Food production planning becomes the roadmap to getting things done

by Ron DeSantis

Volume 2 Issue 2
February 2019

CulinaryNXT
200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405
203-415-9190

www.culinarynxt.com

Come On, Already!

So, the carrots intended for oblique cut carrots are the size of little league baseball bats. Now what!? In that split second of silence the youngest chef in the room says, “tourné?” Now all eyes are on the Chef (me). Everyone is thinking – is he going to freak out???

Nope, just start tourné.

Cheers!

Master Chef Insights

Production Planning

Food production planning is one of the most important functions of a foodservice operation. This function directly impacts operational costs. With a food production plan, the culinary team knows quantities needed for each day’s operation. Production planning also ensures that staffing is adequate, that food is in-house, early preparation steps are done, foods are thawed properly, and many other functions are completed.

Production Planning success is linked to several key functions of a foodservice operation:

  • Menu development
  • Date of event
  • Number of guests
  • Standard of service
  • Recipe development
  • Ingredient sourcing
  • Food orders
  • Staffing requirements
  • Preparation timeline
  • Plating diagrams
  • Service line set up diagram
  • Posted job/task schedules

A Production Planning Framework will generally focus on the following functions:

  • Food orders
  • Staffing requirements
  • Preparation timeline
  • Plating diagrams
  • Service line set up diagram
  • Posted job/task assignments

At the end of this newsletter is a comprehensive “Production Planning” paper.

Culinary & more…

Flavor & The Menu 2019 Trend Report

The 2019 Flavor & The Menu magazine top 10 trends is available on-line. www.getflavor.com

Flavor & The Menu looks at the food industry through flavor. This is the foundation of why we cook food. I’ve been included in this very talented group of industry professionals. The link about will take you to the website and is a great starting place to explore the world of flavor.

Our Food Journey by Hormel Foods

Old-world Knowledge is a wonderful story and podcast  from Hormel Foods featuring Columbus Craft Meats’ Evan Inada. Evan is “The Salami Guy” and when you start talking about cured meats with him, it becomes obvious why this name suits him. In the podcast Evan shares important information about traditional salami such as “can you eat the white outside of salami?” The answer is, yes. But there’s so much more to learn about salami.

Please click on the link to read and listen.

www.hormelfoods.com

Porturken for Super Bowl 53

If I had a newsletter around this time last year, you would have known about my Super Bowl 52, 52 Ingredient Sandwich for Hormel Foods. That baby was the size of a full sheet pan (18” x 26”) and weighed 52 lbs. It didn’t have a name but could have been 523. The 52 was a hit with the media pit at the Mall of America and got several on-air shout outs.

This year I kept ingredients at a more manageable level. After brainstorming with creative friends and churning through a bunch of different ideas, the one that resonated with the Hormel team was – Porturken.

Porturken is a perfect party dish for a big event like Super Bowl. It’s hearty, very satisfying, and has something for everyone. Here’s the breakdown:

A foundation of Black Label Bacon Grits and Mexican street corn holds a skewered tower of (from the tower foundation):

  • Fire-braised pork shoulder
  • Roasted cauliflower steak
  • Fire-braised turkey breast
  • Grilled vadalia onion steak
  • Fire-braised chicken breast
  • Dill pickle

This is brought together with red-eye gravy and a Tabasco aioli.

This is a Super Bowl crowd pleaser. And great fun with food.

Ingredient of the Month

‘nduja

The world of food never ceases to please me. Food is an on-going learning experience. ‘nduja is just another great ingredient that is a fun experience. It is something like spreadable salami with a spicy kick. I’m discovering that the preparation is flexible and that it’s made from fresh or cured meats. As with most cured meats, it’s packed with flavor and you don’t need a lot to be satisfying.

‘nduja is great spread on bread or used as an ingredient in recipes. I recently spread ‘nduja on halibut, seared it and then served it in a cioppino. The fermented, spicy ‘nduja gave the right amount of flavor boost to the fish.

Cooking Tip

Schnitzel

Yes, schnitzel! Think of the last time you had schnitzel….and it was well prepared. Golden outside, crispy, and tender, juicy pork or chicken cutlet inside. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice. FULL STOP. It works! So how to get to that point?

Start with a 4 oz piece of pork or chicken (choose light or dark meat, whatever you like). Place it between plastic wrap and lightly pound with a meat mallet (smooth edge) until 1/8” thick. Drip some water on the meat side of the plastic wrap to help lubricate the meat while pounding. And don’t use the mallet like you hate the meat. Just be firm enough to get it thin. You’ll be amazed at how large the cutlet becomes. If you don’t have a mallet, the back of a fry pan works or a rolling pin.

Next is the standard breading procedure. Flour, egg, bread crumbs. Season the flour and the egg. I mix panko and regular bread crumbs (I feel that it covers the meat better). Start by dredging the cutlet in the flour, shake excess off. Dip in beaten egg, then into the bread crumb mix to coat completely. This can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until time to fry.

Pan-fry in fresh, clean oil. The temperature is key. The oil should be hot so that the schnitzel fries quickly. The temperature is right when is browns in 2-3 minutes on each side and the coating lightly souffles. The souffle part is desirable but not a deal-breaker. Just keep trying, you’ll get there.

Here’s how to test the oil temperature. Place a slice of bread in the pan. If nothing happens – too cold. Let the oil heat up more. If it gets black in seconds – too hot. Let the oil cool or just add additional oil to cool everything down. Once a piece of bread fries quickly (2-3 minutes) to a gold brown, the oil is ready. Now, fry the schnitzel 2-3 minutes on each side.

Lastly, eat it right away. Schnitzel is one of those “Eat it Now” foods (September 2018 newsletter). The crisp of the crust, with the moist cutlet inside, and fresh lemon is a timeless combination.

