Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. featuring JAMIX

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.”

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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.

70 years of free school meals in Finland

Nearly 1 million children and adolescents in Finland enjoy a free meal served every school day. Kitchen management system helps canteens in the daily work.

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 Intelligence System 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

Kitchen management system helps restaurants and other food service operations in reducing food waste with versatile and comprehensive functionalities.

by Tuulia Heiskanen, Trainer

Reducing food waste with Jamix Kitchen Intelligence System

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 yearly in September. 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 system will automatically calculate the right amounts for recipes to be produced. The system 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 system update the portion sizes automatically based on the sales and wastage registered in it.

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.

recipe database benefits - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

Recipe and ingredient databases establish the foundation for effective kitchen management

Recipe database along with ingredient database help with recipe compliance, which provides many benefits for a food operation. Recipe compliance 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 4
September 2018

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

www.culinarynxt.com

Come On, Already!

Here’s a culinary challenge to everyone cooking food – cook the vegetables! Somewhere in the last 15 years diners seem to have accepted partially raw vegetables on a plate, and cooks are delivering partially raw vegetables. The art of vegetable cookery has all but disappeared. That nuance between perfectly cooked and slightly raw has been overtaken by mostly raw vegetables served hot. Describing perfectly cooked vegetables is hard, but you know them when you eat them. An expertly cooked vegetable – cooked to the point JUST past raw – is a memorable dining experience.

So, come on, already chefs, take up my challenge and rediscover cooked vegetables. Give diners that element of their dining experience.

Cheers!

Master Chef Insights

Recipe Compliance

A food operation’s recipe database along with the ingredient database establish the foundation for effective kitchen management. Recipes are built using the ingredients in the database. Ingredients provide data for costing, nutritional analysis, allergen information, and ingredient availability.Well written and accurate recipes help cooks, and cooks appreciate recipes that can help them in a production setting. Recipes help chef and cooks with production planning. Through clearly written, accurate recipes chefs can make production assignments for the entire culinary team according to skill and ability. Written recipes also become a training tool. When recipes are accurate and clearly written, managers and chefs have a strong tool which leads to recipe compliance.

When used properly, recipe compliance is not a top-down management tool. As used here, recipe compliance is cooks performing to an established set of standards. Part of those standards will include a mechanism to modify, and/or improve the parts that don’t work.

Recipe compliance impacts the operation in these ways.

  1. Consistency. Food prepared according to a recipe is consistent in taste, doneness, quantity, cost, and appearance among other things.
  2. Costs. Compliance to the recipe ensures that the operator knows the cost of each menu item.
  3. Nutritional accuracy. Recipe compliance ensures the accuracy of the nutritional value of each menu item.
  4. Allergen transparency. Recipe compliance confirms the trust bond between

All types of food operations benefit from developing and documenting recipes. The benefits reinforce the need for a kitchen management system. The cost benefits help operators to be successful, and the benefits from consistent taste and trustworthy information create brand loyalty.

Culinary & more…

Eat it NOW!

Not all food gets better with age. Cheese does, wine can, salumi definitely, braised meats the next day – sure. But this is about food that should be eaten NOW. Think fries. Fries never get better with age, never. That first batch of fries from clean fat, crispy on the outside, tender and steamy on the inside, just a light coat of fat and seasoned with the perfect amount of salt, and almost too hot to eat …is one of the perfect foods.

How come, then, did we get to the point where it’s ok to let food get “old”? Pizza is perfect immediately out of the oven. I know, we all ate refrigerator pizza for breakfast and said we love it. But it still wasn’t as good as when it was fresh out of the oven. Pizza is an Eat it NOW food, so are fried eggs/ spring rolls/ crabcakes/ grilled cheese/ ramen/ angel hair pasta/ risotto/ waffles. And then there’s toast. Something as simple as toast can be one of the best parts of breakfast if it’s toasted properly, then eaten while warm, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. There are so many other foods that are best when eaten as soon as they are done, because that is when they are perfect.

Somewhere, somehow, we started to lose sight that some food is best eaten immediately. We wanted food delivered or we want take-out. That’s fine, but not all food is suited for take-out.

SoCal Visit

Visiting southern California allowed for some delicious restaurant visits and the enjoyment of an ice cube.

Who gets impressed with an ice cube? Me. At the Sunset Tower Hotel patio bar I ordered a Campari on ice. The ice was a perfectly clear square which fit exactly in a rocks glass. The ice was so clear, one could read through it. The slow melt ensured that the drink wasn’t quickly diluted with water…..simple pleasures.

