Choosing the right Air Door and Air Curtain

Air Doors (also called Air Curtains) are a very valuable addition to any busy entryway or service window. By producing a steady jet-stream of air across the width of any opening, these efficient units create a seamless air barrier between two separate environments. From entryways to window openings, and even drive-through, Air Doors allow open accessibility, while blocking out insects, dust, and other fumes through a protective curtain of air. They alsocreate huAir Curtainge energy savings by maintaining temperature separation between the two areas, keeping conditioned and heated air from escaping.

Location matters when selecting the right air door for your needs. Different locations can benefit from different types of Air Doors. For each instance you will need to consider where you will be using your unit. Front entryway? Back loading area? Drive-through? Home use? Different Air Doors are designed for a variety of different needs and applications.

Check out a few of the most popular uses:

For Entryways:

Smaller, light-weight Air Curtains and in-ceiling mounted units are beneficial to providing top-notch performance that still maintains a low-profile. In selecting a unit for an entrance, you’ll also want to consider your climate and how it affects your inside temperatures. Are you in a location where cold winter drafts are a possibility? Consider a heated Air Curtain to help neutralize extreme cold weather temperatures.

For Service Entrances:

Large service entryways often find themselves host to swarms of pesky insects trying to get at food and waste. Air Doors designed for backdoor and industrial applications often feature stronger motor power to help efficiently seal larger openings typically susceptible to annoying pests and outside fumes. Consider models built for industrial use and whether or not the increased power of an additional motor would create a better seal for these openings.

For Drive-Through:

It’s not only about keeping out insects, dirt, and harmful carbon monoxide fumes from car exhaust, you also have to be able to run a functional service window as well. Luckily, Drive-Through Air Doors not only do a great job at blocking out undesirables, they are also especially quiet, so as not to interfere when taking orders. The compact design provides a better fit for smaller service openings and most units have a heating upgrade available should you encounter cold climate seasons.

For Home:

Air doors aren’t reserved for commercial use alone. A selection of units come in low-voltage packages capable of being used in residential areas. By taking advantage of their unique ability to lock in air conditioning or heat and block out bugs, residential use can be a great way to keep busy backdoor patios open, available, and with a clear view of the kids or whatever else is happening in your backyard event.

Once you have an idea of the Air Curtain that fits your needs, the next big step will be in choosing the right size to Air Door for your operations.

There is no way around it, measuring is the best way to match the most accurate sized Air Door for your needs. Too small and you will create an inefficient barrier, too large and you will be wasting energy and money. Common sizes come in widths of 32”, 42”, 48”, 60” and 72”. You can order larger doors as well. Measure the height and width of the opening before purchasing to ensure maximum efficiency with your Air Curtain.


For most new equipment in North America the standard of 120v is low wattage and meant for private use. 208v and 240v are considered high voltage and designed for commercial use. Standard 120v household appliances generally have the same standard plugs on the ends of their power cords and can be plugged into any standard household outlet. 

For more information, visit Air Curtains on The Restaurant Source website.


Choosing the right steamtable

Duke Steamtable

Duke SE304SW Steamtable

Steamtables can be an integral part of any food service operation. In addition to heating up food on a daily basis, steam tables must then keep the food at safe temperatures for serving. Finding a quality unit that not only lives up to your performance needs, but fits into your budget can be hard to do. Duke Manufacturing is one of those companies whose hard work and dedication to satisfying customer needs have led to innovations and superior product solutions for those refusing to sacrifice quality for price.

Since introducing the world’s first steamtable in 1925, Duke’s attention to high-quality construction has been constant. Heavy duty performance demands the best in construction materials. There are no shortcuts for quality, even with Duke’s latest offerings in the economical Aerohot lineup. Constructed with stainless steel bodies, legs, and undershelves, the Aerohot line delivers long-lasting performance with the quality parts to match.

Two featured steamtables from the Aerohot lineup include the electric EP303 and EP304. The question of gas or electric heating can often be decided on price alone, but it’s also worth considering energy efficiency and recovery time when comparing the two. Gas may lend to a slight increase in temperature control, but electric is more efficient and quicker to heat. Over the years, Duke has revolutionized electric steamtables and their mastery of enclosed and exposed-element heating wells has led to preheat times that are up to 3x faster than other competitive brands.

Both the EP303 and EP304 electric steamtable feature hot food wells with exposed elements for thorough cleaning and maintenance. Insert pans are a must with these models and careful attention is required to safeguard against heating element rust and damage, but the added accessibility can have its own perks. On the other hand the EP303SW and EP304SW feature sealed hot food wells with individual drains and valves for quickly maintaining and draining the water out of each well. Whether you prefer the versatility of exposed elements or the protected ease-of-use of an enclosed heating unit, Duke delivers.

