The kitchen has become the focal point of design and entertainment at the Newport Turtle in Newport Beach, California. Saga has decided to make the kitchen the stage. As Saga states in the Newport Turtle’s menu: We hope you’ll like what we’ve become: we are proud of our new place . We belive in showing off our kitchen, surrounded by an abundance of food, our charcoal broiler and our fresh pasta.
By showing off the kitchen to its clientele, Saga is acknowledging the growing culinary sophistication of its high-achiever, high-income customer base. Today’s upscale diners are more interested than their predecessors in seeing how food is prepared because they are more serious about the meals they prepare themselves. The visual and tactile elements of cooking–the flames of the broiler, the colors and textures of ingredients the aromas, and the interaction of the chefs, are all combined to heighten and enrich the dining experience. Today, the process is as enjoyable as the product to the sophisticated restaurant patron.
At center stage: the kitchen, a state-of-the-art exhibition facility with a double mesquite-fired grill, pasta making equipment, pantry and saute stations, a bounty of native ingredients on view, and a stylish black-and-white-and-chrome new look.
- The original black-and-white tiled floor was retained in the remodeling.
- To the left of the kitchen, a food bar was added, flanked by blackboard-clad columns which promote featured specials. The food bar provides both the cocktail lounge and a small, private “quiet room” to the left of the entrance with oysters and clams, hot and cold appetizers, carved-to-order sandwiches, and other light fare. The quiet room, which invites conversational twosomes, doubles as a waiting area during busy periods.
- To the right of the kitchen is a brightly lit, glass-enclosed hexagonal kiosk from which a variety of specialty desserts are displayed and served. The dessert kiosk and the food bar surround and highlight the central display kitchen and food theatre.
The new kitchen occupies space once allotted to the front line of a standard completely enclosed kitchen. A portion of the original kitchen now serves as a prep, storage, and dishwashing facility, located to the rear of the display kitchen and adjacent to the dining room.
Concealed from diners by the back wall of a service stand, the ordering and pickup window accommodates both pantry and saute items coming from those two stations at the rear of the new kitchen, and broiled items coming off the grill. An electronic cash register and counter for check preparation also occupy the service stand area.
During lunch and dinner, four people work the display kitchen: a grill man, pantry person, saute person, and chef Reinhard Dorfhuber, who functions as expeditor. The saute station also covers roast prime rib and rack of lamb, which are served in addition to the Newport Turtle’s grilled specialties, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads.
With Such Designs, The Following Are The Advantages Of The Kitchen Stations
- Kitchen stations are placed in logical sequence: Adjacent to the receiving door are the walk-in refrigerators and the walk-in freezer, so foods can be temperature controlled immediately. Insulation for the walk-in lies under a brick platform so carts can be wheeled in and out, conserving time and energy. The manager’s office overlooks the receiving area, a logical location for control purposes, the potwashing station sits in a far corner of the kitchen, away from everything except the two stations that need to be near it: the food preparation area and the cooking battery.
- The kitchen and hot serving lines are separated only by a wall with pass-thru cabinets in it: This way, small batches of recently prepared foods are kept hot and can be taken as needed by service workers.
- A small kitchen poses no real problems for “Jericho,” as the cafeteria is called, because a substantial amount of preparation is done at the serving stations.
- Behind the prepared salad station is a self-contained prep station. An ice machine, work table, sanitizing sink, and refrigerator permanently sit behind the serving space in case a worker needs them.
- A nine-topping salad bar and soup station are self-serve only, which contributes to the non-labor-intensive nature of Jericho’s set-up.
- Following sequentially in a semi-circle are the hot food counter, grill counter, ice cream counter, and sandwich counter. Final prep is done by the service workers, relieving the back-of-the-house of some work while enhancing a quality image.
- Sandwiches are prepared to order, which eliminates work in the kitchen.
- Fresh hamburgers are cooked to order at the grill station, and served on a local favorite, the Kaiser roll.
A major benefit of our set-up is that it would be easy for each station to be totally self-service
- A two-sided beverage counter is centrally located. That’s the one station that is used by everyone, no matter what they eat, so it is easy to get at from either end.
- The heater and soap dispenser are built into the equipment, so portions are consistently accurate.
- Also attached to the dishwasher, near the place where the workers stand, if a faucet for handwashing. The convenience of this faucet helps assure that workers will wash their hands when necessary, as they won’t have to travel any distance to do so.
The menus are displayed in two quality-enhancing forms. Two TV screens in the serving area flash daily messages and daily menu specials. But to alert the office workers about upcoming meals, white and red weekly printed menus are distributed. Each lists the standards such as grill items, sandwiches, salads, and desserts, in addition to the two hot entrees, one soup, and one special salad of the day. The menu rotates on a five-week cycle.
