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    7 Famous New York Chefs and Their Restaurants

    New York, New York!  Have you tasted the Big Apple lately? In such a cosmopolitan city, it’s no wonder that it's home to some of the most famous and unique chefs and their restaurants.  From Matzo Ball Soup to sustainably raised Blue Fin Tuna, there are legions of culinary  masterpieces to sample and environments to experience.  In the city that doesn’t sleep, where do you start?  Here is a list of 7 chefs and 7 of their magnificent New York establishments to explore:

    Chef #1 - Lidia Bastianich

    Restaurant - Felidia

    h-bomb / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

    In the mood for Italian?Felidia is cited by many as the best Italian restaurant in New York.  And who else but Lidia Bastianich could be the recipient of such lofty praise for Italian cuisine?  Bastianich is a household name, having graced the airways for almost two decades with her fantastic and educational cookery shows.  When you're next in Manhattan, drop by Felidia and experience a little bit of Italy.

    Chef #2 - Cesare Casella

    Restaurant - Salumeria Rosi

    wallyg / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    If you're in the Upper Westside and hankering for a sandwich, drop into Salumeria Rosi salami shop.  If you would rather have a master chef prepare your meal, walk to the other end of Salumeria Rosi and experience the genius of Cesare Casella.  His genre of food is an innovative take on Italian cuisine that he likes to call “Tuscan cowboy cooking”.  You've never tasted salami until you visit Salumeria Rosi!

    Chef #3 - Marcus Samuelsson

    Restaurant - Red Rooster

    gsz / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    African-American food, now that’s a thought. Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster is in the heart of Harlem. Where else would you find the best soul food? Having received a  3-Star rating from the New York Times at only 24, Samuelsson has never looked back, creating several top restaurants.  Drop in to the Red Rooster and enjoy some “Mac and Greens” or some “Harlem Chowder” to begin to experience the full range of soul food.

    Chef #4 - Wylie Dufresne

    Restaurant - wd~50

    wallyg / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    No list of top New York Chefs is complete without Wylie Dufresne and his brainchild, wd~50.  Dufresne is the mad scientist of the food world.  Molecular gastronomy is the science and art of studying and using the natural chemical and physical transformations that take place when different ingredients are combined to create unique foods.  Dufresne has built his entire menu and business on the science of food.  The most exciting aspect of his outfit is that the menu is always changing!

    Chef #5 - Eric Ripert

    Restaurant - Le Bernardin

    arnold | inuyaki / Foter / CC BY

    Le Bernardin is where you go to experience the taste of the seas.  Ripert is known as the master of seafood and he cooks it with the utmost French flair, so much so that Le Bernardin has been voted one of the top 25 restaurants in the world  Have you ever had “sustainably raised blue fin tuna” or “chocolate dusted with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil”?  The king of the seas is calling your name.

    Chef #6 - Mario Batali

    h-bomb / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

    Restaurant - Lupa

    Mario Batali has many restaurants the world over.  Batali is known for many achievements but he is defined by his attention to detail in creating fine cuisine and a great ambiance. When was the last time you had Roman food?  Lupa is the place to savour a taste of Italy's romantic capital.

    Chef #7 - Gabrielle Hamilton

    Restaurant - Prune

    spektrograf / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    Our list of top New York chefs wraps with the creative style of Gabrielle Hamilton.  Head over to the East Village and visit Hamilton’s Prune. Prune’s menu continually evolves as Hamilton continues her quest for culinary masterpieces.  

    How to Choose Your Frozen Drinks Machine

    Regardless of the season, some people always prefer the smooth feel and cool concoction of an icy drink. Deciding to purchase a cold drinks machine can be a lucrative and streamlined investment for your business if you carefully consider several factors.

