• Chef Interview | Jesse Perez | Arcade Midtown Kitchen

    Tucked into the bustling Pearl Brewery in San Antonio is a place called Arcade Midtown Kitchen where "Food Fortune Awaits." The aesthetics of the place are as satisfying outside as they are inside, and best yet, the food (and drinks) don't disappoint. The man behind it is Jesse Perez, a local chef who has earned his stripes working in his native San Antonio in addition to both the East and West coasts, and also in Mexico. The fusion of those culinary styles, flavors and traditions come together to make "something old, something mood, something borrowed and damn good food." Somewhere between the crispy chili and lime calamari to the soft lobster taco with sweet potato and the delectable brussel sprouts, we became caught in a paradise of flavors and relaxed fare. Wash down your meal with one of Arcade's signature craft cocktails and make sure to stop by the bathroom for a fortune telling visit to Zoltar. Without further ado, check out our latest Chef Interview with Jesse Perez from Arcade Midtown Kitchen.
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    MRS: When did you first realize you wanted to be a professional chef?
    CHEF JP: I grew up being comfortable in the kitchen. At home my grandmother and my mother did all the cooking. The kitchen was where all the action was and so was the food. It wasn’t until my first cooking job while at the University of Michigan that I realized that the kitchen wasn’t scary to me and felt right at home.

    MRS: Did cooking play a large role in your upbringing and childhood? If so, how did it shape you?
    CHEF JP: All the meals growing up where made at home. Something was always cooking at home, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether it was my grandmother or mother or my father. Going out to eat was a very rare occasion. It was always about the home cooked meal. Nothing better than that.

    MRS: What is your earliest and/or most treasured food memory?
    CHEF JP: I believe the most treasured memories that I have with food are the monthly barbecue cook-outs that my Dad and my uncle would have as fundraisers for birthdays or for friends/family in need. All the family would get together and pitch in their ‘best of’ for the offering. It was truly inspiring.

    MRS: What advice do you have for aspiring chefs, students and hopeful restaurateurs?
    CHEF JP: My advice is to be a student of the craft. Earn your stripes and battle scars by staging at a few restaurants and search for chefs and kitchens that will hone your skills. Then make the decision if this is truly a career path you want to pursue, or realize that you just like to cook. A real restaurant is not what you see on TV.

    MRS: Your career path has taken you from coast to coast. What did you like most and notice most about east/west styles?
    CHEF JP: Working as an Executive Chef in Atlanta was an amazing experience. The southern approach to food was a great lesson for me. Serious but simple was the approach and making great food was the only way to make a mark on the table. In Los Angeles and Long Beach, it was a little slower pace but also serious about sustainability and great products. The farmers markets are like no other and the customer was careful about the origin of their experience.

    MRS: We know that Latin flavors influence your cooking approach and have made their way onto the “Americana” menu at Arcade. Can you tell us a little bit about what that means? Also, what was the biggest take-away from your time in cooking school in Oaxaca?
    CHEF JP: Oaxaca is a very special place. Susana Trilling and her ‘Season’s of my Heart’ cooking school is like no other around. You are taken to this oasis of culture and flavor that can only inspire to immerse yourself into the tradition and passion for true interior Mexican cuisine. Throughout my career, I have taken those techniques and traditions and implemented those flavors on dishes. Taking the traditional methods with a modern twist is what makes ‘Americana’ a thing for us here at Arcade. It’s a fun thing to do.

    MRS: After all this travel, you’ve settled back down into your hometown of San Antonio. What is it about the Alamo city that draws you back?
    CHEF JP: First and foremost is that my family is here in SA. Secondly, it was always a goal of mine whether in this field or another to come back and give back to the community that gave me so much. I was brought up with a ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ mentality. I’ve enjoyed paying it forward.

    MRS: Where do you see the San Antonio food scene heading and how do you think it stands out in relation to Austin, Corpus, Dallas and Houston?
    CHEF JP: This is the most exciting time for SA. Never has the dining and beverage scene been so aggressive and innovative. National publications are constantly on the prowl for what SA is doing. That says a lot about where we are and where we are going.

    MRS: What are some of your most prized tools in the back of the house? Any Mission Restaurant Supply favorites?
    CHEF JP: Strainers. Vita Prep. Food Processor. Blue Tape. Black Sharpie.

