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Guéridon means side table in a restaurant.

Guéridon service
naturally means sidetable service. Any work that is carried out on a
sidetable before the service like, making a salad dressing, dressing the
salad, carving, preparing a grapefruit etc. can be termed as Guéridon
Guéridon service includes flambé work or flambés service, which is
an extension and elaboration of the sidetable service. It
is difficult to pinpoint the origin of Guéridon and Flambé
A Guéridon service is a table or trolley inside the
service area in which the waiter prepares fillets, carves
flambé & sometimes cooks the dishes to the served. It
also carries sufficient equipments for the immediate
operation in hand together with a surplus of sudden
equipment, in case of emergency.
The Guéridon itself may come in various i.e., colour gas trolley,
specially made for purpose, plain trolley or even a small table. A Guéridon
trolley should be equipped with flair lamp & a hot plate &
should be of same height as the dining table. This style
of service is “Flamboyant” & emphasis the personal
attention & service that a customer receives. It is also
associated with menu items that are of highest quality &
very expensive being based on French Cuisine. Guéridon
service is restricted to restaurant catering for a market
i.e., prepared to pay the high prices that must be
charged to cover the operating cost.
It provides visual appeal to the customer. The modest grilling of
hamburger or the preparation of Pizza in a coffee shop has, at its own
level the same kind of visual appeal that more elaborate form of lamp-
cooking have in luxury establishments. Guéridon service such as carving,
salad making, is usually praised not only for promotional appeal on business
grounds, but by guests, gourmets and professionals alike as fulfilling the
best conditions of gastronomy. Sidetable cookery particularly flambé
work on the other hand is much more controversial from an epicurean
point of view, even though it’s merchandising value is generally
A Guéridon can be simply defined as a small ornamental table.
Before the ad of waiter's sideboards all restaurant service was done
from a Guéridon.
In the olden days, in many restaurants, waiters used to carry their
own fold-up Guéridon, along with a tray laden with all the silver service
covers, to the table, open it up beside the guest's table and place the
tray on it and begin a very elaborate form of service.
The Guéridon was also useful for all the table preparations
performed by waiter-fish filleting, carving, preparation of fruit etc.
Today's Guéridon usually takes the form of a trolley, making movement
more efficient-although in some restaurants the small sidetable still
exists the important thing to remember about a Guéridon, is that it is
The modern trolley usually has a working top and shelves under. The
common trolleys found in restaurants in India are the pastry trolley and a
trolley complete with a gas cylinder.
In the West another popular trolley is a hors d' oeuvres variety and
in some class restaurants-the carving trolley.
Pastry Trolley
The pastry trolley usually consists of 3 tiers-the top being covered
by either glass or more commonly of fibre-glass. This enables the guest
to see what is on offer in hygienic conditions, particularly in non
air-conditioned dining rooms. The second tier can also be used for
desserts/pastries if required and if conditions are suitable. The bottom
tier is used for the storage of cutlery and crockery.
The Flambé Trolley
This trolley is perhaps the most glamorous in that it helps produce
the best showmanship in a restaurant. It consists of a cupboard area for
storing a gas cylinder, a recess area for storing foods/liquor and a top
with cooking equipment for flambé copper pans.
Because of the nature of this trolley-much care has to be taken
whilst moving it about the room. Gas cylinders should be carefully
checked and the customers should be able to neither see the cylinder nor
smell any gas.
Hors-d'oeuvres Trolley
This trolley is similar to the dessert trolley except that the top
should be fitted a series of recesses for holding small rectangular dishes
used for serving a variety of hors d' oeuvres.

