Sammic Kitchen Bridge

Sammic kitchen bridge

Recently I had the truly amazing privilege to be a part of a culinary culture “bridge”, put together through Sammic, a worldwide manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment and innovations.  As Sammic says in their blog about the event, “A bridge is the nexus that links two paths, two worlds or two cultures; it is an element of communication that brings two distant or opposing points closer together”.  In this case, they successfully built a bridge between the Basque culinary culture, American Chefs, and European manufacturing.

As the name of the program suggests, the goal is to form stronger relationships between industry partners.  The participants of the program ranged from acclaimed chefs, powerhouse foodservice design consultants, to manufacturer representative professionals.  Everyone involved is a culinary leader or trendsetter in the foodservice world.  And here I was, soaking up everything I could under the warm Spanish sun, many times with a cool sweet Bodega K5 Txakolina (Spanish white wine) in my hand.

Sammic HeadquartersSammic began the program with a tour of their factory headquarters in Azkoitia Spain, a small town of about 11 thousand people, located in the autonomous community of Basque Country.  The first impression you have is how absolutely stunning the views are that surround the building.  I’m more familiar with factories in the locations that are less desirable for residential building thus being a bit less attractive in nature.  Location may not have the same impact on actual production as many other factors do, however, with Sammics average length of employment being 20 years, the retention rate sure does show how enjoyable it is to work here.  The employees here have a lot of pride in the products they manufacture,Sammic Sous Vide Training and to ensure a high standard is kept up, the workforce is self-managed and has employee ownership.  As the group strolled through the many areas of the building, showroom, R&D labs, production, engineering, and sales offices, it was very apparent that the culture of Basque Country lives strong at Sammic.  The employees here are proud hard working professionals who find joy in providing quality equipment around the world.

Once the formalities of the tour ended, the fun began.  Chef Enrique Fleischmann heads up the culinary team at Sammic, he is the executive chef of two highly rated local restaurants and a leading culinary resource for Sous Vide cooking.  Chef Fleischmann greeted the team in the culinary innovations center of the building.  Sous Vide circulators, vacuum machines and an assortment of Sammic food preparation equipment was being operated by his team of professional chefs who are integrated with the development of new Sammic products.  Their chefs engaged with demonstrations on sous vide techniques and gastronomic techniques.  The food was incredible and the education was second to none.  Many times, when cooking via Sous Vide, chefs become almost hyper-focused on a particular way of doing things.  Enrique and his team showed a plethora of ways to accomplish refined menu ideas.  As the demonstrations were winding down, Sammics management team presented the acclaimed chef’s, Josiah Citrin, Paul Kahan and Ilan Hall, a gift of custom engraved Smart Vide 8’s, the most top of the line Sous Vide calculators available.  The circulators have Bluetooth HACCP tracking capability, remote wireless operations, precision probe capability, and the most durable stainless steel design on the market.

Sammic

Now that the appetite has been peaked, it was time for lunch.  The group was now shuttled through the beautiful Basque countryside to a Gastronomic Society in Azpeitia.  The theme of sharing good food and enjoying time with family and friends is at the center of everything here in the Basque Country.  A Gastronomic Society reminds me most of something between a midwest supper club, and a classic cigar club.  A small kitchen and dining area are owned by a privet group of people, usually men, who share in cooking together and enjoying each others company.  It’s almost like a Sunday dinner with the family but rather than just mom cooking, everyone is in the kitchen sharing in the experience.  Since food is so important in this region, sharing it with guests is so very intimate of a process.  As we sat down to a large table that was filled end to end with delicious bite-sized portions of food called Pintoxs, more commonly known as tapas in the states.  This was the first time we all as a group of chefs, consultants and manufacturers had a chance to sit down and get to know each other.  You could not dream of a better icebreaker than wine, fresh anchovy, and my new favorite food, tortilla.