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    MRS: You’ve landed in a honey hole with your location at the Pearl Brewery, an area you’ve cleverly dubbed “Midtown.” What is the Midtown vibe in your own words and how does that fit the Arcade vision?
    CHEF JP: Location wise it made sense to me to coin Arcade, as a Midtown Kitchen. Midtown in ATL was a hot and urban spot where things were constantly moving forward. I have and continue to see that with SA and Pearl. With the ‘Kitchen’ it was perfect for the approachability on what diners are looking for right now.

    MRS: Which tastemakers, mixologists & foodservice professionals inspire you?
    CHEF JP: Chef Mark Miller will always been a true inspiration to me. Every Chef has a Chef. He’s my Chef. Others that inspire me with their drive and passion, would be Jason Dady, Alice Waters, Nancy Silverton, David Chang, Pano Karatassos, and Dr. Richard Becker. To name a few.

    MRS: Can you share with us your favorite culinary destinations and name some specific memorable meals/libations you’ve had at each of them?
    CHEF JP: Chicago is my favorite R&D spot. I’ve had some of my best meals there. Not necessarily only at the finest dining spots. They really take food seriously and I love traveling up there for inspiration. And their cocktails are top notch!

    MRS: What places are you’re dying to go to still? Any particular dining destinations on your list?
    CHEF JP: Barcelona is on my bucket list. And I would love to add Bangkok, Hong Kong, and South Korea on that list.

    The bar seating at Arcade Midtown Kitchen The bar seating at Arcade Midtown Kitchen

    MRS: The bar program at Arcade is one of the most unique and stimulating facets of your restaurant. What inspired you to incorporate this feature and tell us a little bit about Christopher Ware?
    CHEF JP: The bar program was designed to be a sexy amenity to Arcade. It was built small but it was meant to run big. Implementing an aggressive approach of ‘vintage’ and ‘modern’ cocktails with fine product was the goal. Taking the steps to implement a barrel aged program and hand crafted cocktails to the table diners was still a new thing when we first opened. It’s been exciting to see the growth with our restaurants following the same approach. Everyone wins.

    MRS: Do you have a personal creed or ethos that you live by?
    CHEF JP: (1.) Cooking is the easy part (2.) Adapt or die

    MRS: What was the most difficult part about starting your own restaurant business? What surprised you?
    CHEF JP: Constantly second guessing yourself and wondering if it all will work like you envisioned in your head. You are constantly at the mercy of time tables and product availability. There truly are not enough hours in the day for it and you are never truly ready for it. Buckle up and take the ride.

    MRS: What inspired you to name your first restaurant Arcade Midtown Kitchen?
    CHEF JP: The architecture of the façade of the restaurant was a standout fixture to me. Also the covered dining with rounded brick columns the restaurant houses. In my research, Arcade would constantly come up for ‘columns’ and I immediately was attracted to that name. The name Arcade also stood true for a place where people gather to meet and have a good time. Back in the boardwalk days (aka Boardwalk Empire), Arcades were places to wine and dine with your friends and family. We ran with it and took the more vintage and ‘tongue and cheek’ approach as opposed to the playful ‘video’ game approach.

    MRS: Lay out a perfect meal and wine/cocktail pairing for a first timer to Arcade.
    CHEF JP: Order an Arcade and barrel aged cocktail to share. Calamari and Lobster taco for the table to taste. Any red wine from our wine list that are carefully selected to pair with our cuisine, to enjoy with the Salmon ‘on the rocks’ and ‘Arcade Chile Rubbed Hand Cut Ribeye’ steak with Red Chile Potatoes. A side of Brussel Sprouts. Finishing with Chocolate Pudding Cake and Roasted Banana Stack with Salted Caramel.

    MRS: We recently read that you earned the Introduction Certificate of Sommeliers from the Guild of Master Sommeliers. What an honor. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
    CHEF JP:  I took that test back in 2000, as a hot apps cook when I worked at the former Westin La Cantera Resort. It was an honor to study under Master Sommelier Virginia Phillip. It really sparked my confidence to pair wine with food, especially with Southwestern and Americana flavors. I still have aspirations to take the advanced test in the future.

    MRS: Lastly, what’s up next for Chef Jesse?
    CHEF JP: Great question. Right now, just put my head down and continue to make Arcade a consistently great place for people to enjoy. Then, perhaps a spot or two.


    Thank you Jesse for the great interview! Learn more about Arcade here.

