Path of the Chef: Kitchen Maintenance Guide

kitchenA chef’s work is only as good as the quality and condition of his kitchen. The food he serves is his work, and the kitchen is his office. How his kitchen is will reflect on the quality and manner of his product he delivers.

This said, for any self-respecting cook, one of his unspoken duties is the maintenance of his kitchen. From keeping the tools and equipment in good condition to keeping the counter clean, here is a quick guide.

Tools and Equipment

The kitchen is a workplace and a studio, where the chef works with all the tools and implements of his craft. A cook must learn how to maintain his equipment. For his stoves and ranges, he must keep them clean and make sure it is always supplied with gas. If there are any problems with the fuel source, calling the local gas plumbers to fix it for him is his best bet, as the gas plumbers will ensure the safety and efficiency of the transfer of the gas to the stove.

Clean and service the dishwashers and sink as well. These are important parts of the kitchen that keep cooking operations going smooth. If the tap is leaking, call the plumber.

For his other tools, keeping them in top shape is also important. Knives should be regularly sharpened so that they do not lose their edge. Any cook worth his salt knows that there is nothing more frustrating and performance-sapping problem than a dull knife. Well-sharpened knives save time and effort in the kitchen and leads to better cuts, and therefore better prepared food. The same goes for their other cutters such as peelers, choppers, graters and the like. Poorly-maintained tools result in poorly prepared food.

Food and Stock

Once in a while, a cook has to check on the foodstuff stocked in the pantry. Food and other perishables have their own idiosyncrasies and must therefore be handled and stored accordingly. Part of kitchen maintenance is keeping stock of these, checking expiration dates, and rightly consuming them before then. Food that has gone bad must be disposed of immediately and properly.

Cleanliness is a huge part of maintenance. Set up a cleaning schedule that you can accommodate on your own time and stick to it. Whether three times a week or every end of the week, do it. The kitchen is the cook’s world. Do not neglect it, not for a moment.