TortillaA tortilla in Basque Country isn’t the same as you expect from the US, it’s actually a Spanish omelet.  These omelets are most commonly made by softly cooking, almost boiling, onions and potatoes in oil until they are soft rather than fried.  Once they are finished you remove them from the pan and remove most of the oil, leaving just enough to cook a load of beaten eggs and the potato and onion mixture.  Again, cooking at a lower softer temperature unit the eggs begin to set.  Once they have reached this point, about 5 minutes in, you flip the whole omelet over using a plate to cover the pan and slide the omelet back into the pan from that plate.  Finish cooking for a few minutes and cut it into small shareable servings and you are ready to present your first pintxo!

The pintxo experience is one that will live with me forever, it is as welcoming of a way to eat than you will ever have.  Just like our tortilla pintxo, these small servings are easy to pick up and eat, a common statement in Spain is “eat little bites, a lot!”.  The restaurants and bars in this area all have pintxos out ready for people to enjoy.  This is how it goes, you walk into a small three or four table place with a tiny bar, a few chairs, and are warmly greeted.  You order a beer or wine for a couple of euro, more than likely unable to keep your eyes off of the plates of food displayed out over the bar.  If a particular item looks good, you ask for one and they hand it over.  Each is only a few bites so you can inexpensively taste so many great things while sipping your wine.  The key and I can’t stress this enough to anyone new to pintxos, is to find the best of many places.  You don’t need to spend all of your time in one place, get one or two pintxos and a glass of Txakolina and head next door to the next place.  Meet and greet everyone you see and bathe in the loving culture of Spain.

martin berasateguiAfter our long lunch and tours around the local area, filled with laughter, wine, and bite-sized local delicacies, it was time to get ready for dinner at the three Michelin star restaurant Martin Berasategui.  By this point, our group has been tasting our way through Basque Country only to end up at one of the worlds top restaurants.  In fact, only a few days later, it would be named No.76 on the Worlds Best List, ahead of the famed Perse, and French Laundry.  What was even more special about the meal wasn’t that it luckily landed on my birthday, which it did, but the menu was The Great Tasting Menu 25 Year Anniversary featuring the best and most popular signature dishes of the last 25 years.  13 courses of incredible plates that pushed the boundaries on all of the senses followed by three incredible desserts to finish.  The meal included some amazing personalized touches from the chef such as signed chef coats for our famed chef guests presented by Martin Berasategui himself and a special birthday dessert for me.  An absolutely incredible culinary experience I will cherish for life.

The Kitchen Bridge Program was an extraordinary industry experience that helped build lasting partnerships and friendships while educating us on so many facets of the hospitality world.  I thank Sammic for this experience and look forward to one day returning to Spain to enjoy some more of the culture!

martin berasategui

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NRA Show: Forming new relationships and strengthening old ones

Source: Sammic Blog NRA Show: Forming new relationships and strengthening old ones

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Thousands upon thousands of hospitality industry professionals, from operators, chefs, purchasers, and even enthusiast, gathered in the city of Chicago for one of the worlds largest trade shows featuring foodservice products. At the 2018 National Resturant Association trade show, the Sammic sales professionals and chefs greeted new and current customers. With open arms, they formed new relationships and strengthen old ones.

A common comment was heard around this years Sammic booth, “I have Sammic equipment in my kitchen, and I LOVE IT!”. The word is out about Sammic and our National Restaurant Association booth proved it. Our quality brand brought many people through the booth, where they were able to get a hands-on feel for what makes Sammic so special.

Sammic Chefs Cooking

If seeing is believing than tasting must be even more reinforcing. The Sammic chefs, Devon Shires, Jason Pruett and their assistant Lorene Wilson, worked hard all week long presenting exquisite food. They cooked everything from Ribeye Steak Street Tacos, to fresh Arctic Char. The Sammic booth was filled with the intoxicating aromas of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as well. The food that was prepared left attendees of the show unable to resist coming in and seeing what was hot and new this year.

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If while you were at the booth, or if you were unable to stop by and see us this year, and wanted to learn more, please contact us at usa@sammic.com.  We would be happy to speak with you more and welcome you to the Sammic family.

The NRA Show 2019 is less than a year away, we can’t wait to do it all again!

Thank you for such good days! You can see all the pictures of our booth, here.

