Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Accompaniments are highly flavoured seasonings of various
kinds offered with certain dishes. The object of offering
accompaniments with certain dishes is to improve the flavor of the
food or to counteract its richness, eg. apple sauce with roast pork.
Many dishes have separate accompaniments and as they are
not always mentioned on the menu, the waiter must know them. He
should always have specific accompaniments ready for service at
the right time. Hot adjuncts come with the dish from the kitchen, but
cold sauces are often to be found at the buffet or sideboard. They
should be served directly with a dish to which they belong. They
should be served from the guest’s left on to the top right of his plate
(not on the rim). While serving from a sauceboat, the boat should be
on an underdish or small plate, carried on the palm of the left hand.
In serving, the sauceboat, lip should point towards the guest’s plate.

The spoon, or ladle, should be passed over the lip. Sauces are not to
be poured from a boat.


A full-course dinner is seldom served today, but the
sequence of courses should be respected even if some are omitted.
The general standard at present is for a four- or five-course meal to
be served for dinner. Theoretically, however, all the courses of a fulldinner
menu must be studied and learnt by heart so that perfect
compilation of menus can be achieved.

Three-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
3. Sweet or savory

Four-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Fish course
3. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
4. Sweet or savory

Five-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup
2. Fish course
3. Main course with vegetables and potatoes or salad
4. Sweet
5. Savory

Six-Course Dinner Menu:

1. Hors d’oeuvre or soup (potage)
2. Fish (poisson)
3. Entrée
4. Main (releve or remove) with (pommes et legumes ou
5. Sweet (entremets)
6. Savory (savoureux ou bonne bouche)

Seven-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvres or soup
2. Potage
3. Poisson
4. Entrée
5. Releve / Remove - Pommes et Legumes
6. Roast (roti) - Salade
7. Entremets or Bonne / Bonne Bouche

Eight-Course Dinner Menu:
1. Hors d’oeuvres
2. Postage
3. Poisson
4. Entrée
5. Releve / Remove - Pommes et Legumes
6. Roti–Salade
7. Entremets
8. Savories / Bonne Bouche


1) Hors D'oeuvre

Being of a highly seasoned and piquant in nature, this course
is used to manipulate the appetite for the dishes that are to follow. In
recent years, hors d’oeuvres have gained in popularity, and now
appear even on simple menus in modest eating places. Although the
actual term “hors d’oeuvres” applies to the service of various cold
salads and morsels of anchovy, sardines, olives, prawns, etc., it also
covers whatever items are served before the soup.
Examples of such hors d’oeuvres:
· Melon Melon Frappe
· Oysters Huitres Nature
· Smoked Salmon Saumon Fumee
· Caviar Caviar
· Grapefruit Pamplemousse
· Salami
· Potted Shrimps Petites Pots de Crevettes
· Shrimp, Prawn or Lobster Cocktail
· Fruit Cocktail Coupe Florida
· Souses Herrings Hareng Dieppoise
· Pate of Goose Liver Pate de Foie Gras
There are also quite a number of items that may be served
hot, such as Bouchees, Croquettes, Fritters, etc., and these are
known as ors d’oeuvres chaud.

2) Potage
The French have three separate words for soup. Consommé
is a clear, thin broth. Soupe refers to a thick, hearty mélange with
chunks of food. Potage falls somewhere between the two in texture,
content and thickness. A potage is usually puréed and is often thick,
well-seasoned meat or vegetable soup, usually containing barley or
other cereal or a pulse (e.g. lentils). Today, the words soupe and
potage are often used interchangeably. On good-class à la carte
menus, a fish soup is also usually offered for selection, the two most
common being “Bisque d’Homard” or “Bouillabaisse.”

3) Oeufs
Oeufs are the dishes made from egg. The omelette is the
most popular item, but there are other styles of cooking and
preparation of eggs such as boiled, en cocotte, poached or
scrambled. This course is not included in the dinner menu. Some
examples are omelette, Espagnole, Oeuf en Cocotte a la crime,
Oeuf poche florentine.

