When I say that my husband is a chef everyone is saying. “Wow, you are so lucky!” , “You get to eat restaurant like meals every day”. Well, not exactly. My husband loves to cook; he is on a career path that he truly loves. But, he doesn’t really have time to cook at home. Sometimes even months will pass and I haven’t eaten a meal prepared from him. But when he does cook me breakfast/lunch/dinner I can’t stop eating. I remember when he made French toast it was mouthwatering. Even a simple meal made form a chef is breathtaking.
However, during the cooking, he is constantly under pressure. “Come on, you are constantly cooking for hundreds of people at once, now for 4 people is a hassle?” It was hard to understand that there is a big difference in cooking at home and at a restaurant. I decided to share this with all of you.
1. The equipment – Professional appliances and tools are designed to withstand hours and hours of work every day. Restaurants need efficiency so that the food can be cooked fast and to be tasty too. That is why the pots are heavy, ovens can reach high temperatures and the deep dryer can reach the needed temperature in minutes.
2. Food – Some meals taste a lot better when cooked in larger quantities, but there are some that taste better when cooked in a single dish. Soups, stews, ribs, etc. taste wonderful when eaten in restaurants. When cooked home following the same recipe is great, but not the same.
3. Recipes – “How do you make the mixture for patties?” recently I asked my chef this question. “ I don’t follow a recipe”. Chefs don’t use recipes. They cook form experience, ratios, and formulas but not recipes. Everything they know is memorized too.
4. Gadgets – All those amazing gadgets that you buy for your kitchen to make cooking easier you won’t find them in a commercial kitchen. A chef only needs a very sharp knife, pans, and pots. First, because those gadgets are not designed for extensive use and they can’t be easily stored.
5. Food presentation – What is the first thing that you think when the waiter brings the dish to you. “Wow, it looks amazing/terrible”. Our eyes must be satisfied first. So, presentation is a priority too, on the same scale as the taste. Colors, drawings, different plates, etc. are used to make the dish appealing and tasty before you even try it.
6. Cooking for 4 or 100 – At home sometimes it is hard to make a simple meal for 4 people. But what should chefs say when they need to cook for 100+ guests? If we have this task at home it will take hours. But thanks to the equipment, chefs can create amazing meals for hundreds of people in just a couple of hours or less.
At homes, we can do it the lazy way. We can stir the sauce for hours. Sit, relax or even finish a different task. But in a professional kitchen, you can’t stop. Chefs must be ready to cook fast without compromising the quality. Plus, there is always something chefs can do in the kitchen, even when they are not cooking.
But, in the end, a culinary career is amazing. I fall in love with food thanks to the experience I got from my husband. Today I enjoy experimenting with food too, and I love when he comments about it. But it took time to realize the difference between home and restaurant cooking. Now, I appreciate every meal he makes at home even if it is only once a year.
But I learn from him every day and I try my best to recreate restaurants meals with the help of my kitchen. Sometimes it is hard because there are no recipes I can lean on. Now, I can cook without recipes too and it is the best thing. I encourage you to try it too. The meals will be a lot tastier.