In the end, steamtable choice comes down to your own unique wants and needs in food warming equipment performance. What works for one restaurant, bar, or food truck may not work for another. Don’t forget to consider things like size and whether you’ll need room to grow. A start-up hot dog stand might find that the Duke E303 electric, 3-well, exposed element steamtable makes perfect sense for their limited menu to start, but as the menu grows, so does the need for more quality heating space and quicker clean-up and maintenance time. Now, they’re probably wishing they just would’ve started with the enclosed, 4-well E304SW. Taking time to consider your options now can only set you up for economic success in the future and Duke Manufacturing offers many ways to get there.

The Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

Beverage Air VCPW-1 Portable Walk In Cooler

It’s hard to find portable refrigeration that gives you the functionality of a stay-at-home walk-in cooler, but the new Beverage Air VCPW-1 takes portable refrigeration to a new level. In less than fifteen minutes, this 300 lbs. 4’ x 4’ x 30”h cooler extends to 6’6”h, delivering 105 cubic feet of internal storage. Add in the 115V (12 amp) refrigeration system, insulated cover, and pre-installed casters, and you have a highly mobile walk-in cooler that easily maintains temperatures of 36-40°F.

On the outside, the portable VCPW-1 might look like a giant cooler pack, but inside is exactly what you would expect from a standard walk-in cooler. Diamond tread non-slip floors provide solid surface traction for user safety, while the internal storage area spans 105 cubic feet, capable of supporting one thousand pounds.

Mobility can be invaluable, and the eight foot long power cord is great for setting up close to your food operations hub. Catering and other companies who are host to a number of events per week will benefit from the ability to not only quickly set-up and reach holding temperatures, but also stay cool for up to an hour when unplugged. This versatile design is also perfect for handling the demands of seasonal festivals or outdoor events where storage can be tucked away when not in use.

Best of all, the VCPW-1 is built to last and features a 3-year parts and labor warranty, including a 5 year compressor warranty. Whether you need to keep food and beverages fresh and cool or a contained space to safely thaw frozen meats, Beverage Air has a portable refrigeration solution for years to come.

Click here to order the Beverage Air VCPW-1 Walk In Cooler.

You’re Going to Love these Sites

There’s a lot of information out there and a lot of beautiful fantastic websites about food. Here are the 9 food websites you should be looking at…


Gorgeous Pictures, easy to find fantastic content, and constantly changing front page; should be in your bookmarks.

Modernist Cuisine

Does food fascinate you? Modernist Cuisine is a killer site with content that matters. If you’re not reading it, you’re missing out.


Vegans seem to be the most disciplined of the varied diet/lifestyles out there and most of us think of it as eating grass and twigs, but it is so much more. We may start mixing in some vegan meals.

The Butty

There’s not much that isn’t awesome about this site. From non-boring sandwiches (do not forget to click the pictures) to the website being a side-scroll masterpiece. We are in love.


Thinking globally is not a luxury, it’s necessary and Food Tank does just that. Keep up on all the most interesting food sustainability.

Grub Street

As always, we still need industry news, and we need it in a way that isn’t boring. Have you met Grub Street?


One of Eater’s best features in our opinion is the regional articles. Just a click on a dropdown and you’re reading from your neck of the woods.


She talks to chefs, she critiques restaurants, she talks gadgets, she’s an all around food blogger who likes to eat and likes to write and we like to read about it.


Because food is serious business, is a link to save. Though their forum bit the dust (who has the time anyway), they have a list of cities covered, recipes offered, and posts divided for easy search-ability though the Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie may have eeked us out a little.

No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a food website out there for you.  Some creative googling and you may be able to add to this list because we know there’s more out there.

8 Things You Need in the Kitchen

There’s always going to be the newest coolest gadget out there that can slice and dice at amazing speed only to be used once or twice then be hidden away because it’s a hassle to clean or not quite as expected.  But there are some old necessities that any chef cannot be without.

We’ve gathered a short list of items you should buy before you step in the kitchen, home or professional.

A bamboo cutting board.


We chose this board because, come on, who hasn’t had an awkward corner in their workspace?

A good thermometer


Cooking temperature is important and you can’t just guess-timate all the time. Get yourself a good digital thermometer and a couple of analogs.  They all come in handy.

A professional blender


We’ve all suffered through margaritas from sub-par blenders.  Do yourself and your kitchen a favor by purchasing the best blender you can afford.

A convection oven


Seriously.  If you don’t believe us, talk to any professional baker about what it does for pie crusts.

Kitchen shears

20100914-kitchen-shears-primary-smallOne of the most overlooked tools among home chefs but never more than an arm’s reach in a professional kitchen, shears are a highly versatile piece of low-tech equipment you must have.

Dry measuring cups


You simply cannot bake properly without a set of dry measuring cups.  No, that old glass measuring cup with the spout will just not do.

