For the NY Times‘ Food & Drink Issue, the paper sent writer Willy Staley to Balthazar restaurant in Soho to get a behind-the-scenes look at their french fry making process. Staley arrives at 5a.m. on a Friday morning and sees the delivery trucks roll up to the restaurant to drop off Russet Burbank potatoes, along with literal tons of fish, meat, and produce. By 6:30, the french fry prep begins. “Balthazar still operates like a factory… It mass-produces high-quality food and pushes it out to customers, and its production numbers are as predictable as the system that churns out the food itself. Just about everyone who works at Balthazar calls it a machine” says Staley.

Watch the video below to see the work that goes into a Balthazar french fry—it’s pretty astonishing.