Culinary Team Hungry Planet

JAMIX Provides Hungry Planet Comprehensive Tools For Managing Recipes

In the picture: Hungry Planet Culinary Team

Hungry PlanetSt Louis based Hungry Planet has been using JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System since 2020 for managing their recipes and culinary database. Hungry Planet makes a full range of chef-crafted plant-based meats that are a one to one substitution for conventional meats in any dish across every protein. Hungry Planet is in thousands of venues across the U.S., Australia and Singapore including fine dining, fast casual, university, hospital, retail, grocery, and deli. In addition they have helped provide over 1 million Hungry Planet meals to public K-12. The JAMIX System provides the Hungry Planet Culinary Team easy access to recipes with all essential information related to them. With a built-in carbon footprint calculator, the system also helps in selecting ingredients that are best for the environment.

JAMIX Is The Central Database For Hundreds Of Recipes

Hungry Planet Crab™️ Rangoon Crisps”Jamix plays a central role for the Hungry Planet Culinary Team. It is the central database for hundreds of recipes – and is growing weekly. In addition to the recipe database, our Culinary Team uses Jamix to create menus, shopping lists, and to monitor the carbon footprint of our recipes”, says Chief Culinary Officer Ron DeSantis. The whole Hungry Planet Culinary Team uses the system, and each team member has a personal working folder. Individual working folders keep individual chef’s recipes private, but also enables them to share with other users. At Hungry Planet, Culinary Team members develop new recipes in personal working folders, and when all R&D is completed those recipes are added to the shared folder.

System Enables Versatile Utilization Of Recipes

Hungry Planet Pork™️ Barbecue Burnt EndsJAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System provides the Hungry Planet Culinary Team easy access to verified recipes. ”Monitoring nutritional information and carbon footprint is easy as the system automatically calculates them for recipes. The system also includes photos of finished dishes and also step-by-step photos”, says Chef Ron DeSantis, listing the benefits of the system.”Our chefs can easily scale recipes for consumers and also for foodservice operators.”

”Operationally we are different from foodservice operators who are serving meals daily. Our use is primarily recipe testing for all areas of the food industry – consumer and foodservice. Having all information in one database allows our culinary team to compare results to other recipes, use recipes as sub-recipes, share ingredients, adjust ingredient quantities to create nutritionally acceptable recipes, and many other solves”, Chef Ron explains.

The Future Is About Sustainability And Systems Help In Pursuing That

Chef Ron DeSantis

Chef Ron DeSantis

”Hungry Planet’s mission is to bend the curve on personal and planetary health with the only full range of delicious, nourishing, plant-based meats. You can see that sustainability is in our DNA”, says Chef Ron.”Improving planetary health means total commitment to sustainable agriculture. Plant-forward food is clearly an answer to many sustainability efforts all over the world. We use Jamix’s carbon footprint feature as a reminder to select ingredients that are best for the environment.”

Chef Ron is optimistic about the future, and sees systems as beneficial tools in pursuing sustainability: ”The future is ours to create. We believe there’s a hunger inside us all. When passion for the delicious meets an appetite for a just world, there’s an opportunity to change things for the better. Systems like Jamix will allow us to monitor our impact and make the necessary changes to create healthy and sustainable food.”

food production sustainable development - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

Food Production As A Part Of Sustainable Development

By Matleena Autio

The objective of sustainable development is to ensure that the future generations have at least similar possibilities for growth and development, that we have now. If we want to achieve this objective, environmental and humanity issues should be taken into account in all actions and decision making, in addition to financial aspects.

Finding and utilizing sustainable modes of production play a key role, when you think of food production as part of sustainable development. All of us can effect with our purchase decisions. Especially when the producers or service providers inform us openly about the modes of production.

Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations´ Sustainable Development Goals aim to end poverty in all its forms. The goals also support development, that cares for our common environment. Food production and good nutrition are connected naturally in almost all of these goals.

No Poverty, Zero Hunger

In addition to lack of money poverty also means, for example, malnutrition, low level of health, and insufficient opportunities to study. Livelihood of many people is often somehow associated to food production. One important factor in decreasing poverty is to ensure adequate livelihood for everyone, from primary production to services.

Food security is a fundamental right for all people. Food security actualizes when everyone of us has access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets the dietary needs for an active and healthy life. According to Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE) there could already be enough safe food for everybody, if we could get every part of the food production chain to work perfectly. The baseline of course is that no food goes to waste in any part of the food production chain. So, in addition to environmental aspects, decreasing food waste is important because of food security.

