The Cook’s team is in Boston, MA this week at the 2019 ACA Summer Conference to showcase many of our most popular products and to meet customers and contacts that made their way to the east coast for the conference. The American Correctional Association has two large conferences a year; the winter conference held in early January each year and the summer conference in August. This year the conference is at Boston’s John B Haynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.
Most of us have heard the name Gordon Ramsey and have a sense of his aggressive kitchen management style that is a hallmark in his TV shows. Gordon Behind Bars is a British television series in which Gordon Ramsay teaches inmates of Brixton prison, just about five minutes from Ramsay’s residence, how to cook.
While it’s in Britain and not the US, there’s plenty that should feel familiar. The objective is to get the inmates working and generating income for the facility and in the process, learning a skill that will give them a future. Many of our contacts have culinary programs in their facility with the goal of educating inmates for their future on the outside. Take a look at the video. Do you see any similarities to your correctional foodservice operations? Does the correctional kitchen equipment look like what you are using here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Our tagline is The leader in correctional kitchen equipment and supplies. That’s because Cook’s is built on a foundation of correctional operations experience. Prior to launching Cook’s, our founder spent 20 years as an operator and recognized first-hand the importance of portion control, security and durability in correctional foodservice operations.
We absolutely understand how a kitchen operates in a correctional facility. Whether you are cook/serve, cook/chill, or have bulk transport needs, we provide the best products possible. Matching your facilities requirements with the right equipment is what we do best.
With Cook’s you’ll get the right equipment for your kitchen, rooted in a deep understanding of how the correctional kitchen works and the demands unique to corrections.
This story comes to us from a facility in Anderson County, TX. Watch the video to learn about the development of a a self-sustaining pilot program, which incorporates hydroponic and aquaponic system to sustainably grow herbs and vegetables all within the prison system. This program provides both significant community benefits and benefits to the inmates.
About the video:
The Mark W. Michael Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice maximum security men’s prison located in Anderson County, Texas. Spending almost every hour of every day astride a horse, Officer Michael “Mac” McLeon works with Field Force inmates on a program, which won the 2017 State Grand Champion in the “Herb Behind Bars” competition. He assisted in the development of a self-sustaining pilot program, which incorporates hydroponic and aquaponic systems. This new method of developing crops within the prison system demonstrates the value of sustainable agriculture and its significant community benefits. The Mark W. Michael Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice maximum security men’s prison located in Anderson County, Texas. Spending almost every hour of every day astride a horse, Officer McLeon works with Field Force inmates on a program which won the 2017 State Grand Champion in the “Herb Behind Bars” competition. He assisted in the development of a self-sustaining pilot program, which incorporates hydroponic and aquaponic systems. This new method of developing crops within the prison system demonstrates the value of sustainable agriculture and its significant community benefits. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Did you know that Cook’s Correctional is on social media? We are on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. We are also on Pinterest, although we aren’t very active at the moment, and we have a YouTube channel. That’s where we keep our Cook’s Brand product demo videos and other educational videos.
If you’re active any of these social media sites, take a moment and check us out. Here are the links to find us:
We share industry news, interesting posts from our customers or our vendors as well as promotions, product information and company updates. Take a look and if the posts are of interest why not hit the follow button?
This year we introduced two new versions of the Cook’s Brand Marathon Tray. The Marathon is our most popular insulated meal delivery tray for corrections. The specially formulated solid material is exceptionally durable to withstand the abuses of correctional foodservice. The one-piece design is also easy to clean and it has a jail & prison menu-friendly layout with one large entree compartment, a compartment that holds up to 3 slices of bread, a flatware compartment and then three remaining compartments to hold a vegetable/side, a starch and a piece of cake or sweet.
Shown above on the left is the new Cook’s Brand Raised Compartment Marathon Tray with the original Cook’s Brand Marathon Tray, shown on the right for comparison. We introduced the new Raised Compartment Marathon Tray to improve the presentation of meals by elevating food so portions appear heartier. Raising the bottom of the compartments makes them shallower than in the traditional tray and makes portions look larger. We also coved the underside of the compartments so that you won’t have food sticking to the tray above when you stack trays for delivery. This improves meal presentation and sanitation.
