Gueridon Service Definition: Gueridon is a movable service table or trolley from which food may be carved, filleted, flamed or prepared for service and served. It is in other words movable side board carrying sufficient equipment for service. It is preparing, cooking and serving food in a trolley. This trolley has all the things needed in preparing, cooking and serving food. The diners of restaurants with Gueridon service can see how they're food is prepared and cooked. The term Gueridon means a movable trolley which consists the fuel cylinder, burners and other preparation tool. The trolley is equipped with a burner for cooking that can be powered by gas, electricity or spirits. Some trolleys will have a cold drawer as well. All will have a chopping board and cutlery drawer, and be equipped with the necessary utensils for what the restaurant offers from the trolley. There will also be on the trolley a selection of basic condiments such as mustards, Worcestershire sauce, oil, vinegar, etc. This service involves the foods partially prepared in the kitchen are brought to the restaurant on a Gueridon trolley where the foods are prepared by the waiter at the side of the guest table. The waiter performing the Gueridon service should have the sound knowledge of the food preparation and highly skilled with professional working experience and should be able to fillet, carve, flambé and prepare the food with showmanship. Generally, the popular foods for this type of service are Crepe Suzette, Steaks, Grilled meats or game etc. this type of service is usually popular in highly exclusive find dining and specialty restaurant. Gueridon Service is less popular now. Restaurant dining rooms have to be less crowded, allowing more space between the tables for the trolley to move and be positioned. Additionally, dining room staff needs to be specially trained in how to finish the dishes being offered. It may also be that restaurant customers got bored with the same typical dishes that were offered, as those dishes lost their novelty over time.
History: “A Gueridon” was a piece of furniture that was found in French homes, similar to what we might call a sideboard. This would be positioned in the dining room of a home and would hold most of the equipment used at the table, i.e. crockery, cutlery, glassware etc. Flambé dishes and subsequently gueridon service first became popular in the Edwardian era. The first claimed flamed dish was Crepe Suzette, which was supposedly invented by Henry Carpentier when working as a Commis at café de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1894. During the nineteenth century Gueridon service became more popular especially in the more ‘upmarket’ establishments. By the turn of the century Gueridon was an established part of fine dining.
Dating back to the Edwardian era, Gueridon (pronounced girradon) is a specially designed service trolley from which food may he carved, filleted, flambéed, or prepared and silver served to the guest. Gueridon service is distinguished by the fact that the food is cooked or completed tableside in front of the guests. The service is quite formal and very elegant. The food is brought from the kitchen on heavy silver platters or chargers and placed on a tableside cart called a ‘gueridon’. The food is prepared on the gueridon, which has a small burner for sautéing and tabletop space for finishing the food. Some familiar items prepared in this manner are
Pepper Steak Salads Flambéed desserts. Once the food is prepared, it is served to the guests on heated plates from the gueridon. The gueridon comes in various forms from gas trolley to plain trolley using methylated spirit. Flambé dishes first become popular in the Edwardian Era i.e. the first claimed flambé dish was crêpes Suzette which was invented by Henri Carpentier working as a Commis at the café de Paris is Monte Carlo (1894) in honor of the Prince of Wales girlfriend named Suzette.
Foods suitable for gueridon service: 1. Seafood cocktail sauces can be prepared as per the customers taste or, the maitre d’hotel (captain) will have his recipe, if so, it must be simple and easy to prepare. It must be remembered that seafood cocktails can be “put together” at the gueridon. This is a good form of service, which shows the guest that the food is prepared to order, and not from the refrigerator after being prepared earlier in a day or even in a previous day. 2. Spaghetti dishes can be a feature of the gueridon and lamp service. Fish dishes, especially shellfish are suitable for service the gueridon (lobsters, crayfish and prawns.) 3. Steaks are always a favorite for the lamp but sometimes this is overdone and the finished dish is greasy looking mess which does not satisfy the customer. 4. Chicken supreme and game are also included in this type of service. 5. Offal, such as kidneys and sweet breads can be made into a worthwhile dish in front of the guest. 6. Fruits are common in the evening. Fresh fruits should be used as far as possible. 7. Crepe is the most famous of all, Crepe Suzette. It has many variations but the basic ingredients are the same. It is only the sauce, which could be standardized as per the maître d’hotel of different hotel or restaurant.
