Friday, January 08, 2010

'Hot pan!' 'Hot behind you!' 'Hot! Hot! Hot!'

No, it's not Buster Poindexter, although his song seems to ring in the ears on cooking competency days in our culinary school classroom kitchen.

The protocol there -- and in restaurant kitchens everywhere -- calls for signaling to others that you are moving behind them with something hot. It's a crucial warning for obvious reasons and it often prevents mishaps.

In the classroom and in restaurant kitchens, the cooks are constantly moving from stove top and ovens to their work stations, usually turning around each time to do so. Others walking past must make the call in a specific, audible way. The basic rule is that the person with the hot object has the right of way.

We all heard it -- and called it out -- quite a bit during Thursday's competency as the 10 of us moved to and fro with hot sauté pans and steaming pots of water.

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