Health, Well-being, And Education Possibilities With Sustainable Food Production

Good nutrition is an important factor for health and well-being. In addition to nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition is a risk factor for many non-communicable diseases. And it can also have an impact on studies. It is difficult to concentrate on studying if you are hungry. So malnutrition can endanger the school performance. School feeding programs are an effective way to support the goal of good education also in lower income countries.

With JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can easily ensure the nutritional quality of the meals you serve. In the system you can compare the nutritional values of the menu to the nutrition recommendations in the system. When you plan food based on know-how and accuracy, and not on gut feeling, the cooks can just focus on adjusting flavors in place for the nutritionally balanced meals.

Decent Work And Responsible Consumption Also In Food Production

In addition to climate aspects, food production is an important factor related to human rights. The objective of the Fairtrade International is that farmers also in developing countries have possibilities for decent livelihood, and more control over their lives and their future.

Decreasing food waste is one example of responsible consumption that all of us can participate in. According to the report of the UN environmental program UNEP, approximately 17 per cent of all produced food goes to waste. In addition, the amount of food waste in households is likely to be larger than what has been estimated earlier. JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System helps professional kitchens to decrease the amount of food waste. When consumption of the meals is documented in the system, you can utilize the information in production planning. This way you won´t be preparing too much food just to be safe.

Climate Actions In The Water And On The Ground

About one fifth of the human-caused climate emissions is related to food production. Methane that warms climate is released in the air for example from the ruminant livestock and rice farming. According to UNEP, food waste alone is responsible for about 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions of the world. Life in the oceans is threatened by overfishing and climate warming, but also because of the eutrophication of coastal waters. Eutrophication is largely caused by fertilizers that leak in the water from the farming fields. So food production really is a climate change matter.

Water sources are limited, and one important environmental aspect is paying attention to water usage in agriculture. Forests are also disappearing rapidly, partly because of the soy and oil palm plantations. Demanding sustainable production modes for the products we purchase is an efficient way to have an impact. In addition to climate emissions, also the water footprint and land use are important tools when evaluating the environmental impacts of food production.

Cooperation And Partnership

To reach the goals of sustainable development, we need adequate amount of good quality data about our progress in different sectors. We need to cooperate as equal partners for our common earth to achieve these goals. With JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System leading with knowledge easily becomes part of the everyday practice.

JAMIX Assists In Reaching The Sustainable Development Goals In Food Production

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System helps to bring different parts of food production visible. For instance, you can require food suppliers to fulfill certain criteria. You can also communicate these qualifications to your customers. Such as the Fairtrade mark, the Heart-Check mark, or the Fisheries Certificate of Origin.

Food production can work as a pendulum for both directions. At its worse, food production can trample human rights and escalate the climate warming and biodiversity loss. But at its best, food production can even help to fix existing damages, for example through carbon farming and the Fairtrade.

Is there still somebody thinking that it is ONLY about food production.

Emerging Trends In The Restaurant Business

Emerging Trends And Adapting To Changes In Customer Behavior In The Restaurant Business

By: Matleena Autio

In the beginning of a new year we are often optimistic about the future. The new year brings a promise of a new start. Now that promise is present perhaps more concretely and with more anticipation than before. Emerging trends in the restaurant business are of interest in the exceptional conditions, as well.

I doubt that anyone of us could foresee a year ago, what 2020 would bring along. The past year was especially hard on the restaurant business, and many food services have been operating like they were tossed around by a storm. The amount of customers have been more difficult to predict than before. New ways of operations have been implemented in a fast pace.

But we have survived. In these exceptional circumstances we might have found new possibilities, which we would not have noticed, if the operations had been running as before. As the streams of customers have gone quite, there is also more time to focus on the efficient deployment of existing resources. And more time to polish your processes ready for the more busy times.

The Pandemic Shows In The Customers’ Consumer Behavior

A few weeks ago I heard from a food service professional, that even more than before consumers appreciate easiness and quickness when preparing food. When I think of my own consumer behavior during last year, I believe she was right in her opinion.

Many of us work remotely at home, and lunches in a down-town restaurant have become relatively rare. When you have to prepare the lunch in your own kitchen during the lunch break, speed and easiness are truly appreciated. Not to mention those situations, when your endlessly hungry youngsters crash with no previous warning into home school and to the fridge, whenever the covid situation it requires.

