• FAQ: Floral Coolers

    Screen shot 2015-01-07 at 2.02.44 PMFresh flowers are a timeless gesture, and they are seen in many different foodservice applications, from hotels to catered banquets, convenience stores and hospitals. As a florist, having adequate floral coolers is vital to prolonging the freshness of their inventory and maximizing profits. Ensuring you get the most life out of each cut flower and arrangement begins with the floral cooler- not to mention the aesthetics of displaying your arrangements in a sleek cooler can help boost sales. Despite their physical similarity, floral coolers are different than your standard commercial cooler counterparts. Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them:


    Though they may look the same from the outside, it's the inside that makes floral coolers different from commercial food or beverage coolers. Temperature, humidity and airflow are all important factors in maintaining the lifespan and freshness of flowers, and these three things- along with the cooling mechanism that controls them- comprise the biggest differences between a floral cooler and a glass door food or beverage cooler. Since food and drinks are more dense than flowers, a standard commercial refrigerator is designed to quickly cool them down, without much regard for humidity. Conversely, the specially-engineered cooling systems in floral coolers are designed with temperature and humidity in mind.


    Floral coolers are designed to hold the humidity within the cabinet at a higher level than a standard glass door refrigerator; the optimum humidity level is 95%, the minimum is 80%. This humidity is strategic, as it decreases the amount of moisture the flowers may lose to the surrounding air, thereby prolonging their vase life and keeping them from wilting, dehydrating, and burning out prematurely. Floral coolers also have a baffled air flow which ensures adequate circulation at low velocities, which is less harsh than the higher velocity, fan-driven airflow in a standard commercial cooler. Temperature is another important factor to the lifespan of fresh flowers. Because of their low density, flowers react to temperature changes very quickly. Therefore, floral coolers are designed to hold the temperatures inside the cabinet at 35º F - slightly lower than a normal commercial cooler- and precision is key.


    Oftentimes, operators make the mistake of buying a unit from someone who says they've converted the system for flowers. Be very wary of these claims. As was aforementioned, the refrigeration systems in floral coolers are designed with certain differences than their commercial cooler counterparts that are vital to the flower's life and freshness, not to mention your sales and profit. Making the necessary changes to a refrigeration system that can handle flower specifications can be very costly.


    Like any piece of refrigeration, floral coolers require some maintenance, but if well taken care of, they should last for many years. Make sure you have proper airflow around the cooler and keep the refrigeration unit free of dust. Having a small, hanging thermometer on the inside of the cooler is a smart, inexpensive back-up that will help you better regulate any unexpected temperature changes that occur.

    Do you have more questions? Call one of our team members today at 1-800-319-0690 from Monday through Friday 8 AM to 6 PM (CST). We'd be happy to help you find the right unit for your business.

  • Jaxpro Economy Floor Fryers

    Finding a fryer that is durable, efficient, versatile and capable of keeping up with commercial demand can often be an expensive challenge. Thankfully, there's now a option that will save you money without sacrificing on quality. Jaxpro's New Free Standing Floor Fryers are loaded with value-added features and benefits that will bring power, efficiency, and reliable performance to your kitchen. Starting at just $579, these fryers also have a great, low price, making them accessible to all different kinds of businesses and budgets.

    jaxpro-f340ng-fryer_2Here are the top 10 things you need to know about these affordable, efficient Jaxpro Fryers:

