With a butter crisis looming and suppliers reacting by raising their prices, The Full Range provides some advice on how to cut costs and increase margins in the kitchen.
In our experience, modern fine-dining kitchens tend to use too much butter, in an effort to enhance and compliment flavours. Whilst monté-au-beurre was the order of the day in the past, cooking styles have evolved and lighter, fresher flavours are more popular. Heavy, rich cooking methods are becoming a thing of the past.
Our Founder and Chairman of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, George McIvor, offers some suggestions on what can be done to substitute or reduce your use of butter:
- For baking, substitute the butter with Phase. There is a little difference in flavour, but the end result is a very good, often lighter product. However, Phase is still a butter derivative and it will eventually feel the effect of rising price pressures
- For purées, butter can be substituted with either olive oil or double cream
- For glazing or pan frying, start with oil only, then remove food from the pan and let it cool. Add a touch of wine or water to deglaze and then add a smaller knob of butter. Bring rapidly to the boil and remove at once. Use this liquid to flavour glaze your product, e.g. pan-fried fish, lamb loin, game, veal liver etc.
- For bread-making, you are able to replace butter with olive oil and water
- Move from roux-based sauces and veloutés to arrowroot and stabilizers
- For roasting and braising, butter is not required
- For hollandaise and derivatives, there is no compromise
Adjusting cooking techniques and being more economical with your use of butter can go a long way to helping reduce cost. Although it’s not just in the kitchen where money can be saved. Many restaurants offer bread and butter to diners free-of-charge. We often see a lot of wastage with too much butter provided for the amount of bread served. Swapping out butter for oils and balsamic vinegar can further increase margins.
Whilst the creative chef can substitute butter in many dishes, there are some cases where compromise on flavour and texture may not be possible. In these circumstances, The Full Range would recommend Meadowland Professional - a butter alternative which is as close to the real thing as you will find anywhere.
Unilever said that 72 per cent of chefs surveyed agreed that Meadowland Professional performed the same as or better than their usual butter. Business development chef at Unilever Food Solutions, Tom McCafferty, commented: “Meadowland Professional 250g has received an extremely positive reception in terms of its taste and quality.”
Despite this butter crisis, The Full Range have negotiated fixed pricing for our butter and cream until the end of the year, giving our customers price stability and peace of mind. To find out more about how we can help streamline your costs, get in touch today.