Online ordering and home deliveries have become more popular last year, and the use of food-delivery apps has more than doubled (MarketWatch). In Finland, according to a study by the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa, 13 % of the consumers intend to use more restaurant home-delivery services compared to the time before the pandemic.

Kitchen Management System Helps In Adapting To New Ways Of Operation

Ordering restaurant meals at home requires different ways of operation from the restaurants compared to serving customers dining in the restaurant. The Food Code in the US, for example, requires certain information for packaged food, such as the Ingredient Statement. Some states also require dating the products with best before, expiration or sell-by -information. Bringing this information to the customers is easy with the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System.

As predicting the amounts of customers has become more challenging, it is reasonable to minimize wastage by planning the production of food batches as efficient as possible. With the unique Food Bank functionality in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can easily manage food that has not been sold. You can bring it up in the system, for example, when planning the production for the next day. In addition, if you plan and execute the sales and wastage registrations appropriately, it is easy to separate donated food from food waste.

Emerging Trends – Environmental Friendliness And Safety

In the latest World Wide Restaurant Trends survey (by Kespro, the Finnish wholesaler in the foodservice business) environmental friendliness, as well as health and safety have been pointed out as the emerging trends in the restaurant business. A reliable kitchen management system is of utmost importance when you want to ensure food safety. With the JAMIX MENU service you can easily bring the restaurant’s offering for your customers to see. In the service you can easily share information on the allergens, nutritive data, or the CO2 values of the menu items.

CO2 calculation is most definitely one of those things, that will take big leaps in the near future. The consumers have been getting more interested in this subject for long. Bit by bit there starts to be data for the calculations available. Interesting observation in the field of CO2 calculation is for example compensating the nutritive density of food items in the carbon footprint. Another one is the environmental footprint, which takes also other environment straining factors, such as the usage of water and soil, into consideration in addition to the green house gasses.

Successful Brightening Of Your Day Requires The Filling Of Your Expectations

According to the Finnish restaurant trends survey eating out has become an everyday thing. The most important reason for dining out was ”brightening your day”. Even if during the pandemic we could have brightened our days with restaurant food only in a limited way, the trend doesn’t seem to be going away. A survey by the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa points out that the quality of food has come back as the most important factor effecting the choice of restaurant.

The customers actively search for information on the restaurants, and they set their expectations based on the information they have found. Customer satisfaction requires filling the customers’ expectations. It is very important that the information on the restaurant is up-to-date and comprehensive enough. And above all easy to find. With a kitchen management system the information related to your menu items runs fluently and directly from production all the way through to your customers.

Change In The Ways Of Operation Brings Along New Possibilities

The pandemic has changed at least my world view and behavior a lot, and not only with regards flying or wearing a mask. The spring to come will probably bring along a lot of things we could not have expected. I’m sure there will be good things, too. Change is always a possibility – maybe to change your ways of operation even better than before.

Food Donation - JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System

A Kitchen System Helps You Manage and Monitor Food Donations

By Anna Skyttä

Reducing food waste is more topical than ever. There is a lot of information, tips and guides available. Reducing food waste interests both the consumers and the food industry, as well as the food service operators – which is great! Increasing knowledge about the meaning of reducing food waste promotes the concrete actions, as well.

In the USDA website you can find a lot of information on Food Loss and Waste, and how to fight it. Donating food is one good way for reducing food waste. USDA provides information on donating, as well.


Food That Can Be Donated Should Not Be Wasted

Preventive actions are the most important when we talk about reducing food waste. Data is a key element that supports preventive actions. With the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can monitor the amount of food waste based on facts. When you have accurate data in hands it is easy to set targets for reducing food waste. With the system you can follow how the targets are reached, as well.

Despite preventive actions you might still generate some food waste. Food that is suitable for donation should not be wasted. Less waste equals to savings in wastage costs and less strain on the environment. In addition, donating food provides valuable help to food charity customers.


Monitor The Amount Of Donated Food In Your Kitchen System

JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System helps you manage donated food. You can register surplus food in the system with the unique Food Bank functionality. This way you will stay in control of the amount of prepared foods you have in the inventory. The Food Bank functionality also enables you to monitor the amount of food donated. When you register the actual food waste in the system, as well, you will stay up-to-date with the big picture, which helps you to plan the future more accurately.