    1. The Jaxpro F-340 and F-450 fryers are free standing 3 and 4 tube fryers in 40 and 50 pound capacities. They're both available in natural gas and propane, depending upon your utility needs!
    2. The frying tank is made of a peened stainless steel with smoothed welds and it has an efficient 30,000 BTU Heat Exchange Tubes with high heat baffles, a cool zone, and a 1.25-inch full port drain valve.
    3. These fryers have a 200 pound shipping weight and are constructed of heavy-duty, durable  materials, including: a full stainless steel front, top ledge, header, and door. The sides and back are made of a high grade G90 galvanized steel.
    4. The stainless steel door is supported with a welded magnet and a reversible door handle for extra strength and durability. The doors on commercial equipment are often one of the first things to weaken, and thankfully, these are outfitted to stay strong with time and use.
    5. Included with each Jaxpro fryer are two fry baskets made of a nickel chrome wire mesh  with red plastic coated handles. A double rod stainless steel basket holder (pictured above) makes for easy placement of the baskets above and outside of the tank.
    6. A wide temperature range of 200 to 400 F is accessible thanks to the 1 millivolt thermostat by Invensys. 
    7. For extra security precautions, these fryers have a back up Hi Limit control, which shuts down the fryer if shortening exceeds the maximum temperature, so you can rest assured you're safe and keeping accidents to a minimum.
    8. These Jaxpro fryers come with 6 inch, adjustable legs upon purchase, though casters are available as an accessory should you prefer them.
    9. With your purchase, you will get a one year parts and labor warranty!
    10. ETL Listed to ensure compliance with the industry's safety standards!
    jaxpro-f340ng-img2_1 A peek into the frying tank.
    jaxpro-f340ng-inside_1 A behind the scenes view of the fryer mechanics.
    Other Important Considerations:
    • The F-340 and F-450 are for commercial installation only and are NOT intended for home use. It's also important to have an adequate ventilation and fire suppression system in place before operating any kind of cooking equipment such as these fryers.
    • Need a gas hose or kit? These require a 3/4 inch NPT (19mm) rear gas connection.
    • Fryers require a 6 inch clearance on the sides and rear plus a 16 inch minimal clearance to open top burner units or any open flames.
    • A combination valve with pressure regulator is provided with this unit (Natural Gas 4'', Propane 10'')
    Do you have any questions? We'd love to help you find the right fryer for your business or address any questions you may have. Call us at 1-800-319-0690 from Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, Central Standard Time. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Chef Interview: Steve McHugh of Cured, San Antonio

    Chef Steve McHugh is not new to the industry, but his new restaurant, Cured, has brought something entirely fresh and unique to the San Antonio restaurant scene. Housed in a stunning, historic building from 1904 in the city's lively Pearl Brewery, the chef and proprietor, along with his wife, revamped the interior with elegant, contemporary touches that complemented the building's unique character. McHugh takes advantage of seasonal, regional ingredients and has crafted a menu centered around cured foods, from charcuteries to vegetables. And speaking of charcuterie, the menu ranges in offerings from port pate to smoked duck ham and jalapeno sausage, to name a few, and it's all made in house and displayed in their attractive, humidity-controlled locker. All of these meats are cured from 60 days to 10 months! Aside from the charcuterie, the venue has delicious salads, homemade soups, cabrito sliders, roasted lamb legs and wagyu beef tartare, and that's just skimming the surface. Their seafood calls to mind great southern traditions and flavors, from crawfish "love letters" to masa flash fried oysters and seared redfish. Read on to learn more about the man behind Cured who's making a big splash in San Antonio:

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    When did you first realize you wanted to be a professional chef?

    I started working in kitchens when I was 14.   When I graduated High School I went to college to play music. I loved the saxophone when I was younger but it just wasn’t for me. I liked playing music but I didn’t want to study it. So I left after a year. I went back into restaurant work and it was my father that suggested I go to culinary school. Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin I had never even met a real chef. That was big city stuff. I left that summer to attend the CIA in Hyde Park New York and the rest is history.

    Did cooking play a large role in your upbringing and childhood?
    As a child I didn’t realize the role it played but as I came into my own as a chef I started to see the lessons. My Mom canned during the summers for winter and when we raised hogs the entire pig went to good use. It was important for my parents because they were raising 7 boys. Nothing could be wasted when you have that many mouths to feed.

