THE DO'S AND DONT'S OF THE HOOFDSTAD KITCHEN INSPIRED BY DAN HUNTER
Dan Hunter is a chef based in Australia at restaurant Brae focusing on the idea of 'farm to table' in a uber chic way. To me he is real inspiration culinarily but also for how he runs his kitchens and restaurant.
This segment is dedicated in part to what he has achieved for Australian cuisine, but also inspired by his 'kitchen do's and dont's' in a recently released cookbook.
Every kitchen needs to have rules and standards in order to maintain quality.
1. DO NOT BE LATE. Being late is forgivable if it is communicated. Send a text, call someone, send a smoke signal; do whatever you need to do to let us know you will be late.
2. Do not work dirty. The mentality of clean work space-clean mind is so very relevant every day and moment you are working in a kitchen.
3. Please do not come to work without a full uniform. That means clean jacket and pants, shoes on your feet, hair tied back, clean apron, hat and clean shaved. If you are not clean shaved you will have to shave with a two blade razor that even a dead pig doesn’t want to be shaved with.
4. Do not change things without being asked to. Ain’t nobody got time for people who casually like to change things; recipes are made for reason, plates are dressed a certain way for a reason and things are cooked in a certain way for a reason. But then again if you find a quicker way to make something, a cleaner way to achieve it or a more efficient way to produce it, don’t be shy; let’s discuss it and maybe we will look to do it that way.
5. Be a good listener. We love to teach, we love to share our knowledge and we love to discuss all things food, but pay attention. It is a busy industry and if you don’t pay attention the knowledge will be go elsewhere.
6. Be helpful. The back bone of this industry is that we make through together. This isn’t a trip down a rainbow on a unicorn; its hot, fast paced, burny, sharp and can eat you up alive. But with the right people around you, you will be sitting in the pub having a laugh at the end of the day.
7. Be ready to work hard – refer to point 6.
8. Turn off the timers as quickly as possible. The noise of a timer can creep down into your soul and bring out a monster that you may not have known existed. This is the passion of hatred I have to timer noise. I wish timers had a vibrate setting; but would it then end in burnt, overcooked food?
This sounds intense, I know, but believe me; when a whole kitchen is in sync you can’t describe how good it is.