Information On Food Easily Available For The Customers

You need to include information on the possible allergens in the donated food. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System information on the ingredients, allergens and nutrition facts is automatically up-to-date and easily available. You can even print food labels including that information directly from the system, and use them for the packed food that will be donated.


Do you want to learn more on the comprehensive JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System?


Carbon Footprint of Food - JAMIX CO2 Calculator

Bring Out The Carbon Footprint Of Food!

By Matleena Autio

Food is one of the three most significant factors causing the environmental effects of consumption. Major part of the environmental effects of food come from the agricultural emissions. The impact of industrial processing of products, packaging or transportation is relatively low to the environmental effect of food.

The best way to reduce the carbon footprint of food is to favor ingredients that stress the environment as little as possible. Minimizing waste is another equally important action.


Focus on the big picture

Based on a quick search through the internet there are several tools available for calculating the carbon footprint of food. After looking into these calculators in more detail you quickly realize the biggest challenge related to this subject. There is no common standard for the factors to be included in the carbon footprint calculations. As a result, the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions for the same item might have big variation depending on the operator. Hence we need more peer reviewed studies on this subject.

The carbon footprint of food evaluated on a category level or on a diet level will act as a direction indicator. It will help us to evaluate the effects of our own actions. By changing part of the proteins into plant based proteins everyone of us can reduce the carbon footprint of our diet. Similarly, when planning a menu, you can evaluate the environmental effects of different types of items based on the category specific CO2e values.  You can then make choices on items based on that information.

The most important is to make sure that the amount of food waste stays as low as possible. The emissions from producing food that ends up in wastage will stress our environment completely for no reason.


Environmental Friendly Food Is Good For Your Heart, As Well

You can easily moderate the environmental effects of your own diet by following the dietary guidelines. According to studies changing your diet according to the dietary guidelines would reduce the environmental effects of your diet significantly. This as such would reduce the environmental stress caused by food. For example, adding plant based proteins into your diet is both the healthy eating option and the better choice with regards the environment.


Bring Out the Carbon Footprint of Food to Your Customers, As Well

From a consumer’s point of view it would be great if I could compare the carbon footprint of the menu items in a restaurant. This would give me the possibility to choose a meal option with a smaller carbon footprint.

The unique CO2 Calculator in the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System calculates the carbon footprint for recipes based on the portion size and on the CO2e values linked to ingredients. When planning recipes and menus, this provides you the opportunity to experiment the effect of different items on the carbon footprint of the whole. With the JAMIX MENU Service you can choose to publish the carbon footprint of food together with the menu to your customers, as well.

Taking the environmental aspect into consideration is not only a concrete way for a restaurant to take responsibility on our common environment. It is also an excellent way for standing out from the crowd and providing added value to your customers.


Small Streams

The carbon footprint of food prepared by a single consumer or a small restaurant may seem as tinkering compared to the emissions of big companies or states. However, even small changes in our everyday routines do have an impact when you continue performing them everyday in the long term. Even small streams have significance and when it comes to environmental issues everyone of us can act as the forerunner.


More information:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Attention To The Amount Of Food Waste Helps In Reducing It

In the U.S. the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply. A kitchen system helps food service operators in reducing food waste. The customers can also affect the amount of food waste in restaurants. In September the yearly arranged national Food Waste Week in Finland aims at raising the appreciation of food and educating consumers of the importance of reducing food waste.

By Matleena Autio

I was enjoying peaceful breakfast in a hotel lately, as I was on a business trip and there was no scheduled meeting in the morning. My breakfast is usually a pretty dull concept – some bread, yoghurt and too many cups of coffee with milk. During my kitchen career, I have become so familiar with many of the food products that a hotel breakfast rarely gets me to differ from my routine.  Most of the hotel guests seem to feel just the opposite. A buffet makes quite a few to load huge amounts of food on their plates and at the end a lot of it becomes food waste.

As I walked through the breakfast room, I embarrassedly watched the scenery that could have been from the paintings of ancient Rome feasting. Table after table was full of half-eaten servings, which the waiters cleaned away to make room for the next customer´s towering portion. Nobody seemed to care about the amount of food waste.

Are you eating with your eyes or for a need?

