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The French Kitchen Revolution

Words by Andrew Koh

Local French restaurant Lerouy enhances its mise en place with automation.

For a long time, French gastronomy has become a way of life and long considered the pinnacle of fine dining. Enter one of the city’s most celebrated French restaurants, Lerouy is undoubtedly a stalwart in Singapore’s French dining scene. Helmed by chef Christophe Lerouy, this decorated chef brings with him a myriad of food cultures and techniques from his culinary exploits around the world.

As the business grew, the company came rightly concerned about how to redesign their work process and what they have to do next to make it better. Subsequently, Lerouy approached NTUC’s Employment & Employability Institute (e2i) for support on the WorkPro Job Redesign Program, investing in a Cooking Block that is centralized in an easy-to-understand user interface.

Behind-the-scenes: Lerouy’s kitchen (Image courtesy of Lerouy)

Previously, mise en place (a French term for ” the preparation of dishes and ingredients before the beginning of service”) activities such as every ingredient and every tool that they might need is placed nearby and prepared simultaneously. Mature workers had to rely on their memory and experience in terms of managing the cooking process at different parts of the kitchen. This inevitably resulted to long wait times and stressed kitchen staff especially during peak hours.

Properly dubbed for its namesake, the introduction of the Cooking Block helps the workers to perform the tasks quicker and smoother, optimising the whole movement in the kitchen with the bain marie, fry top, induction plate, induction hob, boiler for sous vide functions. But this doesn’t just increase your productivity; it improves the whole relationship within the environment. With the various functions conspicuously centralised on the block, this allows the workers to work better and safer, minimising the probability of incorrect or missing orders that may arise or potential risk of colliding to each other, especially during peak periods.

A staff preparing the batter (Image courtesy of Lerouy)

Working to a different aim, another thriving initiative that the company is working with NTUC’s e2i is the Place & Train Programme, where it helps workers in reskilling to take on roles in new industries. In this case, the P&T roles the company undertakes involve a series of crucial roles such as commis chef, commis III chef and assistant manager positions.

In a time where talent retention is getting tougher especially during this COVID-19 period, the company believes in supporting the older workers and has taken considerable steps for them. In particular, three of the older workers received a pay raise. Happy workers help businesses thrive, and these benefits play a large role. Lerouy also shared that they would continue to implement more of such incentives for their employees in the future.

   

For more information on Lerouy, visit https://www.facebook.com/RestaurantLerouy/

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