Guten appetit.

Keep scrolling!

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 68 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

Production Planning

Once a menu has been determined, production planning becomes the roadmap to getting things done. “Plan the work and work the plan” has been said countless times for good reason. Planning provides everyone in the operation with a clear overview of production. Planning also defines how all the parts come together and provides the team with an understanding of their role in the operation.

Successful planning starts with the end in mind. In a foodservice setting the menu is the end. Planning then works in reverse. The creation of a planning timeline starts when foods are served. The chef plans plating times, cooking times, preparation times, food orders, and scheduling based on the service time. Other elements of planning include, plating diagrams, service line set up, and posted job/task schedules.

Production Planning success is linked to several key functions of a foodservice operation:

  • Menu development
  • Date of event
  • Number of guests
  • Standard of service
  • Recipe development
  • Ingredient sourcing
  • Food orders
  • Staffing requirements
  • Preparation timeline
  • Plating diagrams
  • Service line set up diagram
  • Posted job/task schedules

A Production Planning Framework will generally focus on the following functions:

  • Food orders
  • Staffing requirements
  • Preparation timeline
  • Plating diagrams
  • Service line set up diagram
  • Posted job/task assignments

Food Orders

Using kitchen management systems, the production team can scale recipes for the selected menu and review inventory for on-hand supplies needed to produce the menu. Then food orders are placed early to allow production team to trim, marinate, thaw, or other pre-preparation procedures.

Staffing Requirements

Production staffing is based on production needs leading up to the event. Generally, these are more streamlined than event day staffing. Event day staffing will vary according to the standard of service of the event.

Preparation Timeline

The timeline is the core of the production schedule. The timeline is created by starting at the scheduled time of food pick-up by waitstaff or buffet set-up (standard of service) and scheduling preparation and cook-times from that point. Here again, kitchen management systems provide functions to automate the production schedule framework.

The event day timeline is a granular schedule clearly scheduling each time-block of the day. The production team determines the structure of the time-block and then builds the timeline. Event day timelines include information such as:

  • plating time for cold items
  • inventory of china
  • cooking of each menu item
  • service line set up

Production Timelines are always publicly posted so that all team members have access to the information.

Plating Diagrams

Diagrams of photos of the completed plate, platter, or other serviceware are excellent tools for the production and event day team. This tool allows the culinary team to see the finished food.

Service Line Set-up Diagram

Posting the set-up of the service line depicting each menu item to be plated (pick) has multiple functions:

  • Easy service line set-up
  • No picks are forgotten
  • Placement of picks is clearly determined
  • Tools required for plating are identified
  • Picks are placed in proper plating sequence

Posted Job/Task Assignments

Each job assignment pertaining to production and event day preparation is posted for the culinary team. This assigns responsibility and accountability for each menu item.

Success isn’t guaranteed with production planning, but it is a tool that significantly contributes to an operation’s success. Many elements of the process are developed or documented once, then used as a standard operating procedure – SOP – for future production. Best practices include reviewing SOPs periodically for adjustments and/or revisions. Planning is a crucial part of a chef’s responsibilities.


JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT is an intuitive and comprehensive restaurant software that will help you run your kitchen more efficiently. Versatile features include tools for efficient food production planning, as well.
Contact us for more information on JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT software.

New England Food Show in Boston March 3-5, 2019

JAMIX will be exhibiting at New England Food Show in Boston March 3-5, 2019. Come and visit our booth 145 to learn more about comprehensive JAMIX software managing several sides of restaurant operations.

JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT is a cutting edge restaurant software for managing any size and type of restaurant, catering business or other establishment within foodservice industry. Comprehensive JAMIX software manages several sides of restaurant operations including recipe management and costing, menu planning and nutritional analysis, inventory management and procurement. All this in one system and with all information seamlessly linked together.

Read more on JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT features:

Recipe Management and Costing

Menu Planning, Management and Costing

Restaurant Inventory Management and Procurement

Restaurant Chain Management

Food Production and Production Requisitions

 

Contact us for more information on JAMIX software

Food trend forecasts provide inspiration for menu development

by Ron DeSantis

Volume 2 Issue 1
January 2019

CulinaryNXT
200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405
203-415-9190

www.culinarynxt.com

 

Come On, Already!

We live in a service economy. Does that really mean I should tip the person that just took my sandwich order?

After placing my order at a sandwich shop the screen was turned to me and the question on the screen was how much I wanted to tip the cashier. Honestly, with Danny Meyer in my mind, I thought, just charge me more and give the cashier a better paycheck. Then, how much should one tip the order-taker? I’m really interested in how others handle counter-service tipping.

Cheers!

 

Master Chef Insights

2019 Outlook

We’re already 20 years into the 21st Century! Food changes, or so it seems, but does it really? Here’s looking in the rearview mirror at trends over the past 20 years:

  • Bacon
  • Comfort food
  • Sliders
  • Food trucks
  • Farm-to-Table/local/organic
  • Fried chicken
  • Cupcakes
  • Plant forward
  • Under utilized
  • Pulses/quinoa/hummus
  • Kale
  • Eggs

This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are the trends that consistently showed up during numerous searches. Here’s a low-risk prediction: most of these foods will be around for many years to come. What is interesting to me is that the trends are familiar foods and concepts/movements. They are things that are easily understood and can be, for the most part, embraced. They are all good foods (the definition of “healthy” TBD) and good concepts.

The great thing about being a chef is that good food never changes. You know good food as soon as you see it. The trend forecasts that are published every year are great ways to rediscover ingredients and find inspiration for menu development. Trend forecasts help chefs and managers gauge how on-trend their menus are and make adjustments where necessary.