According to studies the number of dishes available has an impact on appetite. In circumstances when appetite is lost, you can enhance the amount of ingested food by increasing the number of the served dishes. This also works the opposite way. When there’s only one or two dishes available, the total amount of food you eat usually remains less than in a banquet.

It is also known that the size of the plate influences the size of a customer´s portion in a buffet. We easily pick more food on a large plate than a smaller one. The location of dishes in a buffet line can influence what we take more. Usually you take more of the dishes that are in the beginning of a buffet line than the dishes that are at the end of the line.

Minimizing the food waste

Restaurants are minimizing food waste in many different ways. Psychological ways that I mentioned before are often used. But also, for example info boards are placed for customers to pay attention to the amount of food waste. According to studies, as much as one fifth of the food produced in food services goes to wastage in the EU. In the U.S the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply.

Food waste caused almost 10 percent of the human-made greenhouse gas emissions in 2010-2016. The U.S and the EU have announced a goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030. For example, the EU required it´s member countries to report the amount of food waste produced to the EU commission.

Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE), together with the operators of the food sector and ministries, has initiated a project to build a national monitoring system for food waste. In Finland we have also had a specific food waste week every year in September since 2013. The purpose of this food waste week is to make consumers pay attention to the amount of food waste.

Kitchen Intelligence System helps kitchens but customers must take responsibility, too

There are already good tools for documenting the amount of food waste. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, you can document food waste and food consumption directly into the menus in the system. You can also update that information to the margin calculations of the menus. With the BI feature this information is also available in a visual format. The system enables printing complete lists of the dishes of the day or the week with the planned production quantity to assist documentation in production.

Thus, documentation on food waste and food consumption can enhance the estimations of sales and help decrease the food waste of a buffet. The system also calculates the actualized portion sizes of a buffet, based on the documentation on produced food, sold portions and food waste remaining. A rather practical tool to predict the consumption of a buffet.

So, The Kitchen Intelligence System helps professional kitchens to decrease the amount of food waste in production and in a buffet. You can influence plate wastage, too, for example in ways I mentioned before. But in the end the responsibility is ours, the customers. Only take food on your plate just the amount that you surely can eat and take more if you need – but not for good measure.

Food that you leave uneaten is expensive for us customers, but also for the restaurants. And the most expensive of all to our common environment.

More information about food waste and related actions in the U.S: FDA: Food Loss and Waste

Jamix Kitchen Intelligence System

Jamix has been digitally fighting against food waste already for 30 years

Jyväskylä, Finland – April 21, 2020

Food service operators and restaurants are making efforts for fighting against food waste, as responsibility and the carbon footprint of food are emphasized more and more. The economical aspect is of course significant, as well – food waste causes major losses. Jamix, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has created a digital tool for professional kitchens enabling accurate orders for ingredients, as well as providing calculations for the carbon footprint of food and nutritive values. The company has grown into being the market leader in Finland, and has gained a foothold internationally, as well, especially in the United States.

Mikko Jaatinen, Founder and CEO of JamixJamix is a pioneer in its field. Mikko Jaatinen, CEO and founder of the company, started to develop the system in the beginning of 1990, when ingredients were ordered to the kitchen by telephone and quantities were based on rough estimates. This tended to result in huge amounts of wastage, and it was hard for the kitchens to monitor if they were staying on budget.

– The customer’s budget might have been used already by November, so for the rest of the year you had potatoes to work with. The daily routines have changed a lot in the professional kitchen during 3 decades. Today the budgets are planned carefully, there are several special diets being served and the origin and the environmental effects of food are taken into account, says Jaatinen.

One of the system’s users is Omnia education and training center in Espoo, Finland. Around 1000 diners visit Omnia’s restaurants daily. According to Tarja Hämäläinen, Omnia’s Services Manager, they have been able to reduce the amount of wastage significantly and the use of time has become more efficient, as well.

– Before we implemented Jamix, orders were made by telephone and recipes had to be developed by ourselves. There were huge amounts of waste, as there were no precise amounts for ingredients in the recipes.

The amount of food waste decreased by around 400 pounds a week

Omnia has made many efforts for reducing wastage. Trays have been taken away, and instead there is a so called generic plate. You take soups and other food on the same plate which results in appropriate portion sizes. The customers are reminded about reducing wastage and Omnia collects customer feedback continuously so that there would be as many preferred options on the menu as possible.