    Viscosity Control – Beverage Thickness
    This function of a frozen drink machine automatically shuts down refrigeration when your beverage reaches the desired thickness. This feature gives you menu flexibility because it enables you to offer a variety of different frozen cocktails and smoothies that vary in thickness. A machine with a specialty-designed viscosity control ensures consistent quality each and every time a customer orders a frozen beverage. With adjustable controls, you can modify the thickness of your beverages.

    Temperature Control – Beverage Coldness
    While you want all your fruit smoothies, cocktails, and iced coffees to be cold, actually being able to adjust the thermostat allows you to operate the unit in either “frozen” or “chilled” drink mode. This function enables you to offer a wide selection of drinks via the frozen drink machine.

    Ice Shaver or Slush Control – Beverage End Result


    cold drink dispenser


    A frozen drink machine that shaves ice includes a bin at the back where you can dump ice. The ice is then shaved by the machine and transferred into the blender. Some machines offer this process in a digital format where it automatically dispenses a number of different mixes into the blender.
    A slush machine does not take ice in a bin in the back; instead, it has a bowl (or 2, 3, or 4) where you pour the mix and water (or ice). With this function, the auger (the piece of equipment that continually chills and rotates the mixture) prevents the mixture from freezing solid. Some frozen drink machines allow you to pour your alcoholic ingredient directly into the mix; others do not because alcohol can damage plastic seals.  Once you put the mix in your slush machine and it’s started, you simply need to pull the handle and pour a drink.
    The ice shaver, on the other hand, makes custom drinks in different quantities and is perfect for making smoothies and cool concoctions that include fruit or texture in the mix. The ice shaver option is best for a stand-alone bar atmosphere or a restaurant/hotel bar because it allows you to offer a variety of drinks.

    Condenser Filter – Machine’s Integrity

    Before purchasing a frozen drink machine, make sure it has an easily accessible condenser filter.  This small but significant piece of equipment prevents dust from accumulating on the condenser and improves ventilation for your machine’s optimum performance. Since the filter is washable and easy to replace, change, or clean, you can rest assured your machine won’t overheat and negatively impact its compressor (as long as you remember to do routine maintenance checks on the filter!)

    Defrost Timer – Machine’s Integrity
    This feature can be preset to have your machine go automatically into chilled mode when not in use. Most machines come with a 24/7 battery-operated defrost timer to make sure it is running properly and not over-freezing.

    While these components are important to explore before you make the investment in a frozen drink machine, there are other factors to consider. Be sure to find out the dimensions of the machine so that it fits the space you have available. In addition, find out what parts and service warranty is offered by both the manufacturer and the company where you purchase it.

     

    See all Frozer Drink Dispenser Machines at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/refrigerated-beverage-dispensers

    Simple Steps to Starting Your Own Restaurant

    For many people, their dream is to one day start their own restaurant. Though that dream may turn into a lucrative venture, starting a restaurant requires extensive planning. The worst thing a person can do is to create a business without putting in the time and thought it takes to be successful. The restaurant industry is a difficult one to maneuver, as it is tied inextricably with the health of the economy and reflects all its fluctuations. First Steps The various aspects of a restaurant such as its concept, menu and location have to be carefully considered as they can potentially be the determining factor for customers opting to visit your business, instead of staying home or choosing another establishment. Advice from professionals like consultants can be helpful, but what may be even more beneficial is personal experience working in restaurants, thereby observing first-hand what works well and what can be improved upon. Before deciding on specifics like menu options, restaurant layout or even advertising methods, it is important to start with the basic of establishing a business plan. Some issues to consider: what are your goals? What are your financial targets and constraints? What is your restaurant concept? The concept of the restaurant will determine what cuisine will be served, what the ambiance of the restaurant will be like, what pricing options will be; essentially, what the customer is in for when he or she steps through the front door. Restaurants can generally be classified into three categories: fast-food, mid scale  upscale. Even more specifically, choosing a style of restaurant – bistro, café, steakhouse, ethnic restaurant– can help make your restaurant more distinct and separate it from the competition.  

