Sunday, June 23, 2013

Speed racks

I love speed racks. They help my team at Oakland Feather River Camp organize ingredients for the next meal. You'll often hear a cook yell "Coming through" as he moves the rack from the reefer to the hot line for meal production.

Although I don't know where the term comes from, Oakland Camp's two sheet pan racks are in constant use. One is loaded with baked goods. It's stored close to the convection ovens. The second unit is often loaded with prep for the next day. It spends much of the day in the walk-in cooler.

Last Sunday I guided Jesse, a young prep cook at the camp, as he prepared the ingredients for scrambled eggs with mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach for breakfast on Monday. With a short two-hour window to get ready for breakfast, there's no time to prep for the scramble in the morning. Jesse used most of an hour to wash and slice five pounds of mushrooms, dice 20 large tomatoes and open a case of pre-washed spinach.

After the vegetables were cut, he placed a case of eggs (15 cartons each with two pounds of liquid eggs in each carton) on the bottom shelf in the speed rack. Once the potatoes were panned and set on the middle shelves of the rack, Jesse wheeled it into the walk-in.

As Jesse learned last week, speed racks save time in the kitchen. They help the cook move product, cooked and uncooked, from one point to another. And when properly organized, the speed rack allows the cook to perform his job with efficiency and ease.

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