What does this mean? Time is something that we are not good at as humans. Since we are biological beings in the world, we use our emotions to guide us through the day-to-day life. Time is not biological; it’s mechanical and does not stop. When we, humans are energized or excited time seems to go by faster than we think. Our perception of time changes as does our state of emotion. Knowing this we can use this information to help us manage our time during competitions, certifications, and our daily work. As Chefs, we are all conscious of the clock. It could be in expediting meal service to hourly wages, time governs everything we do.
•What are your restrictions in the kitchen? •Space •Walk-In Room •Access to dishes •Keep your ideas simple and easy to execute. •A complicated dish that is done wrong is still wrong •Repeat, Repeat, Repeat •Live your competition or certification •Writing notes down is far more accurate than our brains. •We have the potential to forget detail. •Time your food so things overlap during cooking. •Learn how to multi-task •Make your life as simple as possible, while still yielding the best product.
Backwards planning is a method often used by chefs when planning an event. The end time (or time when the food is due) is clear so that can be our starting point in determining how long we have to complete the requirements.
Since your menu is unique to you, there are some things that are going to be more important to you, and those are the items on which you should focus and on which you should schedule more time.
Be smart about sanitation. Sanitation takes time to do it properly. Make sure that you schedule clean-up time, hand-washing time, and extra time just in case of any unforeseen events.
This is probably one of the most valuable planning tips. There are many moving parts to your dishes, and for every moving part there are 5 things that can go wrong. In addition, there are others around you that might make things difficult. You are here to get certified, so take the steps to do it right and do not bog yourself down with inconsequential material.
Writing notes to yourself allows you to practice over time to perfect your craft.
Plating is a critical part of any certification practical exam and culinary competition. Having all your items in place and correct allows you to focus on the details of the plate. If your timing is off and you are still cooking while you are plating, your attention is now divided between the plate, the next course, and what is still cooking.
This is a completed schedule. Yours can differ, but the goal is still the same. Stay organized with your time. Master your time, and get positive results. The total time of all three courses is 2 hours and 10 minutes. The time is an accumulation of time. In real time items can be cooking at the same time. For Example: The Béchamel and the Beurre Monté can be done at the same time to eliminate 8 minutes Things like this can help create time that can be freed up to perfect garnishes, organize your station, or get cleaned up.
If your have a community of people who have experience, use it. People who have passed the test have the experience to get through the certification practical exam. Use this to your advantage. Other chefs are the judges, so there are personal preferences to certain judges. Talk to others who have just taken the exam to see where they fell short.