Along with the Raised Compartment Marathon, we are introducing the new Cook’s Brand Extra-Deep Marathon Tray. We developed the Extra-Deep Marathon tray for customers that have issues with food sticking on the underside of the tray above when stacked. Some menus in corrections have larger portions that required a compartment with more space so we dropped the marathon compartments down as much as we could giving you more room for a more sanitary and appealing meal delivery. Less mess; more appetizing meals.
To see how these meal delivery trays all compare to each other, watch Jeff Breeden; CEO of Cook’s Correctional, walk you through each of the trays in the 1 minute video posted below:
Examples of complex custom fabrication jobs that Cook’s completed.
Custom serving lines and tables can be extremely difficult to replace. Generally, it requires a site visit to take field measurements, approval of engineered drawings and then installation. Cook’s can help. We routinely make custom serving lines, tables, sinks; even wall coverings, and we guarantee our products are built for corrections.
Our process is simple.
A call to understand the objective
Visit the facility to take measurements and confirm scope
Provide drawings and quote, including turn-key install
Along with replacement of existing customized work, we can create new custom solutions when an off the shelf product won’t meet your needs.
Not sure what we can customize? Here are some of the custom fabricated solutions we’ve provided to jails and prisons across the country:
Customized Tray Assembly Lines
Single or double lines
With or without a tray slide/roller
Over shelves, sneeze guards, landing shelves
With or without drains and individual or manifold
Blind Tray Assembly line
Clean Tables in any size or configuration
Dirty tables with custom troughs, pre-rinse , scrap baskets
Custom sinks in any depth
With protective bumpers
Any length or width
With built in sinks
With can opener mount
Double sided or single
With or without undershelves
Hot beverage wall or table mount
Other custom products
Tool lockers or cabinets
Protective wall paneling
Recessed or elevated floor troughs
If you can imagine it, we can create it. We have the experience and the expertise in custom fabricated solutions to take your idea all the way to install.
If your facility needs custom stainless steel work, give us a call at 800-956-5571 and we can talk about scheduling a site visit.
Last year we introduced the Rhino M-102 tray delivery cart, a smaller version of our Rhino M-150. When we introduced the original Rhino in 2015, we had a lot of interest in the cart along with requests for a smaller version. Customer feedback is great for product development, so we asked more questions and found that there were customers who loved what they saw with the Rhino Cart but needed a smaller version for jails and prisons looking to transport 100 trays or less. There were also customers who wanted a shorter meal delivery cart that they could easily see over.
These were our top priorities and the Rhino M-102 delivers. The first thing you’ll notice when you see the two carts side by side is that the Rhino M-102 is a full 14” shorter than the original. It doesn’t block your view and because it’s shorter, smaller quantities of trays fit better inside. Fully loaded the Rhino M-102 holds 102 Marathon trays where the original Rhino will hold 150 Marathon trays. Hence the names; M-102 holds 102 & M-150 holds 150, we want to keep it simple. For facilities using the Gorilla tray, the smaller Rhino holds 84 trays and the larger Rhino holds 120.
When we designed this cart, we had the benefit of a year’s experience in the field. We kept all the features that our customers loved and we refined anything that we could make better, but why read about it when you can see it? Watch our video demonstration of the Cook’s Brand Rhino M-102 Meal Tray Delivery Cart presented by Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s. In less than 4 minutes you can learn why the Rhino M-102 is a great tray delivery solution for corrections.
After a hiatus of a few years, Cook’s has decided to re-launch this blog: Cooking in Corrections. There’s just so much to say; new product introductions, manufacturer updates, successes that our customers share, we will do our best to keep you up to date on all the latest news that pertains to foodservice in corrections.
Starting back with recent events, today is the last day of the American Jail Association’s 38th Annual Jail Conference and Expo held in Louisville, KY. We had a great show and were thrilled to see many familiar faces and meet new people. Thank you AJA!
One of the great benefits of social media and the web is the increase of communication tools. Many of us have used YouTube to find music or entertainment – who knew so many people loved to watch cat videos? And, I personally never imagined how many people loved making cat videos. But entertainment aside, video also offers us a great opportunity for learning and education.
We love receiving videos from vendors that provide product demonstrations, new product introductions and more. Especially helpful training videos, like the one below from Vollrath.