What cookware brands do you find in restaurants ?

Hi Claus,

I’ve always been under the impression that the most interesting feature of a commercial gas range for a home cook would reside more in the fine tuning at the lower levels than in the high BTUs unless using very large commercial sized pots and pans. On my gas stove, which is a pretty old mid-range number, I’ve never felt I lacked power to bring a pan rather quickly to a temperature where butter would burn and oil smoke :volcano:
In addition, I find that commercial cookware even cheap low end is usually high quality in the sense that it’s sturdy, thick, doesn’t warp or chip, keeps its shape and is overall able to withstand the intensive use and abuse of a high octane commercial environment.
So I’m somewhat surprised by your statement.
Would you please care to clarify and elaborate ?

Otherwise, great thread, thank you. I love watching professionals cook.
The Asians, I find particularly fascinating as half the time I can’t anticipate what they will be doing next and can’t identify half of the ingredients.
In the JAPANESE FOOD | Simple Chinese Soba and Pork Cutlet Rice Omelet Meal | Japanese Egg Roll Restaurant clip, there is a big flame on the stove behind the cook at the 31:25 mark but apparently no particular cause for alarm :scream: :confounded: :astonished:

I am in Singapore and I can vouch for Hokkien Mee (in general) being fantastic :+1:

2 Likes

In wok cooking you often want the very high heat to evaporate moisture quickly and put a char on things to achieve wok hei. You can achieve the same on a normal range, but you’d need to cook smaller quantities at a time.

Kenji’s new book explains it better than I did above, and also talks about how to maximise results on a normal range.

3 Likes

I’ve noticed what Chef’s may use in their home kitchen is not the same they will select for their restaurants. What may handle the rigors of the kitchen may not be what you find in their homes. Also, I think sponsorships may play a factor with some of the big names.

I’ve personally have seen a lot of restaurant grade nonstick, clad as well as carbon steel. An occasionally CI or ECI. This is from glances in open kitchens or through doorways/windows. I do see a lot of stainless clad and disk, though – especially in fine dining restaurants-- the concerns over flavors staying pure seems to be a driving factor. I still remember walking by Saison (SF, when they still have 3*) and seeing the crew prepping, with copper clearly not for decoration.

Here’s Jean-Georges – a mix of stainless (include AC and restaurant grade), a NS for crepes, and copper (Bourgeat) saucier for sauces.

Robuchon LV - towards the end, lots of Mauviel SS, staub, restaurant grade stainless

Californios (SF, 2*) featuring Mexican cuisine, and surprisingly copper SS (and others)

Hof Van Cleve (3*, BE) using what appears to be Apollo and even a well-bused Thermolon coated pan (Demeyere? by handle shape)

Eater has a bunch of these restaurant kitchen tours/tutorials, and so does a YT channel called wbpstars (which I just stumbled across)

1 Like

Thank you, Alexander.
Of course, you are right.
I had in mind the type of commercial range that one most commonly finds in restaurant kitchens in Europe and in the US, not the specific types that are used for wok or paella cooking. I should have excluded them specifically as well as French plaques, planchas etc
P.S.: the big flame I referred to in my post seemed to be coming out of a pan and not from a wok blaster!

1 Like

That one is hypnotic for me, the way the flames lick over the sides of the pan and ignite the vaporized butter and beef fat. I do huge (in this case, 800-900 grams is huge) bone in rib-eyes this way. Also whole picanha.

But I generally finish in the oven. For some reason, if I start on the stovetop then I finish in the oven. I only put it on the grill to smoke if I’ve done the searing on the grill. Not sure why - some kind of brain block going on. No reason I couldn’t run it over the to the grill to continue cooking with indirect heat and some hickory-apple smoke.

1 Like

This is more about “vision” than pots and pans, but it brings us all to the same page: gourmet chef–or home cook:

Ray

1 Like

The Seafood Bar In Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A Michelin star restaurant using planchas to prepare their seafood, but also 3 Ballarini non stick woks - I gave my wife a 30 cm Ballarini wok like the ones in the video.

Great performance for a non stick wok.

Link

1 Like

Hi damiano,

In Thailand, it was inside–and the printed menu was nonexistant–but you learned the “real” menu pretty quick–because it was built around rice–a few sources of protein–a few curries–and some foundation sauces.

The person taking the order could guess further just looking at you–and–when you came back the next time, options or samples might appear.

Sooner or later–probably sooner–you will be eating delicious Thai fried rice in massive quantities.

Ray

1 Like

Hi Louis,

My home gas stovetop works excellent for most tasks, but it has its limitations in being able to keep a very very low flame for simmering sauces and stews at very low constant heat. Induction home stovetops partly solve that. But you already agree to this.

