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Students Corner




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:

  1. 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.

  2. It should be suitably lighted, well-ventilated and sufficiently open to allow the staff to perform their duties in a clean and efficient manner.

  3. 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 is situated.

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.

Larder Control

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:

  1. Checking the quality and quantity of all goods delivered to the larder.

  2. Ensuring that all foodstuffs are stored at the required temperature and they can be easily checked.

  3. That the food is protected from contamination by vermin.

  4. 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.

  5. Those stocks of food are regularly turned over.

  6. That food is not overstocked.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

Sauce Section

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 customers.

Roast Section

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 required.

Fish Section

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.

Vegetable Section

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.

Soup Section

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.

Indian 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.

Pastry Section

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 of mise-en-place.

Kitchen - stocks, sauces, béchamel, vegetables.
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 preparations:
Pastes -short, sweet, puff (left at four turns), brioche, pâté a' crepe
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.

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