Tom Cook - Executive Head Chef, Smith & Wollensky

Temperature Measurement, Travel and the Perfect Steak!

We talk to Smith & Wollensky’s Executive Head Chef, Tom Cook about temperature measurement, travel and the perfect steak. In June 2015 Smith & Wollensky opened their first restaurant outside of the US – located in the landmark Adelphi Building in London. Their steaks are USDA Prime, dry-aged and butchered on-site, making them the only steakhouse in London which offers a cut of meat that combines all three. Tom Cook has been a chef for over 22 years, working alongside some greats such as Gary Rhodes, Michel Roux Jr, Eric Chavot, Daniel Clifford and Tom Aikens. Cook is now Executive Head Chef at Smith & Wollensky. We caught up with Tom to talk about how important the right cooking temperature is when producing the perfect steak every time …     What’s your earliest food memory? I’d say cooking with my … Read more

5 Temperature Safety Tips

5 Temperature Safety Tips

 Accurate measurement and control of temperature is critical to the quality and safety of food products. Throughout the supply chain of any food business there will be critical control points (CCPs) identified in the HACCP plan.  There will be temperature safety checks at each of the CCPs identified.  1. Why is temperature control important? Harmful bacteria are a hazard present in many foods handled in homes, food service and food processing businesses.  Growth can be controlled by keeping food hot or cold.  Harmful bacteria can be reduced or destroyed by cooking or reheating to the correct temperature. 2. Handling temperatures on receipt of goods When accepting deliveries of food quick temperature safety checks can be made with infrared thermometers.  These thermometers take surface temperatures and do not damage packs.  They are particularly useful for checking frozen goods which may be … Read more

C28/P21 Sous Vide Kit

Comark Instruments Releases New Sous Vide Kit

Comark Instruments has further revolutionized food monitoring technology with the introduction of the new Sous Vide Kit, bringing the executive cooking technique to busy kitchens and amateur chefs alike. Sous Vide cooking retains much of a food’s original flavor, texture, color and nutrients by slowly cooking in sealed vacuum bags in a temperature controlled water bath. While it takes more time than other cooking methods, food is tender and cooked perfectly. “Sous Vide Cooking has become the go-to technique for many executive chefs in restaurants and kitchens all over the world because it allows for precise temperature control throughout the cooking process,” says Michael Hall, product-marketing director for Comark Instruments. “Comark’s Sous Vide Kit is the perfect tool to ensure food will retain much of its original texture and flavor.” The Sous Vide Kit includes a Thermocouple Food Thermometer, MicroTip Penetration … Read more

is your fridge cold enough

Is Your Fridge Cold Enough?

Certain foods require chilled storage conditions to maintain quality and prevent the growth of micro-organisms. Correct storage of food at the right temperature reduces the risk of food poisoning.  Is your fridge cold enough at the correct temperature? Temperature control is important because harmful bacteria are a hazard present in many foods. Given the right conditions, food poisoning bugs such as listeria can multiply quickly. Did you know that at ideal temperatures some food poisoning bugs can multiply every 10 minutes? The Food Standards Agency states that growth models have shown listeria grows nearly twice as fast at 8°C as it does at 5°C, hence the recommended 5ºC, which helps keep us safe from listeria. As bacteria are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be physically removed from food, all we can do is control their numbers. Temperature can … Read more


BBQ Week – Keep safe!

Keep safe this BBQ Week! It’s BBQ Week! With summer just around the corner, you may well be thinking about spending sunny evenings with friends and family, enjoying a lovely BBQ. Everyone wants to give their friends and family some fun and a tasty evening NOT a few days of diarrhea or sickness resulting from food poisoning.   So to help create a memorable occasion for all the right reasons we have some easy steps you can follow: Pre-Cook your meat in the oven and then finish off on your barbecue for flavour If you are choosing to ONLY cook on the barbecue, the two main risk factors are: Undercooked meal Spreading germs from raw meat on to food that is ready to eat When cooking most meats (chicken, turkey, pork, burger or sausages) The coals are glowing red with a powdery grey … Read more

Real Bread Week

Real Bread Week – Get Kneading!!

Whether you bake bread at home or in a commercial environment REAL BREAD WEEK is for you.  It’s the annual celebration aimed at supporting local, independent Real Bread Bakery as well as baking your own at home. So for those of you who may be joining in for the first time or looking to perfect your loaf, here are a few tips to help you on your way: Keep an eye on the temperature of the dough Aim for around 24⁰C/75⁰F Use warm water in the winter and cold water in the summer to get your dough to the right temperature Temperature of the water depends on the temperature of your room and the temperature of the other ingredients Use a thermometer to check your dough temperature Try to keep the dough at a stable temperature throughout the fermenting (proving/proofing) … Read more

Foodservice Industry Must Take Customer Safety More Seriously

Foodservice Industry Must Take Customer Safety More Seriously

More than 10 million people fall ill each year from infectious intestinal disease in the U.K., according to the most recent data from the Food Standards Agency – resulting in approximately 280,000 cases from Campylobacter alone. Recommended temperatures and policies are in place to help the foodservice industry combat this important public health issue, but that’s only one step for which foodservice providers must account in the supply chain. It is equally important to consistently maintain recommended temperatures in storage and prep areas to truly maximize safety precautions. The good news is the food industry now has more robust technology and improved temperature-monitoring instruments than ever before to help protect customers from dangerous illnesses. Integrating these resources into a comprehensive safety strategy will help drive higher safety standards, as well as compliance with industry regulations. Additionally, foodservice professionals who turn … Read more