What’s my 2019 outlook? First, good food will always win over the “hot trend”. Second, inspired by the selfless work of Chef Jose Andres (Nobel Peace Prize nominee!), the culinary community will become engaged in global topics and how food plays a role in solving them (9 billion people by 2050!). And lastly, there will be plant-forward backlash. People understand they need to eat more fruits and veggies (and they will), but they’re getting tired of constantly being told about it.

 

2018 Vintage

CulinaryNXT’s 2018 highlights –

The GOAT of sandwiches (declared by Good Morning NFL hosts on national TV) created for Super Bowl 52 made from 52 unique ingredients. Minnesota Vikings Tight End Adam Thielen confirmed its tastiness.

Host of a podcast series with chefs, charcuterie maker, food scientist, and more chefs.

Guest chef at a location I’m not permitted to talk about and had a short conversation with VP Mike Pence.

Held a culinary demo and tasting at Hope Lodge in New Orleans for cancer patients.

I was sold at auctions this year totaling $50,000 to charities.

Innovations TV with Ed Begley Jr interview for expertise on technology in foodservice.

2019 Food Trends insights provided for Menu & The Flavor magazine.

Lunch at 11,000-foot hike in Colorado Rockies.

Visited the PEZ factory!

 

Culinary & more…

Culinary Tip

Roasting Vegetables. Some of the most delicious things on a plate are roasted vegetables. How to get that natural sweet, charred flavor? Start by putting the roasting pan in the oven and preheat it. Use high temperature (400-425F), veggies have lots of water. Cut or select vegetables so they are consistent in size. SEASON them! Salt and pepper of course, but try seeds – fennel, cumin, caraway, mustard – experiment. Once the veggies hit the pan, put it back in the oven and leave it alone! At least for 15 minutes, let the heat recover and start the browning. Stir infrequently. Test the veggies for doneness by eating some. If they are how you like them, serve immediately, they will cool down fast.

 

Ingredient of the Month

Oysters. I thought I’d start with oysters because I just had some of the freshest, plumpest oysters during the holidays from Copps Island Oysters

www.coppsislandoysters.com

Oysters are one of nature’s great foods that needs no or very little enhancing. My friend Chef Franco Camacho www.shellandbones.com just served oysters with brunoise apples, yuzu sorbet, and caviar….just enough to make you want more. And I have to add fried oysters as a favorite. Just get them fresh.

 

Cancer Nutrition Consortium

In a recent email from CNC was a link to a recent study completed by cancer and nutrition experts. The study addresses “…how cancer treatment influences the dietary behaviors and food preferences of older adult cancer patients and explore associations between these dietary changes and common cancer symptoms.” Here is the link www.cancernutrition.org The work of the amazing people in CNC and the world-class cancer researchers is life-changing. I’m honored to be part of CNC. If you’d like more information about CNC, check the website or let me know.

 

Happy New Year

Please accept my sincerest wishes for a happy, healthy, and successful 2019.

 

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 68 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

Kitchen management system enables scalability of recipes

by Ron DeSantis

Volume 1 Issue 7
December 2018

CulinaryNXT
200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405
203-415-9190

www.culinarynxt.com

 

Come On, Already!

“Our chef isn’t going to enter recipes into a data base.” WHAT!? was the look on my face. The owners are building a new kitchen and are looking at software for the operation. They stopped by the booth at the NY Hotel Show I was working, looked at kitchen management software, liked the system, and as they were leaving said their chef would never add recipes. And these owners seemed ok with their situation.

Come on, already. Who’s driving the boat? To all chefs, culinarians, cooks, food preparers, and anyone in the food business – if you aren’t engaging technology, you’re being left behind. The technology available today is easy to use and will help your operation.

Cheers!

 

Master Chef Insights

Tool of the Trade – Recipe

The first topic of my newsletter in June was recipes. In that article I wrote, “Recipes drive ingredient selection, equipment selection, china selection, production schedules, and labor schedules, to name a few operational topics.” The purpose of writing about recipes was to reinforce their value to good operational processes. In a foodservice operation a recipe is a valuable tool, especially when the recipe is dynamic. A dynamic recipe is cool. When a recipe is part of a functional kitchen management system it is scalable, cost aware, ingredient driven, menu accessible, nutritionally defined, photographically represented, and a handful of other useable topics. All important tools to effectively run a successful operation.

Take scalable for example. Chefs know, mostly from trial and error, that all ingredients cannot be calculated equally when scaling a recipe. Scaling meats, vegetables, and liquids generally work using a recipe conversion factor – desired yield /original yield=recipe conversion factor. What doesn’t scale this way are the spices, salt, dried herbs. To accurately scale spices (and, actually, all ingredients) each ingredient must be calculated as a percent of the whole.

A dynamic kitchen management system has this function built in. This is a complex computation done in the background and is easy for the operator to use. Scaling ingredients using percentages provides chefs with accurate ingredient quantities, which results in consistently delicious food.

 

Culinary & more…

LA Feast & Fundraiser benefitting Rett Syndrome

“Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder which causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.”

A fundraiser was held November 3rd at the Petersen Automobile Museum in LA in November to support the efforts of www.rettsyndrome.org It was a privilege to be a part of the group of chefs that served up food to the attendees. A group of local culinary students teamed up with the chefs in attendance to get hands-on experience in a live culinary event.

The most memorable part of the evening was learning about and meeting the afflicted girls and also meeting their amazing family members.

 

US Air Force Go4Green

In September I joined the CIA Consulting team of chefs in Dayton, OH for the training and implementation of the US Air Force Go4Green food initiative. This program refocuses the dining experience on air force bases globally. One of the main focuses is to offer flavor-forward plant-based recipes for airmen and airwomen. The CIA Consulting team worked with Air Force chefs and operations managers from several air bases in the country.

