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Food production in catering term simply refers to the food preparation and control. This is a sub-department of food and beverage department in a large hotel comprises of various kitchens concerning mainly with the continental, Chinese and Indian cuisine. In the food production cycle, these kitchens receive the core or readymade ingredients, processing them through the preparing and cooking methods, and deliver them via various service outlets to the customer's table. This sub-department is designed providing the several sections include preparation area, cooking area, storage area, cleaning area, etc. Hence, these sections play a vital role in preparing dishes in order to the acquired recipes mentioned in different menus.
In culinary terminology, the term food preparation and control refers to make the ingredients ready for preparation and cooking at the required quantity and quality simultaneously. This is a vital unit, which is structurally defined as the sub-department of F&B department in the hotel industry. From the commercial viewpoint, it contributes major revenue in any catering business.
It is one of the largest areas of food and beverage department comprising of various kitchens and their sections. The number of kitchens, manpower and work efficiency dependson the size and type of the hotel, and the types of meal and service to be catered. There may be Continental, Oriental, Indian, Italian, Mexican, etc. kitchens including ancillary sections, e.g. Cold kitchen, butchery, still room, service areas, etc. However, this sub-department produces the food that adopts the system of preparation and control, from the receipt of food supply to service of prepared food to the customers.
Kitchen is a well-designed area in which food is prepared and cooked for customers’ service. The word kitchen comes from the French word 'Cuisine' means ’art of cooking or food preparation in the kitchen'. The varieties of meals that are prepared and cooked by the skilled and semi-skilled culinary crafts are the key person, and the food is served in specific areas of the catering establishment. The purpose of kitchen organization is to produce the right quantity and quality of food in its best standard for required number of people by the most effective use of staff, equipment and materials.
The requirement of the kitchen has to be clearly identified with regard to the type of food that is to be prepared, cooked and served. The space and types of equipment’s available most be fully justified. At the same time, the organization of the kitchen personnel must also be well-planned.
The kitchens are known by different names as per their functions and style of management. Types of kitchen depend on upon following points.
The main kitchen is probably located in the central part of the hotel where the overall sequence of food receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, serving and clearing areas are properly designed and managed. Technically, it is known as central kitchen having many sections. Hence, it may occupy a large space. This kitchen provides a wide range of food varieties e.g. Indian, Continental, Oriental, Mexican, Italian, etc. through its respective sections with the help of skilled/ semi-skilled culinary crafts persons called chef-de-parties and commie cooks.
The main kitchen is usually located adjacent to room service, service bar, store, pantry/ stillroom, bakery, butchery etc. for efficient workflow. It may have both a' la carte and table d' hote menu for breakfast, Lunch and dinner. This kitchen may serve up to three or four fine dining restaurants simultaneously. There is often a separate kitchen for the banquet and other activities.
Basically, the main kitchen is divided into the following sections:
Satellite kitchen is constructed and established to cater to a particular outlet where the main kitchen cannot cater due to its location disadvantage. Largely, this kitchen can organize most of the preparation work in its own kitchen. However, it may depend on upon the main kitchen for various other things such as sauce, stocks, gravies, pasta, etc. Usually, a sous chef commands over this kitchen. This kitchen becomes a must for specialty restaurants such as Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican, Nepalese, etc. which are located away from the main kitchen.
Fast food kitchen is influenced by American catering technology, i.e., ‘fast food to lead a fast life'. Fast food was developed from original 'fish and chips' concept at that time. But modern catering mostly provides dry and light food. It is independently established to meet the pace of customers' busy life. It is specially located at the public are (lobby level) of a hotel, or out of the hotel where either food is taken away or consumed at the fast food lounge area. Most of the fast food establishments may be found in retail and leisure areas and in roadside service complexes, airport lounge, railway stations, and at some events where mobile hamburger and hot dogs stalls are traditionally seen.
It provides varieties of dry and light meals like a burger, sandwich, fish and chips, pizza, snacks, grilled meat/ fish/ shellfish, cold and hot beverages, etc. The characteristics of fast food kitchen are as follows:
In this kitchen, food is prepared and cooked in full open view of customers, which appeals to the eyes, palate and dining experience of the consumers. At the same time, the sizzle and aroma of food item add to the pleasure of eating e g. Grill Room. It is also termed as theatre kitchen. The hygiene, Sanitation and decor of the kitchen, as well as the skill and showmanship of the staff, in particular, may determine the sale of such kitchens. This kitchen also seeks the support of the main kitchen for various items. It is headed by sous chef/chef de parties.
The layout of the kitchen should be so planned that raw food stuff arrives at one point, processed in the cooking section and are dispatched to the servers.
The cooking section should contain no through traffic lanes used by other staff to travel from one section to another. The cooking section should be designed with a view to making maximum use of the available area and to provide economy of effort in use.
Mainly the kitchen space is divided into five major area. They are:
1) Storage area:
The area used to store particular goods, either dry or moist, in large quantity for quick and smooth operation. Equipment located in this area include the cool room, deep freezer, cold Store and dry store.
2) Food preparation area:
Equipment should be positioned in those preparation or cooking areas where it is used frequently.
3) Cooking area:
This area is the actual cooking, where cooking gas and equipment are fixed, such as deep fat fryer, hot plate, stockpots pressure steamers etc.
4) Cleaning and washing area:
Dishes and glasses are washed in an area conveniently close to the serving sections. Pots and pans are washed in separate areas or in areas near their use, depending on the size of the kitchen.
5) Service area:
Equipment’s used to hold food hot or cold services are positioned near the dining room entrance. Beverage and toast making facilities are located near the service section for quick and easy access by waiters.
Oli, Gopal Singh and B. B. Chhetri.Hotel management. Kathmandu: Buddha publications Pvt. Ltd., 2015. Book.
Shrestha, Dinesh; K.C, Saroj; karki, karuna; Sharma, Robin; elt.Hotel Management. kathmandu: Arcadia Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., 2068,Shrawan.