The surprise dinner experience was at Craig’s in West Hollywood. My daughter was interested in eating there and Craig’s serves Hungry Planet premium-plant based meats (disclosure – one of CulinaryNXT’s clients) so we made reservations. Craig’s is an exciting restaurant to walk into. Great hospitality and busy! The waitstaff is professional, knowledgeable, and know how to deliver hospitality. Chef Krizer’s kitchen delivered expertly prepared, delicious food. For more information craigs.la

Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads always delivers. Food, service, atmosphere, hospitality are all hallmarks of Crossroads. The food is innovative, expertly prepared, and delicious. Incidentally, it’s also vegan. I’ve eaten at Crossroads a half dozen times and it’s a great experience each time. For more information crossroadskitchen.com

In San Diego we met up with a fun chef friend, Jim Phillips and his wife at Trust Restaurant. Brad Wise is the Chef/Owner and clearly loves what he’s doing. The food was big flavor, fresh and satisfying. The kitchen is in the dining room and we sat at the chef’s table with a clear view into the hot zone. One of the surprises that night was a chicken liver toast with mostarda, grilled levain, radish, evoo! That was at the start of the meal and things continued to get tastier. For more information trustrestaurantsd.com

Dim Sum

Nom Wah

On a recent visit to NYC Chinatown I was introduced to Wilson Tang. Wilson is the owner of NYC’s oldest dim sum restaurant, Nom Wah Team Parlor. Not only did I get to experience Wilson’s dim sum, but I got to go on a walking tour of Chinatown with him including a stop at Aqua Best, Inc. In addition to the original Nom Wah Team Parlor, I visited Nom Wah Nolita which serves a new take on Chinese food.

For more information nomwah.com

And aquabestnyc.com

Ingredient of the Month

Parsley

Parsley doesn’t get the respect it deserves (neither does celery). This herb is undervalued in regard to flavor. In today’s kitchens parsley is thought of as a color. The full flavor impact of parsley jumps to life when it is freshly picked and included as a flavor ingredient in many foods.

The classic herb condiment, gremolata, puts parsley in the spotlight. Gremolata can be a flavor powerhouse for grilled or sautéed foods. Freshly picked and chopped parsley will ensure that your gremolata has the bright flavor expected of this condiment.

Take a fresh look at parsley and if you can use it freshly picked, you’ll rediscover a delicious ingredient.

Web Links of the Month

Cancer Nutrition Consortium

cancernutrition.org

Ongoing research to help patients undergoing cancer treatment has been published by the following authors:

Dr. Kisha Coa

Dr. Joel Epstein

Dr. Bruce Moskowitz

Kathy McManus, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.

I am privileged to serve on the Cancer Nutrition Consortium board with this distinguished group of medical professionals. Please join me in congratulating this team. Here is a link to their work:

foodandnutritionjournal.org

Veterans and Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods recently invited me to cook and share one of my go-to foods with other Hormel veterans.

hormelfoods.com

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 software for restaurants and foodservice operations including versatile recipe management functionalities.

menu planning - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

Kitchen Manager – When Is The Last Time You Updated Your Menu?

Menu planning is one of the essential jobs in food service operations as the menu defines both the customer offering and the internal processes.

by Salla Arffman, Trainer

”Well planned is half done” is a valid statement concerning menus, as well, and I dare to say that this is something you have noticed also in your kitchen at home. How nice it is to come home after a hard day at work, and know beforehand the answer to the following question: What are we going to have today?

In the professional kitchen the menu is one of the most critical elements of the operations. The menu defines the items and services offered to the customers. It provides the framework for the following weeks, days and shifts to come. It partly even specifies the tasks for the kitchen staff. For this reason, you need to plan menus carefully. And you need to evaluate the impact of the menu in a broad perspective.

Menu Planning Needs To Be Dynamic

The basis for menu planning should come from the business idea of the organization. You also need to consider the customer needs and expectations, as well as the available resources. The objectives for different types of professional kitchens are different. The quantities of food prepared vary from batches of as much as thousands of pounds down to single dishes. You have to take this into consideration, as well, when planning the menu.

We know that when you have planned your menus successfully you can save time and money, and it has a huge impact on customer satisfaction. But it also has effect on the company image and on the employees’ well-being. The menu is one of the management tools, it leads the organization into the right direction and defines the need for staff. Menu plans are not successful if the equipment capacity and the human resources are continuously overloaded.