A cast iron skillet


A properly maintained cast iron skillet can last generations and provide years of happy non-stick cooking without the chemical coatings.

A good Chef’s knife


There’s a lot of cutting to be done in the kitchen, and a good sharp knife saves not only your food but your fingers as well.  A knife that holds its edge will stay safer longer. Invest in good ones.

sad news

Michael Schatz, the President of Restaurant Source, passed away May 17th.

He leaves behind a beautiful family, a truly huge number of friends here in Denver and around the world, and he leaves us, his business family, to carry on without him.

The Restaurant Source is a family owned and operated business, with Michael and his two sisters working here daily. His father and company founder Arnie Schatz has been in partial retirement, but is now working here daily alongside his daughters and the rest of our team.

Michael spent a great deal of his huge energy building a fantastic team here at the Restaurant Source. Talented, experienced, and dedicated to the business: it’s absolutely true that the entire Restaurant Source team considers themselves part of the family. With that in mind, we are dedicated to meeting Michael’s goals for our company. We are absolutely using this tragic news as a rallying point and a chance to make a difference in the business Michael built.

If you have any questions on our business, please feel free to contact Terry McMaster at

If you have any questions on your business, and how we can help you meet your goals, contact any of our team members. 800-765-0274.

OMG, Crepes!

I love to cook and my specialty has always been deserts. Candy, pastries, cookies, all fall within my scope. I’ve even made a gingerbread Tardis and coconut rum truffles. Crepes, however, never really made it onto my radar and when they did, they seemed overly fiddly and not worth the fuss. My husband, upon my mentioning them, raved about past breakfasts of crepes like they were a long lost crush he never got over. I had to make them to prove my place as his favorite 2

My research led to the realization that I did not have the right equipment. I needed that intimidating pan, the one with no sides. Batter was going to go everywhere. I would be a crepe failure ruining my perfect desert record. But, like an unchecked box on a long list of minor achievements, crepes taunted me. Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

It took exactly one email to Geoff at Restaurant Source with the idea of chronicling my adventures in crepes and I received a beautiful pan in the mail.

Here is what I learned…

They. Are. So. 1

I began with a simple recipe from . I had trouble getting it as smooth as it needed to be, so I ended up placing my lumpy batter in a blender to end my frustrated whisking. Who whisks eggs into flour and expects it to be smooth? Seriously, who?

Oh, and before cooking the crepes I made a sweet filling with softened cream cheese and powdered sugar – no, I didn’t measure – and quickly macerated some fresh strawberries. I’d suggest making any filling or topping ahead of 1 copy

Heat the pan and ready your *smooth* batter. I learned from the first ugly crepe that I had to lift the pan off the burner and begin rolling the batter immediately. This made a huge difference in how round my crepes ended up being and anyone who knows me, knows that the deserts I make have to be as pretty as they taste. I hate ugly cookies; ugly crepes are no exception.

The crepes seemed to cook twice as fast as the recipe stated. They released with no trouble and no oil, had the most beautiful pattern, and if I didn’t over-cook they didn’t crack. I flipped them with a wooden spatula not wanting to scratch my new 2 copy 3

Seriously, that’s it. I made two crepes at a time fearing the “damp towel”, and took the first plate to my husband who was sleeping. He didn’t mind being woken up for breakfast and declared them a complete 3 copy 2

I’d built up what crepes took in my mind, and yes, I admit, I may not have needed the exact pan. But it was so nice to have it. No battling the sides to flip, no extra weigh to deal with while rolling the batter is very much worth purchasing the right pan. In the end, it’s a little sad to realize I’ve overlooked crepes for so many years. I however will not continue that mistake. On to bigger and better things… like savory crepes!

Rethinking Muffin Tins

MV8737_ProffittIt’s a little bent, splotched in carbonized bits of cake batter dripped across from one paper to the next, and totally forgotten because there’s no need to make cupcakes this month.  Secretly though, we know that muffin tin needs to be thrown away but we so rarely use it, why buy another one?

Well, dig that old tin out, or better yet give it the ol’ heave-ho and get yourself a new one because muffin tins aren’t for just muffins anymore.  They’re being used to create savory meals that as a plus are perfect portions for the health minded and are just adorable for presentation sake.

This isn’t a new trend, just one that’s become more and more embraced and interesting over the last year or two.  One need only google “muffin tin” and recipes pops right into place.

Some of my favorites –

Betty Crocker’s Muffin-Tin Meals

Food Beast’s 17 Miniature Meals You Can Make in a Muffin Pan  – Check out the Holy Mother of Prosciutto-Wrapped Mac and Cheese.

And of course, some health minded recipes from Eating Well .

So go forth, get some new tins and reinvent what “muffins” are all about.