4) Farineux
This is Italy's contribution to the courses of the menu. It
includes different kinds of rice and pasta. Pasta dishs are spaghetti,
lasagne and gnocchi. Pasta is made from durum wheat semolina or
milled durum wheat to which water is added to form a dough. It can
be coloured and flavoured in various ways. There are more than 200

varieties of pasta. The ingredients, size, shape and colour determine
the type of pasta. Some examples include Spaghetti Bolognaise,
Lasagne Napolitaine and Macaroni au gratin.

5) Poisson
Poisson are the dishs made from fish. Fish, being soft-fibred,
prepares the palate for the heavier meats that follow. Deep-fried or
grilled fish dishes do not generally occupy a place on the “classical
dinner menu,” but are freely offered on the shorter-coursed luncheon
menu. This also applies to the coarser members of the fish family,
and the dinner menu is usually comprised of the finer fish prepared
and cooked in the more classical manners. Ideal fish for dinner menu
compilation are: Sole, Salmon, Halibut, Escallops, etc. Rarely seen
on a menu for the evening meal are: Cod, Bass, Haddock, Brill,
Hake, and Plaice. One deep-fried fish dish, which normally finds
itself on the dinner menu, however, is “Blanchaille”, and this only
because Whitebait are so light and in no way too filling for the
comfort of the guest.

6) Entrée
This is the first of the meat courses on a menu. It is always a
complete dish in itself. It is despatched from the kitchen garnished
and sauced in the manner in which it is intended to be served. The
“entrée” is always cooked and garnished in an artistic manner and
usually served with a rich sauce. The “entrée” can be devised of
almost anything light. This course consists of all the small cuts of
butcher’s meats, usually sautéed, but never grilled. Grilled steaks,
cutlets and chops invariably replace the joints as the roast (roti)
The following items, with their appropriate garnishes and
sauces, can be successfully served as entrées.
· Brains (Cervelles)
· Liver (Foie)
· Oxtail (Queue de Boeuf)
· Kidneys (Rognons)
· Calves Head (Tete de Veau)
· Trips (Tripes)
· Rump, Entrecote and Tournedo Beefsteaks
· Lamb Chops and cutlets - Noisettes and Filet Mignons
· Pork Chops and cutlets
· Escallops, Granadins, Medallions, and Cotes of Veal
· Sweetbreads - (Ris de Veau / Agneau)
· Hot Souffles or Mousses
· Bouchees
· Pilaws and Rizottos
· Small cuts or portions of poultry, individually cooked, are
also served as entrées
In first-class hotels and restaurants, all entrées are cooked,
garnished and presented for service by the sauce cook (saucier).

7) Relevé
This is the main meat course on the menu, and is commonly
known as the “piece de resistance.” It may consist of joint of any of
the following:
Lamb (Agneau) Chicken (Poulet)
Beef (Boeuf) Duckling (Caneton)
Veal (Veau) Fowl (Poulard)
Ham (Jambon) Tongue (Langue)
Pork (Pore)
These joints would be cooked by the sauce cook in a firstclass
hotel or restaurant, by any method except roasting. They are
usually cooked on casserole, braise or poêle. Generally cooked in a
sauce and served with it.

8) Sorbet
This course is a rest between courses. It counteracts the
previous dishes, and rejuvenates the appetite for those that are to
follow. Normally served between the releve/remove and the roti, it is
a water and crushed ice slush flavored as a rule with champagne
and served in a glass. A frozen dessert made primarily of fruit juice,
sugar, and water, and also containing milk, egg white, or gelatin.
Some examples are Sorbet Italian and Sorbet creme de menthe.
Russian or Egyptian cigarettes are often passed around during this

9) Roti - Roast
This course normally consists of game or poultry and is often
included in the entree. Each dish is accompanied with its own
particular sauce and salad. Some examples are Roast chicken,
Braised duck and Roast quail.
10) Legumes
These are vegetable dishes that can be served separately as
an individual course or may be included along - with the entrée,
relevé or roast courses. Some examples are Cauliflower mornay,
Baked potato and Grilled tomatoes.

11) Entremets
Entremets on a menu refers to desserts. This could include
hot or cold sweets, gateaux, soufflés or ice-cream. Some examples
are Apple pie, Chocolate souffle and Cassata ice-cream.

