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On the road again….

Cook's Correctional ACA 2019 Summer Conference in Boston, MA Booth #1112

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.

If you too are on the road for the ACA Summer Conference, stop by and see us in booth #1112. You can meet Linda and Craig who are pictured above in out booth, along with Chadd, John and Jeff. You can also the Rhino M-102 meal delivery cart designed specifically for corrections, our new Raised Compartment Marathon Tray and our popular Flex products and Kettle Tools.

Have you seen Gordon Ramsey Behind Bars?

1st video in the Gordon Ramsey Behind Bars Series

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.

Correctional Kitchen Equipment from Cook's

Correctional Kitchen Equipment

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.

View Cook’s Heavy-duty Correctional Kitchen Equipment Offering

Innovation, Purpose and Pride in Action From Anderson County, TX

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.

 

We’re a Social Organization

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?

Two NEW Cook’s Brand Marathon Trays

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:

American Jail Association 38th Annual Conference and Expo

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!

Your Guide to Disposable Plastic Glassware

Restaurants, bars and caterers often use plastic glasses rather than traditional glass for durability and affordability. However, if you have shopped for plastic glassware you know that there are various types of plastics to choose from. So, what’s the difference?

Each type of plastic has its own characteristics. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you know what you’re getting when you choose one over the other to help you select the type of plastic you require.

Polycarbonate

polycarbonate plastic glassware
This is a very durable, hard-wearing plastic and is used to make riot shields and crash helmets. It is often touted as unbreakable, and it’s close to that. Glasses made from polycarbonate are dishwasher save up to and beyond 500 washes. Because of this, these glasses are the recommended choice for use in nightclubs, bars and pubs. Polycarbonate glasses can also be recycled.

SAN

SANplasticblog

SAN, or Styrene Acrylonitrile, is a very hard and long lasting plastic, but it does crack when put under significant pressure. SAN glasses are dishwasher safe and are able to withstand the high temperature and chemicals in commercial dish machines. For this reason, glasses made of SAN are a good fit for restaurants as well as household use. San is also a recyclable material.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene Plastic Cups
Polystyrene (PS) is a hard and somewhat brittle plastic that is used to make reusable, as well as disposable, plastic tumblers and glasses. One of the benefits of polystyrene is that it can be recycled.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene Dinex Plastic-ware

Polypropylene (PP) is used in many different applications beyond food service. A thermoplastic polymer, you will find polypropylene in stationary, packaging, textiles as well as disposable plastic glasses. Polypropylene can be recycled just as polystyrene can be; however, polypropylene glasses are not reusable, where there are reusable polystyrene glasses.

You can find a variety of plastic tumblers and other types of plastic drink ware at Cook’s Direct.

When it Comes to Disposable Flatware, You Have Many Choices

When it comes to disposable flatware, you can either settle for flimsy, substandard plastic flatware that will snap the second pressure is applied, or sturdy, appealing flatware that functions properly and offers some additional benefits at the same time. If you have ever been on the receiving end of plastic ware that delivers headaches and not much more, then you know just how important making the right choice is. Throw security considerations into the mix and you are faced with one huge challenge. We found three of the most innovative and economical disposable flatware on the market.

FSE disposable flatware is a top performer because of its durability and cost-effectiveness. You can get teaspoons, forks, knives, soup spoons and even flatware kits to really make things easy.

Ecotensil has moved to the top of the market particularly for high security applications. This large, silky-smooth, spoon is easy to use and recyclable-plus, it comes in a variety of different sizes and made in the USA. The best part is, they remove worry from situations where safety is important and crucial.

With the strength to stand up to everyday dining tasks like cutting foods and piercing meats, and offering great looks in the bargain, Hoffmaster flatware is the clear winner. This flatware is also biodegradable and 100% compostable. Their spoons, forks and knives will hold up well in the dining room and is surprisingly economical. An all-around outstanding choice.

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