Chefs' larder duties
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In order for a restaurant to operate efficiently, some food items need to be stored for future use and kept cool. Most restaurants have a larder, which is a kind of pantry in which cold items like sandwiches and salads are made.
Just as there are chefs who are responsible for separate stations within the kitchen itself, there are chefs who control the larder. These larder chefs, or guarde managers, have distinct duties.
Larder chefs prepare any "cold" dishes that either stand alone or require further work by other chefs. For example, they may cut raw meat into adequate portions so that it may be cooked, or they may put together something like potato salad or a cold soup. The larder chefs must have excellent culinary skills and knowledge even though they may not do a lot of cooking, because they have to understand how cold dishes complement other dishes or how other chefs will use cold food stuffs from the larder.
Larder chefs store the food within the larder according to safety and sanitation guidelines or instruct other staff members how to do so. The larder chef thus has a huge role in eliminating food poisoning. Additionally, the larder chef tracks larder inventory daily with inventory sheets and orders food stuffs whenever they are low. This is crucial to the function of a kitchen because the chefs must have the ingredients to produce whatever the customer orders in order to maintain revenue and profit.
- Larder chefs store the food within the larder according to safety and sanitation guidelines or instruct other staff members how to do so.
Larder chefs work with other chefs and restaurant administrators to create and maintain restaurant menus. In addition to directly creating some menu items, they also take the knowledge of the menu and translate it into food stuff orders. They also may organise the larder based on whatever is planned for the menu, since they need to know how much space will be allocated for each food item.
Because larder chefs are responsible for larder inventory, they act as advisers to other chefs and alert them as to what inventory requires immediate use. This helps the kitchen to reduce the amount of waste and spoilage in the larder. In some cases, the larder chef may come up with his own creative ways to use remaining inventory if it cannot be used for the original purpose it was ordered.
There may be dozens of individuals who go in and out of a larder in a given restaurant. The problem is that this makes it easy for people to take larder items without authorisation, which impacts menus and revenue. Larder chefs are responsible for keeping the larder secure by implementing methods to deter pilfering.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.