Foodservice Equipment – Vegetable Preparation

The Good, The Better, and The Best

Sammic’s five-model range of Vegetable Prep Machines are ideal for all slicing, dicing, julienne cutting, shredding and grating applications.  These dynamic food processors have an hourly output of up to 2,200 lbs. an hour, that’s suitable for kitchen operation serving 1,000 covers per day.

However, these products have a variety of applications, as well as prices, that should be considered before an educated purchasing decision can happen.  So, allow me to share this chart with you to break down some of the many options, into just a few simple ones.

Sammic Food Preparation Equipment

CA-311 – Good

  • Very intuitive controls with only a simple ON and OFF function
  • Enhanced Dicing feature for more yield and less loss
  • Product output can be increased from 1,000 pounds to 1,300 pounds or even as high as 2,200 pounds by upgrading them to a larger hopper. These high capacity hoppers are found on items CA-411 and CA-611
  • Best quality product at the best price

CA-311VV – Better

  • Removable lever, lid, and base, for easy cleaning purposes. Cutting top can be completely removed from the motor mount and sent to the dish cleaning area
  • Electronic, user-friendly control board with 5 speeds
  • The versatility of cutting speeds and cleanability of this machine makes it a must-have for large chain operations

Combi CK-311 – BEST

  • The best machine with all the bells and whistles plus more
  • 2in1, easily switch to a stainless-steel food processing bowl
  • Hopper, lid, and bowl easily detachable for interchanging or cleaning
  • 5-speed adjustable control for chopping and 10-speed adjustable control for emulsifying
  • Amazing value and space saver for operations that need both vegetable preparation and food processing and emulsifying

Foodservice Equipment – Sammic

The first frozen flakes of snow have already begun to fall for some of us in the chillier states.  On my recent business trip out to the intermountain states of Idaho and Utah, the mountain tops were beginning to wear their beautiful caps of pearl white snow.  I would get a good chance to view the unique scenery as I joined my local Sammic representative

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Diced potatoes vacuum sealed for freashness

Chef Zach Barker of IFE Intermountain Food Equipment, on a four-day sales seminar that was loaded with cooking demos.  Being the new guy on the block at Sammic, I had a lot to learn about all of the unique solutions that the global leader provides the restaurant and hospitality industry.  I could think of no better person to learn some of the more advanced cooking skills for vacuum sealers, sous-vide, and vegetable preparation equipment, than from Chef Zach.  Our first order of business was prepping our food for our first demo scheduled for lunch the next day.  This is where Sammic first stepped in to make my life a whole lot easier.  By using the right tools for the right job we were able to get things done fast and consistent.  Setting up our CA-311 vegetable preparation machine with a dicing grid and slicing disc made fast work for our potato sides we were making.  What really made me happy was the fact that once all of the potatoes were cut, in a matter of seconds, I didn’t need to add them to water or spray them with an acid like lemon juice to keep them for oxidizing.  Nope, all I had to do was bag them up and vacuum seal them.

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Orange infused carrots

That was a huge timesaver alone, but what we really needed to do was precook, or par-cook, our root vegetables.  We were also going to serve infused carrots for lunch and those needed a little longer cook time than we were going to be able to pull off on site.  That’s where Sous Vide cooking really came through for us.  We had two options, cook and chill the food the night before, essentially softening the product enough to where we just needed to get it back up to serving temperature, or cooking the product the day of service by dropping it in the sous vide bath well in advance of the lunch where we would only need to remove it and serve it at our convenience later.  Because in this case, we were acting more like caterers, we went with cooking the day before and reheating for service the day of service.

We made Pork Roulade, infused carrots, roasted potatoes, sous-vide pineapples, and they were ready at a drop of a dime.

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Sammic SousVide in action

The combination of quick prep work with the vegetable dicing and vacuum packing, mixed with cook-chill cooking and sous vide retherming, really made for an exciting lunch that could be pulled off for a large group of people in a matter of minutes.  Now that I knew the ropes, we started cooking for the rest of the demos where we served everything from stuffed chicken breast to BBQ ribs, and all of our sauces and sides.  All of our guests were very happy to enjoy the wonderful food that Sammic had to offer.

