Month: February 2014

Have you seen the Cook’s Brand Catalog?

One of the things that makes us different from other foodservice equipment and supply dealers is our focus on the Correctional market and our Cook’s Brand line of products. Our history is that of an evolution.

Cook's Brand Knife Leash Kit

Cook’s Brand Knife Leash Kit

The business started as an offshoot of The Breeden Group,which was a consulting organization to the correctional industry – focused on kitchen design for jails and prisons that had safety and security in mind. Customers were asking how to get the equipment that The Breeden Group was specifying – because it was specialized kitchen equipment that included security packages appropriate for the correctional kitchen, but not readily found at commercial foodservice equipment and supply dealers. We then evolved into a stocking dealer of small wares in response to our customers needs. As we grew, we realized that the general market wasn’t able to fully satisfy the unique needs of the Correctional customers that we were serving.  Further evolving, Cook’s Brand was launched in response to our customers needs for those products that didn’t exist in the market place; like the Knife Leash Kit, to products that just really needed to be re-engineered for the correctional customer to be able to withstand the abuse of inmates, like the correctional tray assembly line.  The Buyers Guide for Corrections; our catalog, was also created out of customer demand – this became a one-stop resource for the correctional kitchen, including insulated meal trays, meal delivery carts, tray drying racks and tool lockers, equipment with security features and more.

Marketing Manager, Cook's

Candace Meneou

We have recently published a Cook’s Brand catalog – a single place to see all the products that we’ve developed specifically for our Correctional Customers; people like you.  We are grateful that our customers open up to us about their challenges because this has allowed us the opportunity to create the products that can help them do their job better, and in turn, these products help other correctional professionals across the country too.  Please take a look at our newest catalog of Cook’s Brand products.

New product introduction – the Vapor Towel

Tucker Burnguard is a manufacture of high quality oven mitts and aprons made for the commercial foodservice kitchen. Last year, they launched a new product called “The Vapor Towel”. The value of this towel to the end user is that it lasts “7” times longer than standard Foodservice Mop Towels or rags.

Tucker Burnguard 88900 Vapor Towel

Tucker Burnguard 88900 Vapor Towel

That’s seven times longer!  If you have ever used the industries standard White Mop towel with the bluish green stripe than you know what I am referring to, they just don’t last.  And in corrections, they get pretty dirty pretty quick because they are used for everything – as a hot pad, a mop towel, under cutting boards to keep them from slipping and so on.

The Vapor Towel features ‘Steamguard’ protection, which is a liquid and vapor barrier that effectively protects the user from steam, hot liquids and grease. A majority of the burns in the foodservice kitchens are caused from one of these three things.  Additionally, the Vapor towels can be machine washed up to 100 times; yet, because of their quality they will last through several

Brian Richardson

Director of Merchandising, Cook’s

wash cycles.  The Vapor Towel also has an antimicrobial agent built into the cloth yarns to minimize the transmission of germs and bacteria.

If you are tired of continually replacing your low quality rags and mop towels in your commercial kitchen, it’s time you considered the Tucker Burnguard Vapor Towel.

Help us get your products where you want them.

delivery-truck2Many of you have a P.O. Box for your mailing address which doesn’t relate to your facility address. Additionally, we often have your accounting office address on our files as the point of contact, and that can be much different from the shipping address for your products – but without your help, we don’t know that. We do our best to get it right, but we’ll be 100% with a little help from you.

Whenever you’re placing an order for any type of small ware items or equipment items, please remember to double-check the billing and shipping address that you or your purchasing department has provided to Cook’s. We want to make sure your invoices and items get sent to a correct address. Cooks Correctional is able to send an invoice to any address, including PO Boxes, APO addresses, etc. Please note that we can not ship any

Janet St. Clair, Customer Service Manager Cook's

Janet St. Clair

products to a PO Box.

Also, please make sure to specify a suite or apartment number as well if there is one. If there are any restrictions within the shipping address please let us know at the time the order is placed. Restrictions for ground shipments could include any of the following: address is in a residential area, you would like the package to require a signature, you do not want the package to require a signature, the facility is only open during certain business hours. Restrictions for freight shipments could include any of the following: your facility/ receiving dock is only open during certain hours, you do not have a dock/ forklift and need a lift gate truck for delivery of heavier items, you need the items delivered inside of the facility, must call to schedule a delivery appointment, etc.

Taking the above precautions will help all of your items and invoices arrive to you in a timely fashion. Any address adjustments after the item/s are ordered could cause extra fees. We do not want anyone to incur additional fees and want to provide the best customer service possible for your facility.

3 Things to do Now so Your Kitchen Project doesn’t become a Kitchen Nightmare

If you’ve been through a kitchen renovation in your career, you know that without proper planning – there will be a lot of pain!