Carving Trolley
This trolley is the most elaborate of all. However, it is seldom
found in India because the concept of roast joints of meat is not
particularly popular, other than in buffet styles of service.
The trolley is usually silver-plated with a large dome-like cover.
This cover slides I' the trolley so that the flat surface can be used to
hold (and carve) the meat. Spirits to keep the joint hot usually heats this
surface. There are usually two recesses to hold the gravy and sauce, while
the bottom shelf accommodates s for service.
Guéridon Trolley
Guéridon trolleys have now acquired special significance the
restaurant world. They come in different sizes. Actually a Guéridon
trolley is a modified sidetable on wheels. It should be of the same height
as that of the tables in the restaurant. It normally has a built-in picnic-
type butane gas flame lamp from which effective Flambé work and
Guéridon cookery could be achieved. It should have underleaf shelves for
stocking cutlery and other dishes for keeping wine and liqueur bottles.
Where the Guéridon trolleys with built-in butane gas flame lamps
are not available cheffing lamps are used. They are relatively costly
items made in more than one size, but usually about 8" to 10" in height and
with a grid diameter of about 6". Many maitre d'hotel's are strongly in
favour of lamps using methylated spirits and are thoroughly accustomed
to controlling the flame and the heat by adjusting the wick. Apart from
this traditional method of heating there are new types of lamps, which
whilst of conventional ornamental silver-plated external appearance, are
equipped with compressed gas of the butane type. Once the operator is
accustomed to lamps, their use offers a well-controlled and clean flame
well suited to cooking i1 restaurant. Movement of the tap in a similar to
readily adjusts the gas flame that in which the wick screw is turned.
They resemble frying pans in shapes and sizes normally ranging in
diameter from 9" to 12". The pans are completely either wholly plated
with silver or as is more preferred, copper on the outside with the silver
plating confined to the interior surface. Copper is an efficient conductor
of heat & helps spread of heat throughout the pan relatively quickly and

These are of the same type as that of Crepe Suzette pans except
the shape. Steak pans are oval in shape and come in different sizes to
suit different requirements. The construction is the same as that of
Crepe Suzette pans.
One of the principles of cooking and carving "In the room" is that
use should be made only of restaurant cutlery and that cooking
implements as such should be avoided. For carving, for example, table
knives are normally used for smaller items, (Clever waiters normally retain
a well-cared for specially sharpened table knife for this purpose) and
carving knife and fork for larger items. It is of course true that chef
trancheurs, who come into the restaurant to carve at the buffet or meat
wagon, traditionally have their own tools, but otherwise waiters for
normal Guéridon work use standard restaurant gear.
Flaming sword service has also been a feature in some restaurants.
Purporting to reflect Middle-Eastern or east European traditions, flaming
sword service is infact rather a restaurant invention.
These swords have hilts protected by a hollowed guard and also
incorporate a second shelf below the hilt, which can contain flambéring
material like Brandy and also capture juices. Sliding retaining bolts are
also incorporated in many Shaslik Swords.
It is essentially chef de rang, commis service, therefore their must
be complete liaison & team work between them.
 Push the gueridon does not pull it to avoid accidents.
 After the completion of the service at one table move it is the
next immediately so that we can get ready for the next service
without delay, where possible avoid wheeling in a loaded trolley around
the room to avoid accidents.
 The Guéridon should be kept in one position for the service of the
complete course not moves from the guest to the guest.
 Only the main dishes of each course should be served from
Guéridon. Vegetables, sauces & accomplishments should be served in a
normal manner. This speeds up the service, as generally there is
sufficient space on the Guéridon trolley for the service of the
complete meal.
 As for the use of spoon & fork hold spoon in one hand & fork in the
other hand do not use that as in silver service, more control is needed
when handling the food for service.
 Never fillet or carve on a silver dish use either a carving board or
hot joint plate.
 Sequence of silver presentation of the food on a plate it is
important that specially when filleting or carving.
 The commis must be always keep the Guéridon clear of dirties.
 When transferring food & liquids from silver to the plate always
run the fork along the underside of the spoon to avoid drips on the
A very sharp knife is the most essential piece of equipment. The
meat should be carved-not hacked about. A carving fork-two pronged for
holding the meat in place is also necessary. Good clean, wooden carving
boards preferably with funnel indentations, which will hold the meat
juices, rather than letting them run over the side of the board.
Small items like Chateaubriand are not difficult carving tasks at the
table as long as the knife is sharp. Larger items, like joints of beef or
ham or even leg of lamb need greater skill and dexterity. Only practice
will make one perfect in this respect and it is difficult to give every
student sufficient practice because of the costs involved. A
demonstration of the carving of a Chateaubriand will have to suffice.
A serrated carving knife is used for items like ham. When carving,
the knife is moved freely backwards and forward like a sawing action.
Too much pressure results in a loss of meat juice, as well as badly cut
slices. Accidents occur when the knife is blunt.
When carving a leg of lamb the bone may be held in the hand to
steady it. The bone should be covered with a large cutlet frill (or a clean
Certain qualities & attitudes are expected of a waiter in carrying
out this form of service. The following points are to be kept in mind
Remember first & foremost that you are salesperson. You must be
able to sale the dishes which when involve you in that at the table suggest
to the customer items on the menu, thus focusing attention on the dishes
you may wish to sale. Use the carving trolley & sweet trolley as visual
selling aids. You must always have a good knowledge of the menu so as to
give good description to the guest of the dishes available.
 Stand to the left of the host; each guest should have a menu