12) Savoureux

A dish of pungent taste, such as anchovies on toast or
pickled fruit. They are seved hot on toast or as savoury soufflé.
Welsh rarebit, Scotch woodcock, Canape diane are some of the
examples. Fromage (Cheese) is an alternative to the outdated
savoury course, and may be served before or after the sweet course.
It is usually served with butter, crackers and occasionally celery.
Gouda, Camembert and Cheddar are some examples of cheese.

13) Desservir
Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal.
The French word desservir mean "to clear the table." This is the fruit
course usually presented in a basket and placed on the table, as part
of the table decor, and served at the end of the meal. All forms of
fresh fruit and nuts may be served in this course. Common desserts
include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries and candies.



Friday, July 23, 2010


1) Cold and warm dishes are listed separately.
2) Appetizers, soups, seafood and main courses are listed in
separate groups.
3) In every group the lighter dishes are listed before the richer
4) Salads should be highlighted.
5) If offered, low-calorie foods should be specially indicated, and
the number of calories should be stated.
6) If foods are prepared with organically grown ingredients, this
fact should be highlighted to the discriminating customer.
7) Every dish should be described clearly and simply, in an
appetizing way, without being too flowery.

8) House specialties and seasonal items should correspond to
the season and should change accordingly. Use a clip-on
menu or special insert to attract attention to them.
9) The dessert selection should be listed on a separate
attractive card. The menu should inform the guests that such
a card is available.
10) The numbering of menu items can save time and confusion,
especially with many of the new computerized cash registers.
Numbering, however, discourages communication between
guests and the service staff and thus does not help promote
sales. For an easy compromise, place one numbered menu
at the register or where orders are relayed to the kitchen so
that one can punch in the guest's order by number; the guest,
however, orders the actual foods with words, not numbers.8) House specialties and seasonal items should correspond to
the season and should change accordingly. Use a clip-on
menu or special insert to attract attention to them.
9) The dessert selection should be listed on a separate
attractive card. The menu should inform the guests that such
a card is available.
10) The numbering of menu items can save time and confusion,
especially with many of the new computerized cash registers.
Numbering, however, discourages communication between
guests and the service staff and thus does not help promote
sales. For an easy compromise, place one numbered menu
at the register or where orders are relayed to the kitchen so
that one can punch in the guest's order by number; the guest,
however, orders the actual foods with words, not numbers.


In many cases, especially in restaurants, serving haute
cuisine, the part or table d'hote menu is beautifully handwritten to
emphasize the traditional character of the restaurant. In less fancy
restaurants, a modern variant that is similar but simpler is often
used: the blackboard, on which are written recommendations
concerning the day's specialties.
In general, however, the table d'hote or a part menu, which
changes daily or cyclically, is prepared in-house (on a typewriter or
computer) and duplicated as necessary. A separate menu listing the
daily specials might also be prepared. In many restaurants the table
d'hotel or a part menu and the daily specials contain only a fraction
of what is offered. Often an a la carte menu, from which the guests
can select from an array of dishes that are always available, is also
provided. If an a la carte menu is offered, the other menus are
inserted in or clipped to its folder. The daily menus may also be
placed at every seat, but in most establishments they are offered by
the service staff along with the regular a la carte menu.





Table D'hôte
Table d'hôte is a French phrase which literally means "host's
table". It is used to indicate a fixed menu where multi-course meals
with limited choices are charged at a fixed price. Such a menu may
also be called prix fixe ("fixed price"). It usually includes three or five
courses meal available at a fixed price. It is also referred to as a
fixed menu. Because the menu is set, the cutlery on the table may
also already be set for all of the courses, with the first course cutlery
on the outside, working in towards the plate as the courses progress.
In olden days, when the inns or dining establishments
offering a limited choice in the menu was not preferred by the
guests, they started offering an a la carte menu for guests to select
the type of food they wanted to eat.
Fixed menus or table d'hote menus are still used in various
forms such as buffet menus, conference packages and on special
occasions. A table d'hote menu comprises a complete meal at a
predetermined price. It is sometimes printed on a menu card or as in
the case of banquets, it is agreed upon by the host of the party. A
banquet style of fixed menu has more elaborate choices ranging
from the soup to the dessert. For the banquets, the hosts invariably
fixes or selects the menu in consultation with the hotel staff in
Most of the banquet food served in India is normally of Indian
food. For this, a printed format offering a choice of vegetarian and
non-vegetarian dishes is prepared, from which the guests make their
choice. Western style fixed menus normally provide the choice of a
starter or soup, a main course, and finally a dessert. In each course

