Kitchen technology 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 food service 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 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:

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”

Feedback and actions related to it support the journey toward excellence. A kitchen system with integrated feedback application works well in food service. This is one of the topics in the following newsletter by Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis.

Food Is Just the Beginning™
by Ron DeSantis

Volume 1 Issue 6
November 2018

200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405

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!


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.

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:

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.

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

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

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.

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System is a comprehensive restaurant software including an integrated Customer Feedback Service linked to your menu.