The Commercial Kitchen

Reading Guide

Predict Before starting the section, browse the content by reading headings, bold terms, and photo captions. Do they help you predict the information in the section?

Efficient work flow and preparation are the keys to an organized professional kitchen.

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Explain the roles of the different stations in a professional kitchen.

Main Idea

A commercial kitchen is divided into work stations. Once the work stations have been identified, the cooking line is set up. The set up will determine the workflow.

Graphic Organizer

Use a cluster like this one to show the sections and stations within a professional kitchen. Fill in each rectangle with the station within each station in the bubble branching off of them.

Content Vocabulary

• work station • island j work section j mise en place

• work flow j work simplification

Academic Vocabulary

Graphic Organizer Elements Culture

Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.

English Language Arts

NCTE 5 Use different writing process elements to communicate effectively.

1 Mathematics

NCTM Measurement

Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.

NCTM Problem Solving

Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.


NSES1 Develop an understanding of science unifying concepts and processes.

Social Studies

NCSS IA Culture

Analyze and explain the way groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Professional Kitchen Work Flow

Working as a foodservice professional means more than just cooking food. It involves teamwork and cooperation among kitchen staff. This creates an efficient work space. Before you begin to create all types of interesting dishes, you must become familiar with a commercial kitchen. A commercial kitchen layout is based on:

• The type of foodservice establishment.

• The amount of available space.

• The menu items to be prepared and the number of meals to be served.

Gourmet Math r

Design to Scale

To determine which kitchen layout will work best, it is helpful to use a scale drawing. The ratio that compares a drawing to the actual object is called the scale. If the scale is given as V2 inches = 2 feet, then every ^ inch in the drawing represents 2 actual feet.

You would like to include a freezer that measures 45 inches wide and 21 inches deep on a scale drawing of a kitchen. If the drawing's scale is 1 inches = 5 feet, what are the scaled dimensions of the freezer?

^^^^^^ Using Proportions with Scale Factors To draw items to scale, write a proportion using the scale as one ratio. In the other ratio, use s to represent the item's scale size. Solve for s.

Starting Hint Since the original dimensions are given in inches, convert the 5 feet in the scale into inches by multiplying it by 12. Write a proportion with two ratios of new width over old width. One of the ratios should be the scale; the other should be s over 45. Solve for s. Then, repeat the entire process for the freezer's depth.

NCTM Measurement Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.

Stations, Sections, and Flow

The commercial kitchen is divided into work stations. A work station is a work area that contains the necessary tools and equipment to prepare certain types of foods. For example, onion rings are fried in a deep fryer. The work station where this takes place is called the fry station. Tongs and fry baskets would also be found at the fry station. Sometimes professional kitchens make changes to the traditional brigade system. The changes depend on the kitchen's size and arrangement.

Each work station is arranged so that kitchen employees do not have to leave their stations to perform their tasks. Work stations should have all necessary equipment, tools, work space, and power sources. They also should have their own storage facilities.

Similar work stations are grouped into larger work areas. This larger area is called a work section. Sometimes work stations can belong to more than one work section. For example, a fry station and a griddle station would be part of the short-order section and the hot foods section. (See Figure 9.1.)

L 1FIGURE 91 Kitchen Work Stations

Section Divisions Different work stations are placed under the control of each work section. What is the difference between a work station and work section?

Sections :


Beverage Section

• Hot Beverage Station

• Cold Beverage Station

Garde Manger Section

• Salad Station

Cold Platter Station

• Sandwich Station

Short Order Section

• Broiler Station

• Griddle Station

• Fry Station

Hot Foods Section

• Broiler Station

• Fry Station

• Griddle Station

• Dry Heat Station

• Steam Station

I lF'-uRE_9:.2- Cooking Lines

Multiple Choice There are several different ways to set up a cooking line. What factors determine how a kitchen will set up its cooking line?

L-shaped arrangement

Single, straight line arrangement work aisle

work aisle

Parallel, back to back arrangement



U-shaped arrangement

work aisle cz

Parallel, face to face arrangement

The layout of the kitchen has a direct effect on the work flow. Work flow is the orderly movement of food and staff through the kitchen. A good work flow helps reduce preparation and serving time. In addition to a well-designed kitchen, teamwork among staff and between work stations is essential for a good work flow. Having ingredients and equipment ready to use helps simplify tasks.

The Cooking Line

Once there are work stations and work sections, the cooking line is set up. The cooking line is the arrangement of the kitchen equipment. The cooking line arrangement determines what equipment and storage areas can be placed above, below, or across from the equipment. You may also want to form an island. An island is a kitchen counter or equipment arrangement that can be approached from all sides. There are several different cooking line arrangements from which to choose.