Gueridon service of Salads Salads can be served in simple form of only one or two ingredients such as lettuce, endive, chicory, tomato, cucumber, watercress, beetroot etc. The more elaborate, composed salads usually consist of lettuce garnished with a selection of raw or cooked vegetables, fruits. Nuts, fish or cooked meats. Types of Salad 1. Simple Salads: These salads are composed of a green vegetable or a single item alone. Lettuce is typical of simple salads. Other examples of simple or single salads are tomato, potato or shredded cabbage for coleslaw, cucumber and beetroot. 2. Compound Salads: These are blended or combined with a variety of ingredients often featuring shellfish, fish, chicken, meat, mushrooms, cheese or fruits and are invariably blended with an appropriate dressing, often a mayonnaise. 3. Fruit Salads: Fruit is used mainly in dessert salads. Also fruit is often an ingredient in compound salads and used in single salads, e.g., watermelon, orange. In gueridon service, simple salads are mainly prepared within the room itself before the guest. Compound salads require much more preparation and are sometime prepared in behind the scenes. The most important salad work from the gueridon or in the restaurant consists of the preparation of dressings and the incorporating or blending of the ingredients. Visual preparation of salads and the dressing is all-important to the guest as it allows the guest to decide how much of an ingredient goes into the salad.
GUÉRIDON SERVICE PROCEDURE: Certain qualities and attributes are expected are expected of a waiter in carrying out this forms of service. It is as well to bear the following in mind at this stage. 1. Mise En Place for Gueridon: It depends on the type of gueridon, whether it is presentable in appearance or does it have to be covered with tablecloth. But for the convenience of working it has to be similar in lay out as in the sideboard. This saves time and speeds up the service. The cutleries required are: 1. Service spoons and forks 2. Dessert spoons and forks 3. Soup, tea and coffee spoons
4. Fish knives and forks. 5. Soup and sauce ladle 6. Joint knives
Equipment placement: In order to successfully carry out Gueridon service certain items of the equipment are very essential. Equipment requirement will vary depending on the extent of the menu offered, the service provided and the flambé work done. Selection of the right equipment is important and it would be wise to ensure that it is safe and convenient to use, has multiple uses and is easy to repair and replace. 1. The hotplates or table heaters are generally placed on the left top side of the gueridon. The heaters may be electric or gas. 2. Also on the top will be carving board, knives for carving and filleting. Selection of basic accompaniments as oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and castor sugar. 3. Underneath will be a service plate and service salver, side plates and some joint plates for dirty cutlery. Some silver under flats for various sizes for the service of vegetables and sauces. A selection of doilies. 4. Any other Mise-en-place required, such as coffee saucers, accompaniments; check pads will be on the sideboard with surplus gueridon equipment in case of emergency.
2. While taking the order: 1. Suggest to the customs, item on the menu, focusing attention to the dishes you may wish to sell. 2. You must always have a good knowledge of the menu so as to give good guidance to the guest of the dishes available. Recognition of the host is an important factor. 3. Stand to left of the host, each guest should be able to interact with you for reference purposes. 4. Do not position yourself too close to the guest as this may cause embarrassment. 5. Size up your host and guest according to age’s dues and nature of the party. This should then give you some indication as to the type of dishes you may suggest. 6. Take all order through the host. Try to ascertain the length of time available for the meal as this could determine the type of dishes sold. 7. Always take the order as precise as possible to avoid any errors later and to confer to the requirements of the guests needs. 3. Service Procedure: 1. Guéridon service is a job of either a chef/Commis / waiter who is also responsible for doing the service. 2. Always push the gueridon trolley but don’t pull it as it may cause accident.
3. The gueridon should be kept in one position during the service of a complete course. 4. The trolley should never be kept near the service door as it is may be an obstruction to the waiter. 5. Service spoon and fork are not held in different hands but in the same hand and left in the platter while moving to the next person. 6. The food carving should not be done on silver dish but on the carving board or hot joint plate. 7. Dirty plates should always be cleared from the gueridon trolley.
