HEAT’S ON: Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club chefs Dan Dyer (right) and James Birch go to extreme lengths to stay cool.
HEAT’S ON: Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club chefs Dan Dyer (right) and James Birch go to extreme lengths to stay cool. Geoff Potter

Even chefs are well cooked

WHILE we've all fought against the heat these past weeks, how many of us have given thought to the many workers who have to struggle on - despite soaring temperatures.

From council workers on the road to roof tilers, there are people working in extreme heat, but it is perhaps our restaurant kitchen staff who suffer most.

Some Noosa kitchens recorded temperatures of 55 degrees and upwards, causing many chefs to lose up to three kilos a day in hard sweat.

Head chef Dan Dyer, at the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club, might have the beautiful Noosa River to look out on, but that doesn't take the heat off.

"When we have a deep fryer and oven going, and 12 gas burners as well as a big grill and a four burner chargrill going flat out during the day, things can get really hot," he said.

"We have a few little tricks to keep us going. We get a wet towel and roll it, put it in the freezer in the shape of the neck. That cools us down.

"We also have a tub of towels in the cool room and a bucket of cold water. It drops the body core temperature really quickly. We took the temperature near the grill (during the heatwave) and it was over 60 degrees."

It's a similar story down the road in the Gusto kitchen where chef/operator Nathan Hall has been putting out a couple of hundred meals every day during the holiday season.

"We do have air-conditioning in the restaurant but it doesn't do much for the kitchen except take the edge off it," Nathan said.

"It gets around 50 degrees in the kitchen. You can't do anything about it except escape to the cool room every now and then.

"We drink a lot of water ... we must pay attention to that, especially with the young kids. They don't think of it and we have to remind them."

Chef Gene Quinlan finds some relief by looking out over Laguna Bay from his tiny kitchen at berardo's bistro on the beach.

"It can be in the mid-40s in the kitchen in the early morning," he said.

"We put out about 500 meals a day from breakfast through lunch, then the oyster bar in the afternoon and on to dinner.

"There is usually a fight at the end of the day about who gets to go and organise the cool room. We keep the fluids up, that's vital."


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