Vintage: what is lamp service?

Vintage: what is lamp service?

Lamp service is a flagship of classic catering, a fundamental point of dining room service in restaurants.

There are techniques and traditions in the kitchen that always remain current, despite being many years, sometimes even centuries. Preparations that have no age, which always involve with the same intensity and give added value to the dishes. it is equivalent to finishing the cooking of the dish in front of the dinersThis is the case of lamp service , which we all know as the flambè technique or, in general, of finishing the cooking of a dish in the dining room , in front of the customer. The goal is to amaze and involve customers in the preparation, create a welcoming atmosphere and embellish the dish with the personal touch of the service. Very often, although not always, the whole process ends by setting the food on fire, which makes it all very scenographic and spectacular. Today, lamp service is a practice used a little less than in the past, but always with the same success.


The first to accidentally use this technique was, in 1895 , the maître Henry Charpertier at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo. One evening the Prince of Wales (who would later be crowned Edward VII) came to his restaurant when the kitchen was already closed. Charpertier was only able to recover ready-made crêpes. He brought them into the dining room, placed the lamp on a trolley near the table and, by flaming it with some Grand Marnier, created the first crêpes suzette in history.


Lamp service can be performed in two ways . In the first, a sauce is prepared, fruit or pancakes are added, they flames once cooked. In the second, the food is cooked, flambéed and kept warm to one side. A sauce is then made and the food is added back to the pan or seasoned with the prepared sauce on the plate.

The importance of the service

In the years to come, lamp service has become a very important added value in classic catering and a source of pride for many prestigious restaurants. It is therefore essential that those who perform this technique have experience and familiarity in the various stages of preparation and in the mise en place, attention to detail and correct posture. Wrong or sloppy execution would be counterproductive to customer satisfaction.

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