    moriza / Foter / CC BY-NC

    After making decisions on concept and style, it is important to narrow down your target customer group and assess an ideal location for your restaurant. Are you catering to a lunch crowd that wants quick bite to eat, families that will sit and eat for a while, expensive dinner crowd or families with kids? Are you trying to attract high-income earners or customers from a wide range of income groups? Your target customer base will affect your menu options, restaurant decorations and food pricing, so consider carefully. The ideal location of your restaurant would be one that is most accessible to your target customer base, based on availability of parking spaces or public transport. Additionally, other things to consider about a location include the history of the site and the future development of the area. The physical layout of the restaurant is the way the concept and message of your restaurant will be demonstrated. People are naturally attracted to visually appealing places; the exterior and interior design of a restaurant can be the determinant of one’s choice to eat there. The layout of the dining area should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also able to accommodate different types of customer groups, be it individuals, pairs, or large parties. The layout of the production area is equally important. It should be designed so that the cooks and waiters can create and serve the food in the most efficient manner possible. Next, consider what type of food, beverage and services will be offered by your restaurant. What selection of food and beverage is available? Will you offer fixed dishes and set meals or allow for options to reduce ingredients or take into account dietary restrictions? The menu should reflect all such information in a straightforward manner. Creativity with regards to the menu and the appearance of dishes and beverages will greatly enhance the appeal of your restaurant. Without a doubt, the organization of management and employees is crucial to the success of a restaurant. How many employees should be working per shift? What about during peak hours and seasons? How should employees behave? These are all crucial issues in maintaining an effective system to support your restaurant as employee attitudes and behavior can greatly affect customer enjoyment at your restaurant.

    en:User:Rdikeman / Foter / CC BY-SA

    To sustain your restaurant’s mission and employment structure, it is important to make financial considerations. Identify the sources of your funding and how it can cover the costs of food, cooking equipment, hiring employees, and more. Make short-term and long-term financial goals, and make projections about the future growth of your restaurant to help you keep track of where your restaurant is heading.   Finally, when all the different factors of starting your restaurant are in place, it is imperative to consider how you will be marketing your restaurant. Advertising is key to luring in customers but it can only be effective if you have done extensive research on your market and target customers and can concisely convey your message to them. The National Restaurant Association explains that word-of-mouth is one of the best methods of advertising. In addition to that, having menu promotions, gift certificates and fliers are great ways to get the word out.   Establishing a successful restaurant rests upon – but is not limited to – the aforementioned steps. Starting your own restaurant may seem like a complex affair, but with much preparation and consideration of the various key elements, you too, can be successful in establishing your own business. Photo credit: Pete Zarria / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

    Benefits of Refrigerator & Freezer Combo Units

    Did you know that fluorescent bulbs are about four times more energy efficient indoors than standard incandescent bulbs? Or, that you can substitute a 100-watt incandescent bulb for two 60-watt bulbs, saving you about 12 percent on energy while not compromising your light source?

    If you operate a dehumidifier in the summer, dry air can be tolerated at higher temperatures than humid air; if you operate a humidifier in winter, colder air will feel more comfortable.

    Now, we’d like to cover the many benefits of Refrigerator Freezer Combo Units, which include Convertibles, Remotes, and Self-Contained, all offering the benefits of a freezer and refrigerator in one unit.

    But, more than the benefit of dual appliances, these Combo Units work great when you need additional space for a frozen product or more refrigerator space for prepared food. These units allow you to freeze and refrigerate what you need with the flip of a switch and are designed for use as standard-temperature freezers or for operation at refrigerated temperatures. This dual-temperature construction provides unique flexibility when a variety of foods and menu changes require coordination.