  • 3 Thoughts About Robot Coupe

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    In every commercial kitchen, time is of the essence. That's why Robot Coupe USA has made it their mission to make products that will save time in the back of the house. Here are a few things to know about this industry favorite brand:


    1. Before Robot Coupe came out with their food processors and food preparation equipment, chefs around the world were using manual labor to cut, slice, grate and shred their vegetables and other menu ingredients. Talk about labor intensive! When the Robot Coupe processor came on the market, it revolutionized the way this tedious work was done and saved operators a tremendous amount of time and money. It continues to do so today.

    2. You may wonder why the Robot Coupe name is synonymous with commercial food processors in the USA. This is because Robot Coupe USA was the actual company that formally introduced the commercial food processor to North America! The brand Robot Coupe was started in the well known gastronomic region of France called Burgundy nearly forty years ago. 3 men from Jackson, Mississippi saw the Robot Coupe French food processor in a restaurant in New Orleans and decided that America needed it too. They, in conjunction with Robot Coupe France, started Robot Coupe USA and began their voyage. By traveling from seminar to seminar, convention to convention, and show to show across America, the Robot Coupe USA team became the first company to demonstrate how their product could save people drastic preparation time in their kitchens. Today, the brand continues to be the "Standard of the Industry" for commercial food processing and food preparation equipment. 

    3. The Robot Coupe name can be found in all facets of the foodservice industry, both large and small. From hospitals to cruise ships, restaurants, hotels, correctional facilities and more, there is no application that Robot Coupe can't handle. Robot Coupe USA is based in Jackson, Mississippi and their quality control, attention to service and dedication to education and innovation keeps them at the forefront of the foodservice industry.

    Think you have a need for a Robot Coupe? Feel free to call us at 1-800-319-0690 from Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM and let us help you find the right unit for your venue!
  • 3 Things You May Not Have Known About The Chafing Dish

    When you think of long banquet tables with delicious foods on display or catered parties at your home, what is the one kitchen tool that comes to mind? If your answer was Chafing Dishes, you guessed right.

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    With all the wonderful technology that's infiltrated the world of cooking today, there is still a certain level of appreciation for the unchanging, original design of products that are classic in their nature. Chafing Dishes are one such item and it is their solid simplicity and usefulness that has made it a mainstay in kitchens of all times, shapes and sizes. Interestingly, chafers have a history spanning way, way back. Here are 3 things you may not have known about these kitchen staples.


    1. "Chafer" or "Chafing Dish" comes from the French word "Chauffer" which means "to heat." This soft heat coming from the bottom through a double lining (via the water pan and the food pan) is what makes the chafing dish so desirable for a wide range of foods and delicacies. It lightly cooks, heats and holds food at a heated temperature for a long period of time. Now who wouldn't love that?


    2. Chafing Dishes have been around for a long, long time. How long you ask? Before microwave ovens were in the picture, chafing dishes were used by American colonists in the 1700s. Before that the Europeans used them plentifully, spanning back to the Middle Ages, and before that the inhabitants of ancient Greece and Rome used them on the tables for their lavish feasts and banquets. (Research has shown the remnants of bronze chafing dishes surface in the ruins of Pompei!) From then to now, chafers have had a pretty steady presence, fading out only to come back in. For example, after the Depression and through World War Two, chafing dishes weren't used as widely. However, after the war, chafing dishes had a resurgence as home entertainers began using them more to add something special, slightly more elegant and purposeful to their tables. Today, of course, the chafing dish is a widespread solution to all kinds of commercial and residential needs.

    3. Back in ancient times, chafing dishes were said to be a symbol of the entertainer's prestige and wealth. Different chafers would have different metals, from copper to brass, and delicacies were cooked on display for all the party to see. To this day, you will find chafing dishes of all different styles and materials so that you can find a flattering look for your unique needs and venue.

  • New York New York

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    Since the roaring twenties and the days of Prohibition, the famed 21 Club in New York City has been the dining and imbibing destination of choice for countless movie stars, political figures, business tycoons, and industry leaders. Today it is more than just a restaurant, it is an institution. And though the building is home to many private dining rooms and special nooks and crannies, it is the charismatic Bar Room that has had people talking since the very beginning. Red leather booths snake around a room that features a giant wooden bar (complete with the original hidden chute used to quickly trash liquor bottles during the days of Prohibition). A bartender dressed in a dapper white coat and black bow tie makes the most delicious, ice cold martini we've ever tasted amidst a wall of gleaming spirits and stemware. Scattered around are tables draped in classic red and white checked cloths where countless celebrities have dined before. If you aren't sold already, it takes simply one look skyward to further understand the room's special charm and history. Dangling from every square inch of ceiling space is a blanket of toys and model trucks, airplanes, hard hats, telephones, records, tractors and other industry paraphenalia donated to the club by presidents, business executives and industry tycoons.