including the host, keep one for reference purpose.

 Size up your host & guest according to the age, dress & nature of

the party, this will give some indications as to the type of dishes
one may be suggest.
 Take all orders to the host try to ascertain the length of the time,

available for the meal as this could determine the type of the
dishes sold want customer for waiting time.
 Take note as to whether the party is male or female or combined.

Always take order as soon as possible preferably in the bar or when

the guest taking their appetite.
Gas Lamps
· Check that all moving parts move freely
· Ensure both the jet and burner is free from soot and dirt
· Clean by appropriate method-Silvo or Goddard’s plate powder-but
remember: do not ever immerse in water
Gas Bottles
When changing a gas bottle consider the following factors:
· Ensure at all times there is no heated equipment or naked flames near
the lamp
· Follow the manufacturer's instructions and directions, and use the
correct spanner
· Check all taps are in the off position · during storage all gas bottles
should be kept cool
Spirit Lamps
· Check the amount of methylated spirit
· See that the air hole is free
· Trim the wick and check it for length
· Clean off any excessive dirt and spent matches
· Ensure all moving parts move freely
· Clean by the appropriate method - but remember: do not immerse m
· Any decoration on equipment should be checked carefully and, if
necessary, cleaned with a toothbrush
Where necessary the top and under shelf of the Guéridon should be
covered with a folded tablecloth. This of course depends on the nature of
the Guéridon itself and its general appearance. For convenience of
working, the cutlery and flatware lay-out should be similar to that of the
sideboard. This saves time and speeds up the service. From right to left:
· Service spoons and forks (joint)
· Sweet spoons and forks
· Soup, tea and coffee spoons
· Fish knives and forks. Special equipment including a soup and sauce ladle
· Joint and side knives
The hotplates or table heaters are generally placed on the left-
hand side on the top to the Guéridon. These heaters may be gas, electric
or methylated spirit. If the latter, then coffee saucers should be placed
under the burners. Also on the top will be found a caving board, knives for
carving and filleting and a selection of basic accompaniments such oil and
vinegar, Worcester sauce, English and French mustard and castor sugar.
Underneath will be found a service plate and service salver, side
plates, and some joint plates for dirty tableware when an operation is
being carried out. There should also some silver under flats of assorted
sizes for the service of vegetables and sauces. A selection of doilies is
useful for the presentation of sauces and other accompaniments. Any
other mise-en-place required, such as coffee saucers,
accompaniments and check pads will be on the waiter's sideboard,
together with a surplus of all the Guéridon equipment in case of
A restaurant can be compared to a theatre - a live theatre with
actor and actresses. When the curtain goes up-the play commences. In
the restaurant when the service begins it is similar to that of the curtain
going up. Waiters can be compared to actors playing a part in the
Guéridon service. They have the chance to show off the skills acquired by
careful training.
A restaurant, which carries tempting, displays of pastries and
desserts have higher sales than restaurants without. Many guests finish
a main course and feel their meal is complete. The waiter enquiring
whether they would like a dessert is no temptation. Even if handed the
menu they will not bother to read through the same old stuff- (Cream
caramel, fruit salad, gulab jamun, ice-cream). However, if a delightful
array of dessert and pastries is wheeled to their table and they actually
see what is available, few people can resist-and so a sale is made.
Flambé work also provides tremendous advantages for a restaurant.
The showmanship and expertise involved in this is really very simple but
the operation provides excitement and elegance to a restaurant as well as
boosts sale. The cost of the operation is minimal but the returns are
considerable. It may take a little longer, but as the performance is at the
table and involves the guest they are quite happy to wait. The dish is
personally prepared and this too is special and turns an ordinary meal into
an exciting experience. It also has a snowball effect. Another table sees
the performance and wants the same thing and so the sales increase.
There are two necessary components to be successful with Guéridon
work. One is well-trained staff capable of cooking at the table with
aplomb, and the second extremely important factor is the space for the
trolley to move around the room without disturbing other guests or
bumping into chairs and tables.
The size of the trolley is very relevant. It must be big enough to
hold all the necessary accompaniments required for the operation but it
must be easily maneuverable between the tables and chairs. Aisles
between tables with chairs pulled out should be at least 1.25 meters wide.
This will give working space too, without disrupting the order service
around the particular table. In any case, flambé work should only be done
in a specialty restaurant, which would normally have sufficient space.
However, trolleys selling pastries or hors d’oeuvres should also be given
sufficient space so as not to annoy other guests otherwise the whole
spirit of the exercise lost.
The advantages of Guéridon work to market merchandise greatly
outweigh the disadvantages-with the staff and the space required and it
can be a great marketing ploy in any establishment.


