Features On the Table

On the Night Shift

Courtesy of CS Dak

Ever wonder what it’s like in a Manhattan restaurant kitchen after hours? For some, it’s just as busy as during the day — if that kitchen is one of the ones partnered with Cuisine Solutions on its “dark assembly” kitchen concept, CS Dak.

Cuisine Solutions opened its first sous vide dark kitchen in January. Located within a Pret a Manger at 425 Madison Avenue, CS Dak offers various direct-to-consumer cuisine concepts, including The Cutting Edge, Cocina Oscura, Mediterranean, Poultry in Motion and Bodega, all available for delivery in Manhattan on Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and via its website, order.csdak.com.

“Cuisine Solutions is a leader in innovative cooking methods and creative menu items, and we are excited to partner with them to debut the world’s first dark assembly kitchen,” said Pano Christou, Pret a Manger’s chief executive officer. “During this unprecedented time, Pret a Manger is greatly looking forward to embracing the evolving retail environment and reacting to changing needs of New Yorkers.”

At their launch location, CS Dak is implemented by Pret a Manger’s team and operates out of the midtown store. The team uses fully-cooked, sous vide products (French for “under vaccum”) and a minimal-contact cooking process that eliminates the need for from-scratch cooking. The onsite culinary staff will only need to assemble menu items for the cuisine concepts using Cuisine Solutions products.

“The pandemic has deeply accelerated the presence of virtual kitchen concepts and the widespread adoption of food delivery,” Felipe Hasselmann, Cuisine Solutions’ president and CEO, said. “CS Dak is revolutionary in terms of the level of safety, quality and variety we offer. As the only kitchen assembling fully-cooked, sous vide products, we can prepare the items faster and more efficiently than any other kitchen in the world to create an outstanding at-home dining experience. We are greatly looking forward to partnering with Pret a Manger to offer this upgraded dining experience in New York.”

Cuisine Solutions’ menus and proprietary products feature the highest-quality ingredients, developed by one of the most innovative culinary teams in the food industry, the company said. Comprised of over 55 acclaimed chefs from Cuisine Solutions’ U.S.A., Asia, Europe and Middle East divisions, they have drawn inspiration from their heritages and homes to create more than 290 menu items.
Among the themes, The Cutting Edge will present global, chef-inspired favorites such as harissa charred octopus, tzatziki mezze, sirloin steak tartare and duck leg confit with Oaxacan mole. Cocina Oscura and Mediterranean will, respectively, feature Mexican and Mediterranean build-your-own bowls, salads and wraps, as well as chef-driven dishes, like herb-roasted half-chicken bathed in sherried walnut sauce with pomegranate and herbs and kibbeh nayeh. Poultry in Motion will offer a variety of items, including the popular sous vide egg bites, originally created by Cuisine Solutions and available in two flavors: uncured turkey bacon egg bites and vegetarian egg whites, spinach and kale. The concept will also offer chicken prepared in a variety of ways, including southern fried, herb-roasted, five-spice Peking and more.

The fifth concept offered by CS Dak is Bodega, which features ready-made meal components prepared using the sous vide method. Customers can then quickly reheat dishes in the oven, stovetop or microwave, allowing them to stock their fridge and meal prep for the week. Dishes will include menu items such as lamb shank with a portobello and red wine mushroom sauce, grilled salmon, white beans with thyme and garlic and veal osso bucco. This concept will also offer holiday season specialties like turkey roulade with cranberries and apples and Cuisine Solutions’ signature, 72-hour beef short ribs, cooked in their natural juices. These time-consuming, elegant dishes only require re-heating, providing an excellent, safe dining experience for families.

Consumers can expect to see Asian, Italian and barbeque-based concepts that will all provide a wide array of seafood, poultry, meat, egg, plant-based, vegetarian and vegan options in the very near future.

By using the sous vide method, CS Dak streamlines operations in a smaller kitchen footprint, therein reducing labor costs and minimizing food waste, while increasing operational efficiency, safety and consistency, allowing for multiple concepts to run out of a single kitchen, the company added.

Browse the options at order.csdak.com.

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