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    And this is where we get really excited. As of January 2013, we have had the honor of having our very own Mission Restaurant Supply truck hanging from the 21 Club ceiling over Table #14 in the legendary Bar Room. The room itself is a legacy to businesses around the world that have contributed positively to their markets, and an evening at 21 can be easily spent merely goggling at the amassed assortment of mementos from people's professional success stories. We are very honored to have our little truck here in such a special place and amidst such revered company to represent our Mission culture, and most importantly, to represent our family of employees who make Mission Restaurant Supply what it is. If you're ever in New York City, pop into the 21 Club for a cocktail or a quick lunch in the Bar Room and maze through the signed NFL helmets, sports jerseys, jets, picture frames, cars and more, and eventually you will find our truck over Table #14 (Frank Sinatra's table of choice!)

    So many notable figures have dined in 21's hallowed walls that their website boasts an interactive map where you can find out which tables "belong" to which famous figures. Check it out here.
  • The Dynamic DynaCube

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    When it comes to foodservice equipment and supplies, the more your investment can save you time and money, the better. And that's exactly why Dynamic USA has been in the industry since 1964.

    At MissionRS.com you will find the "DynaCube" a professional manual food cutter that is designed to dice up your fruits, vegetables and certain meats in no time. Below are a few graphics to show you the ins and outs plus an informative video so you can watch it in action.


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    What are the Advantages?
    1. The DynaCube will chop up soft, delicate vegetables like tomatoes, onions and peppers with ease in addition to some cooked meats and fruits. It's efficient, rapid, and cuts cleanly to yield the best results in the least amount of time. It can even julienne your vegetables for you!

    2. This product is made of a high quality, durable polycarbonate plastic and is outfitted with a patented grid system made up of two surgical stainless steel blades that are designed to do all the work. There's one grid set available in different sizes that's located within the DynaCube plus one cutter blade mounted externally beneath it. The two blades move in opposite directions and don't ever need to be sharpened.  Simply crank the handle and let the DynaCube's revered, easy blade/grid system do the work for you.

    3. The DynaCube is designed to mount safely and securely to your stainless steel countertops thanks to handy suction cups on the feet of the product. There are also mounts for wood.

    4.Though the DynaCube should not be put in the dishwasher, all parts and pieces can be washed, rinsed, and sanitized in the sink simply.



    The Ins and Outs:
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    DynaCube Anatomy:

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    As you can see, this affordable, manual food cutter is designed to bring efficiency and simplicity to your foodservice business. It's known for its ability to handle those soft fruits and vegetables that often have trouble being cut into fine dices. With the DynaCube those problems are solved. Should you have more questions on the DynaCube or want to learn more about it, please feel free to call one of our customer service agents agents for more information! We're available to visit with you Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM CST.
  • Chef Interview | Luca Della Casa | Silo & Nosh

    Italians have long been known for their passionate enthusiasm on life, culture, family and food, and Torino-born Chef, Luca Della Casa, is no exception. The Italian Chef has become a much talked about fixture on the San Antonio dining circuit thanks to his impressive work as Executive Chef at Silo Elevated Cuisine and Nosh in addition to being a contestant on the much talked about Food Network Star.

    Chef Luca Della Casa Chef Luca Della Casa

    The Mission Team loves going to Silo and to Nosh, where crispy fried oysters abound and fresh, homemade tagliatelle hangs in the kitchen, awaiting its sauce du jour. And clearly, others do too. Della Casa has a humble, happy, hard-working spirit that is contagious for diners coming to both of his restaurants. Since his early days in Italy learning from the best (his grandmother Nonna) to his time working across Europe at different establishments, Della Casa has appreciated the joy that comes from bringing people together around a table. And luckily for us, Chef Luca has turned that joy into a career that everyone can taste and enjoy.

    The Mission Team recently chatted with the popular Chef to pick his brain about his inspiration, favorite kitchen supplies, words of wisdom and more. Read the Interview here & enjoy!