The CIA Consulting team worked with the group to not only maximize the taste of food, but also presentation of food on a hot and cold service line. We also dove into the importance of planning and organization in food production. This was the first of several global implementation locations.

Here’s a link to an article about Go4Green: Go for green helps airmen stay fit to fight

 

Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, CT Staff Member of Year

The following is personal story.

I share with great pleasure that my wife, Sylvia, has been recognized as the 2018 Staff Member of the Year by the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, CT.

First awards celebration

Sylvia works for the Shoreline Village CT and has been with the Shoreline Village CT for over 5 years and is currently the Director of Services. Shoreline Village CT is a “community of seniors on the Connecticut Shoreline committed to helping each other live independently at home.”

Sylvia works with the many volunteers who are crucial to the organization. Here’s a link to their website:

Shoreline Village CT

I’m overjoyed that Sylvia is recognized for the wonderful and valuable contribution she makes to over 100 seniors living in our community. Congratulations, Sylvia!

 

Stuff

Fried Chicken

This topic never gets old for me. While reading through some older links I found this one in Flavor & The Menu – “For the Love of Fried Chicken” Enjoy www.getflavor.com

 

Lebkuchen

My niece arrived from Germany 2 weeks ago and had a very special treat – lebkuchen. Not any old lebkuchen, Nürnberger lebkuchen!

Lebkuchen dates back to the 13th century and is made from nuts, spices and honey. It is reportedly from the Franconian region of Germany (northern Bavaria). These cookies are baked on a wafer and are soft to the bite. Most are glazed….dark chocolate, please! I look forward to lebkuchen this time of year, and once again, I wasn’t disappointed.

 

Gratitude

I end this newsletter and 2018 with my sincerest gratitude to so many people. It has been my good fortune to work with dozens of creative, professional, inspiring, and caring people.

To everyone reading this, please accept my best wishes for a Happy Holiday and healthy wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Ron

 

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 68 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

Kitchen management system supports sustainability and provides answers to consumer needs

 

At present, efficiency in the foodservice industry is a major problem. Estimates show food waste totaling 63-million tons per year across the supply chain, amounting to roughly 218-billion-dollars in waste.

 

Sustainability is a hot topic in the foodservice business, as well

– The food service industry is one of the largest employers in the United States as a whole. Everything we do has an impact on so much that takes place, states Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis. Food waste starts way down at the beginning of the food string. How we order things, what we order, are we using enough technology to help us see what the menu mix is, and order the right ingredients for the amount of food we need to prepare.

– Sustainability has to do with reducing and preserving or recycling resources. If we are able to protect the resources anywhere through the production and distribution and service of the food to the consumers, we’re impacting overall the environment and the economy in a significant way, explains Rafi Taherian, Associate Vice President, Yale Hospitality.

 

Consumers want information and transparency

The industry is also faced with evolving consumer demands. With concerns about diet and nutrition, food allergies or sensitivities, and sourcing of ingredients, consumers want want transparency in the food they consume.

– Consumers are aware of food through social media and other outlets, so they can see what’s going on in food and people want wholesome ingredients. We can track the boat that a fish came from, we can track vegetables back to their origin to the farmers. No matter what it is there are people behind all of this, making these foods for us on a daily basis. So that kind of transparency is very important. And I think it’s great for the industry across the board, reflects Ron DeSantis the current trends.

 

Technology provides benefits to restaurant operations comprehensively

– The food industry for many years relooked at the technology for better communication, better planning and better process efficiencies. We are using technology not only to gather information but to also create predictability of future performance. So technology has become a key aspect of operational needs, states Rafi Taherian.

Thanks to advances in technology, kitchen management systems now enable managers to have more control over food production, providing data for restaurants and their customers.

JAMIX is Finnish software company which has been developing and making software for professional kitchens for almost 30 years now.

– We have created a complete, versatile and dynamic software which can be used by any kind of restaurant or restaurant chain, tells Mikko Jaatinen, CEO JAMIX Inc, and continues:

– We have a totally web based system which is supported by apps which we can give to mobile phone users in the kitchen and take everyone on board to using the system, which is so easy to use with this modern technology. It is not just a tool for the managers, it is everyone’s tool in the kitchen every day.

– If you go to any supermarket today, you see more and more people looking at the labels – they are interested in what is in their food. You have to have that information in normal food you buy in the supermarkets. We provide that same data through our system to anyone who visits a restaurant. The ingredient list of a recipe, allergen information and dietary requirements. In addition, the program calculates automatically calories and other nutrients based on the recipes, explains Jaatinen the benefits of the software system.

Jamix software also calculates the carbon footprint, that is the CO2 value of recipes.

 

Managing items is easy with a restaurant management system

The restaurant inventory and management procurement software helps businesses manage all items easily in the system. It can automatically create purchase orders based on a menu and can then calculate quantities to be ordered, according to what is needed.

JAMIX software is also used in Kay’s Kitchen restaurant chain in Ireland. Bart Glover, Director of Kay’s Kitchen appreciates the benefits for their business:

– JAMIX software gave us the ability to price a plate of food and then be able to link that with back of house. To be able to control the quantities that we are buying.

Allowing recipes and menus to be managed by site, by chain, or by concept, provides the headquarters with control over costs and quality of food served throughout the chain.

– The JAMIX MOBILE allows senior staff members, like chefs and managers to make decisions on the spot, immediately. You can order inventory from our suppliers without having to go to fax machines or sending emails or making telephone calls, it is instant control, explains Bart Glover.