So you need to plan your menu carefully, but it also needs to be dynamic in this ever changing world. The availability of ingredients varies, new items keep popping up all the time, and the food trends change. This is why you can actually never stop planning. And a good menu is flexible, as well.

The Basis For Menu Planning In Restaurants And In Institutional Kitchens

The menus of restaurants and institutional kitchens differ from each other. You need to have the focus according to the type of the kitchen.

In a restaurant the business idea pretty much determines the content of the menu. You can communicate the company values with the menu. The amount of customers might vary substantially. In addition to lunch you often serve dinner and à la carte dishes, for which the ingredient costs and cooking methods might be completely different. When the food is prepared in the same space, and often even by the same people, you need to aim at building your menu so that the ingredients, the equipment capacity and the human resources can be utilized efficiently. When choosing a restaurant, the customer makes his/her decision specifically based on the menu. This is why the menu should be appealing and interesting to the customer.

In an institutional kitchen the basis for menu planning comes from the nutritional guidelines, the amount of diners and the ingredient costs. Menus are often rotating, and it is easier to predict both the need for ingredients, as well as the work schedule for the coming weeks. With a rotating menu it is also easier to make sure that the same dishes are not recurring on the menu too often. If the customer base for the institutional kitchen is wide (ranging from toddlers to seniors), you need to plan the menu so that it can be utilized broadly to different customer groups. Equipment capacity and human resources have a big impact especially when planning the menu for an institutional kitchen. New production methods enable utilizing the resources more efficiently. Gone are the days, when in an institutional kitchen you prepared lunch in the morning, and the kitchen was empty for the rest of the day.

Many Factors Effecting The Menu

Whether we are talking about a restaurant or an institutional kitchen, when planning the menu you should pay attention to the availability of ingredients, seasonal items, sustainability, and food safety. And of course to the customer expectations and the company policies.

You can never be sure which dish will be a success. Even if a dish was popular in the summer time, it might stay untouched in the winter time. Furthermore, the customers appreciate variation as much as they appreciate stability, so the menu planning remains to be constant balancing between these two.

Kitchen Management Systems And Menu Planning

Planning your menus with software systems is what you do today. Customers demand for more information on the nutritional aspects of food, allergens and ingredients. The software systems provide this information quickly and effortlessly. Already building a week’s menu without a software system is exhausting, if you want to provide the customer with any other information than the name of the dish.

A kitchen management system enables you to:

Time will tell, how software systems evolve and what kind of impact it will have on menu planning in the future. You will be able to provide more information related to the meals. Maybe artificial intelligence will revolutionize the whole functionality, and the software will suggest changes to the menu based on customer feedback, wastage, availability of ingredients and nutritional guidelines. While waiting for this to happen, deciding on the dishes to be served is still the task of the menu planner.


Menu management is one of the key features in the web based JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System.

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System provides far-stretched visibility towards customers, as well.

Xamk catering services of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences includes seven restaurants in total, located in four different cities. All restaurants provide lunch and coffeehouse services, as well as catering services for Xamk students and personnel and for other customers, as well. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System is utilized in Xamk both as an everyday tool in the kitchen as well as for customer communication

Xamk Restaurant Services Manager Minna-Mari Mentula says she is happy with the co-operation with JAMIX:
– JAMIX has been used in Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences already since 2013. We used to have another management system but we wanted to change to a more agile one.

”JAMIX is an everyday tool for restaurant managers and for those who make orders”

Restaurant Manager for restaurant Kasarmina, Margit Neuvonen states that JAMIX is an unbeatable tool and you just couldn’t work without it. Not a day without JAMIX goes by, you’ve got to have it!

Easy to share your menu with customers

– JAMIX system is visible to customers, as well. In each of our restaurants, we have a JAMIX MENU display terminal located at the entrance, from which the customer can see the menu of the day. In addition, at restaurant Kasarmina we have a smart lunch line which is just another example of JAMIX’s compatibility with digitalization and practicality. In the smart lunch line customers can see the nutrient content of the food they have taken on their plate, tells Restaurant Manager Margit Neuvonen and summarizes:
Extremely far-stretched visibility towards customers.