– With these actions we have been able to reduce the amount of food waste by 350-450 pounds a week. That means that we have gotten rid of the cost of one food waste container. We are hoping to implement a scale for food waste, as well. It would make the amount of waste more visible both to our customers and to us, says Hämäläinen.

Huge market in the United States

Today Jamix is the market leader in the domestic market and most of the foodservice operators and restaurants in Finland use its system. Jamix has grown internationally, as well, and it has made major contracts especially in the United States. One of Jamix’s customers is Yale Hospitality, where the system is used in 16 Colleges, 11 Cafés, as well as in a large commissary kitchen and a bakery. Yale Hospitality prepares 18.000 meals a day.  The market potential in the United States is huge: There are 67.000 kitchens within the College & University Food Services alone.

– I believe that we are well equipped for reaching our targets with the strategy we have chosen, that is through college and university kitchens. Our advantage in the US market is, that our system is cutting edge. The customers have been amazed by its web-based user interface, usability and versatile features.

The United States has proven to be an interesting market where the right contacts have been essential in going forward.

– Coincidence plays a small role in everything, and for us becoming acquainted with a resptected and well-known person in the food service industry has had a big impact. We are currently negotiating with several universities and are hoping to be able to publish a new, major contract in the near future, tells Jaatinen, living in Boston since 2018.

About Jamix

Jamix is a Finnish company specializing in cutting-edge restaurant software for professional hospitality and food service operations to plan and organize recipe, menu, inventory and ordering management, and internal logistics. Founded in 1990 by a young Finnish student, in 30 years Jamix has grown from a small local business into a software company with 2500 + clients all over the world. Headquartered in Jyväskylä, Finland, the Jamix US office is based in the Boston. “Thousands of customers use Jamix to produce over one million meals, every day!”

Ron DeSantis Certified Master Chef

Environmental eating is an emerging trend

Students are interested in the environmental impact of the food they are served. Having a kitchen intelligence system with CO2 values provides both foodservice operators and their customers information on the environmental impact of food. 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 3 Issue 4
April 2020

200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405

Come On, Already!

While considering what to write in this space I decided that I will be your 3-minute getaway from the Covid-19 news. Since that is THE daily topic, you don’t need more from me. So……

How do we get out this tangled mess? It seems that every conference room has a mass of tangled wires for our technology. When will we get rid of this mess? Really, we have wireless earpieces, Bluetooth to the car media, and on and on but we can’t figure out how to clean up a conference room?!


Master Chef Insights

Food Platform

Thinking of food as a platform is a way to do more with less. What that means in an operation is – what recipes can be prepared using a limited number of ingredients? Oh, and customers want to be amazed with each menu item.

One example that helps me explain a food platform in practice is okonomiyaki. This delicious, simple “cabbage pancake” from Japan is a practical way to explore a food platform.

Fundamentally okonomiyaki is shredded cabbage held together with pancake batter. It is seasoned, fried (ok sautéed, but we’re talking about street food here) and topped with a burst of flavor drizzles. Chef Gerry Ludwig was ahead of his time in 2008 when he wrote and talked about okonomiyaki. Since 2008, restaurants have opened with okonomiyaki as the star menu item.

How this all relates to a food platform is due to the versatility of okonomiyaki. What I’ve discovered is that okonomiyaki is adaptable to all global cuisines. When a chef starts with cabbage and pancake batter, she can flavor it any which way. The platform is cabbage and batter. Seasonings and toppings create the final dish. Add conventional beef or plant-based beef to the available ingredients and the okonomiyaki can become vegan, or a meat-eater’s delight. The possibilities are limited only be the chef’s imagination.

Thinking in terms of food platforms allows chefs to offer many menu choices with a smaller inventory.

Culinary & more…

Kitchen Tech – CO2 Value of Menu Items

On March 6, 2020 Yale Daily News reported that students wanted to know more details about the environmental impact of the food they were served. Almost 1,000 students responded to a survey conducted by 2 seniors. The results showed that 86% of students want ”to see environmental impact ratings” of the food in the dining halls. As interesting is that 62% of students claimed they had made food choices based on posters in the dining halls showing the environmental impact of the food.

This is likely the early phase of environmental eating in college & university (C&U) dining. One of the challenges for C&U operators will be access to detailed environmental information related to the food chain. In the student survey, students were specifically interested in the CO2 footprint of the food served.