– JAMIX for me is the right type of kitchen system. By having the information there – recipes, ingredients, building menus, inventory control, tracking cost, having the real-time cost from purveyors come in – those are all tools that I can do to manage waste, to manage production and control energy usage. Everything comes from that ability, the right kind of technology. Having it centralized, for me is a very important tool and very important part of what the future of the food service industry is going to be about, summarizes Ron DeSantis.

With 30 years of experience within the foodservice industry, JAMIX continues its mission to make work in the restaurant kitchen easier.

 

JAMIX was featured in an episode of Innovations with Ed Begley Jr., broadcasted on October 27, 2018 on Fox Business channel. Innovations is an award-winning television series hosted by actor, director and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr., and is dedicated to bringing viewers the most up-to-date, cutting edge information across a vast array of industries. From health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more, Innovations features practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike. More information: innovationstelevision.com

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”

by Ron DeSantis

Volume 1 Issue 6
November 2018

CulinaryNXT
200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405
203-415-9190

www.culinarynxt.com

 

Come On, Already!

October was jam packed. I started the month with on a CIA Consulting Team project of chefs implementing a fantastic food program for the US Air Force. During that project, my colleague Victor Gielisse, CMC shared this with me:

Four Kinds of People.

  1. Those who make things happen.
  2. Those who watch things happen.
  3. Those who wonder what happened.
  4. Those who don’t know that anything happened.

This statement is attributed to Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay is known to have said that she wanted to be first on that list. Mary Kay certainly knew what it takes to make things happen!

Cheers!

 

Master Chef Insights

Customer Feedback

Dr. Tim Ryan, CMC, President, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) would say, “feedback is the breakfast of champions.” He believes the journey toward excellence is supported by accepting specific feedback and then taking action to improve. The culture of excellence at the CIA was enhanced by leadership role modeling and through training programs for faculty, staff, and management.

Listening to feedback isn’t always easy. Our first inclination is defensive. Criticism is hard to hear. Feedback isn’t always clear and specific, and it can be interpreted as personal. The key is to listen attentively or read thoroughly and find the reason for the feedback. Once you know the cause, you can do something about it.

Technology is a great tool to allow customers to provide instant feedback. Yale Dining has an app for student dining that allows students to provide feedback instantly. That app, called Fast Track, captures the feedback so that managers can take corrective action or improvement steps in real time. Harvard Dining Services provides students with a number to text feedback, once again providing instant feedback. Uber Eats sends a request for feedback as soon as food is delivered, airlines send a survey after each flight, and there are countless other examples of requests for feedback. The best organizations accept the feedback and develop processes and training to improve. Additionally, kitchen management software (see Jamix below) allows customers to use integrated technology to give immediate feedback.

 

Culinary & more…

Scratch Cooking

Chefs are hardworking people. One of the things I witness in the culinary field is the insistence to make everything from scratch. I’ve been there and in many fine dining eateries chefs cook from scratch daily. There are thousands of other operations that would benefit from sourcing ingredients ready to use.

Ready-to-Use ingredients come from manufacturing kitchens that prepare foods under the watchful eyes of highly skilled chefs. In the past I had the opportunity to work with the innovation team at Hormel Foods during the development of Fire-braised meats. The quality and flavor of fire-braised meats will meet the exacting standards of chefs. The benefits of RTU ingredients are consistent quality and flavor, labor saving, cost control, and just-in-time inventory. The variety of prepared foods is not limited to meats. Sauces, salsas, vegetables, soups, pastas, beans (think cans) are available in RTU format.

Other companies with professionally prepared foods for foodservice use are, Bonewerks Culinarte, and Cuisine Solutions. I’m familiar with quality and flavor of foods from these companies and believe they would be of benefit to many operations.

www.hormelfoodservice.com

www.bonewerksculinarte.com

www.cuisinesolutions.com

 

Vegan Meats

Plant-based meats are delicious. The quality of plant-based meats is at the highest level ever. The flavor and texture are satisfying, and they are easy to prepare. Practically everyday another article is written about plant-based meat options. Full disclosure is that I work with a plant-based meat company called Hungry Planet. The taste of Hungry Planet plant-based meats and the range of their portfolio convinced me that Hungry Planet is truly committed to high quality food.

They are not just for vegans or vegetarians. Plant-based meats are a delicious option, and they deliver taste and texture. Now for the biggest culinary tip regarding cooking plantbased meats – don’t overcook! Just like traditional meats, plant-based meats are not good when overcooked. This is the most important aspect when working with plant-based (and traditional) meats.

Here’s a link worth looking at: www.menusofchange.org

The CIA’s Menus of Change (3rd CIA reference in this newsletter….!) has colleges & universities engaged in the “Protein Flip”. This initiative is a menu develop process that replaces an animal protein with plant-based ingredients.

Here are some delicious foods prepared with plant-based meats:

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

Hungry Planet Italian Sausage™ patty topped with vegan egg, melted vegan gouda, red-eye coffee sauce and scallions on English muffin

Philly Beef & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Hungry Planet Beef™ with caramelized onions, scrambled vegan egg, vegan cheddar on English muffin

Pesto Chicken Panino

Hungry Planet Chicken™ patty with vegan lemon-mayo, roasted peppers, basil-pecan pesto on ciabatta

Pork Banh Mi

Spicy Hungry Planet Pork™ with pickled vegetables, cilantro, and sweet garlic drizzle on soft baguette

Chipotle Chicken and Portobello “Bacon” Panino

Hungry Planet Chicken™ patty with chipotle mayo, portobello “bacon”, cheddar, tomato, and arugula on sourdough

Hungry Planet Chicken™ ALT (avocado, lettuce, tomato)

Hungry Planet Chicken™ patty with vegan lemon-mayo, fresh avocado, lettuce, tomato, on toasted Italian bread

Spanish Chorizo & Potato Torta

Layered potato and Hungry Planet Chorizo™ with caramelized onions and smoked paprika slowly baked, topped with gazpacho vinaigrette

Colombian Bocadillo with Hungry Planet Chorizo™ & Egg

Scrambled Hungry Planet Chorizo™ and vegan egg with cheddar on toasted baguette

Shawarma & Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower in Pita

Hungry Planet Chicken™ shawarma with za’atar cauliflower, cucumber, tomato, and tahini in pita

Chicken Tikka Masala Bowl with Basmati Rice and Pickled Vegetables

Hungry Planet Chicken™ tikka masala over fluffy basmati rice in a bowl with house-made pickles and cilantro

 

Books & Links

Jamix on Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr.

