Most of the time, when a chef, restaurant manager, or line cook eats out, it’s because it’s their day off and the last thing they want to do is spend time in a kitchen. However, if they’d adjust a few things about the way they treat their out-on-the-town dining experiences, they could actually learn quite a lot. At Hoodmart, we want every restaurant to succeed and are here to provide some tips to help you get the most out of visiting other restaurants.
Stick with restaurants that employ chefs
As you’re likely aware, not all restaurants have chefs – many of them have kitchen managers. What you’re looking for is a restaurant with a chef who’s thought about what they’re preparing, has worked with local ingredient providers in the area, and has taken the time to find quality ingredients.
This isn’t just because a chef who does these things is more likely to create delicious food, though that’s certainly part of it! It’s because if you come across something that really speaks to you, and you want to know more, you want to be able to ask questions while you’re there. It may seem uncomfortable to talk to another chef about the secrets of his kitchen, but the vast majority of chefs – or at least successful chefs – are this business because they’re passionate about food. They will likely be glad to talk to you about it.
Don’t visit at a peak time
If you’re interested in speaking to the chef about their food, then you’re going to have a lot more luck if you do that when they’re not busy. Many people know that you’re not likely to get the best food on off hours, because the kitchen is likely not fully staffed and some elements may have been sitting for a while. However, if you stick with a good restaurant, their food will be good no matter what time you visit.
Don’t just ask questions about the food
The food is what impressed you so that’s what you want to ask about. That makes sense, but remember that a lot more than ingredients and preparation technique when into that food. For example, the right ventilation equipment, or the right fryer may be just as important. Be sure you get the full story and know as much as you can about the preparation if you want to learn as much as possible.