there could be a choice of dishes to suit the tastes of individual
Table d'hote menus should be well planned and balanced. As
the guest is not given a chance to plan his own meal, the meal
should be interesting, without any similarity in the colour and taste of
the courses as well as being palatable, delicious and well presented.
If the main course is heavy, then the first course should be
lighter, and act as an appetite stimulant for the courses to follow.
Dishes that are heavy and hard to digest should be avoided. The
colour, varieties of ingredients used, and the garnishes should, if
possible, be different for each course.

Fixed menus are prevalent in transport catering which include
air, rail, and sea passengers. The guests have a variety of fixed or
table d'hote menus, with virtually no choice offered to the
passengers (except the first class air passengers). Cruise liners may
have elaborate fixed menus with multiple choices built into each


In a restaurant, there are two different types of menus which
are differentiated by the manner in which they are served and priced.
A menu may be a la carte or table d'hôte.

A La Carte Menu
An “A La Carte Menu”, is a multiple choice menu, with each
dish priced separately. If a guest wishes to place an order, an a la
carte is offered, from which one can choose the items one wants to
Traditionally, the original menus that offered consumers
choices were prepared on a small chalkboard, a la carte in French;
so foods chosen from a bill of fare are described as à la carte,
"according to the board."
In an a la carte menu all items are cooked to order including
the sauces that are made with wine, cream or mustard. Depending
on the dish chosen by the guest, the cooking time will vary. It is
necessary to inform the guests about the time the preparation might
take. An extensive a la carte menu is impressive but involves a huge
amount of mise-en-place.


In a restaurant, a menu is the list of dishes to be served or
available for a diner to select from. The items that are available for
the diner to choose from are broken down into various categories,
depending on the time of day or the event.
The compilation of a menu is the most important part of a
caterer's work. It is regarded as an art, acquired only through
experience and study. The menu is a link between the guest and the
establishment, hence it should be carefully planned by the
establishment's professionals, namely the executive chef, the food
and beverage manager and the food and beverage controller.
The word menu dates back to 1718, but the custom of
making such a list is much older. In earlier times, the escriteau (bill of
fare) or menu of ceremonial meals was displayed on the wall
loadable with the kitchen staff to follow the order in which the dishes
were to be served. It is said that in olden times, menus were like a
large dictionary with sections covering a variety of dishes. As time
progressed the lengthy single copy menu became s m aller but
increased in number allowing a number of copies placed in table
increased. Depending on the establishment and the occasion, the
menu may be plain or artistic in its presentation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


1) The table on which a tablecloth is to be spread, should be
first covered with a baize base cloth, for the following
a. To protect the diner's wrists and elbows from the
table's sharp edges.
b. To keep the tablecloth firmly in place.
c. To protect the surface of the table and prevent the
rattling of crockery and cutlery.
d. To absorb moisture in case liquid spills on the table.
2) Based on the size of the table, appropriate linen should be
used. The central fold of the tablecloth should be in the
middle of the table and all the four edges should just brush
the seats of the chairs. Soiled or torn linen should not be
used. Three types of tablecloths namely cotton, linen and
damask are used. Of these, damask is the best.
3) If a bud vase is used as a central decorative piece, it should
not be very large or tall as that obstructs the view of guests
sitting opposite each other. Heavily scented flowers should
be avoided, as they affect the flavour of the food.
4) Each cover should be well-balanced. (A cover is the space
required on a table for laying cutlery, crockery, glassware and
linen for one person to partake of a meal).
5) Only the required cutlery, crockery and glassware should be
placed on the table. On a normal dining table, the space
required for one cover is 60 cm x 38 cm. The cover on the
opposite side should be exactly similar, so as to give a wellbalanced
6) Cutlery should always be laid from the inside to the outside of
the cover, since the order of sequence in which they are to be
used is always from outside to inside.
7) Knives and soup spoons should be placed on the right-hand
side of a cover, while forks should be placed on the left-hand
side. Dessert spoons and forks should be placed on top of
the cover. The side knife should be placed on a quarter plate
and kept on the left side of the cover. The cutting edge of all
knives should face to the left.
8) Water tumbler should be kept to the right of the cover, at the
tip of the large knife.
9) Napkins should be placed in the centre of the cover, in
between the cutlery. Normally during a dinner session,
napkins are arranged in empty water tumblers.