Jamix Kitchen Management Systems is a state-of-the-art comprehensive management software from Finland. Jamix has been providing solutions to thousands of foodservice operations world-wide and is now offered in the US. On Saturday, October 27th Jamix was a featured segment on Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr on Fox Business channel.

It was an opportunity to demonstrate the impact that Jamix has on foodservice operations. Hit the link below to see the October 27, 2018.

Innovations is an award-winning television series hosted by actor, director and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr., and is dedicated to bringing viewers the most up-to-date, cutting edge information across a vast array of industries. From health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more, Innovations features practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike.

innovationstelevision.com

www.jamix.com

 

The Truth About Food

“The Truth About Food” is the title of a new book by David Katz, MD. The title alone says, “read me”. The fact that I know David and have had the privilege of hearing him talk about food (publicly and privately) makes me recommend reading his new book. I just got the Kindle app, downloaded a “sample” copy, started reading as far as the sample permitted, but can’t figure out how to buy the eversion. In any regard, the writing is classic David and it is immediately engaging, witty, and factual.

Here are a handful of testimonials:

“You’ve got a terrific book in front of you, written by a doctor who is woke, devoted, caring, and deeply concerned not only about what and how we eat but the impact it has on ourselves, our environment, other living beings, and the planet in general.

– Mark Bittman

Dr. David L. Katz helps insulate us from the next food fad by making sure we are armed with the truth, and nothing but the truth. Facts do matter, and The Truth About Food is full of them. The Truth about Food should have a home in everyone’s kitchen.”

– Sanjay Gupta MD

“Sometimes, even I have nutrition questions; and when I do, I take them to Dr. David L. Katz. Read this book- and you will see why!”

– Joy Bauer, MS, RDN

 

And if that’s not enough, take a look at this recommended recipe:

Chocolate Lava Cake Cuisinicity.com

 

podcast – REPOST

In case you missed this last month……..

I’ve been waiting weeks to be able to share this information. Over the past several months I’ve been interviewing people that love everything about food for a new podcast series from Hormel Foods. Here is a link for Hormel Foods Our Food Journey™ Podcast www.hormelfoods.com

I’m honored to launch the series with a great colleague, Ethan Watters, conducting my conversation. The range of interviews includes, Evan Inada from Columbus Craft Meats talking about everything salumi; Chef Christina Machamer winner Hell’s Kitchen; CIA Certified Master Chef Adam Busby; Chopped finalist Chef Kenneth Temple; and a compelling discussion with Nom Wah Tea Parlor owner Wilson Tang. Please join the journey.

 

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 68 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

Innovations featuring JAMIX on Fox Business Oct 27, 2018

Jupiter, FL—Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. will broadcast on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 5:00p ET via Fox Business. Check your local listings for more information.

Learn how Spruce Capital Partners is helping producers make the food system more sustainable and responsible to consumer demands as Innovations explores recent developments in crop technologies. Viewers will learn how products like Amfora, and others within Spruce Capital’s portfolio of companies, is enhancing nutritional value of food and feed crops.

JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT is a cutting-edge restaurant software for managing any size and type of restaurant, catering business, or other establishment within the foodservice industry. This segment will feature how JAMIX’s comprehensive software manages several sides of restaurant operations, including recipe management and costing, menu planning and nutritional analysis, inventory management, procurement, and more.

Watch to explore Easy Energy Systems, Inc. (EES), a company dedicated to producing new solutions that will reduce dependency on fossil fuels, reduce pollution, and improve the lives of people throughout the world. The show will look at how EES designs, manufactures, operates and sells its patented 1M, 2M, and 5M gallon-per-year, small-scale, modular biorefineries called Modular Energy Production Systems (MEPS®) for the production of alternative liquid biofuels and biogas from organic waste streams.

In response to the lack of truly natural skincare options, Innovations will explore Enso Beauty Company and will educate viewers on its 100-percent USDA certified organic beauty products, which are known for its high-performance and for having zero trace of toxins and irritants.

“From food service to beauty care and beyond, developments in science technology truly are truly transforming our world and enabling us to do more with less,” said Will Spilecki, senior producer for the Innovations television series. “We are excited to feature these innovative ideas on our show.”

###

About Innovations & DMG Productions:
Innovations, hosted by award winning actor Ed Begley, Jr., is an information-based series geared toward educating the public on the latest breakthroughs in all areas of society. Featuring practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike, Innovations focuses on cutting-edge advancements in everything from health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more.

Backed by experts in various fields, and a team dedicated to education and advancement, DMG Productions consistently produces commercial-free, educational programming on which both viewers and networks depend.

For more information visit: www.InnovationsTelevision.com or contact (866) 496-4065.

Concept development in foodservice operations

by Ron DeSantis

Volume 1 Issue 5
October 2018

CulinaryNXT
200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405
203-415-9190

www.culinarynxt.com

 

Come On, Already!