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    MissionRS: You're from Torino, Italy which we're sure is bursting left and right with culinary inspiration. Tell us a little bit about your Italian heritage and how the "homestyle" cooking influences your vision and work. 

    Chef LDC: I was born in a family that loved to cook and entertain. My best food memories were in my grandma Nonna's kitchen, which is my culinary inspiration.


    MissionRS: When did you know that you wanted to make cooking a career? 

    Chef LDC: After working my way up the ranks in the kitchens of Italy and Spain, I knew that cooking was my passion because I love food and making people happy.

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    MissionRS: 
    What is one of your favorite pieces of kitchen equipment/supplies?

    Chef LDC: I love the cast iron pans from Mission because they get really hot and give an amazing sear.


    MissionRS: You know what it takes to work your way up in the industry. Tell us a little bit about your past and any advice you may have for aspiring young chefs.

    Chef LDC: I have worked my way up from dishwasher to Executive Chef. My advice is as follows:
    1. Be ready to work hard. 2. Be humble; and 3. Always taste your food. 


     MissionRS: What are some of your favorite and most treasured food memories?

    Chef LDC: My favorite food memory is always having Sunday dinner at my Grandma Nonna's house and eating gnocchi with rabbit sauce.


     MissionRS: Name a handful  of tastemakers/chefs/foodies who inspire you today. 

     Chef LDC: I am inspired by Chefs like Bruce Auden, Johnny Hernandez, Mark Bliss, Jason Dady, Gabriel Ibarra, Steven McHugh, Tim Rattray, and Stefan Bowers who work hard to put San Antonio on the culinary map.


    MissionRS: San Antonio is really picking up as a coveted culinary destination. What other cities do you look to for serious eats?

    Chef LDC: My wife and I love New York, Chicago and Seattle. We are planning to visit Portland next.

    BATE_2_s4x3.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide Judges of Food Network Star

    MissionRS: For a first timer to Silo and Nosh what would your ideal dinner/wine pairings be?

    Chef LDC: 
    For Silo: Start with the Signature Chicken Fried Oysters and a glass of Sancerre; Oak Grilled Lamb and Palmaz Cabernet, and a Coconut Pie with Tokai.

    For Nosh: Truffle Parmesan French Fries; Shrimp and Tomato Salad with a glass of Prosecco. Buon Appetito!


    MissionRS: Your homemade tagliatelle is one of our favorite things ever. (Listen up readers- it's a must order at Nosh!) What is the trick to making really good, light pasta? Any other tricks in the kitchen you'd mind sharing?

    Chef LDC: The trick to good homemade pasta is to use a high quality "OO" Flour. Follow me on the Food Network Star to learn some of my other culinary tricks.


    MissionRS: Finally, where do you see the industry headed? Anything on your radar for the next year?

    Chef LDC: I believe San Antonio is becoming a culinary destination and it's also a wonderful place to live. As for the future, I want to take my wife on a vacation.


    Make sure to swing by Nosh and Silo- Alamo Heights in San Antonio next time you're in the area. To follow Luca through social media and on his quest through the Food Network Star, use the following links:

     
     
    Hashtags and @Mentions:
    #FoodNetworkStar #StarSalvation #TeamLuca @FoodNetwork @FoodNetworkFans


    And last but not least, we'd like to say a big thank you to Chef Luca and to his wife, Marcella for being a part of our Mission Chef Series!

    *All pictures courtesy of Food Network*

  • 4 Things To Know About The Silver Saver

    Every commercial kitchen, be it a cafeteria, a hospital, a school, a nursing home or a stadium, has a couple of things that it can't operate without. One such thing is flatware: the forks, knives and spoons that allow diners to eat the food created for them. Unfortunately, however, its' lightweight nature makes it highly susceptible to being thrown out unknowingly when plates are being scraped. In fact, did you know that flatware is one of the most frequently re-ordered kitchen items for a restaurant operator? Because these flatware items are tossed out accidentally, costs can grow at unprecedented rates. It's like throwing away money! One of the ways to control this rising cost is to invest in a Silver Saver by the Restaurant Remedy Group. This magnetic probe is designed to grab tossed flatware from the trash. Simply insert it directly into the garbage can and let it do the dirty work for you.

