The word larder has in professional
kitchens a much wider significance. The larder is not simply a place
where food is stored but a place where the raw materials for cooking are
prepared and dressed. In large establishments, the work is further
broken into sections.
Functions of Larder Department
The larder is a room set aside for the
storage of perishable foods, both raw and cooked, where food as meat,
fish, poultry and game are prepared and made ready for cooking. In this
department too, all cold 'items found on the menu, such as hors
d'oeuvres, cold dish or meat dishes, cold salads, etc. are prepared and
dressed. For these function to be effective, it is essential that:
The room should be separate from the
kitchen situated in a cool place. At the same time, it must be close
to the kitchen to avoid undue running about between the two
departments which are closely interrelated.
It should be suitably lighted,
well-ventilated and sufficiently open to allow the staff to perform
their duties in a clean and efficient manner.
It must be equipped with the necessary
fittings, plant, machinery and tools in accordance with the volume,
and or quality of the trade of the catering establishment in which it
Breakdown of Work
Work is broken down into various fields
such as salads, poultry, ; cold buffet, hors d'oeuvres, mousses, cold
cuts, sandwiches, etc. . The butcher receives directions from the larder
chef according to the commitments of the business. The butchery prepares
various Joints in advance according to the menu requirements. Each day
certain quantities of meat are trimmed to the first stage, (removal of
excess fat, skin and other inedible parts). The butcher carries out
further preparations to certain meat items, i.e. boning and trimming to
bring it to the stage for final cutting and trimming. Each day a
pre-arranged amount of meat is cut and trimmed to the final stages
against the menu requirements. Usually in catering establishments with
an extensive banqueting service, it will mean that the butcher will have
a considerable amount of preparations in the stages mentioned above. By
this method the section at all times is able to meet the requirement of
the kitchen. In the larger kitchens, the larder section includes
fishmonger, who will trim and prepare the dish ready for service and
delivery. The chicken is dressed, trussed or cut according to
requirements of the menu. Quenelle mixtures are also prepared here.
Charcutiery (port section) pork products and sausages are prepared.
Rendering of dripping is also done here. All cold buffets, including
afternoon receptions are prepared in the larder. Chef de Froid controls
the cold buffet section. An important part of the larder duties is the
rapId supply of various prepared foods to the kitchen at all times
especially during service periods. Salads are prepared and assembled in
this section. Hors d'oeuvres are also made and trolley is replenished by
the hors d’Oeuvre. Decorative cut vegetables are prepared and they are
used for decorating ravieres.
If this department is to be run
efficiently and economically, it is essential that chef larder manager
should exercise the strictest possible control over the foodstuff
received and stored in the department. This involves:
Checking the quality and quantity of
all goods delivered to the larder.
Ensuring that all foodstuffs are
stored at the required temperature and they can be easily checked.
That the food is protected from
contamination by vermin.
That portion control is rigidly
carried out, e.g. given weight of meat, or fish or vegetables, etc.
should always produce the required number of portions of steaks, fish
fillets, salads or hors d'oeuvres.
Those stocks of food are regularly
That food is not overstocked.
That daily stock sheet kept by each
should be submitted to the chief larder manager at the end of the day
to enable him to write out his orders for the following day.
Obviously every effort must be made to
maintain highest possible standard of hygiene, to prevent any
deterioration in the food under his control. Every precaution should
be taken to discourage pilferage.
The Larder Chef, at a set time each day,
notifies the Chef, of stocks, of cooked or raw materials remaining.
The sauce section is responsible for
providing all meat, poultry. game and offal dishes with the exception of
those that are plain roasted or grilled. All the meat dishes are cooked
and garnished. The partie will also provide all basic and finished
sauces served hot, that are normally required by the various parties in
the kitchen. Normally, one first commences early duty to cover the
preparations and cooking of dishes as "Plat de Jour" as these often
require a cooking time of 3-4 hours. Braising, boiling, peeling is also
done in this section. Similar to the fish partie an extensive part of
the dishes are cooked and a variety of cooked garnishes are also
prepared. Miseen-place for, banquets is also done here. The Chef Saucier
does important work as he assembles dishes which have an impact on the
The roast section is responsible for
providing all roast dishes of meat, poultry and game. It is responsible
for all grilled dishes of meat, chicken, offal and fish, and this duty
is often delegated to the grill cook. The section is also responsible
for the preparation of a number of dishes and the deep frying of the
food items. It also prepares and finishes any savories that are
This section is responsible for the
provision of all fish dishes with the exception of those that are plain
grilled or deep fried. The cleaning, descaIing, filleting, crumbling is
done by the fishmonger in larder. Generally as a larger selection of
fish are offered, an extensive mise-en-place is required. At each
service period, the following basic sauces are made ready for service:
béchamel, white wine sauce, fish velouté, hollandaise and melted butter.
Further, a number of garnishes are prepared in advance to a part cooked
stage, By this arrangement, a variety of fish dishes particularly the
poached and meuniere types can be done. Grilling is done by the grill
cook or commis.