First present the dish to the customer than return to Guéridon
place the hot plates on the side of the trolley with the food for service
on the hot plate, the food for service is then carve or fillet & placed on
the plate of the guest. Unlike silver service when the spoon & fork are
used together in one hand Guéridon service requires that the spoon &
fork are used in one each hand. The vegetables & potatoes are then
placed on the plate while the plates are still on the Guéridon, the sauces
are also placed on the plates & the plate are then placed in front of the
guest, it should be noted that when there are more than two people at one
table the main dish is served as described but the vegetables & potatoes
dishes are served in normal silver service fashion.

Flambéing cooking or final cooking at the guest table but the visual
pleasure in watching the flame plays a major role in the guest dining
enjoyment. The flame itself as influence on the taste of the food. The
principle of flambéing is very simple, the hitting of spirits in a flame pan
during cooking develops alcohol vapors, which then when brought into
contact with the open flame will ignite. The excess alcohol is burnt off &
through reduction of the spirits, the sauce is enhanced. Since, flambéing
effects the normal flow of service only items with short preparation
times should be flambéed only foods & ingredients that produces a
pleasant aroma when cooking should be used.
 Smoked Salmon (Saumon Fume)
Knife and fork and cold fish plate
Horseradish sauce - cayenne pepper - peppermill - segment of lemon -
brown bread and butter
Smoked salmon on a board - carving knife and a joint fork - service spoon
and fork – spare plate for dirty cutlery and flatware
(1) Remove the black line in the middle of each slice by making a small
'V' shaped incision in the side of smoked salmon before carving
(2) Carve each slice wafer thin, giving 2-3 slices per portion
(3) Insert the edge of the slice of smoked salmon between the prongs
of the joint fork and roll up, Lift over to the cold fish plate and unroll
neatly. Serve
 Caviare (Roe of the Sturgeon)
Caviare knife on the right-hand side of the cover - cold fish plate
Hot breakfast toast - butter - segments of lemon - sieved hard-boiled
white and r of egg/ chopped shallots
Caviare pot in a dish of crushed ice on an under flat - sweet spoon
or two teaspoons service - spare plate for dirty cutlery and flatware
Note: if a caviare knife is not available then a side knife is an adequate
(1) If a sweet spoon is used then generally one spoonful, which will
weigh approximately 30 grams, is recognized as being a portion
(2) If two teaspoons are used, the caviare is moulded in the two spoons,
3-4 teaspoons per portion
(3) When served direct from the pot in this fashion the caviare is
usually weighed before and after service and charged according to the
amount served
Caviare may also be served already pre-plated by the larder or already
pre-portioned by the larder and silver served on to the cold fish plate
using a spoon.
 Steak Diane
Steak knife and joint fork - hot joint plate
English and French mustard
Lamp - pan on an under plate - service spoons and forks - teaspoons -
plate for cutlery and flatware
minute steak on a plate - chopped shallots - chopped parsley - fines herbs
– cayenne pepper and peppermill - cruet - oil and butter -
Worcestershire sauce – measure of brandy - jug of double cream
(1) Ensure the Guéridon is correctly laid up with all the mise-en-place
(2) Enquire of the customer how he/she would like the steak cooked.
(3) Place some butter and a little oil in the pan and allow melting. The oil
will prevent butter from burning
(4) Season the steak with cruet, cayenne pepper and peppermill