Types of trolleys 1. Hors d’oeuvre Trolley: It displays 10 to 12 varieties of appetizers. The containers holding appetizers are placed over ice. The trolley is designed in such a way that it has provision for holding ice and containers. It has adequate cold half plates, necessary service gear to transfer the hors d’oeuvre selected by the guest on the cold half plate, and the appropriate accompanying sauces. The plated food is served to the guest from his/her right-hand side. 2. Salad Trolley: It has half plates and bowls, under plates, containers with prepared ingredients, salad dressings, and seasonings that are required to prepare the salads. Salad dressings may either be prepared on the trolley in the presence of guests or in the kitchen. Most restaurants make the dressings in the kitchen and the dressing of salads is carried out on the trolley in the restaurant. 3. Food Preparation, Carving, and Flambé Trolley: These have a gas burner or flare lamp which is fixed on the trolley to the level of the top surface. Carving trolley has carving board which is placed over chafing dish during carving to retain the heat of the meat. A trolley may have single or double burner. Double burner trolley is necessary when the finished food is to be held hot during the preparation. One burner is used for keeping the food hot while the other is used for cooking. 4. Liqueur Trolley: At the moment the customers finish their last course, the liqueur trolley comes into action. In a profit-orientated restaurant, the liqueur trolley should be presented to every table, whether coffee is ordered or not. It is one of the best selling aids in a restaurant. The basic types of spirits for a liqueur trolley are: Cognac Armagnac Calvados Liqueurs
The following equipment is needed on the Liqueur trolley: Cognac snifters Cognac balloons Liqueur glasses Port glasses Cognac Warmer Coffee beans Specialty Coffees: As a specialty, various spirits and liqueurs can, when combined with hot coffee and fresh double cream floated on top, be served in a goblet glass, and presented attractively on a small doily covered plate. 5. Cheese Trolley: It has a variety of cheeses, cheese board, and cheese knife for cutting the cheese, and appropriate accompaniments for cheese. Surface of the trolley is normally in marble and has translucent dome to cover the top. Cheese selected by the guest is portioned and plated on the gueridon trolley, and then served to the guest from his/her right. 6. Dessert trolley: It has a static cooling system and uses refrigeration gas.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENTS USED IN GUERIDON SERIVICE: 1. Flare lamps: These are an essential item of equipment for gueridon service and are used in re-heating, cooking and flambéing dishes. The maintenance of the flare lamps is very important and should be carried out very carefully, ensuring each part is fitted together correctly. 2. Suzette pans: The shallower pans used for flambé are called Suzette pans. They resemble frying pans in shape and size and have a diameter of 23-30 cm. The pans are generally made of silver plated copper as this gives an even distribution of heat. 3. Hot plates: They are usually kept on the sideboard. At times they could be also on the gueridon. They may be gas or electrically operated. It is to keep the food hot before service.
4. Gueridon trolleys: Gueridon trolleys are used for visual merchandising of foods as well as to facilitate tableside cooking, carving, etc. The minimum size of a trolley is 45.75cm X 61cm. The trolley usually consists of plated silver, copper or stainless steel or a chrome plated metallic body on a wooden or metal frame, mounted on castors. 5. Miscellaneous equipment Cloche (bell shaped glass or metal plate cover), chopping boards, salad bowls, peppermill, sea salt grinders, shaslik swords, fondue set, yakitori set etc must be arranged.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Gueridon Service Advantages of Gueridon Service 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
The customer services personalized service with individual attention. The customer enjoys the benefits of varying choice of menu The food is freshly prepared and cooked to order The standard of hygiene is very high because of the close proximity of the waiter to the customer Quality of food matches the quality of service In the hands of any experienced member of the staff the preparation of many dishes can be entertaining The service is carried out at the move of leisurely spaced giving the customer the time to enjoy meal experience. Customers are more pampered.
Disadvantages of gueridon service 1. Labor cost can be high 2. Initial cost of buying specialized equipment for this type of service can be high but good profit margins can be obtained by this service 3. Finding suitable skilled member of staff to carry out this style of service can be a problem 4. Time consuming, slows down pace of service & table turnover. 5. Extravagant use of space, labor & equipment 6. High capital investment due to use of highly specialized equipment
7. High training costs 8. Efficiency of operation is limited to experience, knowledge & skill levels of staff 9. High food costs. Commodity control and costing is difficult. 10. Can disturb other guests who may resent intrusion. 11. Accident hazard due to live flaming, obstruction to traffic in passageway.
