Sunday, September 14, 2008

Houston Texas food prowl

I was sent to Houston Texas for a few days of studying and practicing for a upcoming chef certification in New York. What I like to do when I travel to a new region is experience the many foods and styles of the area. The problem with this trip was the major hurricane Ike which was due to hit in a day or two, the whole town was shutting down and boarding up. So there goes my chance to explore the foods of Texas. One cool thing that I witnessed was a plated lunch event for 1400 people, all the components of each plate were prepped and cooked by a kitchen staff numbering around 40. The cooked food was put in"hot boxes" (temperature controlled rolling boxes with racks inside) next they had conveyor tables where plates were fed on one end and rolled across the belt as the cooks would place the ingredients on the plates, next covers were placed on plates and then they are loaded into more hot boxes to be wheeled outside of the meeting room where waitstaff deliver them to the table. The two conveyor tables were able to do the 1400 people in about 2 hours. This was not considered a big event, over 5000 starts getting big. It was cool to watch and learn how to do the big numbers and I was lucky to get a flight out of town the morning before the hurricane hit.

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