One of the most frustrating experiences when eating out is being held for check ransom. We’ve all been there. We’re done eating and want to pay the check, but……there is no one around to give you the check. OR, once you hand over your credit card or cash……no one returns with the card or the change, for a long time. It’s like being held ransom. All you want to do is pay for your food, drink, and service and leave. Instead you’re stuck waiting.

Thankfully it doesn’t happen often.

Cheers!

 

Master Chef Insights

Concept Development

Concept Development is a critical task for managers and executive chefs. This part of foodservice operations is the foundation for recipe development, equipment needs, service needs, and the operation’s labor model.

To begin concept development, the operation’s team must develop a concept statement. The concept statement guides the planning and keeps the development team on course. Without a concept statement it’s easy to get sidetracked and end up with a menu that is a combination of “stuff” instead of a menu that has complimentary foods.

Concept Development has 3 Stages: Conceptualization/ Crystallization/ Realization. The conceptualization stage is generally the most demanding. This is where the team develops the concept statement, and it is where the passions fly. This is critical to the process so that everyone is heard, and the outcome is embraced by the entire team. During crystallization the team determines the concept value and how to market the concept. The final stage of realization is where the team is ready to launch.

Operators that engage a structured development process end up with an interesting, exciting, and viable concept. Give me a call for detailed information.

 

Culinary & more…

Menu & Recipe Creation

Photo – Tracey Scheer

Working with a great group of chefs is always fun and rewarding. The results are great food, lots of laughs, happy guests, and strong friendships. This group of chefs – Dan Flynn, Cyon Jones, Dave Kuzma, and Chase Sobelman– worked with me on a project that produced the following delicious dishes.

Green Goddess and Grilled Chicken Salad – little gem romaine with late season corn, grilled chicken breast with smoked salt, and Black Label Bacon.

Crispy Sicilian Stuffed Turkey Paillard with Mediterranean Salad – Sicilian sausage on a turkey scaloppini, breaded and pan-fried with a Mediterranean-style chickpea, cucumber salad.

Vegan Crab & Noodle Kung Pao – Hungry Planet vegan crab, lo mein noodles and kung pao sauce with a vegan crab spring roll.

‘nduja Seared Halibut in Summer Cioppino – spicy New England Charcuterie ‘nduja seared on halibut filet in cioppino-style broth with summer squash.

Red Velvet Panna Cotta – vanilla- buttermilk laced panna cotta with red velvet crumbles.

 

Hormel Foods Spam Haute Cuisine

The first impression at Noreetuh in NYC is hospitality. Immediately. The next impression is an immaculately clean and organized kitchen run by Chef Chung Chow.

Chef Chow’s resume includes, Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, CA, Per Se in NYC, and Lincoln Restaurant with Jonathan Beno also in NYC. On the day of my visit, Chef Chow used his experience growing up with Hormel Foods’ Spam and created exquisite dishes complete with hand-made pasta, truffles, and musubi. It was great meeting Chung and we had time to become acquainted (a link to our podcast is below).

 

 

Menu items that Chef Chow created included:

  • Spam and truffle musubi
  • Chicory salad, papaya, crispy Spam, onion vinaigrette
  • Grilled Hawaiian opah with Spam hollandaise
  • Spam agnolotti, truffle cream, pickled celery, and shaved summer truffles

The lunch was a great experience.

Noreetuh is a modern Hawaiian restaurant located at 128 First Avenue in the East Village of New York City by Chef/Co-Owner Chung Chow and General Manager/Co-Owner Jin Ahn. For more information:

http://www.noreetuh.com/

 

podcast

I’ve been waiting weeks to be able to share this information. Over the past several months I’ve been interviewing people that love everything about food for a new podcast series from Hormel Foods. Here is a link for Hormel Foods Our Food Journey™ Podcast https://www.hormelfoods.com/podcast/

I’m honored to launch the series with a great colleague, Ethan Watters, conducting my conversation. The range of interviews includes, Evan Inada from Columbus Craft Meats talking about everything salumi; Chef Christina Machamer winner Hell’s Kitchen; CIA Certified Master Chef Adam Busby; Chopped finalist Chef Kenneth Temple; and a compelling discussion with Nom Wah Tea Parlor owner Wilson Tang. Please join the journey.

 

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 68 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

70 years of free school meals in Finland

By Anna Skyttä, Marketing Director

First in the world to introduce free school meals

In 1943, Finland was the first country in the world to introduce a legislation on free school meals. The legislation aimed at offering a free meal on each school day for all elementary school students in 5 years’ time. The legislation also ruled that the students had to grow and harvest food on their spare time in order to have ingredients in the school canteen. One example of contributing to school meals was that each student had to bring 2 litres / 70 oz of lingonberries to school. The berries were then used for a porridge made of rye and lingonberries, which was a common dish at that time.

 

School dining is not only about nutrition

After the 5 year transition time, starting in 1948, students in elementary schools started to get free meals. Typical dishes at that time included different types of porridges and soups. The legislation has naturally been modified during the decades. Still the core purpose of free school meals stays the same, and that is to provide nutrition to students. In addition, nowadays also the educational and social aspects of school dining are in focus. When dining together, the children learn both social and interactive skills as well as to take others into consideration. School dining provides also education on food culture, good manners and appreciation of food. And these days the students no longer have to grow or harvest food for school. Instead, they now have the right to contribute by providing feedback on the food that is served.

 

Kitchen management system makes work in the school canteen easier

Today nearly 1 million children and adolescents in Finland enjoy a free meal served each and every school day. Free meals are financed with taxes and the communities are in charge of providing the meals to students. In order to ensure the nutritional content of meals and to be able to cook food according to a given cost structure, most of the school canteens in Finland utilize a kitchen management system. In addition to nutritional and financial aspects, a software system keeps all the recipes in store and makes it easy to plan menus. From the system you can even publish weekly menus online for the students and their parents.