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    Share with us a special food memory that sticks with you today.
    One particular food moment for me was when I was about 15 my father took my younger brother and I to New York City for a quick trip. I remember going into a Times Square Deli and having a Rueben. The sandwich was good but I couldn’t get out of my head how good the pickle and cole slaw was. I seemed odd to me that these two items I’ve eaten all my life could actually have some value to the meal.

    What advice do you have for aspiring chefs, students and hopeful restaurateurs?
    What you see on TV is not real. I know I’ve been on TV. Restaurants are hard work, plain and simple. It requires more time than you think and if you aren’t willing to put in the time you will never make it.

    Tell us about your career path- where did you start off, what were you doing before?
    I’ve always been in kitchens. I grew up on a farm and wanted to move to the big city. When I graduated culinary school in 1997 I moved to New Orleans and just immersed myself in the history of the city. New Orleans taught me to cook with respect to my ingredients as well as those that came before me.

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    Tell us a little bit about Cured.
    My wife Sylvia and I wanted a place where we could go and eat. It sounds funny but we longed for some of that New Orleans comfort. We also wanted to be a friend to the farmer and knew the only way to do that was to buy whole animals. The curing became a result of that. A good friend of mine came up with the name Cured because I had a bout with Lymphoma a couple of years ago and it fit not only my cooking but my history as well.

    What experiences do you think have shaped you most as a chef?
    The most important thing I can do as a chef is travel. You need to get out and see what others are doing. Get out of your own comfort zone. I tell my young chefs that a day trip to Austin or Houston will open your eyes.

    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?
    It is amazing to me how far San Antonio has come since I moved here in 2010. So much has changed in just a few short years and I feel great to be apart of it. There is so much energy now and the customers are only getting smarter thanks to TV and the Internet. You can ‘t fool people like you could years ago. I honestly think that San Antonio has a leg up on the other Texas cities because like New Orleans we have a truly indigenous cuisine rooted solely in its history.

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    What are some of your most prized tools in the back of the house? Any Mission Restaurant Supply favorites?
    I am a big fan of the simplest pieces becoming workhorses in the kitchen. My favorite Mission piece is a 6-foot cheese-melter that we use and it is extremely versatile. It holds sauté pans hot for when you need them, keeps food warm on the bottom shelf and browns on the top. Mission set themselves apart because of service. I had the honor to work with Jim Conner. Jim had been designing kitchen so long that I felt he had probably forgotten more about them than I have ever learned. After his untimely passing Don Brawner stepped in to make sure we didn’t skip a beat.

    You all have landed in a honey hole with your location at the Pearl. Tell us a little bit about the building and about what your location adds to the experience.
    The building was something that we talked about for a long time. Once I cooked for the higher-ups at Pearl and they had a chance to see my vision we realized it matched their vision for the Admin building. It is the original administration office for the brewery. It was built in 1904 and we are grateful to be able to come to work there everyday.

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    Which tastemakers, mixologists & foodservice professionals inspire you?
    My career is heavily influenced by John Besh, whom I worked with for 10 years. He is one of the most giving people I know and that is reflected in everything that happens in any of his restaurants. I catch myself on a daily basis saying to myself “would you serve that to John”?

    Can you share with us your favorite culinary destinations?
    In San Antonio, Fruteria, for me. It’s all about learning and I know that Johnny has traveled extensively and I learn something new every time I eat there. In Texas I love day tripping to Lockhart for Blacks BBQ or off to Houston for Chris Sheppard’s Underbelly. In the U.S. one of my favorite cities in Chicago. Pretty much anything Paul Kahan touches is gold and I am a big fan of Girl and The Goat by Stephanie Izard. Around the world, Chartier in Paris. Its one of the oldest Brasseries in the city and you can eat a full lunch for about 15 euros.

    What towns/villages/cities are you’re dying to go and explore for yourself? Any particular dining destinations on your list?
    I’ve become friends with Johnny Hernandez over the years and he is always going on and on about Oaxaca and I’ve traveled a lot throughout Europe but have never been south of the U.S. so it will be on the itinerary for 2015 for sure.