     

    See all Combo Units at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/commercial-combination-refrigerators-freezers

    Cost Saving Tips For Small Restaurants

    Statistics show that after the global recession, many Americans have been opting to eat out at restaurants significantly less and instead prefer to eat at home. This decrease in restaurant expenditure has undoubtedly affected the restaurant business. In order to adapt to this change, many small restaurants have begun to adopt cost saving tips. Small cuts in various areas will add up, and the resulting impact on profit makes these cost saving measures very worthwhile. Below are some cost saving tips that small restaurants can employ to ensure that profit is maximized to the best of its ability:

    Adjust Staff to Customer Ratio
    Having too many idle staff on hand is just a big waste of money. Observe and analyze the fluctuations in the number of customers based on time of the day to find out when are peak service hours. If lunch and dinner hours attract a huge customer base and only a smaller proportion during breakfast hours, adjust the number of working staff accordingly. Manage staff shifts so that a lot of your staff is working during busy hours, and just a few during off-peak times.

    Go Green: Adopt Conservation Strategies
    Many businesses, including small restaurants have begun to “go green.” Simple steps to conserve energy use can go a long way, so make sure you have plan to direct your business towards the path of sustainability. Lighting is a huge factor in utility costs, so one way to minimize such costs is to turn off lights when not in use. It sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised about how much energy is wasted by not doing so. Dim restaurant lights based on availability of sunlight, or use daylight sensors for automatic regulation. Replace incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Though these may seem costly initially, they last for a much longer period of time than the common light bulbs.

    Replace Old Culinary Equipment
    Restaurant equipment can create a heavy burden on utility bills. Replacing old kitchen equipment with energy efficient appliances can lead to 15-30% more cooking efficiency and can also help to save costs! Induction cooktops are also a great way to reduce expenditure, as they transfer about 40% more energy directly to the cooking pan than ordinary cooktops. Less ambient heat is created and you can also save on cooling costs. Limiting the number of appliances on at the same time is another way to conserve energy. Plan carefully so that as many items can be put into the kitchen appliances at the same time. Also remember to keep equipment clean, as grease and carbon build-up can make it harder for culinary equipment to work, thus leading higher energy costs

     Map Out Your Menu
    The placement of food items on the menu is more important thing. A great way to save costs and generate higher profit is to heavily promote menu items that require relatively lower costs to make. Parts of the menu that attract the attention of the eye most are the center and the top right corner, so arrange menu items according to which items you want to sell most! Fluctuating prices of ingredients can affect how much it costs to make certain food items, so try to monitor those prices frequently. Adjust your menu periodically to reflect changes in items you want to promote, remembering to spotlight those with the lowest costs!

    Take Charge of Your Business
    For small restaurants, the scope of the business is not too large to be unmanageable by an individual, or a few. Be your own accountant, manager, publicist, secretary and webmaster! Take charge of your restaurant and cut down on manpower by assuming multiple roles. Not only will it help you be more informed about your business and stay more in tune with the needs of your customers and staff, it can significantly save costs!

    Such tips are just a few amongst many that can be used to save costs. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by just snipping costs here and there!

    See all Restaurant Supply and Restaurant Equipment at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/restaurant-equipment

    See all Pressure Cooker and Induction Cooktops at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/countertop-induction-ranges-and-induction-cookers

    Blast Chillers Pay for Themselves

    We have long been touting the benefits of blast chillers as the best way in which to ensure bulk-cooked foods are cooled quickly to safe temperatures. Consider a reach-in or undercounter, which work well for smaller operations or tight areas.

    Blast chillers are growing in popularity because foodservice operators are learning how to expand the foods that can be blast chilled. Blast chillers are also as popular with small operations as they are with high-volume kitchens and, clearly, blast chillers’ use is on the rise because its technology is being successfully utilized in all types of food service kitchens.

    Using a blast chiller also involves appropriate placement. Position your blast chiller close to your cook lines to reduce food transport times from safe chilling to heating. Also, enhance safety by using smaller blast chillers that are stocked with meal components and that are placed behind serving lines, helping to ensure food is as cold as possible when placed on refrigerated tables or in display cases for sale over time and with the intention of being consumed later.

