Teppanyaki chefs need to have two great skills: a welcoming, entertaining personality to delight diners, as well as superior knife skills. While the personality adds to the fun factor of the meal, knife skills lend themselves to making the food delicious.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to achieve the skill level of teppanyaki chefs when it comes to preparing food, look no further.
The right tools
At Benihana, we use special Japanese knives that are ideal for the dishes we create. One knife is larger for cutting ingredients like thick cuts of steak or chicken. A smaller knife is used to do things like butterfly shrimp.
A lot of prep happens behind the scenes. Chefs spend hours in the kitchen each day to make sure vegetables, meat and other ingredients are ready before guests arrive. All of our vegetables are cut ahead of time and then sliced into smaller pieces, which is what guests see during their meal.
There’s a method
We use a variety of methods and techniques when cutting each ingredient. For our shrimp, there are a few basic movements: remove the tail, rotate the shrimp for two precise slices, and flick the shrimp and detached tails into separate piles on the grill. Our skilled chefs do this very quickly.
After grilling our meats, like steak and chicken, to specification, we always let them rest before slicing. We will not slice meat until right before serving it. This ensures the meat is at its juiciest and most flavorful.
Knives need to be sharpened every day. This not only means that cutting will be easier, but it will also be safer. Dull knives cause you to press harder on whatever you are cutting, resulting in slippage and ragged cuts.
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