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If you want to test your baking soda for freshness, pour a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice over a 1/2 tsp. of baking soda.  If it doesn't bubble if isn't fresh!

 

News and Commentary

Chef Dave would like to tell you a few things he thinks are important to him.  Here's what's on Dave's mind. 

                                                                              

Early is better

It's 8pm on a Saturday night, and you've been told it will be 30 minutes to get the table you reserved for 8pm.  Everyone loves to go to dinner between 7:30 and 8:30.  If you notice, there are usually 8-10 waiters in a good size place.  They will take 1-3 orders before turning any of them into the kitchen.  That adds up to an average of 20 tables, all, getting turned in within 15 minutes of each other.

Then the kitchen gets slammed and sometimes goes down when too many orders come in at the same time.  When things back up, it can get ugly.  You figure if you eat at a place that seats 175-200 guests, and they do the industry average 2-1/2 turns on a busy night.  That means the kitchen will turn out 450-500 meals in about 4 hours.  Not only is that humping, it's a major amount of repetition.

Most kitchens run pretty hot.  Cook's and Chef's can get irritable when they're really busy and sweating.  Tempers can flare.  I know I've been there.  My point of all this is, most cook's, produce their best work early in the evening before they've been beaten up by the first 300 or 400 orders they've cooked.  They will be clear thinking and will make your dinner exactly how the chef wants it done.  This can change however when the cook is very busy. They may forget to add certain components or even the seasoning.

By 9pm when you get your first course, the kitchen is more interested in a smoke break or what they're going to do that night.  If they've under-prepped for the evening that's the time they start running out of ingredients and your meal might change a bit unless someone preps more.  Sometimes the kitchen gets so backed up they run behind the rest of the evening, with meals taking an hour or more to come out of the kitchen.

So, what can you do about this?  Go eat early.  Find out when your chosen restaurant opens for dinner.  Many open as early as 5pm.  Make your reservation anytime between 5 and 7 and you should have no trouble getting in on time and getting the best meal you're chosen establishment can produce!  Even the wait staff will be fresher and give the best service they can give.  This should add up to a memorable dining experience and remember it is healthier to eat 4 hours before going to sleep!

Chef Dave