10) Cruet sets, a butter dish, an ashtray, meal accompaniments
and a bud vase should be placed in between the covers at
the centre of the table.
11) Crockery and cutlery should be spotlessly clean and the
glassware well polished.
12) Chipped or cracked equipment should not be used. The
hotel's monogram should be visible to the guest.
13) All cutlery and crockery should be placed about an inch from
the edge of the table so that they are not accidentally tipped


Table setting refers to the way to set a table with tableware -
such as eating utensils and dishware - for serving and eating. The
arrangement for a single diner is called a place setting. The
arrangement varies across various cultures. The rules for laying a
table are not rigid. They are followed to facilitate dining and making
the table neat. The basic rules for laying the tables are given below:
1) Table Linens: Table linen has to be laid properly. A white
cloth is preferred but not mandatory. The only rule is to make
sure that linen patterns and china patterns don't clash.
2) Chargers: Chargers or dinner plates should be placed on the
table first. Chargers are decorative elements that are placed
underneath plates to add color or texture to the table. Each
plate should be set in the center of the place setting and each
place setting on the table should be set equidistant. The rest
of the components used to set a formal table will be set with
the dinner plate in mind. If a charger is used, soup and melon
bowls will be placed on top. The charger will generally be
removed just before the main course.

3) Napkins: Linen napkins should be folded elegantly and
placed in the center of the dinner plate.

4) Silverware: Silverware is to be placed in order of use. In other
words, the diner will start at the end and work his way in. The
first course will use silverware farthest from the dinner plate,
while the last course will utilize the silverware closest. Place
all silverware an inch from the table's edge.
5) Knives: Set knives on the table to the right of the dinner plate.
Technically, one should only use a knife if one is cutting
meat; however, up to three knives can be placed on the table,
in order of use. Blades should face inside, towards the table
6) Forks: Forks are to be set to the left of the dinner plate in
order of use. In most cases, there are three: one each for
seafood, the main course and the salad. When dining
formally, salads are generally served at the end of the meal.
7) Spoons: Spoons are set to the right of the knives in order of
use. If there is a melon course, this spoon will be set closest
to the plate with the soup spoon on the end. If there is a
dessert spoon, this will be set above the plate. Coffee spoons
are set on the saucer when it's time for dessert.
8) Glasses: Glasses are set above the plate to the right in order
of use. From left to right: Water glass, red wine glass, white
wine glass, champagne flute (if ordered).
9) Dessert: Dessert plates and coffee / tea cups will be set out
after dinner. If a fork is to be used with dessert, this will be

placed on the dessert plate. A dessert spoon should have
already been set above the dinner plate. Coffee spoons
should be placed on the saucer. Coffee / tea mugs aren't
used for a formal dinner.


Mise-en-place, the French term means to “putting in place” is
attributed to the preparation of a work place for ultimate smooth
service. It is widely used in the food and beverage service
department in everyday hotel operations. Before service
commences, the staff should ensure that the station is in total
readiness to receive guests. A station comprises of a given number
of tables which are attended by a given team of waiters. Thus a
restaurant may have several stations, each with a team of waiters. In
a large restaurant, each station may be headed by a Chef-de-rang.
Mise-en-place involves:
· Side stations should be stacked with sufficient covers for
resetting the restaurant after the first sitting is over. Extra
linen, crockery, cutlery, glassware and ashtrays should
be kept handy so that they are readily available for use.
· Cruet sets should be cleaned and filled on a daily basis.
· Sauce bottles should be filled and the necks and tops of
the bottles wiped clean.
· Butter, condiments and accompaniments for service
should be kept ready for use when needed.


