By Amelia D'Souza
The “clean as you go” rule is among the gospel truths of working in a professional kitchen. Remember the movie ‘Ratatouille’ where the character Chef Colette voices this while training Linguini?
But one wonders how far this is a reality in professional kitchens. The truth is that this is one of the hard facts in the industry. So. why is ‘clean as you go’ considered one of the most important aspects of a well-maintained kitchen?
Ensures Seamless Work Efficiency and Safety: Every kitchen functions best when its processes are optimized for maximum efficiency, and this often boils down to the Chefs taking responsibility for their station and delivering food in a timely manner. A strict no-no is that kitchen scraps are rarely placed directly on the bench; they must always be placed in bowls since this makes their waste disposal more efficient. It is often believed that the cleaner a Chef’s station is the clearer their thought process. Maintaining a high level of cleanliness and organization at their respective station ensures better efficiency since Chefs can keep better track of the kitchen activities. ICCA Dubai instills these kitchen etiquettes and standards of keeping the stations clear and maintaining accessibility to ingredients right from the beginning of the program.
Helps Maintain High Hygiene Standards: Chefs must be highly disciplined and maintain stringent hygienic and organizational practices in a professional kitchen. From personal grooming and meticulous prep work to the clean-up of the kitchen, a Chef is trained to be not only responsible for their own stations but also for the byproducts of their work such as unwashed dishes, and food scraps, among others. So, the principle of cleaning as you go can help maintain these high hygienic standards. Every ICCA Student Chef is taught industry-compliant sanitation and cleaning practices.
Helps Maintain Food Safety: While cleaning as you go can seem mundane and tedious, it is of utmost importance, especially when it comes down to food safety. In the UAE, the kitchen must be HAACP compliant, and Chefs must work daily to ensure the most stringent sanitation standards are maintained in the kitchen Once a restaurant is operational, this standard must be maintained to prevent cross-contamination, ensure appropriate garbage disposal, and prioritize the quality of food arriving at the customer’s table. Safeguards such as temperature control and organization of storage areas come down to a Chef’s ability to maintain the level of order from the time, they began the service.
Throughout their time at a culinary learning school like ICCA students are held to the same standard as Chefs in a professional kitchen. Here, the principle of ‘çlean as you go’ and the importance of maintaining stringent hygienic and organizational practices are taught and reiterated throughout the program. What ICCA Dubai’s professional courses strive to achieve is to produce well-trained, employable Chefs who will excel in the professional world.