An entrement course in France was the
responsibility of the entrement of vegetables, who skillfully prepared
and cooked vegetables, which could be served as a separate course. An
entrement was originally something sent to the table between the courses
in France. During the period before service, each day various quantities
of vegetables are prepared, cooked, refreshed and placed into
refrigerator. Peeling, cleaning and trimming are done by semi-skilled
workers. Limited quantities of certain potato dishes are cooked and
finished to varying degrees, kept ready when service begins. Vegetable
garnishes are prepared here and given to other sections. The cooking of
eggs forms an important part of the work in this section. Particularly,
omelettes of various types, e.g. plain, garnished, stuffed and flat
round omelettes. Italian pastas but not noodles are also prepared in
this section. Items like spaghetti, macaroni and rice may be sent to
other sections for garnishes. The mise-en-place is carried out according
to menu requirements. By this method, the vegetable cook and senior
commis are able to cope with the finishing and serving of a vast amount
of different dishes. Management of cooking vegetables well for large
numbers calls for particular knowledge, skill and judgment and should
never be entrusted to an unskilled and disinterested cook.
It is the responsibility of this section
to prepare soups such as consommés, creams, velouté, purees, broths,
bisques and many special international soups. All basic stocks are also
prepared here. The cold soups are prepared and passed to the larder for
service. The garnishes come from the larder and vegetable section.
This section is responsible for the
preparation, of all Indian dishes. The work is subdivided into
subsections such as: Indian (bread and rice, pulaos, biryanis,
chappaties, puries, bhaturas, etc.), vegetables, (bhajees, curries),
meat, (including eggs and fish), tandoor (seekh kababs, tandoor chicken,
boti kababs), Indian sweets jalebis, rasgullas, rabri, etc.) Each day a
variety of dishes are prepared according to menu requirements.
The work of this section is normally
separated from the main kitchen and is self-contained in the matter of
cold storage. The function of this section is to prepare hot and cold
sweets, for lunches, dinners and pastries for tea-time and other
occasions. It also prepares pastes like short and puff pastry, frying
batters for making noodles for supply to other corners of the kitchen.
Sorbets and water-ice like items are made in pastry section. The service
of ices and those sweets which are based upon ice-cream are prepared and
assembled in Patisserie. They also include the sweet omelettes au
surprise and soufflé surprise, Melbas, etc. The art of pastry includes
work like colored sugars to make flower baskets and similar decorative
centre pieces, work with fondant and icing sugar, gum pastes, fashioning
of praline into decorative objects. Where hotels operate a bakery
section, the responsibility is carried out by the master baker. Normally
one commis will commence early duty each day to provide the mise-en-place
required by the various sections. The section needs workers with skill,
imagination and experience.
In common with the Larder and Kitchen
Departments, the successful running of the pastry department depends
on adequate mise-en-place. Mise-en-place must not be confused with
stores, even though stores are, in fact, a form of mise-en-place in
that they are ordered in advance and are, in fact, preparation
department. To the production department, mise-en-place is the only
method of preparing ahead. as the preparation of mincemeat and
Christmas puddings is done in this manner, it is usual to make the
pudding early in November.
Briefly the following is the mise-en-place
for kitchen and larder; it is only mentioned to prove the importance
Kitchen - stocks, sauces, béchamel,
Larder - Joints of meat, poultry, fish, meat for pies, puddings, etc.
In common with the Larder, the pastry is also a supplying department
and the mise-en-place for these other departments must be taken into
account. Tartlet cases, bouche'es, Nouilles, pie and pudding covering
etc. The following is a list of the most essential pastry
Pastes -short, sweet, puff (left at four turns), brioche, pâté a'
Creams -Butter-cream, frangipane, crème patisseur, creamed rice
The above should always be available,
and kept in the refrigerator but not a freezing point; 40° is cold
enough. Pastes become very difficult to manipulate if they are frozen.
The butter-cream is used for various gateaux, creamed rice for Condes,
baked rice pudding (a'la carte). The pancake batter is also for a' la
carte service. Crèmes, Patisseur has many uses, being a quick source
of sweet soufflés and weakened down for trifles, sauces, etc. It is an
advantage to have a supply of crème caramels for they are in constant
demand as a' la carte-sweets. Coryotes of fruit are used in the main
meals and the mise-en place must include figs and prunes as they are
in constant demand at breakfast. Naturally, tinned fruit should be
used only when fruits are out of season. Genoise, Swiss Rolls, finger
biscuits, meringues, and vacherins are essential mise-en-place for the
easy preparation for gateaux, trifles, meringue, Chantilly or glace
Charlotte Russe, etc. Pastries can either be partly prepared in the
form of frangipane tartIets, barquettes, etc. or the tartlet cases
lined with paste and finished the following day, in the same method as
such things as volau-vent, bouche, fleurons, etc. Dry petit fours in
the form of macaroons, langues des chats, etc. as also pastilles de
menthe, fudge, coconut kisses are easily stored, and leaving only the
fondant and sugar dipped varieties to be completed on the day of use.
If ice creams in their many forms are made on the premises, they
should be made in advance: this includes bombes, biscuits, biscuit
glace, and soufflés.