TCC Scratch Kitchen with Greg van Poppel

Terminal City Club’s Executive Chef, Greg van Poppel, invites us into his kitchen to educate us on our very own scratch kitchen, one of the many secrets behind TCC’s flavourful and organic cuisine.

What is a scratch kitchen?
[GVP] To operate a scratch kitchen means that my team prepares all of our menu items right here in the Club kitchens fresh every day from the best available ingredients.

Does the kitchen at TCC operate as a scratch kitchen?
[GVP] Yes, it does! We do not serve pre-made foods in The Grill, Lions Pub, 1892 or Cuvée. All dishes are prepared with food items made in-house. For example, we could purchase dry rub spice but instead we choose to make our own from scratch. We even make our own ice cream!

What are the benefits of operating a scratch kitchen?
[GVP] A significant health benefit of running a scratch kitchen is that we can control both the quantity and quality of our food. There are no chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMO) added to our products because we make them ourselves. In a non-scratch kitchen, pre-made food items often contain chemicals that are used to improve the shelf life of an item and GMO’s which help to reduce the price of a product.
Secondly, because we prepare all of our own food items we know exactly what ingredients go into everything we make. If someone has an allergy we can prepare a meal that we know is 100% free of that specific food item.

Our culinary team at TCC is proud to operate a scratch kitchen. It is a great feature of the club that members love and appreciate.

What are the biggest challenges with a scratch kitchen?
[GVP] The three main challenges to operating a scratch kitchen is the labour that is involved, availability of products and maintaining consistency.

A scratch kitchen is labour intensive because it takes more time and staff to prepare each dish. There are more steps involved in the preparation of our dishes as opposed to having a product brought in and ready to use. The availability of certain products can also be a challenge due to seasonal foods. Lastly, consistency of our food is important and thus requires more attention in a scratch kitchen to ensure we are producing every dish in the same way to deliver high class meals to all of our members and guests.

Although there are a few challenges, the added time and effort is always worth it. We feel good at the end of the day knowing we serve our members and guests healthy and delicious meals!