    The whole aesthetic at Cured from the furnishings to the integrity of the building, to the bar program and the presentation of the food is really something. What were you trying to achieve with the “look and feel” of Cured?
    My wife and I tend to agonize over details. It’s probably why what was supposed to be a 6-month project turned into 14. It had to not only be perfect but it also had to make sense. We tried to do the impossible which is to make a place for everyone. We feel like we got as close as we could and are extremely happy with the support of the community.

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    Do you have a personal creed or ethos that you live by?
    Not really. My Mom passed away 5 months before we opened and for my brother (also my partner) and I it was tough for us because she never go to see it finished. I do imagine that she is watching and it makes me want to work harder because I know she would be proud.

    “Charcuterie, Dining & Subtleties” is the motto at Cured. How do those things infuse the Cured experience?
    We want people to know that we are trying. You will never see me go through the motions. It’s that little something extra, cologne in the men’s room, the garnish on your drink, turning beets into cracklings instead of croutons on your salad. It was about setting ourselves apart.

    Lay out a perfect meal and wine/cocktail pairing for a first timer to Cured.
    I get asked all the time what is your favorite. It changes everyday. We do get a lot of comments on our poutine and so I will tell first-timers to make sure they try that. Also get the Cured Cocktail because it’s a moonshine infusion. And of course try some of the charcuterie. Make sure you come with someone you enjoy sharing with because it’s all about being communal.

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    What’s your favorite dish?
    There’s no way I have a favorite dish. If I get to to attached to something I’m afraid I will be scared to take it off the menu. We have to be able to keep things fresh and new.

    What has been the biggest surprise in your life?
    Cancer. It doesn’t run in my family and when I heard that word it was a complete surprise. I’m a relatively healthy person and you want to know what you did wrong.

    What’s up next for Chef Steve and Cured? Any fun quirks you can share about yourself?
    We get asked all the time if we are going to do something else. We have worked so hard this first year to put together the best team of people in the city of San Antonio and the team gets stronger and better with every new person we hire. It’s hard to think of doing that all over again. Our People make Cured.   I’m a total goof in the kitchen and I love to crack jokes. It’s important to remind the team that we’re all human and its okay to enjoy your job and the people around you.

    Check out Cured the next time you're looking for a fun lunch or night out in San Antonio! You won't be disappointed. Thank you Chef Steve for visiting with us!
    All Pictures Courtesy of atpearl.com and tastingtable.com

  • Hand Washing Awareness

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    As much as we use our hands on a day-to-day basis, it should come as no surprise that our hands are some of the largest transmitters of germs and infectious diseases out there. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illnesses around is to clean our hands. Every year, both on October 15 and the whole month of December, there are hand washing awareness initiatives dedicated to educating people on the importance of hand hygiene. However, this education really shouldn't be limited to one day, week or month. Hand hygiene is something that should be practiced all the time: when preparing food, before meals, after using the restroom or handling garbage, after shaking hands or rubbing your nose, after talking on the phone or using a computer keyboard/mouse, even after turning a doorknob. The truth is, germs live everywhere and your hands should be washed all the time. Here are a few reminders that will keep you fresh and clean:

    So How Do I Really Wash?

    1. Wash with soap and warm water.
    2. Lather your hands, wrists, palms, back of hands, fingers and nails and scrub for 20 seconds (The amount of time it takes to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm or the Happy Birthday song twice!)
    3. Rinse and dry with a clean towel.

    What's The Big Deal?

    Infectious diseases are the leading cause of illness and death worldwide.
    Come again?!

    Yes, you read correctly. And they also happen to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the PPPHW, "The simple act of washing hands with soap can significantly cut the risk of diarrhea (from 30 percent to 50 percent, Fewtrell et al., 2005) and that of respiratory tract infection (from 21 percent to 45 percent, Curtis and Cairncross, 2003). UNICEF estimates that diarrhea kills one child every 30 seconds. Scientific research shows that handwashing with soap prevents disease in a more straightforward and cost-effective way than any single vaccine."