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Sammic demo in action!

Needless to say, I had a great time and owe special thanks to Zach and all of the team at IFE for all of their hard work.  They have been Sammic representatives for years and do a great job spreading the word about how Sammic solutions can help save time and money in a kitchen will upping the food game to whole new levels.  I look forward to my next journey and will definitely come hungry… Thanks for reading!

 

-Nate Sanford; CFSP

 

 

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Chef Zach and Nate getting ready to hit the road

 

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Nate preparing for a presentation

 

 

 

Foodservice Equipment – How a Garbage Disposal Works

How a Garbage Disposal Works

Source: InSinkerator.com

Many people think a garbage disposal works like a blender, with spinning blades chopping and breaking down the waste. In reality, garbage disposals work in a different way – and there are NO blades involved.

Instead, impellers, or lugs, mounted on a spinning plate use centrifugal force to continuously force food waste particles against a stationary grind ring.

The “grind ring” breaks down the food waste into very fine particles, virtually liquefying them. After they’re ground, the running water flushes the particles through the “grind ring” and out of the disposer and into your waste water pipe.

From there, it flows to a wastewater treatment plant or your septic system.

The Story Behind Will It Blend?

Source: http://www.blendtec.com/blog/the-story-behind-will-it-blend/

By: KELS GOODMAN

The honest truth is that Will It Blend? started with us fooling around. I mean, we had an objective, but YouTube was brand new and at the time we didn’t really see the “marketing” side of people posting silly videos on the Internet.

George Wight, the marketing manager at the time, asked me to set up a shoot where Tom would blend a bunch of things (marbles, rake handle, can of Coke, Big Mac meal, etc). George got that inspiration from watching Tom test the power and durability of blenders by blending 2x4s down to sawdust. My job was to film Tom and make it interesting.

If you watch the first 10 or so Will It Blend? episodes, you’ll see Tom with almost no comedy, no lines, no gags or sound effects. Tom basically said, “Here are some marbles; I think we’ll blend these.” That’s it.

The “don’t breathe this” line came from a joke I did during the first shoot. Tom had blended a ton of items the first few days we were shooting. I think we cranked out 6–10 episodes. When Tom got around to blending marbles (the first blend we posted), he joked that we shouldn’t breathe the demolished marbles because they were made out of pure glass, and if we were to breathe in the particles, we could get silicosis.

To be funny, I copied Tom’s warning from the marbles video and pasted it into the following episodes. It was an inside joke but eventually became a staple of the series.

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What is a consultant – Foodservice Consultants Society International

Source: What is a consultant – Foodservice Consultants Society International

WHAT IS A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

Generally speaking, a foodservice consultant is an independent professional advisor who, for a defined scope of work and related fee, works as an advocate for their client in achieving their goals through the design and implementation of foodservice facilities and/or operations/management systems. Consultants provide expertise, knowledge and experience to provide assistance that does not exist in-house, or by providing resources not available at the time. As independent professionals their primary focus is the welfare of the client organization that they serve.

  • Very knowledgeable in the foodservice and hospitality industry
  • Provides specific/specialized expertise
  • Usually involved for limited, specified period
  • Brings high degree of industry experience
  • Advises and educates clients on wide range of topics
  • Provides independent, objective advice
  • Facilitates between project team and foodservice operations professionals
  • Acts as an advocate for foodservice operations
  • Enhances client’s business

COMMON FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT SPECIALITIES INCLUDE:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Beverage System design
  • Capital Budgeting
  • Compliance Certification
  • Contract Management
  • Dietary & Nutrition
  • Due Diligence
  • Equipment Surveys
  • Facility Assessments
  • Finance Raising
  • Food Safety & Hygiene
  • Human Resources
  • Interior Design
  • Kitchen Design
  • LEED Planning/Design
  • Mgt Recruitment & Development
  • Master Planning
  • Operating Procedures & Systems
  • Operator RFP Selection/Monitoring
  • Revenue Generation
  • Strategic Financial Analysis
  • Training
  • Workshops and Education
  • Architectural Design
  • Business Strategy
  • Code Compliance
  • Concept Development
  • Culinary Development
  • Distribution/Procurement
  • Energy & Environment
  • Executive Coaching
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Food Production Systems Design
  • Franchising
  • Imagineering
  • IT Systems, Sourcing/Mgt
  • Laundry Design
  • Legal Advice/Litigation Support
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Menu Development/Engineering
  • Operations Review & Re-Engineering
  • Quality Management
  • Space Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Waste Management Design
  • Workstation Ergonomics/Design