(5) Place the chopped shallots in the pan and sweat without colouring
until cooked 6 Place the steak in the pan and cook as required
(6) Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and then sprinkle with some
chopped parsley and fines herbes
(7) Add a measure of brandy and flambé
(8) Serve immediately from the pan on to a hot joint plate at the table
(9) Before serving, if requested, a thickened sauce may be made by the
addition of a little double cream. Bring up to simmering point but do
not boil
(10) If a sauce is made, the steak must be kept on a hot joint plate on the
hotplate, and covered whilst the sauce is being prepared
(11) Coat the steak with the sauce and serve, ensuring it is piping hot
Note: there are many variations in the making of Steak Diane, each done
to an establishment’s traditional recipe or being a specialty of the waiter
carrying out the operation according to his/her own particular techniques.
 Flambéd Chicken Breast (Supreme de Volaille Flambé)
Joint knife and fork - hot joint plate
None or possibly salad
Flare lamp - pan on an under plate - service spoons and forks on a service
plate - spare plate for dirty equipment - butter knife - sauce ladle
Prepared suprême on a silver flat (if required the suprême may be
marinaded in wine or liqueur beforehand) - glass of red or white wine -
Drambuie - butter - oil - tomato concassé (in a small glass bowl) - sliced
mushrooms (in a small glass bowl) – onions finely chopped (in a small glass
bowl) - seasonings of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper - double cream in a
(1) Place pan on a low heat to melt the butter, add a little oil
(2) Season the suprême & Sauté off the onions to pearl stage without
colouring and add the mushrooms
(3) Add the suprême and cook as quickly as possible without browning
too much Add the wine and reduce the liquor
(4) Flambé with Drambuie and add the double cream
(5) Reduce the cream as quickly as possible and finish by combining
tomato concasse into the cream sauce
(6) Serve on to the hot joint plate and offer to the guest
 Banana Flambé (Banane Flambée)
Sweet spoon and fork - hot sweet plate

Castor sugar
Lamp - pan on an under plate - service plate with service spoons and forks
- spare plate for dirty cutlery and flatware - carving board and small
carving knife (12.5 cm - 5 in)
Banana - measure of rum (or Pernod depending on the specific dish) -
butter - castor sugar
(1) Prepare the banana & Place the butter in the pan and melt
(2) Pierce both halves of the banana with a fork, to allow the heat to
penetrate ill quickly
(3) Place the banana round side down in the pan and heat. Baste with
the butter occasion and then turn the banana over
(4) When golden brown add a little fresh orange juice and blend well.
This produces sauce and removes the surplus fat from within the sauce
(5) At this stage place the hot sweet plate on the table in front of the
guest, When heated sufficiently, flambé with the rum
(6) Serve at the table from the pan on to the hot sweet plates, or
serve on to hot sweet plates on the flambé trolley
Note: be careful not to overheat the banana at any stage.
 Rum Omelette (Omelette Au Rhum)
Sweet spoon and fork - hot sweet plate
Castor sugar
Lamp-pan on an under plate - matches - spare plate for dirty equipment -
service spoons and forks on a service plate - measure of rum - castor
sugar - omelette received from the kitchen on a silver flat at the last
moment. It should be cooked
(1) Present the omelette - return to the lamp
(2) Trim the ends of the omelette with the aid of a service spoon and
(3) Sprinkle with castor sugar, Pour a measure of rum round the edge
of the flat, Heat quickly, light with a match
(4) Serve immediately on to a hot sweet plate at the table or on to a
hot sweet plate on the flambé trolley