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    Here are a couple of key things to know:

    1. The SilverSaver works perfectly with 18/0 flatware and other 18/0 metal objects like souffle cups and ramekins as it is highly magnetic. For those operators with 18/10 flatware, the SilverSaver may not retract lost flatware quite as easily since the higher nickel content is attributed to lower magnetism.

    2. Since the SilverSaver will be swimming in the trash on an hourly basis, cleaning it should be an obvious priority. The manufacturer recommends cleaning it with hot water and a towel every two hours but notes not to expose the magnet to temperature over 176º F in order to keep its strength.

    3. The Restaurant Remedy Group has a nifty savings calculator on their site where you can calculate just how much money you can save at your establishment by investing in their product. Depending on the total number of stores and the average cost of flatware per piece in addition to the average number of pieces lost a day, you can configure how much money you will save per day, per month and per year. (Some operators make their money back in just 30 days or less!)

    4. There are two SilverSavers available for purchase, both at great, affordable price points. The SilverSaver Ultra is your classic tool complete with a high-powered magnet. The SilverSaver Elite is the same as the SilverSaver Ultra but is is equipped with a magnetic auto release so you can effortlessly remove retrieved silverware by squeezing a trigger.


    What do you think? How much flatware do you run through on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis? It might be more than you think! The SilverSaver is designed to troubleshoot these issues and relieve these lost costs by quickly and easily extracting lost items from the depths of the garbage. You can shop for the SuperSaver here and we welcome your calls at 1-800-319-0690 Monday through Friday.

    Want to watch the SilverSaver in action? Check out the video here!
  • 3 Patriotic Desserts To Try This Summer

    You know summer is in full swing when the sweet smells of freshly-baked pies start wafting from the oven and dinners al fresco become the norm. Summer's bounty of plump fruits and beautiful berries are the perfect subject for a medley of summer desserts, and it doesn't get much easier or more delicious than a pie. With all the creative minds out there, from bloggers to bakers to Pinterest extraordinaires, there is no shortage of fun, patriotic recipes to try. 

    So with this overflow of inspiration, after scouring the web for the best summer desserts, we've found three stand outs that we couldn't resist sharing. There was something about each of these that made them worthy of our vote, be it a sweet detail, an unexpected ingredient or an undeniable wow factor. So whether you're making one of these for family, friends or for a summertime BBQ, we feel confident that they will delight!

    pie
    1. Roasted Plums with Berries, Marzipan Hearts and Almond-Pepper Crust are the stars behind this winning tart by Sweet Paul. The only major thing you need for this recipe is a blender to blend the plums until smooth. The rest, from the lemon juice to the brown sugar, just adds to the goodness.


    2. It doesn't get more patriotic than an American classic like Apple Pie. This version, with its cinnamon apples, flaky crust, salted caramel coating and lattice top (complete with a step-by-step tutorial) is "the holy grail" of American dessert. Though this recipe is the most involved of the three, the stunning step-by-step photographs deliver an undeniable boost of self-confidence. 


    3. Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries abound in this Triple Berry Pie by blogger darling, Knead To Cook. This recipe is bursting with color and healthy antioxidants and is relatively easy to make. Simply throw your ingredients into a pie pan (on top of the store bought or homemade crust) and bake at the ready.
    Let us know if you try one out this summer season! Better yet, if you have a favorite summer pie or dessert recipe, feel free to share with us on our Mission Facebook page!
  • Popcorn Tips and Trivia

    Whether you're sitting in a dark movie theater or sneaking a snack in the company break room, hot, buttery popcorn is hard to beat. Popcorn is also a great option for foodservice operators looking to boost their bottom line. With profit margins often exceeding 80% Commercial Popcorn Poppers drive profitability into all different applications, from cafeterias to theaters, rehabilitation centers and stadiums. At MissionRS.com our popcorn poppers are designed with strong cabinets and space-saving footprints and all will deliver performances that will pop out in your kitchen.

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    What Size Popper Do I Need? If you are looking for a popcorn popper for your movie theater, business break room, school or other commercial application, finding the right size is key. Popcorn kettle sizes equate to the number of one-ounce servings of popcorn that the machine will make in any given pop cycle, which generally lasts 3-4 minutes. An example:

    • A 4 ounce kettle popcorn machine like this one makes 4-one-ounce servings in every 3-4 minute cycle. 

    Knowing that there are roughly 20 pop cycles per hour (60 minutes / roughly 3-4 minute pop cycles) you will be able to calculate what size popper you need given your establishment's peak hourly demand. 