Most of the school meals are cooked either partly or entirely in commissary kitchens and then delivered to individual schools. A kitchen management system enables the schools to create production requisitions to the commissary kitchen. The commissary kitchen will then be able to see all requisitions in the system for production. The system also calculates the need for ingredients based on menus or production requisitions which makes ordering quick and easy. Over half of the communities in Finland use JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT software for managing their food service operations comprehensively, including school dining.

 

From soups and porridges to a diversity of dishes

In seven decades the school menus have become more versatile compared to the early years. When I was in school, my favorite dishes included spinach soup, spinach pancakes and fish fingers. Chicken fricassee was one of the undesirable meals on my list. My school years are already far behind but both my favorites and least favorites can be found on the top 10 school meals of all time in Finland (Source: Fazer Foodservice poll 2018):

  1. Meatballs and mashed potatoes
  2. Macaroni casserole
  3. Spinach pancakes
  4. Fish fingers
  5. Chicken curry with rice
  6. Vegetable patties
  7. Chicken fricassee
  8. Porridges
  9. Soups
  10. Pasta dishes

 

Reducing Food Waste will save you money and make your environmental footprint smaller

by Tuulia Heiskanen, Trainer

Food is thrown away every day in households, restaurants and the industry as well as already at the producers. You probably throw away large quantities of food yearly yourself, without even noticing it. Most of this food waste is a result of both unmade plans, but also of not following the plans that have been made. When you cook food in advance for more than one day, as you often do, you might end up eating something else the next day just out of an impulse. After a while, the ready made meals or untouched out-of-date packs are on their way from the fridge into the garbage bin. So there is a place for improvement.

I looked at some statistics on food waste and on the impact it has. Here are some figures:

  • One third of all food produced is lost or wasted (Source: FAO)
  • 150.000 tons of food is wasted each day in the United States (Source: The Guardian)
  • Households are responsible for almost half of the food wasted, but restaurants and other food service operations build up a notable 25 % share, as well (Source: Statista). Food waste could be avoided by better forecasting, or by preparing and storing food in another way.
  • Food that is produced for nothing puts a load both on the economy and the environment. Environmental effects are huge: the carbon footprint related to food waste is almost as big as the road transport emissions globally (Source: FAO).

Food waste is something that we most probably cannot get rid of completely, but it is clear that there is a need to reduce it.

 

New goals and legislation planned for reducing food waste

Fortunately the excessive amounts of food waste have been noticed in the past couple of years. The UN Sustainable Development Goals include cutting down food waste in half on the retail and consumer levels by the year 2030, as well as significantly reducing food waste within the whole production-distribution chain. Reaching the goals requires functional tools for continuous monitoring and reducing of food waste. Reaching the goal set by the UN, that is cutting down the food waste in half in a decade’s time, requires involvement from each food producer, business, retail store, restaurant and consumer.

Legislation needs to support the reduction of food waste. In France there is a legislation that forbids tossing food in retail stores and restaurants. Legislation really should be revised: The other day I heard from the radio that a part of food goes to waste already at the producers. This is caused almost solely by too strict quality standards for products: If the appearance of an item is not according to the standard, it doesn’t qualify to be sold in a store and it gets thrown away.

In addition to legislation, you need to educate people both at home and at work places, and provide tips and tools for reducing food waste. In Finland the Consumer’s Union has taken a grip on this and the national Food Waste Week is being arranged already the sixth time this year. The campaign aims at encouraging everybody in reducing food waste and at the same time increasing the appreciation of food by providing information and practical tips. The campaign welcomes businesses and organizations as partners, and JAMIX has also been participating the Food Waste Week for several years now.

 

Restaurant management system helps in reducing food waste

As mentioned before, the lack of planning or the lack of systematic practises cause a major part of food waste. This applies both to households and to restaurants or other food service operations. Just implementing a kitchen management system with basic functionalities often already results in reduced food waste. But you can also maximize the benefits of the system with regards food waste by exploring it more extensively, and utilizing all the functionalities provided.

JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT system provides a great menu planning tool along with procurement management, which together aim at the best possible match between the amount of prepared food and the sales or consumption. The amount of diners and the portion sizes are easy to plan on the menu, and the program will automatically calculate the right amounts for recipes to be produced. The program creates a shopping list based on the menu, so you will have the exact need for ingredients for producing the meals on the menu. When you compare the list to the existing inventory, you will avoid ordering excessive amounts of ingredients which could end up in wastage.

In JAMIX software, you can also register the sales and wastage on the menu. This enables you to check the figures next time you are producing the same recipe, how much was produced for a certain amount of diners, how much was consumed and how much was left over. This makes updating of portion sizes on the menu easier. You can even let the program update the portion sizes automatically based on the sales and wastage registered in the system.

In addition to well executed menu planning, the inventory management functionalities in restaurant management systems and separate HACCP systems support food waste management. Inventory balance monitoring and inventory-take are useful tools in preventing out-of-date items from ending up in wastage, and by setting par levels for items you can prevent excessive ordering.

Customer feedback is another good tool for preventing food waste. Through collecting feedback either with a restaurant management system or otherwise, by listening to it and taking it into consideration in menu planning you can both increase your sales and prevent food waste.

By not producing food for nothing, or by not having out-of-date items to be tossed away, has an impact on the environment as well as on the costs for a kitchen. Ingredients are the biggest individual cost for a kitchen in addition to labour costs, and by forecasting the amount of food to be produced as precisely as possible and by monitoring the wastage you will quickly gain savings. The reduction of food waste might be pushed by legislation in the years to come, so it is worth while to start giving it a thought already now.