Changing my opinion on Stocks and Sauces – Ben Kaye, Sales Executive

Changing my opinion on Stocks and Sauces – Ben Kaye, Sales Executive
Essential  Cuisine

Essential Cuisine

Premium Supplier 15th April 2015

Changing my opinion on Stocks and Sauces – Ben Kaye, Sales Executive

9 months ago I left the bright lights of the kitchen and joined Essential Cuisine in the sales team. Apart from the dramatic life style change, there came a lot of changes in my opinion towards Stocks and Sauces.

When I first trained as a chef, making a good quality stock was something which took huge skill, patience and time. Being taught how to roast the bones correctly, using the correct vegetables, skimming and passing was an important part of developing as a chef.

So, eventually when it came to the point where I worked in a kitchen that didn’t make their own stocks and bought them in ready made, I wasn’t that impressed. That is, until you try something as good as the Essential Cuisine Chicken stock and it completely changes your opinion. That was 5 years ago, and ever since I have used the powdered stock mixes ever since, nothing compares in quality to it.

My opinion towards Stocks may have changed, but I still believed that Gravies and Sauces should be made by the chef, to give the dish its own individuality. It wasn’t until I was working in a small country pub, pushing myself to become a Chef de Partie, when my opinions on this were also changed.

We were a small team, only 4 of us in the kitchen; we made fresh foods from local ingredients. The kitchen wasn’t the biggest or best equipped so we had to make do with what we had. My head chef at the time was a very intelligent man; he knew how to use our time in the kitchen wisely.

Fish, Lamb, mushroomRather than us spending hours making Stocks, then reducing them down into Jus and Gravies, we used products which were equally as good and more importantly, they were consistent.

When it came to service we knew that by using the Essential Cuisine Signature Beef Jus to finish our dishes, we would get an intense and flavoursome sauce. We could add our own red wine, rosemary, and thyme to it to give it our own unique twist. Essential Cuisine gave us the base and we would make it our own.

On a Sunday morning, after being full the night before, the last thing we had time to do was stand and make a Gravy from scratch when we also had to roast the meats, potatoes, prepare the vegetables and also replenish each section from the previous night. We would always use the No1 Beef Gravy mix; just like the Signature Beef Jus we knew it would give us the most amazing sauces for our Sunday lunches.

After leaving this pub I started to notice that everywhere I ate on a Sunday for lunch used this fantastic, rich and hearty gravy.

During my time in the kitchens I also came across the Signature Hollandaise. My first thought was “what is this, I can make hollandaise easily”. It wasn’t until my Head Chef broke down the costs of making of hollandaise, not just of the ingredients but also the time, wastage and energy needed, that I realise how important this product was. It enabled us to have a high quality sauce, which once opened lasted for up to 3 days without any wastage. The little things like this are the difference between a happy harmonious kitchen and one that is tired and has lost its passion.

Fast forward 3 years to 9 months ago. My first day at Essential Cuisine, and I only knew about the Stocks, Signature and Gravies. During my first few days, I was introduced to the Glaces, Classics and Premier; each one as high quality as the last.

Talking to chefs on a day to day basis gives me the chance to explain and, hopefully, help people as much as Essential Cuisine helped me when I was a chef. Giving me the perfect starting point to create high quality dishes full of flavour.