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As a chef, there is one American dining customer obsession

As a chef, there is one American dining customer obsession that I would love to change; that is the insistence that dishes in a restaurant be served "piping hot."
The best way to savor food, and to get the full effect of a chef's gustatory labors, is to eat food that is just warm to the touch. Since the average time of consuming a main course at table is just under 10 minutes, dishes in a restaurant should be served slightly warmer than that, in order to give the customer the maximum flavor for the duration of the whole plate.
THAT is the correct serving temperature.
I am aware (although, customers generally are not,) that heat sensation, like salt palate, are highly subjective and that chemical & physical changes, Ph levels, and other differences in individual customers can account for sensory differences.
That being understood, insisting that food be served red hot does a disservice to both the restaurant kitchen staff (who have to watch their hard-wrought creations leave through the dining room door destroyed,) and the customer who demands it that way.
If a steak comes to the table sizzling hot, then there are only two ways that was executed: 1.) The steak was not properly rested, and therefore has an uneven texture, temperature, and taste.
2.) It was pre-cooked long before, and was re-heated to order, usually under a huge gob of butter, with half of the meat juices that should be on the plate left behind in the pre-cooking pan. Click here to save money and get coupon code
08/01/2018
14 Comment:
Kimberly DelRe
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Working the pastry side one night chef said to me:
"Do you know the best temperature to enjoy food? Room temperature. Room temperature and NEVER forget that."
Never have.
Bob Sargent
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Agreed. In civilized places, food is room temp most of the time for best flavor and digestion. The Hot Food thing may be related to fears of food illness. A problem most commonly of cross-contamination rather than undercooking.
Adam Caper
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
And the same for plates that are too hot to touch. What's the point? Why do I want the bottom of my fish to keep cooking while it sits in front of me? Or to burn my fingers if, as a leftie, I have to reorient the plate so I can cut my sreak without reaching around the truffle tater tots?
Rick Criden
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I love this post so much I may have to share. Cool?
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Absolutely! Warm to the touch.
Mike McDonald
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
One of my main peeves is getting an entree that is piping hot (the protein) and getting sides that are luke warm to piping cold....
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Granted. That denotes a lack of oversight and caring in the kitchen.
Wendy Tien
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Agree. Piping hot is wrong, except perhaps for certain soups.
Jackie Lee
Jackie Lee
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Pho
Peter Raser
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
somebody had to say it ... !
Dana Kristeen Johnson-Hannon
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
They do though. They want it to burn there mouth. Same with the salt and pepper. Pouring it on their food before they take a bite.
Bonnie Bottcher
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I agree completely Chef.
Mei-Ling Smith
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Darling, this is why Mei-Mei and Christine bought you and Joanie a sterno flame last year! It wasn’t a gag gift.
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
We've been waiting for a culinary emergency to use it!
Dar Hubsch
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
My father requires his food to be "piping hot" (He also, of course, loves Erbaluce) and whenever he complains that something isn't hot enough I hear your voice going on a rant about this very subject.
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I will definitely send Joan out! Because, I'm much more eccentric than your father is (as you well know,) and I'm already sliding down the muddy slope of decrepit age!
Dar Hubsch
Dar Hubsch
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
Should i have written that he loves Erbaluce, as unique (read slightly accentric) as it is?

Next time he complains to your staff about a soup, piece of meat or most likely an espresso that isn't scalding enough for him, I suggest you come out and give him the line about octogenarians. Better yet ask Joan to do it. And get back to me on how it goes!
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I love your Dad, as unique (read as: slightly eccentric) as he is. Unfortunately, as we grow older, we all start to lose our palate sensation of heat. That's why soup served to octogenarians that is still boiling is sometimes sent back as not hot enough.
Merisi Vienna
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I am going to have nightmares of pasta served piping hot! ;-)
Wilson Fletcher
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I scarce think even our Paleolithic Ancestors, who figured out how to cook their food with this odd thing called 'fire,' really ate anything 'piping hot.' How many times do we KNOW a stew is good, or a sauce, but know damned good and well it'll be even...
Michael Gabriel
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
You should create a YouTube video and hand it out with an IPad along with the menu for a pre-dining education.
Charles Draghi
Charles Draghi
08-01-2018, 14:11:56
I don't know if iPad has enough memory to hold all of the lessons I'd like to teach diners before they order (or, more importantly, before they Yelp.)

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