Film: 9871

Food + Drink | 1980 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A film describing the "cook-chill" method of preparing food for catering purposes 1980's

A chef wearing whites walks through a commercial kitchen wear other chefs are preparing food. One cuts potatoes in half and puts them into a roasting tin. A worker wearing a hygiene hat (as worn at a supermarket deli counter) and white overcoat lifts a lid then stirs a vat of food. Close up of food (some sort of meat stew?) being ladled into a shallow rectangular dish. The tray is weighed on scales and the tray is put on a work surface with others similar. Pre-cooked omelettes are slid onto similar trays, ready for chilling. A female worker (wearing a hat similar to a nurse's) pushes a rack of trays into a large industrial fridge or chiller. She places temperature probes in the tins and shuts the stainless steel door. Close up of a digital temperature display on the outside of the chiller. Further racks of tins are pushed into another chiller. Coloured squares on the outside of the tins indicate their day of production. Close up of a temperature gauge which is attached to an alarm system. A female worker wearing a hair net type hat wheels a rack of trays from a storage chiller. The tins of food are distributed, and are seen being removed from a refrigerated lorry. The rack is positioned by an external door and the trays are lifted into the kitchen one by one and put in a freezer. Close up of temperature gauge on the outside of the chiller door. The next stage is "reconstitution". The trays are slid into a purpose built oven and a dial is turned. The tins are removed from the oven by a woman wearing oven gloves. A lid is slid to one side and the temperature of the food inside is checked using a probe with a digital display. Ron Anderson - catering manager for West Midlands Hospital - addresses camera to speak of the benefits of the "cook-chill" system. View of a hospital kitchen with staff preparing food for serving.

A white transit-style van with a V-registration (1979 - 1980) passes in front of the exterior of West Midlands Hospital. The van arrives at Chaddislow (?) Day Hospital where the food - contained in insulated boxes - is unloaded into a holding store. Two members of staff monitor the food and check the temperature. Food is served via a hatch. People sit in a dining room eating the food. Close up of food being dished up onto a plate - rather appetising looking gammon and pineapple and indistinguishable vegetables. The plate is passed over to the next server who puts mashed potatoes (?) on the plate (this is a good sequence of catering food).

Ron Anderson talks to camera again about the money saving benefits of the system. Shot of a cafeteria or refectory where people (many of whom are nurses) tuck into the food.

View of Whitbread Brewery and the surrounding offices in Central London. Inside workers are served food and eat in a rather contemporary looking canteen. Once again plates are passed along the catering assistants as the dish out the food - this time, chicken, chips and beans with gravy. In the kitchen food "for a banquet" is prepared as chefs put meat onto ceramic ovenware. A large joint of meat is placed on a bed of what looks like tinned carrots and peas. Gravy is poured over chicken legs. The dishes - now on a rack - are wheeled into ovens by chefs wearing hats and some are put into chillers.

Mr Dennis Quarterly - Whitbread's catering manager - talks to camera about how "delighted" he is with the system.

Back in the kitchen "on the night of the banquet" chefs hand over the dishes of food to serving staff wearing white aprons. Shot of a beamed roof space. Pan down to see a large dining room with guests enjoying their food. Close ups of the food in the serving dishes - individual swirled portions of mashed potato, beef wellington, yorkshire puddings (?), roast beef, chicken legs.

A yellow lorry with Michelin on the side passes by a large car park. Inside the Michelin buildings we see their kitchens who are - surprisingly - adopting a cook-chill system. More shots similar to previous - chillers, temperature checking, etc… Doug Pearse of Michelin extols the virtues of the cook-chill system. More "regeneration" shots of the food - similar to previous. Catering staff present the dishes of food, and customers, carrying their trays, help themselves to the food (soggy veg, rubbery fried eggs, mashed potato shaped by an ice cream scoop. A man gets into a white transit van with the Michelin logo on the side. Further images of distribution similar to previous. Pre-prepared meals are re-heated in a microwave. Large copper coloured lamps hang over the food to keep it warm as people wait to be served. Chaps with sideburns collect their food.

View of Kirk Lees in Yorkshire. Views inside school kitchens with further images of the cook chill process. Catering staff pipe "cream" onto the top of cakes. Pupils are served their school dinners. Children play in the playground of a large Victorian school. More cook-chill images of the process. Primary age children are served sausage and chips with an awful looking vegetable (cabbage?).

Mr Alan Haughton of the Department of Health talks - wait for it - not about cook-chill, but about how fabulous and informative this film is! In an office three men sit around a desk covered in paperwork. They talk to a designer sitting at an angled drawing board (who's designing some sort of catering system).

The last word goes to Linda Tooms - a kitchen manager who thinks that the cook-chill system is fantastic. More food serving to children of various ages.


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