Mini-Me Desserts

These Nutella Cheesecake Trifles are on the agenda for today.  Over the last few years, dessert has been making a transition from towering layers of cake and fudge to delicate morsels that can be easily stacked on top of a fantastic meal.  In 2011 these mini-desserts were dubbed the “hot new trend” and they don’t seem to be losing steam.

The great part of this trend is that it’s busting the traditional end of meal dessert and allowing restaurants to offer indulgent treats meant to be impulsively enjoyed anytime.  Consider the cupcake phenomenon and how it has become a trend hot enough to create not only countless bakeries offering luscious little cakes, but reality TV offering timed competition and drama!

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Seasons 52 offers miniature desserts in shot glasses.

Food is beautiful and dessert is passion.  Creamy textures dancing with crunchy bits of blissful heaven, it doesn’t get any better than a tiny no-guilt piece of “I deserve this”.

Next time you’re out and about, consider a mini-dessert in the middle of the day.  It’ll taste as good as that after-school ice cream cone enjoyed on the way home.

The Restaurant Version of the Dictionary: Restaurant Lingo, Slang & Phrases

Below is our own version of the dictionary with a full list of restaurant lingo words and phrases to keep you informed in the kitchen.  Please feel free to add any in the below comment section that you think we might have missed!

  • 86’ed – An item that has been discontinued for the night because the kitchen ran out of a certain ingredient
  • Al Dente Firm, to the bite (often refers to pasta).
  • All Day – The total amount.  If table 12 orders two orders of salmon and table 19 orders four orders of salmon, that’s “six salmon, all day.”
  • Back of the house (BOH) – The back end of the restaurant, the kitchen and storage areas, where the chefs, cooks, prep people and dishwashers primarily work.
  • Bev Nap – The little square paper napkin on which a beverage rests.
  • Blood Rare – As rare as possible.
  • Blue Plate Special – A term used mainly in diners and cafes, referring to a special low-priced meal that usually changes daily. It typically consists of a “meat and three” (three vegetables), presented on a single plate, often a divided plate rather than on separate dishes.
  • Brigade System – The kitchen organization system instituted by Auguste Escoffier. Each position has a station and a set of well defined responsibilities.
  • Bubble Dancer – A disrespectful name for one of the most valuable and unrecognized of kitchen staff – the dishwasher.
  • Buried – See “In the weeds”. Way behind. Overwhelmed.
  • Cambro – A large plastic pan used for storage of perishables and non-perishables. The term Cambro derives from the company that makes these containers. Also referred to as a Lexan (from a competing company).
  • Campers – Customers that hang out at a table all night long and even turning off all the lights doesn’t get rid of them at closing time.
  • Can’t cook his/her way out of a paper bag – Someone who can’t cook well, usually applied to describe someone who is a terrible cook/chef but thinks that he or she is the greatest.
  • Chef de Partie – Station chefs. In the brigade system, these are the line cook positions, such as saucier, grillardin, etc.
  • Commis – An apprentice. A cook who works under the Chef de Partie to learn the station and responsibilities.
  • Comp – To give something away free. Usually done by owners or managers to get brownie points from important customers. Also used to smooth over problems. i.e. “Table 16’s chicken was raw!” “Comp the whole table desserts and coffee!”
  • Cover – A customer, i.e. “It was a slow night, we only did 20 covers tonight.”
  • Credits – An amount that is due back to a restaurant from the vendor for a mispicked, damaged or out of date product.  See mispicked.
  • Cremate it or Kill it – To almost burn something or be very overcooked. i.e. ” Table 5 wants his burger cremated” extra extra well done.
  • Cross Contamination – Occurs when bacteria, chemicals, etc. from one product are allowed come into contact with another product. An example would be storing vegetables under a meat product in your cooler and the juices dripping onto the product below.
  • Cryovaced – Generally used with meat products, but many dried goods are packed this way to retain freshness. Cryovacing is a process used to remove any excess oxygen from a bag.  The bag is then heat-sealed to make it airtight.  When receiving meat products that have been cryovaced, keep a look out for products that are discolored or brown when they shouldn’t be because this means the airtight seal has been broken and you should send the product back.
  • Deuce – A table with only two seating spaces. For example, “Seat this deuce at Table 13″ See Top.
  • Double – Two shifts in a row.  “I’m exhausted, I just pulled a double.”
  • Double/Triple Sat – When more than one table is seated in a particular station at the same time.
  • Dupe – The ticket/information that gets submitted to the kitchen so the cooks can cook orders of food.
  • Drop the Cheque – Taking a guest’s bill to their table for payment.
  • Drop – Start cooking the accompanied item. “The mussels are almost done, better drop the calamari.”
  • Drop Food/Order – The moment at which the kitchen begins to prepare a guest’s food or the moment a server delivers an order to the customers. “I just dropped the drinks on table 4.”
  • Dying/Dead – Food that is nearly or completely unservable, either due to temperature, appearance, wrong ingredients, etc. For example, ‘My shrimps dying in the window because I don’t have veg (accompanying vegetables) to go with it!” Also called beyond in the weeds.
  • Early Bird – Generally elderly people or tourists who want everything included for very little money. The $12.95 all you can eat buffet.
  • Early Bird Special – A cheap meal that is generally available for a limited amount of time when the restaurant opens for service.
  • Expeditor, Expo – Person in charge of organizing food from the kitchen and sending it to the dining room; a mediator of the line.
  • FIFO – First In, First Out inventory method to keep products from expiring.
  • Fire, Fire it – Order given by the head of the line to the other cooks to begin preparation of certain orders, such as “Fire those shepherds pies!”
  • Five second rule – The amount of time between when a piece of food hits the floor and when it’s picked up and placed in a sauté pan or on a plate, generally accompanied by a guilty look to see if anyone else saw it.
  • Food cost – What a menu item costs to prepare. The cost of a chicken entrée with meat, sauce, vegetables and starch is your food cost. Most restaurants run between a 30-40% food cost.  This does not include the cost of overhead that needs to get added in before you start making a profit.
  • Front of the house (FOH) – The front end of the restaurant, the dining room and bar where the customers are served and the wait staff, bartenders, bussers and dining room managers primarily work.
  • Garde-Manger – Pantry chef/station. The position responsible for cold food preparation, including salads and cold appetizers.
  • Gnocchi – Dumplings made from potatoes.