Mise-en-scene, the French term means to prepare the
environment of the outlet before service in order to make it pleasant,
comfortable, safe and hygeinic. Before each service session, the
restaurant should be made presentable enough to receive t h e
guests. The supervisor or team of waiters should ensure the
following mise-en-scene:
· Carpets are well brushed or hovered.
· All tables and chairs are serviceable.
· Table lights or wall lights have functioning bulbs.
· Menu cards are presentable and attractive.
· Tent carts or other sales material are presentable.
· Doors and windows are thrown open for sometime to air
the restaurant. This should be followed by closing the

windows and doors and setting the air-conditioning or
heating to a comfortable temperature.
· Exchange dirty linen for fresh linen.
· Table cloths and mats are laid on the tables.
· Replace wilted flowers with fresh flowers.


i) Pull out the chairs or the table to enable guests to
move out comfortably.
ii) Wish them warmly and request them to visit again,
saying - Do visit again, sir / madam.
iii) Clear the table immediately and reset for the next
iv) Have the side station cleared and restacked for the
next sitting.


i) When the guests arrive greet them warmly, by wishing
them the time of the day.
ii) Escort the guests to the table and seat them promptly
by pulling the chairs out to ease seating. If need be,
the table should be moved so that very little
inconvenience is caused to guests when they seat
iii) Ensure that children have high chairs and special
attention is paid to the elderly.
iv) Remove extra covers, if any.

v) Serve water and present the menu card, if the captain
is busy.
vi) If the order has to be taken, offer suggestions to the
guests on the choice of food and beverages and
repeat the final order to avoid possible errors.
vii) Do not leave the station unattended, as nothing
annoys a guest more than not being able to find a
waiter, when something is needed.
viii) If the table cloth has to be changed during service, the
table top should not be exposed. Any articles on the
table should be cleared to the side station and not
placed on chairs or on the next table. The soiled cloth
should be brushed using a service cloth and a
crumbing tray or plate.
ix) Do not neglect little things such as lighting a guest's
cigarette, responding to a request and showing
interest in the guest's needs.
x) Ensure that service is fast, efficient and pleasant.
xi) Before serving dessert, clear and crumb the table.


The service staff should check the following before service:
i) The tables and linen are clean.
ii) Tablecloths are evenly spread on the table.
iii) Chairs are dusted and properly arranged.
iv) The table set up is appropriate and pleasing.
v) The silver is polished and the china and crockery are
spotlessly clean and befitting the occasion.
vi) Cruet sets, sugar bowls and flower vases are filled
and placed on the table suitably.
vii) The floor / carpet is clean and dry.
viii) The restaurant and back area are in a state of
readiness before the service session commences.
ix) The side station is fully equipped for service and the
following should be checked:
· Condiments tray is cleaned and refilled.
· Napkins are folded and kept handy for the
particular session.
· Salvers, extra linen, cutlery and service equipment
necessary for the session are stacked up.
· Water jugs and ice buckets are filled and kept
· Coffee pots ready with freshly brewed coffee / tea.
· Sugar cubes, butter and butter plates ready.


Restaurants not only should attract potential customers but
also should strive hard to entice them to become frequent and
regular customers. This can be done in a number of ways, such as
through the type of menu, the glamorous and attractive name of the
place or atmosphere within the food service area.
The customer’s first impressions of a restaurant are the most
important and these are largely determined by the professionalism of
the service staff and their preparations prior to service. These preservice
preparations are known as mise-en-place and are vital in that
they create the right and pleasing environment by the setting and
controlling of temperature, lighting and equipment.

The serving food and beverage to the anxiously waiting
customer needs professional expertise. The service should follow a
sequence and have a plan of action based on the practices of the
professional catering industry. The service staff should be expert
performers of certain tasks before, during and after service. Deligent
and courteous service would certainly transform a satisfied customer
to regular customer.


The spare linen store is the service area where linen
materials are stored in a cupboard. This spare linen stock is held
near the food service area in case of emergency. The linen is
changed when necessary on a basis of ‘one clean for one dirty’. This
is normally the responsibility of a senior member of the food service
staff and is kept locked for control purposes. Generally, 50% of the
total inventory is stocked up in the spare linen room.


The hotplate is the contact point between the kitchen and the
service staff. It is the point at which both areas must cooperate and
communicate effectively so that the customer gets the quick and
efficient service that he expects.
Hot cupboards can be used for either food or plates. Units as
a whole are usually made up of a hot cupboard with sliding doors,
topped by a heated serving surface. The top may also house
containers acting as dry or heated brain-maries. Dry heat keeps the
food hot by electric elements or gas flame. The wet heat method
provides heat via an open tank of water, which itself is heated by
gas-fired burners or by an electric immersion heater.