John Yeager, Business Development, Cook's

John Yeager

And yet, much of that pain is avoidable if you take the time before the project starts to do some simple and relatively easy preparation.  Here are three things that we advise all clients do if they see a renovation in their future:

#1 Equipment Inventory

One of the first tasks you should do is to compile an inventory of all the kitchen equipment. A worksheet should list the manufacturer, model number, options, utilities, date of purchase and estimated life span of the equipment.  Warranty information and any maintenance agreements should also be included. Without this information equipment replacement becomes a year to year program rather than a well thought out program. Getting through a future large renovation budget or RFQ requires an understanding of the current state of operations.

#2 Does this kitchen work …..?  

This can be as simple as does this piece of equipment still meet our needs. Replacing a piece of equipment with the same piece of equipment is easy but take a moment to answer why exactly are we doing that.  More specifically, evaluate the equipment.  What exactly did you like or dislike about the equipment.  Then ask these questions:

  • Has the menu changed?  Or will the menu be changing
  • Has technology changed?
  • Has the population changed?  Or will the population be changing
  • How often is the equipment used?
  • Is the kitchen equipped to handle special diets?

This will help you assess whether replacement of the existing piece is the right choice or do you need to open up your consideration to different options.

Insulated Trays / Meal Delivery Cart

A more complex situation to evaluate is to determine if the flow of the kitchen works.  Some facilities were originally created to accommodate bulk feeding; however, over the course of time may have moved to tray delivery.  In instances like this, you may find your kitchen has a tray assembly line that is placed where there was room rather than where it would best fit the workflow of the kitchen.  Your dish room may not be the ideal set up for insulated trays and other issues too.  Operations evolve over time, so a renovation is the perfect opportunity to build for what you are doing now rather than what you were originally set up to do.

#3 Future goals or shifts dietary requirements:

Now that you’ve reviewed the work flow of your kitchen today as it compares to what the kitchen was originally built for, you need to look into the future and ask yourself the same questions.

  • Are there any plans for expansion, renovation or any other construction?
  • Major repairs on the floor are inevitable, will those affect the kitchen area or will they be an opportunity for you to make needed structural changes?
  • What is the expected population over the course of the next five years?

You also want to consider potential menu changes or other production related changes:

  • Will you be accommodating more / less special diets?  do you have sufficient area and tools to do this?
  • Will you be making a shift to cook/chill from cook/serve or vice versa?
  • What about off-site provisions?  Will you be preparing food to be transported to other facilities or for use in community programs like a meals on wheels operation?

After you review these questions – you need to consider if your design can accommodate your needs in the future as well as today, and bring that perspective into your design planning.

Being prepared before you start the planning with a good view of your operation now and in the future will make a world of difference in your outcome.  If you’re going to go through the disruption of a kitchen renovation, you want to be happy with the final result!  At Cook’s Correctional, we have worked with clients across the country on projects and we’ve found that the more work that’s done on the front end, the better the outcome.

Vulcan’s Cool New Control Feature on their Convection Ovens

Vulcan VC44GD Convection Oven

Vulcan Convection Oven VC44GD

Last year, Vulcan came out with a new feature on their convection ovens. You can now select which side the control panel will be on. Why does this matter? Mostly because the greatest cause of control panel failure is related to it overheating. And, if you place the control side of the oven next to a range, you may experience some failures. Cook’s recommends selecting the location of the control panel so that it is as far away from the other equipment as possible. This will keep the control panel cooler which should help the oven last longer.

Jeff Breeden, CEO Cook's

Jeff Breeden

For more useful product features and application tips, you can talk to any of the representatives at Cook’s Correctional.  We’ve been working with Correctional customers for over 15 years and work with 2500 correctional customers every year.  We draw off of that experience all the time to help other customers in similar situations to meet their kitchen challenges.

There’s more to an oven mitt than meets the eye!

Many people don’t give too much thought to the purchase of oven mitts for their kitchen, but here’s a few things you might want to think of the next time you go to make a purchase:

Brian Richardson

Director of Merchandising, Cook’s

There are 3 major things to consider when making your decision:

  • Insulation Value
  • Maintenance
  • Sizing

Insulated value indicates the highest heat temperature you can hold with the mitt for up to 15 seconds before you begin experiencing discomfort. Typically this discomfort comes in the form of burning. It is estimated that 80% of foodservice burns are caused by hot liquids, grease or steam, so you need to consider the environment that the oven mitt will be used in too and whether or not a liquid or vapor barrier is required to fully protect the user.

Tucker QuickKlean 18" Oven Mitt

Tucker QuickKlean 18″ Oven Mitt

Maintenance is the second thing on the list. Proper maintenance of your oven mitt extends the life of the mitt. Consider the ease in washing and drying when you choose a mitt and make sure you pay attention to the cleaning instructions. Most oven mitts can be laundered, but there are specific mitts on the market like the Quicklean Oven mitt from Tucker Burnguard that can only be rinsed clean. Should you choose to launder this product, it will be ruined and unusable, but that’s only because you need only rinse it off rather than launder it to clean it.