  • Gratin – Browned surface of foods cooked in a hot oven or salamander.
  • HAACP – (Hazard analysis control point system) It helps ensure food handling errors do not occur and that safe food is served to your customers.
  • Hockey Puck – A well done hamburger.
  • Hold Time – The time you are allowed to hold an item before it begins to break down.
  • In the Weeds – Can have meanings for both the front and back of the house. The kitchen being in the weeds can mean having only one 2 ft by 3 ft grill and having 40 people order medium well steaks in the space of five minutes. In the front of the house, it could mean one server just had two parties of 12 seated at the same time and they all want separate checks.
  • Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune Crowd – Early bird diners. Need to be home early or looking for cheap meals that include everything.
  • Kill it – To make something very overcooked; see Cremate it.
  • Marry – Consolidate food in same containers, i.e. pouring ketchup from half-filled bottles into other bottles to make full bottles
  • Mise en Place – Everything in its place prior to prep time. A means of kitchen organization
  • Mispick – An item that is ordered from a vendor that has a label on it that does not match the product it contains.
  • No Call/No Show – Employee who does not show up and does not call or a Reservation that does not show up and does not call.
  • Nuke it – to Microwave.
  • On a Rail or On the Fly – Something needed quickly, like yesterday.  “I need table 2’s salads on a rail!”  Or, “Give me a well done tender…on the fly.”
  • Overhead – The added in factors when you are costing out menu products to make sure you are making a profit. Overhead may include electricity costs, paper and chemical products, employee salaries and any additional costs that may be relevant in serving an item.
  • Paddy Well – A term used very frequently in Irish Pubs and Restaurants, which means to cook it until there is no possibility of life remaining. The next level above Cremate it.
  • Party – A group of people at a table.
  • Pittsburgh Rare – Burnt outside, rare inside.
  • Pump it out – Getting food out quickly.
  • Push- “Sell” it.  Put it in the window or “We only have two orders of sole left, push it.”
  • Redneck – The non-tipping public, not related to a rural type person, meaning a cheapskate. See stiffs.
  • Reduction – The result of reducing by boiling down sauces to increase consistency, richness, and flavor.
  • Rollup – Silverware rolled into a napkin, usually linen but can be paper.
  • Roux – Thickening agent made of equal parts of whole butter and sifted flour, cooked.
  • Sacked – Fired, usually employees are considered sacked after a major screw up, like serving a banquet of 200 people the $100.00 bottles of Dom Perignon champagne instead of the $12.95 bottles that they were supposed to get.
  • Saucier – Sauté Chef/station. The chef de partie responsible for all the sautéed items and their sauces.
  • Server – The preferred term for waiter or waitress, for example, “Could you find my server, please, I need a refill on my Pepsi.”
  • Shelf life – The amount of time in storage that a product can maintain quality and freshness.
  • Sidework – Work performed by front of the house staff (e.g., refilling salt and pepper shakers, polishing silverware).
  • Shoe – A slacker cook/chef. Someone who doesn’t cook well.
  • Shorting – An unscrupulous method used by some vendors to charge a restaurant for more product than they actually receive.
  • Sizzle Platter – Heavy grade metal oval plate that is used to reheat or cook something in a high temperature oven.
  • Skate – Leaving without doing sidework.
  • Slammed – Busy.  See “In The Weeds”.  Perhaps not as out of control as “in the weeds”.
  • Sommelier – Wine Steward or wine waiter.
  • Sous Chef – Generally the second in command in a kitchen; there can be an Executive Sous Chef, generally found in a larger kitchen with a lot of staff. The Sous Chef runs the kitchen when it’s the Chef’s day off or he/she is not available.
  • Starch – Starch can be potatoes, rice, grain or pasta, the other accompaniment besides the “Veg” to a plated meal.
  • Station – The set number of tables waited on by a particular server.
  • Stiffed – A customer has left the restaurant without tipping the server.
  • Stiffs – Non-tipping customers, see redneck.
  • Still Moving or Still Mooing – Ultra rare, “they want the tender (tenderloin) still Mooing.”
  • Stretch It – To make four orders of hollandaise sauce last through an entire shift by “stretching it” with whatever is available and edible.
  • Table Turn – Number of times a table has had the full revolution of service from being seated to getting the check and then reset for the next group of customers.
  • Tare – The weight of a container that the product from a vendor is delivered in. This weight should legally be deducted from the actual weight of the product. See shorting.
  • Tender – A tenderloin.
  • The Man, the Boogie Man – Health Inspector. “Wash your hands, The Man is here!” “Better mop the walk-in, the Boogie Man’s coming in 10 minutes.”
  • Top – The number in a dining party. For example, an eight top is a dining party of eight. A three top is a party of three.
  • Toss – An unscrupulous method used by some vendors to make a box look like its full of product.
  • Totes – Plastic containers that are usually used to deliver fish. They are frequently rectangular but sometimes square or round. Totes are horded by kitchen staff because once washed and sanitized, they make excellent airtight storage containers for just about anything.
  • Tourne – Vegetables that are cut to resemble a small, slightly tapered cork, but instead of being smooth they are cut to have seven equally large facets. Generally root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, but sometimes zucchini or other soft vegetables are used. Traditionally, they are boiled, steamed or roasted.
  • Turn & Burn – Turn a table quickly (usually because there is a long waiting list for tables). see Table Turn
  • Tron – Old 80’s slang for a waiter or waitress.
  • Upsell – To suggest a higher priced item. “I’d like a glass of merlot, please.”  suggesting Iron Horse at $6.00 a glass as opposed to the house wine at $4.00 a glass.
  • Veg – The vegetable accompaniment to a plated meal.
  • VIP – A very important customer, perhaps well known and deserving of extra special treatment. Food critics fall into this category. Generally accompanied by many Comps.
  • Waitron – Coined in late ’80’s to avoid using “sexist” terms “Waiter/Waitress”. Was replaced in the ’90’s by Server.
  • Walk-in – A refrigerated room for cold storage of perishable items.
  • Walked – A customer has left without paying the bill or a employee get fed up and just left in the middle of their shift.
  • Window – A shelf, usually heated and connected to the kitchen, upon which the food is placed after preparation and awaiting delivery to the table.
  • Well drinks – “Well” drinks are made from the inexpensive house liquors on hand. i.e. If you ask for a unspecified gin and tonic you will get whatever gin they serve as opposed to a Tanqueray and tonic.
  • Yield – The total amount that is usable in a product after unusable parts are removed.