Jamix Kitchen Intelligence Systems has a CO2 function built in. The CO2 core ingredients are part of the Jamix system. As a chef builds a recipe the CO2 is calculated for each recipe. This information is carried into the menu design feature of Jamix. This provides managers with clear CO2 footprint information at the recipe and menu levels of the system.

Many C&U operators believe trends begin in C&U. I’m not sure about all trends, but certain trends do start in C&U. Environmental eating is, I believe, one of those trends. Having the right kitchen intelligence systems keeps managers on point with these trends.

Quarantine Pantry

In March I sent out a special newsletter about preparing meals using food from your pantry. I followed up with a video that my daughter did with me, and her friend edited. Then my friends at Hormel Foods tied this into a great service piece with many chefs about cooking from the pantry. Here’s a link.

Ingredient of the Month

Bacon! Looking back on my newsletters I discovered I haven’t put bacon as the ingredient of the month. Well, here it is.

The problem is – what does one say about bacon? Everyone is a bacon expert. Everyone has a favorite bacon. There are even “cult” bacons like Neuske’s. What I’ll share is why I believe bacon is so popular.

Delicious. Yup, bacon is delicious. It has the right balance of meat, fat, smoke, and salt.

Versatile. Bacon can be used in so many ways. It can be the center-of-the-plate, or a flavor enhancer. Chef David Burke made the bacon clothesline a signature menu item in his restaurants. There are desserts with elements of bacon. In other words, bacon is way more than a great accompaniment with eggs in the morning.

In fact, my first cooking assignment as an 18 year old (know it all) Marine at MCRD San Diego was to cook the bacon for breakfast. I figured this was too easy for me, until a pan in the rotating oven tipped, spilling bacon grease in the oven and the oven caught on fire. Needless to say, no bacon that morning, I learned I didn’t know everything, and there were A LOT of ticked off Marines!

Finally, my last comment is – bacon CAN be too crispy. I know I might be one of the few people in the world that might say that, but it’s true. Consider preparing a glace de viande. There is a fine line between perfect flavor and over-reduced. The same goes for bacon. There is a fine line between, just done and too crispy. Fine that perfect point and you’ll be rewarded with the best that this ingredient offers.

Cooking Tip

Sautéing/Pan-frying. First terminology. For me, sauté is the same word as frying. Deep-frying is something else. Panfrying is sautéing/frying in a bit more fat and often with something breaded.

Here’s the information I wish to share – make sure the pan is hot. The amount of fat, to me, is not as important as the pan temperature. Too cool and food sticks. Too hot and it burns. When I start cooking, I put my saute pan on the stove and turn the heat on low. Then I continue my prep. This way the pan is already getting conditioned and it’s a small jump to higher, ready-to-cook temperature.

Once the pan is hotter, add oil. When the oil starts to smoke (lightly, if it’s billowing blue smoke, you’re not going to be happy and it’s become dangerous!), it’s time to add the food. Only add enough food to almost cover the pan surface. And DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. When food is added, the temperature of the pan’s surface has to recover. If it left alone, it seems to recover more quickly. Now fry the food until it’s properly done.

These are my frying tips. Have fun with your culinary experiences!

Buon appetito.

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 70 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 CO2 Calculator is one of the Best of Gastro Helsinki

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is one of the “Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020”

”The Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020” have been selected, including 5 new items in the restaurant business

The 5 most interesting new items of Gastro Helsinki 2020 – an event for food and restaurant business – have been selected. These items make the work in the kitchen easier, enable activities related to responsibility, and help in understanding environmental aspects related to ingredients and meals. Gastro Helsinki takes place in Helsinki Messukeskus event venue on March 11-13, 2020.

The Best of Gastro are products or services included in the product/service range of the exhibitors. From the suggestions entered the jury selected 5 new products or services bringing additional value to restaurants, bars, coffee shops and professional kitchens through, for example, the ease of use, collecting and presenting information, or promoting activities related to responsibility.

The products and services nominated as The Best of Gastro will be presented at the exhibitor booths throughout the event.

The Best of Gastro were selected by a jury including Editor in Chief Heli Koivuniemi (Aromi, Shaker, Evento magazine), Senior Manager Anne Lundqvist (Fazer Retail Finland), District Director of Restaurant Services Hanne-Riikka Piironen (Delicatessen Ravintolapalvelut), Top Chef winner Akseli Herlevi (owner of Naughty BRGR chain), Chairman of the Finnish Sommelier Association and  restaurateur Samuil Angelov (Muru, Pastis, Sue-Ellen, Ultima), and Chef Jarmo Vähä-Savo (BarLaurea). Event Producer of Gastro Helsinki Mari Katajamäki acted as the Chairman of the Jury without the right to vote.

