Today we are going to give you a tour inside the kitchens of Servigroup; We want you to know how they work, what foods we use, how we prepare them, what quality criteria we follow... Everything, to offer you the maximum in flavour and a great culinary experience when you stay with us.
Our intention is for you to discover through this interview with Gregorio Sebastián, Chief Coordinator of Gastronomy, what is cooked in the kitchens of Hotels Servigroup.
We know that Servigroup Hotels stand out for the high quality of its cuisine and that is why guests continually return. Our coordinating chef Gregorio, explains what happens behind the scenes, that is, what is not seen.
If Servigroup hotels stand out for something, it is for its gastronomy, how is the day-to-day life in the kitchens of Servigroup Hotels?
We start at 06:00h, but the previous night the bread and the pastries are left fermenting, when we arrive, we start baking, in order to offer our customers fresh products prepared in the moment of consumption. At the same time the fruit is baked, the fruits are cut (each fruit with a different cut, which guarantees its unique use in each step), the cold meat are also cut, and the eggs, and sausages are prepared... all in the moment guaranteeing the maximum flavour.
At 09:00h the rest of the team arrives to prepare the food, always following a strict daily work plan, each head of departure is responsible for a section, a section for hot, another for cold and another for desserts. The elaboration of the creams and stews (always natural) created for each service begins, nothing is overheated in the Servigroup kitchens, before a tray of the buffet is finished, the elaboration of another one is already going, which guarantees the continuous cooking and rotation at the time of the different dishes. The same system which is used in the show cooking of the dining room.
At 6:00pm, the preparations for dinner begins, although before midday the onions would have been cut up, the tomatoes washed and disinfected, all ready to be cooked directly in the moment and serve to the customer. The ovens, which do not stop working all day guaranteeing fresh cakes made, at the time, the bread that is served directly from the oven in each service, the roasts, etc.
You have to bear in mind that every morning from the Servigroup purchasing centre, fresh products arrive, fruits and vegetables are passed into sterilized plastic boxes and after checking their correct delivery they are stored in their precise storage fridges; the meats and the fish arrive in a different truck correctly vacuum packed, these foods are checked and controlled. Once the correct reception of these foods has been verified, they are stored in the cold rooms for each type of food and cooked on the same day.
How are the products chosen, how are they maintained and what controls are they subjected to?
Servigroup Hotels every year organizes its Gastronomic Days, where the head chefs and heads of the restaurants gather to see and taste the latest additions, both gastronomic and technological; so that the Servigroup kitchens are always at the forefront in the preparation of the most delicious dishes. New products are also presented, which during the year have been shown by the different food companies; these products are subjected to various tests, such as oven tests, taste tests or quality tests, and it is decided whether they will be incorporated into the products used by Servigroup.
The products are maintained, received, checked and labelled, at the chain's purchasing centre, where they are stored, and from where they are distributed each morning to each hotel in different refrigerated trucks (with the right temperature for each type of food) some trucks for fruits and vegetables, another for meat, another for fish, etc. This is carried out without breaking the cold chain of each product.
All the products pass strict sanitary controls, ISO Quality and SGS (our auditor laboratory, which guarantees that the products stored in the purchasing centre are in perfect conditions), these controls are executed weekly, monthly and annually, guaranteeing a correct control of packaging, dates, cleanliness, quality and condition.
In the kitchens of Servigroup the quality of the raw material is important. Is it true that they are counting more and more on organic products?
Yes, it is true, Hoteles Servigroup are fortunate in having the El Clot estate, a farm where a big part of the fruits and vegetables of the chain come from.
Here we grow, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, lettuce, avocados, oranges, lemons... We even produce our own olive oil, all in an ecological way, without using chemicals and aggressive products. Here they are committed to everything natural, avoiding the need to fumigate, with natural techniques based on pheromone traps and other practices.
What differences exist between the kitchens of some hotels and others, or are there none?
There is no difference, that is, all the kitchens of the hotels in the chain are governed by protocols, quality standards and specific methods previously established by Servigroup.
We call it the Servigroup method, and there are manuals, good practice guides, recipe books where we explain step by step how things should be done in our kitchens, so we know that from Peñiscola, through Benicasim, Alcoceber, Mojacar, Orihuela Costa and Benidorm, all enjoy the same quality, taste and culinary creativity.