    • If making less than roughly 80-90 servings of popcorn you will need a 4 ounce popper
    • If making approximately 90-120 quarts of popcorn you will need a 6 ounce popper
    • If making roughly 130-160 quarts of popcorn you will need an 8 ounce popper

    How Does Popcorn Pop? Popcorn kernels have a 13-14% moisture content at the center of their hull which is just enough moisture to make them explode under pressure. When this moisture is put under the machine's pressure, that inherent moisture begins to steam and is forced out, causing the hull to pop. If that moisture level is too high or too low the popcorn will not pop- simple as that.

    How Do I Store Unpopped Popcorn? Because that 13-14% moisture level is so important to a kernel's popability, popcorn kernels must be stored in a sealed, air tight container at room temperature, thereby kept from getting overly moist or dried out.

    Is Popcorn Bad For Me? Popcorn in its natural state (sans butter, sorry) is actually one of the healthier snacks out there with everything from Vitamin B, E, iron, phosphorous, protein, riboflavin and thiamin found in its chemical make up. 

    What Is An Old Maid? Old maids are the kernels that don't pop during a cook cycle. These kernels may have too much or too little internal moisture to properly steam, expand and pop, and the kernels remain whole in the popper or in the clean out drawer located at the bottom of the machine. 

    How Addicted Are We? Americans consume 4 billion gallons or 16 billion quarts of popcorn annually making the USA the largest popcorn consumers in the world!

    What Brands Are Available at Mission? MissionRS.com has a number of popper brands to choose from including Star Mfg and Benchmark USA. Both are industry leaders with great warranty terms and trusted performances. Please feel free to contact our customer service team at 800-319-0690 to find out more about these brands and the units available for your business!

  • Chef Interview | Mark Bliss | Bliss, San Antonio

    2 Chef Mark Bliss in action, courtesy of Southern Living.

    If you haven't already heard, it's about time to add San Antonio to your list of dining destinations, and pronto. With the plethora of restaurants in our fair city, there is no shortage of great places to eat, so let your culinary compass be your guide. But guide you as it may, we are taking it upon ourselves to introduce you to some of the highlights. Enter: our new series of Chef Interviews. 

    Over the coming months, we will be sharing some of the chefs and tastemakers that are doing exciting, innovative things in the restaurant industry and we hope you will read along. Do crispy fried gulf oysters with candied bacon, buttermilk chive biscuits and brown butter hollandaise sound appealing to you? How about seared sea scallops with pepperjack-white cheddar grits, sauteed spinach, avocado mousse and cilantro lime jalapeno beurre blanc? Hungry? We thought so.

    Behind these delightful, blissfully concocted dishes is Mark Bliss, a San Antonio Chef who oozes culinary talent in relaxed and refreshing ways at his eponymous restaurant, Bliss. Though he's originally from Northern California, Chef Bliss started his culinary career following his move to Texas in the early eighties, working in a handful of hotel and restaurant kitchens before opening Silo in San Antonio, a restaurant which has received tremendous national and regional acclaim over the years. Following a brief sabbatical, Chef Bliss opened his new restaurant concept, Bliss, in the bustling Southtown neighborhood of San Antonio.

    The restaurant location was decided on after Mark and his wife/business partner Lisa found a hopeful home in a decrepit yet charming filling station from the early nineteen hundreds. After a good deal of renovation, the building's original exposed brick was complemented by contemporary steel panels, beautiful landscaping, and large glass windows and sky lights to bring natural light into the space. The building, with its relaxed yet refined ambiance and contemporary spin is much like the chef who conducts business within. They are a perfect match and as a result, a dinner here is a harmonious melody of things: it's unpretentious yet service-driven, relaxed yet elegant, comfortable yet subtly swanky, and most of all, the food is bliss.

    Keep reading to learn more about Chef Mark Bliss:

    1 A sampling of sights at Bliss: the contemporary exterior, a peek inside the kitchen's Chef's Table (available by reservation), the Chef's famous oyster sliders, and the restaurant's covetable back patio.

    MissionRS: How long have you been in the industry and when was it that you first realized you wanted to be a chef? Was it a gradual revelation or an early conviction?

