Why do restaurants microwave deserts?

This is a random rant about restaurant food and microwaves. I blame chef Gordon Ramsay.

There was a story in the National Post (Eating Away at Nostalgia) about the reopening of a famous Montreal restaurant called Laurier BBQ. Gordon Ramsay took over the restaurant, renovated, made some minor changes to the menu and renamed it Laurier Gordon Ramsay. In the article Ramsay comments on the deserts served at the old Laurier BBQ:

“The mocha cake is staying,” he announced Tuesday. Just don’t bloody ask that it be heated in the microwave, as had been the custom. “From a chef’s point of view, to stick a dessert in the microwave, it hurts,” he said. “God it hurts. It’s like sticking a knife in, twisting and putting it even further.”

If your restaurant isn’t a fast food joint you should never microwave cake, pie, or any desert that is normally served warm! How is it that restaurants don’t understand this simple concept.

I once went to a restaurant in the Beach neighbourhood of Toronto called Whitlock’s Restaurant and I’ll never go back. I ordered a strawberry rhubarb pie and asked for it to be warmed up. The server returned in a few minutes. My pie tasted like sweet glue. The pastry was like rubber.

I asked the server how the pie was warmed up and he said “microwave”. This was about eight years ago and a slice of pie at this place was $8. I would expect this from a McDonald’s for 95 cent apple pie in a box but not a restaurant.

Whenever I order a desert that needs warming up I ask how the restaurant does this. Most of the time they say they’ll throw it in the microwave. I tell them that I want it warmed up in an oven. Occasionally the restaurant will say that they can’t do this which I find amazing and leads to a discussion on whether they have stoves in their kitchen.

If you own a restaurant and you allow your kitchen staff to heat deserts in a microwave then you’re a lazy idiot and should be managing a McDonald’s instead.

Posted in Food at 1:20 PM