Production forecasting system has numerous benefits to operational success in food service

Knowing how much to prepare is essential information for food service operators. Kitchen systems help management with accurate production forecasting. 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 2
July 2018

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

www.culinarynxt.com

CulinaryNXT Food Forecast

“The culinary horizon is coming into focus as chefs step up foraging, fermentation and fire. Foraging is bringing sloe berries, yarrow, olive capers and gooseberries to the modern table. Much of the ongoing flavor explosion is rooted in fermentation, pickling, curing and brining. And the fascination with live-fire cooking will burn brightly as fire delivers intensely flavored food.”

As quoted by Ron DeSantis to Flavor & The Menu in January 2018.

Cheers!

Master Chef Insights

Production Forecasting

The culinary team thrives on forecasts. “How many orders?” is the language of a la carte restaurant chefs. These culinarians are asking “what’s on the books?”, or how many reservations for the evening. They will then know, from experience how many portions of each dish to prepare. This process continues in countless foodservice operations worldwide. Knowing how much to prepare determines purchasing quantities, station MEP, and staffing, to name a few.

Technology can provide leadership teams with analytic tools to fine tune production forecasting. Kitchen management systems use historical data to provide management with accurate production forecasts. This information is distributed to culinary teams to allow them to prepare the proper number of portions.

Accurate production forecasts require operational teams to capture raw data. Basic data needed by management systems are – quantities prepared by the kitchen staff, number of transactions, and shortages/outages. This information will be used by the software to forecast future production quantities needed by the operation. The benefits to an operation are numerous: purchases can be accurate which controls purchasing costs; production of food is more accurate which assists staffing (labor costs), and results in fewer leftovers; less discarded food means less trash waste; energy consumption is reduced when overproduction is managed; and there are many other benefits.

Establishing a production forecasting system has numerous benefits to operational success.

Culinary & more…

Oyster Farmer

Early in June I had the opportunity to visit Copps Island Oyster farm. I had met the owner, Norm Bloom last December and he invited me to go out on one of his boats. It was December, seriously cold, and I had “office shoes” on, so I declined and took a rain check. So early in June on a beautiful day I visited Norm’s farm and went out with his son Jimmy to harvest oysters. What a great experience.

6am I was heading out into the Long Island Sound on an oyster boat built in 1932. After about 20 minutes into the Sound, Jimmy dropped cages off each side of the boat. When he hauled them in, they were full to the top with shells. Then 2 deck hands maneuver the cages over top of one of 11 bushels that will eventually hold 550 bushels, and by pulling a lever, opened the cage bottom. Everything in the cage dropped into the bushel, and the process was repeated for about 75 minutes. When the bushels were full, we headed in.

During that trip, (and Jimmy makes 3 trips a day, 6 days a week, all year) I learned that during this time of year the bushel on the deck yields 8 bushels of half-shells, 20 bushels of throwback, and the rest the material, all shells, is recovered and used to prepare fresh oyster beds in other parts of the sound. Norm’s family has been farming the waters for over 100 years. They are committed stewards of the seas.

Once back in dock, the bushels are unloaded and moved into refrigerated sorting rooms. Oysters that are selected for market are picked and put into bins. These bins are eventually emptied onto a conveyor, rinsed, sorted one last time and then bagged for distribution.

Find the Cause

Find the Cause is an organization in Boston that raises money to….find the cause. Of breast cancer. Their mission is “to fund scientific research on the environmental causes of breast cancer and educate the public on prevention”. My wife, Sylvia, and I were guests recently at their gala. Part of the reason I was going is because I was an auction item. I offered to cook dinner for up to 20 guests at the home of the auction winner. The auction started and ended up netting $13,000 for me to cook dinner. The proceeds go to Find the Cause.

Ingredient of the Month

Smoked Paprika

It is just a coincidence that this month’s ingredient is another smoked ingredient. Smoked paprika is one of those tastes that gets your attention. I remember developing a recipe at Yale which included smoked paprika, so it was now part of the inventory. I was visiting a kitchen and noticed smoked paprika being used in a recipe and said to the cook, this isn’t in the recipe. He smiled, and with joy said, “I know, but I LIKE it!”

Smoked paprika is one of those satisfying ingredients. One of my favorite dishes is made by a dear friend. She sautés peeled shrimp in olive oil, slivered garlic, and smoked paprika. It is a combination meant to be.

Web Link of the Month

Mediterranean Meats

The flavor forecast from Flavor and The Menu magazine has great insight into what’s going on right now.

Here’s more information from experts:

www.getflavor.com

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 software for restaurants and foodservice operations including versatile features for managing food production.