I am newly working as a prep cook at a restaurant, and one of my tasks is to make mashed potatoes. Right now we don't sell that much (rice is WAY more popular), so I just fill a third every couple days. However, tourism season is going to be starting very soon, and everything the prep kitchen does is going to be quadrupled (at least). So I'm going to need a better way to make mash.
Here's the problem - the kitchen isn't really that well equipped. The previous chef almost scuppered the restaurant due to terrible management (despite it being one of the most profitable ones in the city), so all the gear I have to work with that might sort-of do the job are:
- a single generic low-quality long-handled masher. Just about adequate to the task of doing one batch in a lumpy mediocre manner with a lot of effort kinda slowly.
- 2 big 'ol immersion blenders. The internet tells me this will result in gummy gluey mash, but would be faster and more even.
- My own personal potato ricer from home. This does not scale to restaurant quantity very well, but is probably about as fast as the masher, and would be much higher quality.
- China caps I could ostensibly use like a tamis? This seems like it would be laborious and difficult, though.
Given all this, despite my knowledge of solid home-cooked mash, I don't know how to make decent mash at high volumes at a poorly-equipped restaurant. If anyone has any advice, it would be highly appreciated.
Thanks for the responses! To respond to some questions:
- Quantities currently are a deep third insert needed every day, i.e. a fairly large, but reasonable for a family (with leftovers), home pot of mash. This will be quadrupled within a month when tourist season properly hits.
- Stand mixer = no.
- They're profitable, but don't seem keen to actually spend any money. This restaurant is owned by a corp that also owns 2 of the other most profitable restaurants in the city. For an example of how shit they are re: money-spending: we have a tomato dicer that's needed a part for multiple months, and we have to make bruschetta in large batches basically every day. Also the prep kitchen sinks don't work now despite them knowing about a problem months ago. I literally collect water in a bus pan and dump it in the toilet, and wash my hands in a bucket I fill with hot sanitizer. It's a mess.
- The chef at this restaurant is my actual friend (part of why I got the job with no experience - he just knows I have a breadth of knowledge), and he hates many things about how the restaurant/company is run. He's also basically saving the restaurant and consistently trying to make better/more efficient dishes. I don't think he can make them spend money. He also technically isn't the chef despite having all the duties and being paid the same as a "chef" would be.
- I've only been working at the place for a month, and I've had minimal dealing with the GM, so I am just now starting to get comfortable with questioning things. My de facto superior has been working at the place for 3 months. The actual experienced people got poached by the chef who nearly got the place shut down, and was literally stealing from the company. I still don't understand why people left to go with him, but that's apparently the case.
- I will ask the chef about dried flakes, but based on him trying to actually improve the restaurant top to bottom, I'm not sure he'll be down with them.