What You See is What You Get
Waste not, want not… look for creative ways to use what you have.
Unfortunately not all new restaurant owners and chefs have the ability, or capital to outfit their kitchen or establishment with all the bells, whistles and gadgets one would envision being in the culinary space of their dreams. Whether you’ve purchased a space that was a preexisting restaurant, or you are the newly appointed chef for an already established kitchen, it if important to take the time and evaluate what you have vs. what you need; and to realize they are not always one in the same.
A green chef enters the kitchen…
Early on in my career, as a young (green) chef I would always be asking the owners for new gadgets; and for the most part the answer was usually the same “do you need it to do your job?” or my favorite “what you see is what you get chef.” I was not easily dissuaded but it did force me to view things through different eyes; to look and think outside the box. What can I do with this stockpile of old wooden cutting boards? Cut them into smaller boards, sand them and use them for appetizer plates or for charcuterie presentations. What can I do with this old mobile warming cabinet? Clean it up, have a vent whole drilled in the side and use it as a cabinet style smoker.
And remember, sometimes a neutral set of eyes can help you see things from a different perspective.
By taking your time, and really evaluating your tools, surroundings and equipment you may find yourself concluding that what you see is good enough to get the job done. Strategically work other wish list items into your business plan; outline a time frame and the steps needed to get you those new fun toys and gadgets!
May your life and stomach always be full,