    Chef Mark Bliss: I have been in the business since I was 16 years old, I started as a sandwich prep at TOGO's in Northern California. I started becoming serious about it in 1983. I worked at a small trattoria in north San Antonio for a year then went to work at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in 1984. I worked with 4 different chefs while at the Hilton. The Hilton experience really lit a fire under me professionally. I left the Hilton in 1986 to work at The Fairmount Hotel. 


    MissionRS: Was there one key person (or group of people) who you credit for teaching you the ropes?

    Chef Mark Bliss: The first sous chefs I worked with at the Hilton, George Keeney & Louis Spost, were both extremely talented ambitious chefs who had just graduated from the CIA in Hyde Park NY. They taught me a lot about production, sauce making. They are both well respected Chefs to this day. Luckily for me they saw I had the passion for the job and put me on an intensive in house training program. Bruce Auden, the godfather of New American Cuisine in San Antonio became a huge mentor during my tenure at The Fairmount Hotel. Bruce eventually hired me as chef de cuisine at Biga in 1991.


    MissionRS: For the newcomers to Bliss, what would be your ideal "first timer" food & wine pairing?

    Chef Mark Bliss: Chicken fried oyster sliders & Contaldi Castaldi sparkling rose

    3 {LEFT} The main interior dining room of Bliss with the filling station's original brick walls. {RIGHT} The restaurant's red Berkel slicer makes plate after plate of paper thin charcuterie.

    MissionRS: Name a handful of tastemakers/ chefs/ foodies who're inspiring you today.

    Chef Mark Bliss: I recently returned from Spain and had numerous fantastic experiences in Barcelona & Donostia-San Sebastian. The food scene in Spain is world class. Pakta restaurant in Barcelona was enlightening and delicious as we navigated through 34 tiny bites or courses. Albert Adria from El Bulli & Tickets is a partner with Japanese chef Kyoko Ii & Peruvian chef Jorge Munoz. Pakta is basically a Japanese, Spanish, Peruvian fusion restaurant. The food they are creating is light, healthy & delicious. Here in the states there are numerous great young chef's really getting into the whole farm to table concept. Jared Wentworth at Longman & Eagle in Chicago has really gotten my attention, his food is brilliant. 


    MissionRS: In the back of the house, what's your most cherished kitchen tool?

    Chef Mark Bliss: My chef's knife.


     MissionRS: You're nicely nestled into the heart of Southtown San Antonio. Tell us a little bit about why you enjoy this part of town and how it is incorporated into your vision and the dining experience at Bliss.

    Chef Mark Bliss: Southtown is a wonderfully diverse food & arts community. Some of the most innovative food in SA is located here. I wanted to do a concept that was comfortable, not pretentious, fun & relaxed with a professional staff & service. I am very blessed to have one of the best staffs in the business. I also have a fantastic partner in my wife Lisa who is responsible for all financial aspects of the business. We have a beautiful space, great landlords...It's a very, very positive environment.


     MissionRS: With all the innovative cooking techniques on the market today have you experimented with any that are now mainstays in your kitchen or that you're anxious to try? 

     Chef Mark Bliss: Sous Vide is definitely on my radar.


    MissionRS: For you, what are the secrets or fundamental staples to running a successful restaurant business?

    Chef Mark Bliss: Being a fair & honest employer/restaurateur. Not being afraid to make daily changes or try new dishes on a whim. Basically keeping myself & my staff enthused so we do not get stale or dated.

    4 Picture courtesy of eater.com

    MissionRS: What is the most memorable meal you've had?

    Chef Mark Bliss: Recently at Patka in Barcelona & in 1993 at Bouley in NYC.


    MissionRS: Where do you see the food industry heading and what do you see for the future of Bliss?

    Chef Mark Bliss: Hopefully, the public will continue to embrace small independent restaurants. I see Bliss continuing to get better and evolve with the times. And perhaps the occasional Brunch.


    MissionRS: Do you have any tips for aspiring chefs and restaurateurs?

    Chef Mark Bliss: Never stop learning, don't be too greedy. Always feed the dishwashers first and foremost as they are truly the heart & soul of a great restaurant. If you want to get a point across, do so respectfully, your staff will truly pay attention.


     Bliss is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and you can make a reservation by calling them at 210.225.2547. Bliss is also directly across the street from our showroom, which is open to the public at 1126 S. St. Marys Street San Antonio, Texas 78210. Come by and see us! Thank you to Chef Bliss and to Lisa Bliss for helping us kick off this new series!

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