you will have children there, no? Getthe highest BTU stove that is made for the home that you can find. You don't want to wait an hour for water to boil, honest. They now make a great selection of stoves that have pro power and home safety. We would probably get a bigger dishwasher if we could do it over, but don't really have the room anyway. We would absolutely have gotten heavy duty stainless steel sinks, one with a very deep well, and are replacing ours now. Otherwise, you'll need a nice big pantry for dry goods and lots of counter and storage space. We find our island very convenient. But there is one thing that concerns me most about putting in a "professional" kitchen, and that is atmosphere. You really don't want to feel like you are cooking in an institution, do you? Every group I have heard from who went that route is sorry. Try to make it as much like home as possible, but sturdier. We have 25 households; not as much as 35, but pretty close. I have 10 years experience in professional kitchens, five in cohousing, and they are very dissimilar. I hope I have been helpful, and not too abrasive. I just REALLY want you to understand that this is a whole different animal from a professional kitchen. Liz Stevenson Southside Park Cohousing
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