    Why Hand Washing?

    One gram of human feces has over 10 million viruses in it and one million bacteria. These pathogens are easily transmitted by an infected host (hands, for one) the moment you touch something, be it your nose, your eye, the table, or your food. Frequent hand washing, therefore, is criticial to stopping the transmission of these germs and reducing the risk of infections in addition to the cross contaminations of these pathogens in food, on surfaces and to others. It's the most affordable, easily acted upon, most readily available "vaccine" out there.

    Are Hand Sanitizers and Wipes Really Effective?

    Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes are an easy and effective way to kill germs on your hands and stop them in their tracks. They are especially useful when located in places where people are on-the-go and soap and water isn't available. Remember too that though they're effective in killing germs, they aren't designed to remove dirt or grime off your hands so wash with soap and warm water whenever possible.

    Is Antibacterial Soap More Effective Than Regular Soap?

    If you follow the 3 steps above, lathering and scrubbing for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water, all soap should do the job about equally for non-healthcare settings. Antibacterial soap is essentially normal soap with antimicrobial ingredients added to it but the FDA says there is "no evidence" that antimicrobial soap keeps people healthier than its regular counterpart. 

    Header image Credit

  • Commercial Range Buying Guide

    Most chefs would agree that the range is the heart of the kitchen. Commercial ranges are built to handle a multitude of tasks in a compact, space-saving footprint. From sauteeing, grilling, stir-frying, boiling, simmering and braising, ranges are built to handle all kinds of cooking tasks thanks to their different cooktop configurations. It's about maximizing space and performance in one piece of equipment. Virtually every commercial kitchen serving hot food, from small restaurants to large hospitals and schools, is going to need a range, yet each place will have its own needs. Here are a few steps and considerations to keep in mind when shopping for one of your own:

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    1. What Type & Size?
      The type of range you get is going to be directly related to the size of your restaurant and how many meals you'll be preparing per day. The size of the range will depend on how much space you have to work with in your kitchen and how much power and cooktop space will be needed to satisfy the daily requirements at your restaurant.
      1. Heavy-Duty Ranges: If you're operating a kitchen that is putting out more than 250 meals per day, such as a large hospital, school or casino, a heavy-duty range might be the best option for you. These ranges have high energy outputs (upwards of 35,000 BTU per burner) and are designed with the specific intent to do high volume cooking all day long. They are built with durable, heavy-duty stainless steel and are designed to accommodate large pots and pans. These ranges are often seen connected with other heavy-duty ranges to form a long battery of cooktops.
      2. Restaurant Ranges: For restaurants large and small, a commercial restaurant range is the industry standard. These stand-alone ranges are designed to keep up in the commercial sector and they have plenty of BTUs for the day-to-day. Restaurant ranges also tend to be less expensive than their heavy-duty counterparts and they come in a wide variety of sizes varying in 12'' increments, from 12'', 24'', 36'', 48'', 60'' and 72'' widths to fit your unique size restrictions.
      3. Specialty Ranges: Oftentimes, there are needs for a more specialty range. Stock pot ranges are one example and are most commonly used to heat up large, heavy pots full of liquid, which is why they have a lower height. Induction ranges are another commonly seen specialty range which are growing in popularity in the foodservice market today.

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    2. Menu + Cooktop Configuration
      Deciding on a cooktop configuration is your opportunity to determine how much of your menu will rely on a range with different cooking surfaces. From basic burners to griddles, there are numerous options out there that should be considered based on the kinds of items that appear on your menu, like eggs and hot sandwiches. There are also add-on broiler options that can be found on many commercial ranges, so you can have a cheesemelter or a salamander mounted on your range to nicely finish off your dishes.
      1. Open Burner: The most common of the cooktop options, the open gas burner offers the operator a direct open flame that can be used with pots and pans to achieve all kinds of results, from boiling to stir-frying. The BTU of each burner ranges per manufacturer, though most can give off from 20,000 to 35,000 BTUs each.
      2. Griddle: The smooth, flat griddle surface is another commonality on commercial ranges and adds a different dimension to your cooktop. If your menu includes breakfast, the griddle option will be key to cooking up eggs, pancakes and more.
      3. Combination: Perhaps your menu calls for both burners and griddle space. In that case, you can get the most flexibility all on one cooktop. Commercial range manufacturers like Garland and Southbend have numerous design options to choose from.

