Thou Shalt Have a Fishy
Wednesday 28 June 2017
One of the biggest trends for restaurants in recent years has been to tell the story of the meal. This involves not only explaining to diners the thought processes guiding the chef during the creation of the meal, but also the provenance of the ingredients. You need to be able to reassure customers of the quality of your product, which means knowing every step of its journey to their plate. A key part of that journey is guaranteeing that it stays at peak freshness once it arrives in your kitchen.
Seafood is one of the trickiest ingredients to keep fresh, with specific factors that make a standard refrigerator less than ideal. Firstly, fish needs to be stored at a different temperature range compared to meat to ensure peak freshness for as long as possible. Secondly, the acidity and salt content of fish can cause damage to standard refrigerator cabinet finishes.
When choosing equipment for storing seafood, make sure it’s been designed with seafood in mind. For example, cabinets that feature lightweight polypropylene containers fitted with their own slime tray protects both the fish and the cabinet, are easy to clean whilst the slime tray protects against cross contamination.
In an ideal world you’d be able to serve fresh fish all the time, realistically you’ll also need to store frozen fish. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise quality, and that all-important journey can still be guaranteed. Indeed, with modern flash freezing techniques, the quality of the product can be kept close to “just caught” until required.
Once the frozen seafood reaches you, it needs to be stored correctly, but also needs to be close to hand to allow quick access when needed. Under counter freezer drawers are ideal for this - allowing them to be positioned to provide chefs easy access to their ingredients, without compromising the quality of the product due to fluctuations in temperature.
Not all seafood needs to be stored in large cabinets our counters. The current trend for informal meals like sharing platters has seen an increase in demand for methods of accessing a range of ingredients quickly and easily. Flexible equipment such as counter top thermowells and mobile prep wells provide quick access to ingredients, ideal for plating up multi-ingredient dishes. The flexibility afforded by such equipment makes it much easier for establishments with limited space to add to their menu, no matter how much space they have available.
However you approach it, having the right equipment can help you create bold new experiences to delight your customers.