With many things keeping an organized workstation increases productivity. Every chef ie worked under had a desk that was always a mess, but I’m talking about cooking in a clear workstation. When I first started cooking my station was cluttered and unorganized. As I moved up I started keeping my station more and more organized. My productivity and speed went up significantly and I felt better about my job.
It can be hard to keep a workstation organized when you’re prepping five things simultaneously. When the workstation is organized and in compartments it makes the job(s) significantly easier. In restaurant kitchens the usual first thought is go as fast as you can. It’s true you must work with speed, but speed doesn’t mean much without efficiency.
In the restaurant industry it’s common to get thrown into a position with no formal training. On one occasion my first day at a busy restaurant the chef handed me a prep list and said go for it. A lot of it is common sense, but every restaurant wants things done their way. The procedure matters to a lot of places, especially corperate kitchens.
As time goes on you learn things that make the job a lot easier. Don’t leave dirty dishes about, always take them to the dish pit. Getting out of the way gives more area to work and eases stress. Something I see a lot is people storing things in bowls. It’s horribly inefficient. Bowls are not meant to hold food, only mix it. In restaurants always use hotel pans, it’s better on space control and food can be stored in them.
Organization is critical for two reasons. Cross contamination and stress. When food is all over the place and next to each other the possibility of cross contamination goes up. Sanitation is huge. A clean work station is a huge advantage.
Stress is normal in a kitchen. It’s busy and you have to keep up to please the customer. The second a cook gets flustered it’s too late. Concentration is broken, rhythm is gone and panic sets in. Keeping your cool is critical and a clean, organized work station assists a lot.
I can tell a lot of times when a kitchen is organized or not. The length of time for the food is higher in an unorganized kitchen and the food tends to appear sloppy. A clean cook with a clean workstation should produce a clean plate.