May Days, Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day and the Beginning of Ice Machine Season!

Dennis Hawaii


Yes, it’s that time of year!!  Given that you don’t live in Colorado like me, and it wasn’t 23 degrees and snowing outside yesterday, Spring has begun!  No more icy roads, winter coats, and boots.  Instead, we break out the tank tops, shorts and bathing suits and sip on some ice cold drinks by the pool to keep ourselves from melting.  What’s that you say, you’re out of ice so you have to serve lukewarm drinks?!  Ummm, huge no no… I just can’t let you do that…

You no longer have to go to the grocery store and buy bags upon bags of ice.  I mean, how do you think those bags of ice even got there in the first place?  Do you really think the ice making companies use magic elves and individual ice trays for all of that ice?  If so, well then you need to do some manual ice bagging of your own…  If not, then you recognize these companies have taken a more efficient route to get you that ice.  The ice itself comes from machines producing hundreds of pounds of ice per hour depending on the size of the machine.

Now that you know these ice companies don’t employee magic elves to do all the work, you no longer have to go to the grocery store to buy hundreds of pounds of ice.  Whether you have a broken ice machine and are already familiar with the workings of one, or have yet to venture into the ice machine arena, I highly recommend further exploring Scotsman Ice Machines.  This line is very efficient and contains a variety of sizes for you to choose from.