    3. Hood Codes
      Knowing how much space you have under your exhaust hood is a key factor in determining range size. Most code requires that your hood extend at least six inches on either side of your range. So if you have a 60'' hood, the largest range you could have would be 48 inches wide. It's extremely important to check with your local health and safety codes to determine the specifications in your area.

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    4. Utilities
      Determining what utilities are available in your venue is crucial to knowing range you will need.
      1. Gas vs. Electric : Whether your kitchen has gas or electric utilities, there are range options to suit your set-up. Gas ranges are the most commonly used in commercial kitchens and they're reliant on a flow of natural gas or liquid propane gas from the utility source to the equipment via a gas connection hose. Having the right sized hose is imperative to ensuring your range is fed with the proper amount of gas. When gas is not available, electric ranges are, and knowing the voltage requirements at your hook up is key. Talk to a Mission Restaurant Supply agent to make sure you have the right unit!

    5. Other Considerations
      1. Casters: Casters are a nice alternative to legs on a commercial range for their easy mobility so you can clean behind the range in those grimy, hard-to-reach areas. (These grimy, hard-to-reach areas also happen to be one of a health inspectors frequently watched areas.)
      2. Ovens \ Storage Space: Most ranges today have an oven cavity below the cooktop, and for larger models, there are often more than one to maximize your baking space. Other models have storage spaces in lieu or in conjunction with an oven, offering room to store pots, sheet pans and more.

    If you need any help or have any questions about replacing an old range or buying a new one, please call us at 1-800-319-0690 Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM Central Standard Time. One of our agents would be happy to help you find the right commercial range for your business.
  • 10 Reasons To Love The MSO35 Steamer Oven by Menumaster

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    The MSO35 MenuMaster Steamer Oven is a high quality solution for all your large volume steaming needs. This heavy-duty unit not only simplifies steaming but its diversity will make it a dependable favorite in the back of the house. Here are 10 things to know about the MSO35:

    1. Space-Saving Design. The 1.6 cubic foot interior cavity can hold 2 full size amber food pans, each 4 inches deep, so you can get the most output out of each cycle without overusing precious countertop space.
    2. Speed. The MSO35 is 4X faster than a traditional steamer, retaining food quality and keeping  meats tender and vegetables crisp.
    3. Low cost. Depending on your frequency of use, this unit can operate on less than $1 of energy per day.
    4. Power. 3500 Watts plus 11 power levels for great results no matter whether you're dealing with frozen, refrigerated or fresh product. 
    5. No plumbing or vent hood necessary. Enough said.
    6. Easy maintenance. The magnetic front air filter is easily removable for cleaning and you will be alerted with a clean filter reminder. The interior and exterior are both constructed of stainless steel.
    7. Programmability.  The MSO35 has 10 programmable memory pads plus a USB port for standard flash drives that will update your menu items in seconds. Up to 100 programmable menu items can be used to ensure consistent results and streamline operations.
    8. It is ETL Listed.
    9. The transparent, drop down door and interior lighting allows you to check on your product without disrupting the cook cycle.
    10. Demand. The MSO steamer oven can be used in just about any large volume setting, from fast casual restaurants to grocery stores, buffets, healthcare facilities, schools, cafeterias, stadiums and more.
  • 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.

    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

    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.

    Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 5.07.02 PM Image Courtesy of The Oxford Companion To American Food and Drink
    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

    Screen shot 2014-09-08 at 4.16.29 PM

    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.

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