The final thing to consider is the Size of your Oven mitt.  There are several different lengths to choose from 12”, 15”, 18” and 24”.  Traditionally, the 12″ offers protection up to the wrist.  The 15″ and the 18″ offer extended protection and the 18″ length will protect the user up to the elbow.

Before your next purchase of oven mitts, take a minute to review where they are being used.  This will help you decide if you need a longer length, an oven mitt that must rinse clean or can be laundered and if the user will need protection for hot liquids or vapors.  The whole purpose of an oven mitt is to protect the user, and if you don’t have the right product for the application – your oven mitt won’t be doing its job!

New Dishmachine? Here’s where to start…

Door Type Dishwasher, Meiko DV 80.2

Door Type Dishwasher

Dish machines are one of the most abused pieces of equipment in a commercial foodservice operation.  Having worked in a dish room myself, I can appreciate the hot steamy climate and the other challenges in a dish room.  And sometimes the plates and bowls just keep on coming!    If we are being completely honest, the last thing I ever cared about was the dish machine.

Because of this, dish machines typically last fewer years than other expensive equipment.  When you don’t scrap the trays properly, when you bang the doors, and when you cram as much in it as possible, it usually leads to repairs and a shorter life.

Jeff Breeden, CEO Cook's

Jeff Breeden

So, the dish machine is down again and you think it’s time for a new one.  Here’s where you start…

  1. Is the current machine keeping up?  Is the rated capacity suitable for your operation or do you need a larger unit?
  2. Are you happy with the brand?  Some machines are built stronger for institutional type settings, like Hobart,  while others are ideal for light use in a church type setting.
  3. If you need a bigger unit, do you have the space and utilities to operate it?  If you go big, you will most likely need new dish tables and a way to exhaust the additional steam.
  4. How will you handle the soiled trays while the machine is being installed?  Big machines can take a week or more so be prepared to wash trays and cups by hand if necessary.
  5. Have you evaluated how you scrap your trays?  Many times, its poor scrapping that leads to dish machine failure. You may also want to evaluate if your current disposer should be replaced.

Start here for your next dish machine.  After you have answered the above questions, you can really begin to research which brand and size machine you want. You can also speak with your Cook’s territory representative – all of our associates are trained on all the equipment we sell and they can help you with spec sheets, quotes, comparisons between machines and more.



Having the right numbers handy will help us to help you!

There are a variety of numbers we recommend customers have for all sorts of situations when inquiring with Cook’s. We ask you for all these numbers so that we can quickly and accurately assist you. Here’s a quick over view and some explanation behind each of those numbers:

Janet St. Clair, Customer Service Manager Cook's

Janet St. Clair

When ordering we recommend having your account number available, this will make finding your account faster so that we can assist you faster. If you choose to email or fax in a purchase, it helps us a great deal to have your contact information shown clearly on the order in case there are any questions and we need to follow up with you. This can include your direct phone number and/or extension, a fax number and your email.  If you are making a purchase by phone, it helps for you to have the item/model numbers for the products you are purchasing handy rather than just the name of the item.  Having the model numbers will ensure that exactly the item you want is being ordered for your facility. After an order is placed, ask us for the confirmation number if we do not provide one to you. This will be useful for any future inquiries you might have regarding that order.  If you do have a question on an order and you didn’t get an order confirmation number, make sure to have your purchase order number as a reference to help us find the correct information for you.  By the way – if you have an online account with us, you can always use our online Quick Order form to place an order, and this is available to you 24/7.  You don’t have to search around the website to find the products you need with this page – you simply enter the model numbers and quantity onto the form and it adds these items directly into your shopping cart where you can review your order and pricing and then quickly place your order.

When ever you are ordering parts or accessories for a piece of equipment; like a mixer, please have the model number and serial number for the equipment item.  Parts and accessories are frequently not interchangeable on different series or sizes, so having the correct model number when you place the order ensures that we get you the right part or accessory.

Numbers are especially important when there are Warranty or Damage issues.  Although we are working hard to ensure that your items arrive in perfect condition and work correctly for you, experience has proven that this is not always the case. When you call in for a warranty or damage issue, we’ll be better able to help you if you are prepared with the following numbers when you contact us: order number, phone number (with extension) and fax number for you specifically, and if the item in question is equipment please make sure to provide the model number and serial number for us. Having all of this information will expedite the process and make sure to get you, the customer, taken care of as efficiently as possible.

All of us at Cook’s want to provide you with great service all the time.  We want to be fast and accurate and having the right numbers available when you need us can help us to do that!