Scotsman is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ice machines and ice machine accessories.  They are the leading supplier of smarter efficiency machines that decrease utility and water costs, while increasing the amount of ice produced.  Scotsman makes all kinds of ice machines including nugget, flake and cube ice.  Plus, right now Scotsman prices are too low to advertise so you have to check these products out on the actual Restaurant Source site, rather then just take my word for it.  A majority of the items are stock items too which means they will ship within 24 hours of your order!

Scotsman Ice Machines


Celebrate Passover with Some Flourless Chocolate Cake!

AngelHappy Passover!  I figured what better time of year to post my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe then Passover? It’s also an excellent gluten-free recipe for all of you avoiding gluten.  For those of you who don’t celebrate Passover, not to worry, Easter recipes coming this week too!


This Flourless Chocolate Cake is very rich so I highly recommend serving it with a strawberry or raspberry coulis (cook 1 bag frozen strawberries until they are softened then add ½ cup brown sugar and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.  Strain seeds if desired.


Flourless Chocolate Cake:

  • 4 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8″ cake pan and dust with cocoa to prevent sticking; set aside.

In microwave or double broiler, melt chocolate and butter in bowl. Add sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve coulis on the side.

flourless chocolate cake

Restaurant Source March Madness Selection Bracket!


Ahhhh sooooo excited!!!  It’s time for March Madness and the brackets have been announced!

Restaurant Source is hosting its own version of March Madness with specific manufacturer match-ups.  We are very proud of the teams who made it this year, and while we may have our favorite teams, sometimes you have to cheer for the underdogs.  Selection Sunday has occurred and “teams” have been selected. Which manufacturers will you be purchasing this March?

I think I’m particularly excited about the Scotsman vs Manitowoc Ice Machine match-up as well as the Amana vs Panasonic Microwave match.  Both are bound to be great games, but don’t forget to check out some other favorites  bound to impress us including the Waring vs. Robot Coupe Immersion Blenders and the Star vs. Centaur Panini Grill games.  It’s guaranteed to be a good month in commercial restaurant equipment!

Let us know what manufacturers you will be cheering for this year!  Maybe they have done you well in past seasons or you have a lot of expectations for them in future seasons?  Who do you think will take the championship overall?



Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.  We’ve all heard this saying before.  The term Cauldron generally refers to something a witch would use to make her potions of some sort, whereas the term Kettle, is often used for creating soups or stews for those of us who are not magical beings.

Available in antique copper or black, the Cayenne Colonial Kettles from Vollrath provide antique charm.  They are great for display as well as both themed and non-themed events.  The design may look antique, but the level of power and efficiency is most certainly modern.  Kettle merchandisers are designed to rethermalize aka take a container of cooked food from a chilled state (below 40 F) through the HAACP “danger zone” to 165 F in less than two hours.

Cayenne Colonial Kettles from Vollrath

It’s Never Too Late To Celebrate America’s Independence!

Yes, it’s true, July 4th is in the past this year, but who says we can only celebrate the freedom of our country on one day a year? What better way to continue the celebration then with a good old fashioned apple pie? After all, no American themed meal is complete without it! Even if you aren’t celebrating July 4th or you’re reading this much later in the year, it’s never too late to enjoy a good pie! One of the best things about pie is that although flavors are seasonal, pie itself is not. For example, apple pie on July 4th, Pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, and of course every type of pie on National Pie Day (3/14).

Here’s a little tidbit of knowledge for you – If you make a pie in a flat pan, it’s not a pie (I’m sure you didn’t know that until now so you’re welcome). In order to prepare a true pie, you need a pie pan. I know, a novel idea if you will! If you’re looking for a standard 10” pie pan, take a look at the 10” Pie Pan from Carlisle. These pie pans are 1-5/16” deep making them ideal for the average pie. The natural finish aluminum also helps spread heat more evenly therefore eliminating hot spots that could cause undercooking in some areas and burnt parts in others.

10” Pie Pan from Carlisle

How to Advertise Outdoors In Inclement Weather

So you want to advertise your daily specials, but you don’t want to print up a new menu everyday to waste paper.  You also don’t want to hang a blackboard in the back of your restaurant with your specials, yet no one can see it.

Now that it’s nice outside, people are spending more time outside walking around to find new restaurants.  Advertise your specials or anything else you desire on a Double-Sided Write-On Sandwich Board and Markers from American Metalcraft.  This sandwich board is ideal for promotional usage in high traffic areas.  It’s double sided so you don’t have to worry about positioning.  You can also advertise different specials on each side if you choose.  These sandwich boards can withstand all weather conditions short of a hurricane with 85 mile per hour winds.  Unlike a normal chalkboard, this sandwich board does not leave chalk residue when it is cleaned.  Just take a wet towel and wipe clean – it’s seriously as good as new!  The marker set contains four extra large sized markers in blue, red, yellow and green.

