This is inspired by the chef’s griddle from the other night, seen below, he tools it the way he likes it. The griddle is kept hot, approximately @ 180/200°C but as the chef points out less by one hundred degrees when compared to the Teppanyaki’s iron griddle.
The chef @ Gamin prepares all hot dishes on the griddle except those that are cold or those that get grilled. The griddle has a slot on the left side, under the slot is a drawer that collects his cooking debris. He has fresh air streaming above his head, and his extraction sucks out any fumes above the hood. He can prepare dish after dish with the swipe of his hand, he uses his flat spatula to make it go fast. No pans to wash, he is as fast as his orders.
My memories of the griddle from New York’s best Greek dinner on Madison Avenue, the Viand. The Viand is six seats and eight old-fashioned vinyl covered seats that swivel. The staff there are all immigrants, they live by their griddle (all day long) to cook whatever comes their way, e.g. fried eggs, toasted Reuben, pancakes, etc. It is now obvious why a griddle is so key to a small kitchen, it is obvious why in a tapas bar they use it as well.
There are many types and variations on the griddle. In Mexico and some Central American countries, they use what is called a Comal to cook tortillas and other foods. In other Latin American countries, they use a griddle known as a Budare. The are thin metal pans large enough to cook or toast, or both at the same time.
The iron griddle is a very practical way of transmitting “even energy” to a cooking surface given the griddle has the right thickness, size flame and is made from the right material. I am surprised at how little the griddle is used, as there is no commonplace griddle used in Japanese cuisine except in Teppanyaki cuisine.