Single, Straight-Line Arrangement A single, straight line allows equipment to be placed along a wall. This arrangement is used in larger kitchens.

L-Shaped Arrangement The L-shape separates equipment into two major work areas. One side of the line may be used for food preparation. The other side is used for cooking.

Equipment Sanitation It is important to keep equipment clean and running efficiently. What are the consequences of not cleaning equipment properly?

U-Shaped Arrangement This type of arrangement is often used by kitchens with limited space. It is also used in the dishwashing area of many commercial kitchens.

Parallel, Back-to-Back Arrangement Parallel, back-to-back consists of two lines of equipment, sometimes divided by a wall. This arrangement is often used on ships and in hotels.

Parallel, Face-to-Face Arrangement

This arrangement consists of two lines of equipment facing each other, separated by a work aisle. It is used in larger kitchens where constant communication between stations is necessary.

Mise en Place

Before you can prepare and cook the food, you have to get everything organized. Mise en place (,me-lzan-'pl9s) is a French term that means "to put in place." Mise en place includes assembling all the necessary ingredients, equipment, tools, and serving pieces needed to prepare food in the order in which they will be used. It can also involve preheating the oven, cleaning and chopping vegetables, measuring spices, and trimming meats. For example, if grilled salmon and vegetables are on the menu, you will need to cut and portion the salmon, prepare the vegetables and herbs, and assemble the cookware ahead of time. This helps save time by allowing the chef to cook without having to stop and assemble items.

To effectively perform mise en place, work simplification techniques are used. Work simplification means to perform a task in the most efficient, or productive, way possible. Work simplification in the foodservice industry involves the efficient use of food, time, energy, and personnel.


Hiring temporary or part-time employees gives restaurants the extra help they need during peak times. It also helps lower expenses because restaurants do not have to pay too many employees during non-peak times.


Food can be prepared and cooked in a variety of ways, but not every method is efficient. For instance, you can chop an onion by hand, but using a food processor will be quicker.


Time management in the kitchen results in prompt service. Different foods have different cooking times. By reviewing recipes before cooking, you can determine how much time is needed. When you make food for a large group, arrange food or plan set-up time to efficiently work in a production mode, or functioning arrangement.


Arrange your work station effectively so that you do not expend any more energy than is necessary during food preparation. Hand tools and ingredients should be within easy reach. This allows for efficient range of motion. Range of motion means using the fewest body movements without unnecessary stress or strain. When your equipment, tools, and ingredients are close, you eliminate unnecessary stops and starts.

An efficient range of motion saves time and energy. It may also help prevent some accidents. Having equipment and tools neatly organized and in range can help prevent dropping items or injuring yourself on equipment. It will also keep you from straining back, arm, and leg muscles.

n List When designing a kitchen, what factors should be kept in mind?


Review Key Concepts

1. Explain how efficient range of motion makes work easier.

Practice Culinary Academics Science

2. Procedure Study the process of cutting vegetables in your foods lab, starting with fetching the vegetables and ending with waste disposal. Take notes on the steps that are efficient, and those that are not.

Analysis Look at your notes, and analyze them. Then, try to come up with a more efficient method of cutting vegetables, and test it.

^^ English Language Arts

4. Imagine that you are an expert employed by your school to make the foods lab more efficient. Examine the arrangement of the equipment in the foods lab, and then write a report containing your analysis. Offer recommendations for improving its efficiency.

NCTE 5 Use different writing process elements to communicate effectively.

NSES 1 Develop an understanding of science unifying concepts and processes.

^y) Social Studies

3. The concept of workflow is an important concept in many industries. Research a pioneer of work flow, such as Frederick Winslow Taylor, Henry Gantt, or David Siegel. Write a biography of the person you choose. Include information on the person's contributions, the early development of his or her ideas, and any modern work flow theories that have been developed since then.


5. A dessert soufflé requires 10 minutes of preparation, 25 minutes to cook, and 2 minutes for plating. If a customer arrives at 6:15, and takes 49 minutes to get through dinner, when should you begin preparing his soufflé?

Adding and Subtracting Time When adding and subtracting time, calculate the minutes and hours separately. Remember that there are 60 minutes in one hour, so you may need to adjust your hour total accordingly.

Starting Hint Determine the time dessert should be served by adding 49 minutes to 6:15. Then, subtract the time needed for the three cooking steps to find when preparation should begin.

NCSS I A Culture Analyze and explain the way groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns.

NCTM Problem Solving Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.

Check your answers at this book's Online ^ Learning Center at

Check your answers at this book's Online ^ Learning Center at


How will you store food that comes into your foodservice operation?

Continue reading here: Receiving Area and Storage Equipment

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