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The Kitchen Takes Shape

Neika is here!!!!! We are so happy our friend from totally back in the day is in town to share in the Sage’s makeover and add her marvelosity. Neika brings experience as an Executive Chef along with other superpowers including the ability to facilitate a project or process getting from here to there. She arrived on the evening of March 17 and we presented The Plan to Michael Bertin on March 21 at 2PM. We were back and forth, in and out, marking and moving all weekend. Total fun.

Neika showing maximum focus on The Plan. For the record, the printout is 1/4″ = 1′; notice the ruler.

And so with further ado and no gilding the lilly, check out the kitchen plan!! We had such a great time. In this masterpiece one can find the Chocolate Studio, Bakery, Coffee/Gelato/Soda Fountain, Bench seating in the old office, the to be build central table, stairs to the Mezzanine, Hot Food Prep, Cold Food Prep, Wash Room, Walk In Refrigerator & Freezer, Waldo, Mop Sink, 4 Hand Wash Sinks, a Vegetable Wash Station, Hot and Cold Pickup Locations, 4 Speed Racks, the Masonry Heater, Dry Storage (with the standalone refrigerators), and, at long last, where the Mechanical Room will be.

Inventory is well underway, appliances are being reviewed and given attention, and what is needed being itemized. We may have located a combi oven in Taos. Fingers crossed.

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Some Like It Hot

The idea is to construct a masonry heater in the main dining area. While the black outline looks suspiciously like an outhouse, rest assured it is the current and longest champion answer to the key question of where the masonry heater ought to go. The glass doors are going to face the main dining area accessed from the front doors. The black oven faces in towards the kitchen for hopefully making roasts, pies, breads. Maybe couches around the heater? Who can predict the future anyway,

These things are basically radiant wonders. You have a burn in the AM and a second at night; the rest of the time the chimney is closed. As it is a black oven, the professionals will typically wait until the fire is over and start their deeds of wonder. The rest of us bask in its warmth and smell the ensuing goodness.

We are talking to Fyrepro out of Ft. Collins to build a Temp-Cast core masonry heater. Using a kit takes the guesswork out; this is an expensive and immoveable decision. Fyrepro comes with the core and provided there is a 12″ slab plus a 2″x15″ external air intake waiting, the 22 1/2″x36″ core will be put together not more than 4 days. The whole thing will be about 8000 lbs. It’ll be a long chimney as it has to be higher than the roofline which is in talks about getting still higher. More on that some other time. The chimney itself comes out of the L or R sides; it is asymmetrical. There can be a pair of 30 degree bends in the approximately 10″ exterior diameter chimney should the symmetry as drawn be the right thing to do. The heater is then covered in cardboard and that stage is complete though the unit is not yet ready for service until the exterior cladding is also finished.

The exterior cladding is what we see and apparently a free-standing structure of its own, built over the yet to be well desiccated cardboard. It must be freestanding for crack’s sake as the masonry used to build the core will expand at a different rate than the cladding. Now we all know the plethora of extraordinary rocks in this area. The BTA itself contains gazillions. How about cutting some of them into bricks for the façade? Well that is the plan folks.

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Speed Racks


Today we are going to begin discussing kitchen design. Basically, everything about a commercial kitchen is for efficiency and the useful fellow known as a speed rack is found everywhere as they are shelves on wheels. The restaurant does have a speed rack by the way, though I didn’t know its name or versatility until recently. It is currently used for storing sheet pans, unfolded pizza boxes and cutting boards. What are its other uses? Thanks to the dreamy rollers one might place a speed rack in the walk-in refrigerator for a myriad of reasons such as cooling items, when closing up and everyone is beat, and to load up on the way to a particular station. It can be found with dirty dishes going in and clean ones out. Unbaked to baked. You get the idea.

The restaurant seats 120. If the place is hopping that is a lot of stations and stations need speed racks. Double digits? We’ll see.