With vending services at night, the two main meal periods are breakfast and lunch, with about 700 lunches served daily. The employee customer base is predominantly suburban women who tend to eat lightly during the day. The office workers we serve seem to be mostly homeowners and young girls who live with their parents, who go home to a big dinner every night. This is a change from our customer base in our city offices, where many workers make lunch the big meal of the day. Workers are all white collar, 85 percent of them clerical workers. About 15 percent of lunch sales goes just to salads.
Additional menu items might be added when the weather gets warmer, as a courtyard adjacent to the dining area will likely become an outdoor dining area. Barbecued meats and a hot dog cart are being considered for outdoor service.
The hotel was designed to keep chefs skinny, jokes Norman Wade, executive chef. His humorous observation refers to the Westin’s “heavy vertical” emphasis which has resulted in a design awkward for the implementation of foodservice operations. It is a design which requires much shuttling between floors.
All of the hotel’s food and beverage support services (purchasing, shipping, receiving, storage, dishwashing, etc.) as well as the main kitchen and three satellite kitchens are located on different floors.
The Westin features informal dining at the 204-seat Brasserie; upscale dining at the popularly priced 250-seat Turner Fisheries Bar and Restaurant; and fine dining at Ten Huntington which seats 120 in addition to a private room for 12.
Food and beverage director Robert Niederhauser took a direct approach to the problem long before the Westin opened its doors last July. “We had no choice but to make the space work for us; the opportunity was there. So, the chef and I spent a great deal of time studying the blueprints
The dishwashing facilities can be found, along with housekeeping services, on the fourth floor
- To facilitate fast movement, the majority of equipment is on wheels. All of these “vertical transport” pieces can be plugged in to keep the food warm–an important consideration when the food is being transported between floors. All of this movement makes timing–and well-maintained elevators–crucial.
- The restaurant satellite kitchen located on the lobby level is nearly self-contained. Although only 40 percent of the kitchen’s space (4,055 sq. ft.) is used to prepare meals for Ten Huntington’s customers, the kitchen has no problem producing the 120 to 140 nightly covers.
Fresh food orders arrive daily at the loading dock, which is located on the street level. Once received, the food is carried by the freight elevators to the third floor. Here, most of the fresh produce is issued directly to each restaurant while canned goods and other products are stored for future use in either the pantry, pass-through coolers, or the double walk-in freezers that are located just outside the kitchen.
However, another striking example of the hotel’s awkward design is evident here. Although this restaurant is open for dinner only, its kitchen is responsible for guest room dining (room service) which is available 24 hours. Approximately 60 percent of the kitchen’s space is allocated to catering guest room dining.
And to complicate matters further, this area produces room service meals only between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight. The “night owl” menu, available between midnight and 6 a.m., is produced by the satellite kitchen on the fifth floor. This kitchen is responsible for providing the hotel’s 1,000 employees with free meals in their dining room, the Cantina. As a result, the kitchen is open 24 hours to accommodate employees on rotating shifts.
Two complete service lines feed the counter, instead of one. One line opens for breakfast, both open for a busy lunch. The second line closes immediately after lunch.
The kitchen utilizes two standard, full-size broilers, two full-size fryers, two full-size drink stations, plus four full-size microwaves. Almost everything else is reduced in size.
Moving across the front of the kitchen behind the counter, the components in the drink station are normal sized. Next to that, adjacent to the main service line, is a full size holding station for burgers. But adjacent to the auxiliary service line, the custome-fabricated holding station is only about two-thirds the size of the main holding station.
The service lines extend back vertically from the holding station, just as in a typical Burger King. The computerized fryers are standard, but the “dump station” for fries is half the size of a typical dump station.
On the main service line, the broiler is full-size, but the work area where burgers are assembled and condiments are added is only half the size of a normal Buger King. Two standard microwaves are fixed above the condiment area.
Diab looks for basement space for storage and further conserves valuable square footage by giving the manager a stand-up office in the corner of the kitchen.
A spray cleaning system allows for sanitizing the entire kitchen and surrounding areas. The system is used to spray down equipment and floors twice a day, once after lunch and again after dinner. Since nearly everything in the kitchen is stainless steel, all of it can be hosed down; first a soap cycle is used then a rinse.
During each shift there are five line cookes on duty, and one or tow expediting chefs; two hot prep men prepare stocks, soups, and Clyde’s famous chili. Two people in a downstairs prep area slice meat and prepare salads and cold items. Two dish washers work in the kitchen’s dishwashing area. And one person is stationed in a raw bar near the dining area, serving oysters and clams.
Kitchens have been designed to fit the particular establishment and to allow preparation of a varied menu. Restaurants, fast food operations, bank cafeterias, and hotels need kitchens with design elements that allow for efficient, versatile service