HOW CAN I TELL IF I NEED A FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

  • A decision has been made to undertake a development/design project involving construction of new foodservice facilities.
  • Ownership/Management have made a decision to renovate existing foodservice facilities
  • Ownership/Management had identified a need to have an evaluation of existing facilities conducted as part of a long range capital budgeting process
  • Ownership/Management has identified the need for a master planning exercise
  • A decision has been made to develop or re-engineer a foodservice operation/concept
  • Ownership/Management believes that operational performance could be improved but is not sure what to do to make those improvements
  • Ownership/Management does not have the specific knowledge and skills necessary to solve an identified problem
  • Ownership/Management has the necessary knowledge and skills but does not have the time necessary to solve the problem
  • Ownership/Management requires an independent, third-party opinion, either to confirm a decision or to provide alternatives
  • Ownership/Management’s efforts have not produced the desired long-term results

HOW DO I FIND A COMPETENT FOODSERVICE CONSULTANT?

You can seek referrals from a variety of sources for help in finding and selecting a competent foodservice consultant. Your network of professional colleagues, your trade association and the local restaurant association are all good sources of information. You may also choose to turn to the Foodservice Consultants Society International for assistance. We have an online consultant search function on this web site or you may contact one of our administration offices closest to you.

WHY CHOOSE AN FCSI MEMBER AS YOUR CONSULTANT?

When considering a foodservice project, a FCSI consultant should be your first choice. FCSI is the only such consulting society that operates on a worldwide basis. FCSI maintains a global focus with members in over 45 countries dedicated to providing the highest quality of service. FCSI consultant members must abide by a strict Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. They work efficiently to achieve total client satisfaction and always maintain independence from the supply side of the industry.

The FCSI Code of Conduct is guided by three master principles (in order of priority):

  • The Client’s Interests
  • The Public’s Interests
  • The Profession’s Interests

Consultant members are required to participate in the FCSI Continuing Professional Growth program by attend educational seminars that focus on cutting edge developments in the foodservice industry. Members also have the benefit of networking with other professionals in the foodservice industry during Society sponsored events and activities. In order to gain acceptance into the Society, members must meet strict criteria assuring their experience and over all professionalism.

 

HOW DOES AN FCSI CONSULTANT OPERATE?

Foodservice consultants operate as independent business people with firms ranging in size from one person to large operations with multiple offices around the globe. Some consultants work primarily close to their home base while others are spanning the globe with projects on several continents.

– Independent of the supply of goods to the industry

  • Does not supply/sell equipment
  • Does not work for a commission
  • Serves only the best interests of the Client

– Negotiates a fixed fee for a defined scope of work prior to beginning an assignment

– Could work directly for owner, operator, developer, or architect

– Normally has several clients concurrently

 

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE:

There are a few factors to consider when selecting the correct foodservice consultant for your undertaking:

  1. Ask colleagues and other well-informed industry executives for several referrals. Check each one’s credentials and give each candidate the same criteria for your project.
  2. Ask for references and follow up on them, asking:
  • Were you satisfied with the services performed?
  • Would you hire this consultant again?
  • Did they meet your deadlines?
  • Did the consultant coordinate properly with other specialists on the project?
  1. Ask each consultant to describe their best approach to your situation. This isn’t asking or details – just a general description of the problem-solving process.
  2. Visit and inspect some of their projects. If that’s not possible, call the operators and talk frankly about their level of satisfaction with the consultant’s performance.
  3. Attempt to interview each finalist in person. Face-to-face meetings are invaluable.