Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Amateur Chefs Rely on Food Warmers at Major Events

Think of food warmers and images of fast food restaurants, hamburgers and grilled fish sandwiches placed in the bins, might move to the forefront of your mind. However, fast food restaurants aren't the only places that rely on food warmers to keep their food, especially meat, safe. Worship center workers, caterers, independent chefs and cafeteria cooks also depend on the warmers. As the owner of an eatery, the equipment could help you meet local, state and federal food preparation and maintenance laws.
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For example, some jurisdictions require hot food to be kept at 63 degrees for no longer than two hours. Without food warmers, to meet legal requirements, you could find yourself freezing, defrosting and grilling, frying or baking certain food items each time someone ask for a second helping. Over time, this could start to chip away at your profits. It could also force your customers to wait to be served, not what you want to force hungry customers to do.

The different types of food warmers available on the market include kettle soup warmers, heat lamps, heated display cases, hot food tables, hot dog steamers and single and double burners. Food tables come in sizes that range from two to five wells. Chafer rolls and caster sets are other pieces of equipment that you could use to keep food warm for several hours. Food tables and caster sets are built with enough room to store supplies on the bottom shelf, a feature you might need, especially if you are short on floor or cabinet space.                                                                       

It's this type of knowledge that cooks like chefs who participate in competitions or charity events understand. As an example, the approximately 50 amateur chefs who participated in an Illinois fundraiser took advantage of food warmers as they prepared meals for people who attended a "Men Who Cook" event.

As reported in the March 21, 2013 Chicago Tribune  "Men Who Cook Fundraiser to Help Children's Center" article, the chefs cooked enough food to keep children and adults attending the fundraiser to walk away full. The event made it possible for attendees to "circle a cavernous hall and sample bite-size appetizers, entrees, side dishes and desserts." The article continues, "Food is prepared before the event and placed in warmers on tables that line the hall."

In fact, you could cook enough food to feed hundreds of people, placing the food in warmers and keeping the food full of flavor and pleasantly warm for a couple of hours. If you operate a buffet style eatery, food warmers may well be a necessity. Use homemade recipes, rare spices and seasonings and you could sell food kept warm in metal bins at competitive prices. These revenues could be used to donate money to charities that benefit abused children, similar to who money raised at the "Men Who Cook" event did or the money could be used to purchase new furniture for the worship center you operate. Of course, you could also use the funds to continue to grow your restaurant, catering business or other eatery that you own.

Rhonda Campbell is a guest author and food enthusiast.

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