Kitchens are the hub of a restaurant and the heart of a home and I think it’s safe to assume that most of us love our kitchens! The kitchen is where I spend a large part of my day, whether it’s cooking, baking, preparing family meals, immersed in food photography or simply catching up with family and friends over a cup of coffee. There are so many things I love about kitchens, from the childhood memories of aromas and heart-warming meals, to the pots and pans that hang on the walls, to the utensils and appliances placed in the cupboards and drawers… calling them all my kitchen jewellery!
“From morning till night, sounds drift from the kitchen, most of them familiar and comforting… On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it; it dried the wet sock, it cools the hot little brain. “ – E.B White
Recently I got to view up-close a theatrical style kitchen at Meisei, a modern fine dining Japanese (with other regional influences) restaurant in Bahrain. A leisurely morning with the AWA (American Women’s Association), who organized a lunch with a little food demonstration from Chef Michael’s team, all wearing very trendy looking hygiene masks. At Meisei kitchen hygiene is of utmost importance, as well as the quality of food served and Chef Michael reiterated this while walking us through the various areas and floors of the restaurant, including the pizza area and rooftop. His talk on kitchen hygiene reminded me of Mr Ganley, a chef who was one of my tutors at catering college. Mr Ganley would only dine at a restaurant if allowed to view the kitchen beforehand! Can you imagine if we all decided to adopted that policy… would we be allowed to view restaurant kitchens behind closed doors and if we could, would we find ourselves quickly heading for the front door!
It brings me to another thought… how would our own kitchens pass a health inspection! What would they find in your kitchen! Would they find family pets… sorry pet lovers, this is one I will never get my head around! How many expired food items would they find. What about correct storage and placement of foods in the fridge and freezer! How often are kitchen cleaning cloths, sponges and drying cloths changed! Is your fridge/freezer at the correct temperature! When did you last clean out the fridge or de-frost the freezer! Is the dishwasher working properly. Do you sanitize your kitchen bin! When were the cupboard and storage areas last cleaned out. These are only some of the question they would be asking! Health and safety is just as important in our own home kitchens as it is in the restaurants that we choose to dine at!
With no worries about kitchen cleanliness at Mesiei restaurant, our delicious lunch of Japanese salad, assorted dumplings and a variety of Japanese pizzas all went down a treat. If you fancy making some spring vegetable dumplings/pot-stickers then hop over to smitten kitchen were there is a wonderful tutorial on making your own dumplings and some freeze ahead advice. And if you would like to try making the dumpling skins instead of buying them, then head over to The Little Teochew.
Here’s to happy dumpling making in a clean kitchen!