The new wave of Covid-19 lessened numbers of customer to the restaurant even in the usual opened days in practice of New Normal. Unfortunately, many have suffered from its impact especially in red zone area like Crazy Bee Steakhouse, Suan Phueng owned by Chef OTTo, Prapas Panaveera. With any crises or conditions could not stay on the way of this winner of Makro mystery box challenge and Top Chef Thailand Season 2 coping with his fascinating adaptation through the time.
He changed the image of stand-alone restaurant in distant district to food manufacturer delivering to all regions in Thailand with ready-to-eat food come by frozen form. With the creative look made it more testable, like it has been made by the professional chef makes it become best-selling worth than a hundred thousand baht.
Seek opportunity through crisis: Stand-alone business to frozen food manufacturer
Many people may have heard the name of Crazy Bee Steakhouse, Suan Phueng by Chef Otto or have visited because it locates in tourist city of Ratchaburi . Last year the measure of lockdown has been imposed during pandemic, restaurant of Chef Otto is one among every restaurants that got suffered from it including the new wave of spreading at the end of last year. Its location is in special controlled area (Ratchaburi is 1 of 28 provinces in red zone). How fascinating way that Chef Otto has handled the situation as such we should have learnt from it.
Back in the first wave of the pandemic, the result of lockdown measure has forced the restaurant to enormously change its function with the service of Take Away or delivery in the neighborhood around 5-10 kms away. As Crazy Bee Steakhouse, Suang Phueng by Chef OTTo. It is located in different area far from domain area of province more than 60 kms. Including 95 of customers who visit the restaurant is tourist from Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiangmai or Maehongsong made the huge task to Crazy Bee Steakhouse by Chef OTTo .
“Lockdown was imposed in last New Year Eve which winter is the high season of สวนผึ้ง. My restaurant was opened only 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, as the result of lockdown imposed earlier than other cities to prevent the spreading of pandemic as I was taking the day off for a week to think of what to do.” said Chef Otto
A week later what this winner of Top Chef Thailand came up with the idea to go through the crisis is to create the menu in frozen form which could be served to customers all over the country. As his experience in cooking Thai cuisine in Japan which mostly cook the frozen meat like fish made him know the process of cooking, management to stabilize the taste till handing to customer with the same quality including the sufficient cooking tools like Vacuum machine or Freezer.
“My definition of frozen food is Whether eating at restaurant or home, everything is the same. Many customers used to eat at restaurant and they know the taste, if they had at home and it’s not the same feeling as what they had before. They will not be satisfied. Therefore, I came up with the additional procedure than usual by serving in frozen form, how to cook before delivery or how much temperature to warm it up and how much time etc. to make it delicious.”
12 frozen food menu from Crazy Bee Steakhous, Suang Phueng by Chef Otto received well acceptance indicating with the sales figure reached more than 100 thousand baht during 1 month of lock down.
In case of facing the new wave of pandemic whether the situation will be different or not, restaurant can be opened with the precise precaution matters. Even though the numbers of tourists will be decreased giving the impact to steakhouse of Chef Otto, he had presented the frozen food which ready to serve with well acceptance of customers caused the full orders till the mid-January and will be taken again in the beginning of February.
Cooking Technique of dual steak – signature dish of Crazy Bee
Chicken Dual Steak Menu is the signature dish and the best-selling menu of frozen food of Crazy Bee Steakhouse, Suang Phueng by Chef Otto, with its uniqueness for various flavour lovers for example, Chef Otto likes to cook complicated texture in meat in one taste of one dish. The creation of this menu is the combination of chick and pork in the same dish. With the differences of its texture and its taste made the challenge in cooking due to unstable temperature of meats. Eventually it happened to balance with each other very well.
How-to cook Chicken Dual Steak for frozen food; the difference from restaurant cook
Sous-vide chicken in the temperature of 70 celsius for an hour 1 to perserve the moist. Then grill with stove till it colored and got perfect smelled to lock the moist of meats. Restaurant usually grills with stove rather than baking as it could get heavily dry and not suitable for frozen food.
Pork needs to grill with the stove by the 80% well-done in order to warm up in microwave to precisely cook it to 100% well-done.
Side dish: steak menu of this restaurant is served with stir fried mushrooms because it will increase the deliciousness of this meal with the colour of cherry tomatoes, instead of beefsteak tomatoes to prevent the muddling in freezing procedure and perfectly seasoning.
One of secret tips is to pack with Vacuum in high temperature after cook to preserve the moist, with packing during the heating temperature helps stabilizing the moist as well. To warm up the food with the above procedures will stabilize the taste like it has immediately out of the restaurant kitchen and later on setting to cool down the temperature before keeping in the freezer.
Moreover Chef Otto has shared the technique of cooking frozen spaghetti which the heart of it is the maturity of noodle pasta.
To make the maturity of noodle pasta to 70% well-done (less than Al Dente at 80% well-done) causes viscous and not muddy with the perfect packing in the contrast of inappropriate packing, it will make the noodle pasta sluggish if there was the leak for ice to get in the package.
How to make the food stability till customer hands
Taste and texture are the importance of cooking every meals especially for the frozen food, it needs to be carefully organized to stabilize the quality since delivery out of kitchen to the hands of
customer. The important concern of Frozen food menu of Crazy Bee steakhouse, Suang Phueng by Chef Otto as follows;
Temperature : Frozen food needs to warm up one more time before eating as such the maturity of ingredient needs to be perfect or else it will be Over Cooked for example, if it cooked well done as it was served in restaurant, when customer warm it up in the microwave the texture of pork and chicken will get hardness rather than moistening .
Stock planning of frozen food Crazy Bee Steakhouse, Suang Phueng by Chef OTTo will open for the order in advance and will cook as the numbers of reserving order week by week. Opening for the orders on Tuesday-Friday and delivery in every Tuesday(of the upcoming week) help planning in preservation and acknowledgement of needed quantity of ingredient.
Always give the instruction of How-to warm up the food to customer Chef Otto is the one who properly cook for frozen food. As every customers will receive the instruction of technique how to warm up the food after taking it out of refrigerator and leaving it in the room temperature about 5-10 minutes. And later heat it up in microwave with the medium level of heat or 700 w. around 2-3 minutes then place it on the hot pan or pot without cooking oil to increase the better taste and better scent.
Heart of cooking the frozen food
- Fresh ingredient: as it needs to warm up before eating, therefore if the ingredient was not fresh enough, it will be rotten smell once it got warmed up.
- Hygiene: it needs to have no impurity with the clean packing procedure because frozen food needs time to pack and to delivery. If there was impurity, it will cause the bacteria before eating.
- Proper temperature: above the concern of temperature in cooking, the preservation is also crucial. It needs to be cool down after the packing and before freezing helping the hardness in short period. Moreover, it needs to be pasted precisely on the distance of each side of package for thorough cooling.
- Transportation: Transportation company needs to be chosen with the specialization of transporting frozen food with the availability of vehicle of truck which got the controlling freezer of -16 celsius in many areas. The heart of transporting is to not melt the coolness above the concern of suitable food with the transportation and distance as it will not be rotten before handing to customers.
“Cooking always needs to relate to the concern of customers because eating frozen food is totally different than the fresh one. Even they wouldn’t expect much about the taste, but we have to make them feel like they are having frozen food with the similarity of fresh cook as much as we could to not disappoint them.”
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