Double-Sided Write-On Sandwich Board and Markers from American Metalcraft

American Metal SBSM135 - 30" x 54" Securit Sandwich Board, Mahogany

Stumped Over What to Get Dad or Your Recent Grad?

Is dad or your recent grad interested in going into or already in the culinary field? Can’t think of a good gift to get your recent graduate or you dad for father’s day?  What better way to award recent grads or dads then with a brand new knife set?

Victorinox makes some great Knife Sets. You can choose from those that come in a wooden block, carrying case, brief case, or even just go for the carving knife set.  After all, a single chef’s knife does not constitute a knife set. The Victorinox knives are durable, and easily sharpened (most kits include a sharpening steel) to an extremely efficient blade.  You can also choose from a variety of knife handles such as rosewood, fibrox/nylon, or plastic over molded handle.  Your prep time does not get much easier!

Victorinox Knife Sets

7 Piece Cutlery Roll Set w/ Rosewood Handles

Not All Environmentally Friendly Products are Magic

Everyone claims that there products are “environmentally friendly”, but what exactly does that mean?  Does it mean it’s fire resistant and should the building you’re in catch fire, your plates will remain intact?  Does it mean you can plant it in the ground and it will immediately sprout a full on herb garden?  I’m going to go with probably neither of these… I think something that is classified as “environmentally friendly” is recyclable or biodegradable, helps save on energy costs, and does not cause additional harmful chemicals to be released into the air when it is made.  I’m sure there is more to the definition of the term, but for our purposes we will go with the above.

People don’t release how much plasticware they use that is not environmentally friendly and therefore eventually will just end up in a landfill for years to come.  Tablemate manufactures some fantastic environmentally friendly, biodegradable/compostable paper goods and cutlery. They offer a range of plates, some of which don’t even look like they would be biodegradable! It’s as if these plates had a secret identity… Not only do they offer paper goods though, but have also added biodegradable “plastic” tablecloths, banquet rolls, and cups to their repertoire so make sure to check them all out!

Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Products from Tablemate

EcoSense Plastic Plates & Cutlery

Best Way to Get a FREE iPad2™!

So you need to buy a new commercial refrigerator or freezer, but you’re worries that you can’t afford it.  First of all, your refrigerators and freezers are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a restaurant so it’s not an investment you want to skimp on.  When a refrigerator/freezer breaks, you loose a lot of inventory which directly transports to potential profits and revenue from food you otherwise would have sold if you had not experienced a refrigerator/freezer breakage.  You can’t serve food that has been sitting in the danger zone (40 degrees F – 140 degrees F) due to a broken refrigerator or freezer.

One of my all time favorite refrigerators/freezers are the Two Door Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers from Traulsen. They may be a bit more expensive then some other models, but they are guaranteed to last exponentially longer then most other models.  Since the Traulsen’s are slightly more expensive, Restaurant Source has instigated a limited time promotion for you to purchase an Energy Star approved Traulsen Refrigerator or Freezer (G20010 or G22010) and receive a FREE, YES FREE iPad2 with your purchase!!  It’s a hard offer to resist, especially if you are in the market for a new reach-in refrigerator/freezer.  With summer just around the corner, it is extra important that you ensure that your refrigerators and freezers are in perfect working condition.  Why not receive a free iPad2 just for being a responsible restaurant owner who plans ahead?  After all planning ahead and the ability to anticipate and eliminate future problems is a staple personality trait for any restaurant or general business owner to have!

Two Door Reach-In Refrigerators and Freezers from Traulsen

2 Door Reach-In Refrigerator

The Main Reason for Hot Weather is to Use it as an Excuse to Eat Ice Cream!

Spring and Summer may directly mean hotter weather, but indirectly it means ice cream time!  Who doesn’t love a nice cool ice cream cone say mid-afternoon on a hot day? I’m salivating just thinking about it!

The most important thing about ice cream though is that it must be kept cold enough to maintain that creamy thick flavor so you’re not left with a bowl of flavored cream, yet warm enough so you’re actually able to scoop it out and eat it.  After all, if the ice cream is too hard, you don’t want to take 3 hours just to scoop for one customer.  You also don’t want to serve someone an ice cream cone for them to use as a bowl for their soupy cream.   Luckily, there are Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets from True that allow you to maintain the ideal ice cream serving temperature (-10°F – 8°F).  Choose from horizontal dipping cabinets (ideal for back of the house because your customers do not see the ice cream while they are deciding which flavor to order) or regular ice cream dipping cabinets which offer a Merchandiser appeal so customers can see all the flavors that they can choose from.  Merchandiser Ice Cream Dipping cabinets are ideal for ice cream shops and other operations where the ice cream is on display at the front of the house.

Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets from True

Ice Cream Dipping Cabinets