Chef Q&A: The Importance of Foodservice Equipment

Posted by Lynda Bassett +

Giulia is one of the hottest new Italian restaurants to open in the Boston area. TriMark sat down with their sous chef Brian Gianpoalo to learn just how essential the right equipment and supplies have been to the restaurant's success.

1.  What would you say are some of the most important pieces of foodservice equipment or supplies in your kitchen? Which ones provide bang for the buck? Are there any specific pieces that you'd recommend?

Every piece of equipment in the Giulia kitchen has its own unique importance. From a pair of tongs to our C-vap oven (controlled vapor oven). Our pasta cooker (being an Italian restaurant that focuses on pasta) is one of the more important pieces of equipment. As for supplies giving a bang for the buck, it's the little everyday supplies that we use so much of and don't burn a hole in our pocket: disposable tasting spoons, c-fold paper towels, plastic wrap etc.

2. Are there any foodservice equipment/supplies that you think have clear crossover potential as far as helping a variety of kitchens or foodservice operations (or maybe different cuisines)?

A lot of the equipment/ supplies you find in the Giulia kitchen easily crossover into other foodservice operations. Our Berkel slicer, for example, which was inherited from the previous restaurant, you may find it at a delicatessen.

3.  What would you consider the most important aspects of your current operation (speed, quality, ease of use) and are there any specific pieces of equipment that can help improve these factors?

Being such a small kitchen and producing the caliber of food we do, the aspects that are most important are quality and efficiency both of space and time. One specific instance is when we needed to install a shelving unit above our grill; the stock model doesn't make a shelf to fit so it would need to be custom fashioned. TriMark came in and took measurements, within a week they said they could custom-make the shelf for us and quoted us on it.

4. For large-scale operations that may need to prepare food for hundreds of covers each night, what are some critical components required for service to run smoothly in the back of the house?

There are many critical components that make a service run smoothly. The simple and obvious things, making sure all equipment is running smoothly, making sure you have proper refrigeration for food preparation during service. Also depending on if you're a caterer or banquet kitchen, having the use of steam tables and hot boxes may help you run a smoother service when putting out such quantities of food.

6. What are the most important trends, such as sustainability, that have become prevalent in your current-day production means?

The trends that we try to uphold at Giulia are sustainability, seasonality, buying local, not just food wise but supporting local businesses.

7. Is there anything you'd like to add that could help other chefs and restaurateurs improve their service?

Of course equipment plays a large role in service, but in my opinion it's the people you employ that truly can make a service great and have a guest come back for more.

8. What aspects of the foodservice market may grow in the near future, such as specific ethnicities or specialties in meals? Are there any pieces of equipment that can help meet these demands?

The aspects in foodservice are at a constant change. Chefs and restaurateurs are always trying to improve techniques, find better, more efficient equipment to help with their business. Food trucks, for example, have been booming the past couple years in the Boston area. I know that trucks need specialty equipment to be able to fit and transport in a vehicle. Electric equipment such as deep fryers and salamanders are a few things that can meet these demands.

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