    Because blast chilling is among the best food preservation and food safety technology available and because they are now available in many sizes and capacities for a growing range of foodservice programs, they work well in just about any kitchen environment. What’s more, because they help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and enable increased productivity, decreased labor, and extended food storage time, blast chillers ultimately pay for themselves.

     

    See all Blast Chillers at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/commercial-blast-chillers

    Charbroilers Are a Kitchen Staple

    In countless restaurants every day, diners are excited to see the diamond grill marks and savor the woodsy, charred taste of their dish.  These features are usually found on food that was cooked over an outdoor grill or pit. However, these marks and flavors can be created inside the kitchen with the help of a commercial charbroiler.

    The main function of a char-broiler is to cook food at a consistent temperature and a high production level with as short a recovery time as possible, while presenting a pleasing cross-mark presentation on the food itself. Char-broilers can use any of four sources of heat, gas, electric, wood, or charcoal. The general structure of a char-broiler features an adjustable grate on which the chef can place food orders. This grate is suspended over a localized heat source, which, in the case of gas or electric char-broilers may also be adjusted for temperature control.  This tray can be angled to allow for grease to be sent to a trough or tray rather than causing flare-ups from direct contact with the heat source.

    Depending on the type of heat source the char-broiler uses, conducted heat is transmitted through the top grate, while convection heat is carried by circulated air. Infrared rays emanate from the heat source, use less gas and reach operating temperatures in 90 seconds. Some models offer variable front-to-rear control of heat sources for more precise cooking control. Gas models have a Btu range from 17,000 up to 217,500, depending on their size. Economy models may feature heavy, cast-iron radiance for even heat distribution and to hold cooking temperatures in excess of 700 °F, however most char-broilers are most efficient when used between 550 °F and 625 °F.

    While many chefs prefer to use a lava rock or ceramic briquette heat source for their char-broiler, this can accumulate large amounts of carbon and grease and experts recommend replacing both the heating elements and the grates as often as twice per year. Some other models offer self-cleaning elements and do not need to be replaced.

    Char-broilers come in a variety of sizes and can be floor-standing or counter-top to accommodate even the smallest kitchen. Some other forms of char-broilers include cheese-melters and overhead salamanders.

    Exhaust requirements are highly important to consider when purchasing or using a char-broiler. In the case of a drop-in model, exhaust requirements range from 900- to 1,200- cu.-ft. per minute. These units must be also be installed 1” from any side wall, at least 5” from a back wall and about 4” from any other piece of countertop equipment. Proper ventilation and frequent cleaning are equally important to consider

     

    See all Charbroilers at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/commercial-charbroilers

    Commercial Rotisserie Ovens Offer That Slow Cooked Flavor

    For some diners, nothing beats the taste of tender rotisserie chicken, meat, fish and vegetables and the only way to get that authentic slow-cooked flavor is by using a commercial rotisserie oven.

    Rotisseries are generally found in two varieties, Batch-Cookers and Continuous-Cookers. Batch-Cookers are meant to cook a certain amount of chickens in a batch for specific serving times, like a big lunch rush, and feature skewers that are placed through the cavity of the chickens. Continuous-Cookers are meant to cook chickens and keep them warm through-out the day for continual serving, and usually feature baskets that cradle the chickens and rotate them around the heat source so as not to burn the poultry.

    Some models feature an aesthetically pleasing fireplace effect, where logs are burned off to simulate cooking over an open flame, but almost all rotisseries rely on either gas or electric heat sources to cook the chickens. Rotisseries are found in a number of sizes, from small counter-tops to models that can cook 80 or more chickens at once.

    Most rotisserie bodies are made of galvanized sheet metal coated with stainless steel, while featuring glass doors or walls for easy viewing and access to the meat inside, and all rotisseries feature a small motor that rotates the spits or baskets around the heat source as the hot air produced slowly cooks the poultry, meat, vegetables or fish, creating that caramelized sheen that customers have grown to expect and love.