General points to be consider while doing gueridon service 1. Check lamps for working condition and cleanliness before use. 2. Have a well arranged Mise-en-place with everything ready on hand with accordance with work Flambé. 3. Check your position with regard to customers. e.g. away from female guest wearing silk dress and away from curtain. 4. Do not carry lamps that are lit because while moving they can blow back into your face? 5. If moving a trolley with lamp, watch particularly that it is not near any flammable items before doing flambé 6. When doing flambéing, place your gueridon trolley away from table light shade. 7. Ensure that you are aware of customer’s hair and clothing 8. Bare in mind that flames can sought height when spirits are ignited in a pan. Stand well back from the pan. Keep your arms straight and keep your hand well back. 9. When lighting spirit in a ladder hand back over a lighted food because the flame may shot back. Qualities of the person carrying out the service:
Knowledge of the subject Fully skilled in the art of gueridon service Well groomed Confident Pleasing personality Communicative skill Efficient Salesmanship
Only the finest of foods and ingredients should be used in lamp service when flaming a dish. Be sure not to be too near the guest as it could scare the customer due to the noise and the flame.
GUERIDON SERVICE OF SOME IMPORTANT CLASSICAL DISHES 1. CREPESSUZETTE Equipment for gueridon 1. Pan 2. Service spoons and forks 3. Two tsp on a side plate 4. Two sweet forks on a side plate 5. Oval flat with three sauceboat for the creamed mixture, orange juice and lemon juice. 6. Brandy and liqueur glass on an under plate 7. One bottle of orange Curacao 8. One bottle of brandy 9. Two hot sweet plates Ingredients 1. Caster sugar 2. Butter 3. Half lemon 4. Zest of two oranges 5. One measure of orange Curacao 6. One measure of brandy 7. Four oval pancakes Service: 1. Ensure the Mise-en- place is complete. 2. Present the gueridon at the table. 3. Place the creamed mixture of caster sugar, butter and zest into the pan to melt. Allow to color slightly to a light golden brown shade. 4. Add three sauce ladles of orange juice and blend well. 5. Add the juice of half lemon if required, according to taste. 6. Add one measure of orange Curacao. 7. Mix well, stirring with a large fork and then taste. 8. Add the pancakes one at a time, heat well, turn over and then fold. 9. During the process the sauce should be reducing all the time and thickening. 10. When the sauce is reduced sufficiently, add the measure of brandy and flambé. 11. Serve onto the hot sweet plate from the pan, at the table or at the gueridon trolley.
2. RUM OMELETTE Equipment for gueridon 1. Pan 2. Service spoons and forks 3. Spare plate for dirty equipment Ingredients 1. Measure of rum 2. Caster sugar 3. Omelettes received from the kitchen on a silver flat at the last minute. The omelets should be cooked baveuse (firm outside and runny inside). Service: 1. Ensure the Mise-en-place is complete 2. Present the omelette to the customer then return to the gueridon. 3. Trim the ends of the omelette with the spoon and the fork. 4. Sprinkle with caster sugar 5. Pour a measure of rum round the edges of the flat. 6. Heat quickly and light with a match. 7. Serve immediately onto a hot sweet plate at the table. 3. PEACH FLAMBE Equipment for gueridon 1. Pan 2. Service spoons and forks 3. Spare plate for dirty equipment Ingredients 1. Measure of brandy 2. Caster sugar 3. Butter 4. Half lemon 5. Zest of 2 oranges Service: 1. Ensure the Mise-en-place is complete. 2. Present the gueridon at the table. 3. Place the peach syrup in the pan and heat. 4. Add the portion of peaches. 5. Pierce the peaches with the fork to allow the heat to penetrate more quickly. 6. Baste the peaches occasionally, allowing the peach syrup to reduce right down until it is almost caramelized.
7. At this stage sprinkle with caster sugar. This speeds up the caramelization effect and aids flambéing. 8. Ensure hot sweet plate is now placed in front of the guest. 9. Pour over the brandy and flambé. 10. Serve from the pan onto hot sweet plates at the table, or serve onto hot sweet plates at the flambé trolley.