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is one of ”The Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020”

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is an application related to JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, and it calculates the carbon footprint of food. The application will automatically calculate the CO₂ values for recipes and meals. The operator can choose to publish the CO₂ values to the end-customers together with the menu.

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is developed for professional kitchens for calculating and comparing the carbon footprint of food. In JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System it is easy to compare the CO₂ values of ingredients and experiment the effects of different ingredient choices on the carbon footprint of a meal. In addition to this, the operator can choose to publish the CO₂ values to its end-customers, which enables them to make comparison and choices based on the carbon footprint, as well.

The possibility to compare the carbon footprint of different items already when creating recipes and planning menus makes it easier to take environmental aspect into consideration in the professional kitchen. Announcing the carbon footprint for meals will bring additional value to the end-customers, as well as a possibility to effect on the carbon footprint.

Sustainability and responsibility play a key role in all areas of today’s society. The environmental effect of food is approximately as big as of traffic and habitation. Besides households, the professional kitchens have a major opportunity to support sustainability, and one way of doing this is taking the carbon footprint of food into consideration. JAMIX CO₂ Calculator enables exploring the carbon footprint of food, and it is easy to share information with the end-customers, as well.

JAMIX will be exhibiting at Gastro Helsinki March 11-13, 2020

– Come and meet us at booth 6g28!

Jamix kitchen system healthy meals

Kitchen System Provides Well-being To Your Customers And The Environment

Taking care of your health and the environment doesn’t necessarily require huge efforts. Kitchen management system makes it easy for commercial kitchens to prepare healthy and sustainable meals for their customers.

By Matleena Autio, System Specialist

Food is not all about taste. A diet following the dietary recommendations promotes health and reduces the risk of several non-communicable diseases. The most common issues with diets are related to the use of vegetables and red meat, as well as the amount of salt. When your everyday diet is based on healthy meals, you don’t need to worry about occasional treats.

Kitchen management system is an important tool in the professional kitchen. In multi-site operations the system makes it easy to use the same recipes and ingredients in all sites. The use of ingredients that are in accordance with contracts is extremely important both with regards costs and nutritional quality.

Allergens in Jamix Kitchen Intelligence SystemIn addition to nutritive values, you can easily check the allergen information from the system, when the same recipes are used in all sites. Semifinished products or spice mixes might slightly differ with regards ingredients depending on the manufacturer. When you use exactly the same items that are in the kitchen system, including the detailed ingredients lists, you can be sure that the ingredients list communicated to your customers will match the prepared meal. The communication of allergens is especially important, and when you have the most common allergens linked to your ingredients and recipes accordingly in the system, it is easy to take these into consideration both in production and on the food labels.

Healthy diet promotes well-being to the environment

The diet that is healthy for people is also the better choice with regards our environment. Environment-friendly foods include wholegrain cereals, beans, berries and fruit, and local fish – these are the same Food CO2 Calculator in Jamix Kitchen Intelligence Systemfoods that are included in a healthy diet.

The possibility to compare the carbon footprint of different ingredients when creating recipes and planning menus makes it easy to take sustainability into consideration in the professional kitchen. You can even use ingredients with a bigger carbon footprint without growing the environmental effect of the meal, when you include other ingredients with a lower carbon footprint in it. In the kitchen system it is easy to compare and try different ingredients and see how different choices effect on the carbon footprint of the meal.

More and more customers are interested in the environmental effect of their meal choices. You can easily communicate the carbon footprint to your customers through JAMIX MENU application, for example. This is an easy way of communicating your business’s sustainability to your customers.

Small steps will take you far without you even noticing it

Taking care of your health and the environment doesn’t necessarily require huge efforts. Small everyday things and paying attention to the right things in your everyday routines often play a bigger role compared to some show off happening once a year. Small changes are usually also easier to accept and they are more likely to become a part of your everyday routine compared to big changes that require a lot of attention.

You can effect the nutritive content and the carbon footprint of your meal for example by replacing some of the meat with a plant based protein or by switching your cooking cream into a lighter version. Even if the change is not that big, when you practice it for one year, it can have a significant effect on the well-being of yourself and the environment.