Articles Written by Chef Joe Abuso

Here are links to articles, written by Chef Joe Abuso, that can help improve different parts of your operation. Although some of the articles were written with restaurants in mind, not senior-living communities, much of the material is applicable.

Made from Scratch Foods

Here’s why they’re better, and how to start working them into your operation.

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Transitioning from Institutional Foodservice to a Culinary/Hospitality Model

As our typical resident is quickly becoming a Baby Boomer, rather than a member of the Greatest Generation, dining expectations are changing.  Here’s how to make the transition.

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Developing your Kitchen Staff

How to attract and keep the best workers.

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Soup Basics

This Article from the ANFP Edge magazine is a primer on how to cook a number of different styles of soup from scratch.

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Improving Prep Work

This article can be thought of as “Running a Professional Kitchen – 101”.

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Controlling Food Costs

This Article that appeared in the ANFP Edge magazine offers advice on controlling one of your community’s main costs

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Kitchen Sanitation

10 Critical Points of Kitchen Sanitation

Here are 10 critical points to help you keep your kitchen be as clean it can be.
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More on Kitchen Sanitation

Advice on how to prepare – every day – for a Health Department inspection.
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Determining your Ideal Kitchen Staffing

Along with food costs, kitchen payroll is one of the two most important, easily quantifiable things for a chef to control in his or her kitchen. Here are some thoughts on how to staff your kitchen so that neither your quality, or budget, suffer.
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Improving your Service Line

No matter how much care and effort you put into your kitchen operations, the final product will never be better than the efficiency and organization of your service line. Here’s how to get the final link in your kitchen’s chain to be as good as all the things that come before it.
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Making Prep Work More Efficient

In running a successful kitchen, there is nothing more important than the parts of each day that are dedicated to prep work. Without thoughtfully-planned and well-executed prep, labor and food costs, as well as quality, are impossible to control. Here are a few ideas to help.
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Fire Safety in your Kitchen

The best way to fight a fire in your kitchen is to prevent one from happening to begin with. If, in spite of your best efforts, you do have a fire, the best way to deal with it is to have everyone prepared in advance as to what to do through training and reinforcement.
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Controlling your Food Costs

Few basic concepts of restaurant operations are more universally accepted as crucial to success as good control of food costs. At the same time, few concepts are as commonly, at least partially, misunderstood.
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More on Controlling your Food Costs

More than ever, the food business is one of tight margins, and one of the most important, fundamental margins that must be understood, controlled and manicured is food cost. Here are some thoughts on how to do just that.
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The Case for Making Your Own Stocks

While canned broths and dried bases have their place, nothing will add as fine a foundation to your cooking as real stock. If you have the equipment and staff, it’s absolutely worth considering.
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Improving Front-of-the-House Service

The wait staff is the most challenging part of many operations. Here are some proven techniques for training your waiters.
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Troubleshooting your Kitchen During Service

Why kitchen service backs up and how you can avoid it.
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Common Ways Food Quality Can Suffer

This article looks at what might cause food quality to suffer in a resident’s eyes and, specifically, what we can do to improve our food in ways that will get their attention.
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Seafood Basics

Among all of the different classes of ingredients found in a typical kitchen, seafood presents some special issues. It’s expensive, perishable, delicate and can be tricky to cook. It’s also very popular with residents, and is becoming more so all the time. In light of all of this, let’s take a close look at seafood in terms of selection, procurement, receiving, storage, menu planning and preparation.
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Creating Menu Specials

Here’s some advice on developing Specials menus that will keep your residents happy, help with your food costs, and improve the morale of your staff.
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Frying and Braising Basics

This article covers the basics of mastering two of the most popular cooking techniques in the kitchen.
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Soup Basics

Home-made soups can be some of the most versatile, crowd-pleasing and inexpensive items on your menu. Here’s a discussion of various types of soup to consider.
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Food Presentation

A deft touch with food presentation will make a powerful impression on your residents with relatively little effort or expense.
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Five Points of Proper Portion Control

Here’s a big-picture look at how to make sure your residents are actually served the portion sizes you’ve planned on.
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Developing your Kitchen Staff

Promoting from within is one of the best ways to staff a kitchen. Here’s some advice on how to run an operation that will allow that to happen.
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