95% of home stovetops also unfortunately have limitations when it comes to ultra high burner output (BTU). They can’t produce high enough BTU.

One of my burners on my home stovetop is very large and do have a very high BTU output, but compared to a pro kitchen high BTU burner it’s still not up to par with that.

In wok cooking you need ultra high BTU to create the burned char effect (Wok hei) most people want in Asian traditional stir fry dishes.
Since most home stovetops can’t produce that, you’ll either need to limit the amount of ingredients in your stir fry, to get them heated fast enough, or change the type of cooking vessel you use. Many chefs therefore advice people to use a normal frying pan at home for stir fry rather than using a huge wok to get a better, faster and more evenly cooked stir fry on a home stovetop.
That’s not to say you can’t use a wok at home with great results, but some Asian chefs feel a regular frying pan gives you better stir fry results on a smaller home stovetop than you get from using a huge wok.

Also when restaurants have these high powered stovetops they - in my opinion - take the need for very expensive high quality cookware out of the equation.
Whether it’s a slow reacting cast iron or carbon steel pan, a thin cheap aluminium restaurant pan or a stainless steel sandwich bottom pan, putting the pans on an ultra high performing burner at high heat, the chef won’t notice a huge difference, when searing a steak or frying an egg in the restaurant kitchen since the chef simply can heat pretty much the most slow reacting material in a pan very fast and evenly on a professional high powered stovetop.

I think that’s part of the reason most restaurants don’t need expensive high quality evenly cooking pans to produce high quality dishes.

In reality I don’t need expensive cookware at home either to produce fine quality dishes, but I personally feel I need it more on my home stovetop than a chef will notice the difference on his/her professional grade high powered stovetop.

This is of course just my personal opinion.

Btw I own two woks and love to cook with them.
My two woks are most used pans in my home kitchen, but I use them for many other things than stir fry noodle dishes - I also use them for sautéing, boiling noodles and pasta and for pasta dishes.
But I probably don’t reach the ‘Wok Hei’ charred effect to the same degree as I could, if I had an ultra high powered BTU burner on my home gas stovetop.

Look at this video from a Japanese restaurant in Osaka, Japan.

You see all the steps the older man and his family/staff go through from start to finish. Making their own noodles from scratch to preparing stock and cutting up meat and vegetables.

Hard dedicated work.

This video is long, but I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy it, when you have the time.

No fancy cookware used here. But they know what to do with what they have at hand.

Link

1 Like

Hey Gooster,

Nice videos.

I’ve been following WBPStars for many years now.
Great YouTube channel.

Many of my videos are from that channel.

Also look up Aden Films. He is especially dedicated to Japanese teppanyaki restaurants.

Waguy A5 steak served at a teppanyaki restaurant in Osaka, Japan.

This guy likes his steak Bleu or rare.

Link

Claus: That wagyu is incredibly pale. They generally have a light sear on this meat, just to the point of the fat warming up. I I wouldn’t call it bleu though, not at least in the French sense (I’ve had both).

Sorry, I hadn’t noticed the source of your videos! I had been simply viewing them in place and zipping ahead to the cooking.

1 Like

Claus,

You’ve further convinced me of the total disconnect between home cooking and commercial cooking–and why it is so rare for home cooks and the pros to be using the same cookware.

At home, my kitchen is my castle, and I don’t even have to cook in it to enjoy the ambience. For any major project, I can phase it over any time frame I choose–with both prep and cooking times of many hours: or not.

For the commercial alternative, one is always on the clock, with timing being critical, portions predetermined, and presentations a critical part. Things are never completely relaxed. In the home, things can get too informal sometimes–or too formal–but it can be more relaxed and fun.

I personally enjoy that disconnect–preparing dishes at home that I’ll never see in a restaurant, and loving going out to savor meals I’ll never prepare myself–even if I can.

1 Like

Awesome

2 Likes

To Gooster point, yeah, it is pretty common to cook wagyu beef a little more rare.

1 Like

Chef Hutchinson making a duck terrine using a Mac Mighty Pro serrated chefs knife and a Global GS-5 vegetable knife.

Link

1 Like

Another Mac knife, and then also a Le Creuset. Here with Marco Pierre White, the guy who teached Gordon Ramsay how to cook and apparently made Gordon cry during service. Wonderful video!

4 Likes

It obviously varies, but there’s not a chef in the western hemisphere that wouldn’t likely be dialed in to disk-bottomed stainless and carbon steel. Love it or hate it, it’s ubiquitous in restaurant kitchens especially of course the stainless.

3 Likes
Help cover Hungry Onion's costs when you shop at Amazon!

Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr