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Sep 17, 2006 08:46 PM

Why does some restaurant food come out/stay hotter than my home cooking? Technique? Pans?

Say fish or lamb - or almost anything. Do some restaurants finish at very high heat very briefly using a particular kind of pan? What are the primary things that get an item to your table still *hot* vs. not? (How do I do this without risking burning the food?)

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    1. Heated plates. I usually put a tsp of water on my plates and stick 'em in the microwave for 60 seconds before plating dinner or, especially scrambed eggs for breakfast. 1 second with a paper towel drys them.

      1. Yeap, heated plates. During demos we keep ours in the salamander (with only the pilot), or run em through the dishwasher.

        And heat lamps.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Baber

          Thanks all - good ideas. Bad visuals regarding the salamander, alas!

          1. re: Cinnamon

            NO NO NO not the black icky thing with the yellow spots!

        2. A good time ago in his ground breaking book Cusine Minceur, the great Chef Michel Guerard suggested using cloches or bells to cover plates. Heating the plates would be an added bonus. In restaurants they also use those hideous plastic or fiberglass covers with a middle thumb hole to keep the food warm. And of course when it is served it often comes from a table that has a heat lamp on it. You might try undercooking food slightly, putting it in a very low oven, and then taking it all out together, putting it on a warmed plate, and putting a beautiful cloche on it. What a treat, nice hot food, and as Guerard says, the aroma is very beautiful.

          2 Replies
          1. re: EclecticEater

            Wouldn't a cloche trap steam and make vegetables, fried potatoes etc. soggy?

            1. re: rootlesscosmo

              Not if you put them on at the last minute and serve promptly. You point out, correctly, that's what happens when they put those plastic fiberglass round tops on the catering dishes at those banquets where they serve the rubber chicken.