    While most rotisseries operate the same way, some newer models have added optional features as stay-cool doors, holding and warming options, vent-less hoods, self-clean modes, and a constant water drip bath for removing grease as the food cooks.

     

    See all Rotisserie Ovens at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/rotisserie-ovens

    Commercial Microwave Ovens

    While almost every household is sure to have a microwave oven, those home varieties differ greatly from their commercial counter-parts. The power of a commercial microwave oven is much greater, and the inner cavity of the oven is usually much wider, deeper and higher than a house-hold model, allowing for more product to be heated in a shorter amount of time.

    Commercial microwaves can operate on 120 volts, but some larger models require 208 to 240 volts. A smaller unit can produce about 700 watts, while larger units can pump out close to 3200 watts.

    Most microwave ovens are made of stainless steel and have powder-coated handles. Standard features usually include programmable memory pad selectors, see-through doors, a cycle counter, and a lighted inner cavity, and an automatic shut-off system to avoid over-heating. Doors are required to have individual, but inter-locking systems that automatically turn the oven off when opened.

    A new heating technology found in commercial microwaves allow constant energy to penetrate the center of the food, allowing for more even cooking and less burning around the edges of the product. This new technology also allows for keeping food warm longer after heating.

    While microwaves do not require hoods, the operator should take into consideration the overall usage of the unit. For example, users that spend a great deal of time defrosting products rather than simply heating them, should consider a unit with higher voltage capabilities to avoid wear on the machine. Also, since a microwave is an electronic device, it requires ventilation space for the hot air to escape and avoid over-heating, so take care not to place a microwave directly over a fryer or steamer, and all manufacturers warn not to turn on a microwave when it is empty.

     

    See all Microwave Ovens at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/commercial-microwaves

    Must Have Equipment For A Commercial Kitchen: Deep Fryer

    One of the best-selling and most popular part of any restaurant’s menu is their fried foods section. From french-fries, doughnuts and other starches, to fried chicken and other proteins, to tempura and other vegetable dishes,  there is almost no food that can’t be fried.  When done properly, frying adds a crispy, crusty exterior, while keeping the food inside moist and flavorful. Because of this, one of the first items on a new restaurant’s equipment list is always the deep fryer, and one of the first places they search for fryers is Culinary Depot.

    While some fryers cook through induction or infrared heating, the traditional fryer uses gas or electric to heat a pool of oil for dropping food into. Electric fryers usually come in 120, 220 or 240 volts, while gas fryers produce between 30,000 and 150,000 BTU per hour.

    Fryers come in a variety of sizes and depths and can be placed on a counter-top or used in a stand-alone variety. Smaller fryers have capacities of 11 pounds of oil up to about 50 pounds of oil, while larger, stand alone fryers can hold more than double that. The general rule to follow when figuring out how much food a fryer is able to produce per hour is that a fryer can usually handle 1.5 to 2 times the amount of oil it holds, so a 50 pound fryer can usually produce 75-100 pounds of food per hour.

    Standard fryer features include a heavy gauge stainless steel fryer tank, a full-port ball drain for removing oil, stainless steel front and sides and lockable casters. New features on some fryers include heat exchanger systems that help bring oil back to temp faster after food is dropped in, advanced electronic switching, and specially designed heating tubes.

    Many common accessories purchased when also buying a fryer include a filtration system, fryer baskets of multiple sizes, tank covers, crumb scoops, splatter shields, and tank brushes for cleaning.

    General maintenance suggestions to extend the life of your fryer include frequent draining of a tank’s oil and cleaning of the inner tank, as well as avoiding dumping frozen foods into fully-heated oil, scorching the frying medium and stressing the heating elements.

     

    See all Deep Fryers at https://www.culinarydepotinc.com/commercial-fryers