Let's cook! Life in a commercial kitchen

Let's cook! Life in a commercial kitchen

Let's cook! Life in a commercial kitchen

Getting to know more about the industries we might work in is really important for NOVA Transition trainees. We enjoy having guest speakers from our local area to talk about what happens in their workplace.

At NOVA Windsor we have such a great space and love to share it with other outlets so in February we invited the Rouse Hill and Richmond trainees over to join us in hosting our guest speaker Tracy Housten from Pepe’s Ducks.

Tracy is a chef by trade and has been in food industry for 32 years. She is currently Product and Development Manager for Pepe’s Ducks here in South Windsor. 

Before we went into the kitchen, Tracy explained some important principles, which you can remember with the word 'SHE':

  • ‘S’ stands for SAFETY
  • ‘H’ stands for HYGIENE
  • ‘E’ stands for ECONOMY.

Safety – kitchen safety starts with covering our bodies with the correct clothing and shoes. Using a chef’s uniform, we were shown how to remove clothing quickly in case it catches fire. Other things to help keep the kitchen safe include:

  • being aware of sharp knives, slippery floors and hot surfaces
  • being observant
  • working as a team.

Hygiene – in order to control bacteria, which can make people sick, it is necessary to:

  • have clean hands when handling food
  • keep food at the correct temperature.

Economy – means not being wasteful. This is the responsibility of everyone working in a kitchen. For example, could bones be used to make a stock? Can vegetable off-cuts be used to flavour a soup or sauce?

Working in a kitchen often involves lifting things. Tracy chose two trainees and showed them how to correctly lift and lower boxes. After watching a short clip, it was into the kitchen for some practical work!

We learnt all about knife safety and skills by practising cutting up fruit. Then every trainee had a go at mise en place – a French phrase used in professional kitchens, which means to prepare ingredients for cooking (for example: preparing sauces, peeling and chopping up vegetables, or marinating meat).

Finally, we got to taste our creation – a lamb and duck stir fry!


Windsor NOVA Transition

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