The hot plate or hot cupboard needs to be stocked with all
the china and crockery needed for service, e.g soup plates, fish
plates, consommé cups, platters, soup cups, tea cups and
The Aboyeur is in charge, and controls the hotplate over the
service period. As an aid to the food service staff the Aboyeur would
control the ‘off board’ which tells the waiter immediately any dish is
‘off’. The Aboyeur who controls the hotplate over the service period
will initially receive the food check from the waiter. He checks that it
is legible and that none of the dishes ordered are ‘off’ the menu.


At the service time especially, the wash-up area is one of the
busiest sections. It must be correctly sited to allow a smooth flow of
work, promoting a fast turnover and efficient service. There are two
methods of washing:
1. The tank method: Using this method, the items are washed in
a sink of hot water containing detergent and then placed into
racks and dipped into another sink. This second sink is known
as sterilising tank; the water temperature is very high, at
approximately 75°C. The items are left in here for few minutes
then lifted out. As the water is so hot, the items especially the
crockery, will air dry, making this a more hygienic method (no
cloths are needed). The crockery can then be stacked and put
away as required.
2. The machine method: In principle, the machine method is no
different from the tank method, except that the whole system is
automated and therefore labour saving.


The silver room holds the stock of silver required for the
service of meals. The various types of silver are kept here on labeled
shelves, with all the service plates of one size stacked together.
Cutlery, flatware, hollowware and other smaller items are usually
stored in drawers lined with baize, as this helps to reduce noise,
slipping and scratching.
In very large establishments, the silver and the plate room
may be two separate units, but in the majority of places they are
combined and in some cases, are a part of wash-up.


The still room is looked after by a still room supervisor, who is
responsible for the staffing, ordering of supplies from the main store
and effective control of these items when issued to various
departments. In most of the restaurants, the stillroom remains open
for long hours. For the efficient running, the staffs normally work on a
straight rotating shift basis, doing an early shift one week and a late
shift the next. The stillroom staffs are also responsible for the
washing up of all their equipments.

Provisions Obtainable from the Stillroom:

The list below gives the provisions that can be obtained from
the stillroom:
· Beverages: coffee, tea, chocolate, horlicks, ovaltine and
other food drinks.
· Fruit juices: apple, orange, pineapple, grapefruit and
other assorted fruit juices.
· Pastries, gateaux and sandwiches
· Rolls, brioche and crossant
· Toast: breakfast toast, melba toast
· Milk, cream and butter
· Toasted scones and teacakes
· Sugar: coffee powder, tea dust, demerara etc.
· Breakfast cereals: cornflakes, weetabixm shredded
wheat, rice crispies, muesli etc.
· Preserves: jams, jelly, marmalade, cherry, plum,
raspberry, strawberry, apricot and honey.
· Cleaning detergents and scrubbers.

Stillroom Equipments:

A wide range of food items are offered from a stillroom and
therefore, to ensure the correct storage, preparation and
presentation a considerable amount of equipment is used. The
equipment that may be found includes:
· Coffee brewing machine
· Coffee bean grinding machine
· Tea dispenser
· Bread slicing machine
· Salamander
· Hot cupboard
· Steamer and hotwater boiler
· Refrigertors
· Work table and cutting board
· General storage space, shelves and cupboards
· Sinks, washing machines and dish washers.


The ancillary department of the restaurant area includes
important units in the make-up of a catering establishement, acting
as the link between kitchen or food preparation units and the
restaurant or food service units. The service areas behind the scener
can also be termed as ‘back-of-house’.
The service areas are stocked with appropriate equipment,
depending on the style of operation. The service areas themselves
are some of the busiest units of a catering establishment, especially
during the service periods. In general, especially in large hotels, five
main service areas can be distinguished:

1) Stillroom
2) Silver or plate room
3) Wash-up
4) Hotplate
5) Spare linen store
A well-structured layout of these areas is most important to
ensure even flow of work by the various members of staff. However,
the layout itself may vary with different catering establishments
according to their own needs.

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