Who is the food for Servigroup Hotels for?
We try to present various menus and daily dishes, taking into account tastes, nationalities, allergies... We can say that our food is intended for children through to adults, celiac, or any forms of intolerance and/or vegetarians.
We ensure special care and attention in the food for allergy sufferers and celiac, assigning a chef who prepares at the time the food they want, to avoid cross contamination or traces in the preparations. Products for celiac are available and let's say that the food for them is made to order, as in a restaurant. Even vegans can find options in elaborations based on quinoa, seitan, lentils or tofu.
How do you create the menus that are served in the hotels, do you think about balance and variety? In addition, theme buffets are held weekly. What type of cooking is reflected in these themes?
The menus are prepared in two ways, designed for short and long stay customers, now in winter we have long-stay guests in our hotels, so we try to create 14-day menus, so as not to repeat ourselves and offer variety, quality and high nutritional value. In summer, for example, the menus are created weekly, since the type of client is short-stay, and you try to change, vary and surprise continuously.
Although the themes change from winter to summer, theme nights are enjoyed a lot, we do Mexican, Italian, Hindu, Japanese cuisine... from all over the world. In addition, we have other diverse themes such as the Gourmet Buffet where we serve sea bass, entrecote or foie, the Seafood Buffet where we serve salted fish, marinated salmon and prawns, or the Gastro Buffet where the tapas are the queens. The dish of the day also stands out in the meals, thus we offer our guests a unique and titanic gastronomic offer, for every taste.
What are the star dishes that Servigroup customers enjoy the most?
There are many dishes that are enjoyed, among the Spanish dishes including beef stews, tripe, cheeks, oxtail, squid and paellas. International guests like natural creams, chicken roasted or in curry, and other forms of roasts, which we even carve in situ in the dining room.
The desserts are also highly praised and important in the Servigroup kitchens, what type of sweets are usually prepared? Do you have seasonal desserts? What are the customers' favorite sweets?
The truth is that we have some sensational desserts, we prepare many types of sweets, both Spanish and international, and of course, the season of the year makes a difference in what is served, for example, in autumn they usually make desserts with pumpkins, apples... Spaniards tend to prefer more puddings, mille-feuille, tocinillos de cielo or cheesecake, while the British are tempted by jellies, Apple Crumble, hot custard and meringue with fruit. As you can see, there is a wide range for all tastes, and on certain days, such as Halloween or Christmas, our pastry chefs opt for creativity, elaborating fun and decorated desserts.
Is it important to have a good team?
The team is fundamental, a well-trained team, professional, synchronized and working as one, is very important to offer the best service. Above all, having a team that is true to the philosophy of the hotels, which follows all the steps established to perfection from the correct reception of the product, to how to clean and store it, the cooking, the way of working in the kitchens etc. to guarantee the 100% excellence of the Servigroup buffets.
Also having cutting-edge machinery and using the latest techniques makes things much easier when working. Today we have blast furnaces, vacuum machines... and all the essential material for a good final result.
What is the maximum in the Servigroup kitchens?
Let's say that there are many maximums, but the most determining ones are quality, taste, excellence, variety and cleanliness. Prepare dishes with the standards and of a very high quality, and above all always be at the forefront, to offer the best in every way to the customer. This is achieved in part thanks to the constant training of our teams, attending the most advanced fairs, such as Madrid Fusion and courses at Rational, the School of Hospitality...
What new culinary trends await us in the kitchens of Servigroup in 2019
We cannot confirm anything with finality, everything will be decided after the Gastronomic Days 2019; although as an advance we can say that a healthy corner is being prepared in the buffets. For example, for breakfasts, it is important to include several types of seeds, such as flax or chia, perhaps including the preparation of homemade smoothies and waffles; On the other hand, we have a new range of marinated meats and cold meats; we also seek to use organic pulses and incorporate new techniques into the kitchens, as you can see many new features.
Now you know a little more about the rigor with which we work in our kitchens, now you can breathe easy and simply devote yourself to savouring our delights.
Enjoy your meal! ;)