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Q&A with Pro-Pacific Executive Chef Wade Harris

By Pro-Pacific / Nov 02, 2016

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Now that you know Pro-Pacific Executive Chef Wade Harris from a previous blog post, we decided to sit down and ask him some important questions about food, the seasons, where we live, and to learn more about Chef Wade himself. Let's take a look in our Q&A with Wade Harris.

Q: What is your favorite fall food? 
A: Slow braised meat (usually game).
Q: You've lived in different parts of the country. How are fall foods different in the Pacific Northwest?
A: We are still able to get fresh seafood and foraged wild mushrooms.
Q: What about equipment? What are some of the new units that will change the cooking process this fall?
A: Even though our Combitherm ovens continue to innovate, the support and collaboration of our chefs will push it even further. I am hearing a lot of talk/requests of our ventless technology with no hood/space (which has been around for years), but there are a lot of new, exciting applications, and rethinking how it is being used by our chefs and customers. I also see some fall beers being brewed in the test kitchen.
Q: Do you see a greater push toward seasonality in general from a diner perspective?
A: Yes. I think as chefs we have always wanted what is fresh/seasonal, as well as consumers. I think technology has helped push that forward. I still see a lot of “farm-to-table,” which is obviously a popular concept. I hope it doesn’t get abused to charge higher prices to the consumer. I also feel the staff need to be educated as to why a “farm” is so much better and unique, and be able to convey that to the customer, especially if they are being charged a premium price.
Q: How can foodservice operations capitalize on this trend?
A: By thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways to showcase some of your more basic/cost effective ingredients, and being innovative to come up with some really cool things people wouldn’t expect.
Q: Thanksgiving is arguably the most food-centric of all American holidays. There's also been more and more restaurants staying open for Thanksgiving. Can you comment on Thanksgiving and how it relates to commercial foodservice?
A: I think it is a great way to build sales on your upcoming Friday and Saturday night. Look, not everyone wants to cook all weekend, especially if they have family in town. From an operator standpoint, food cost is pretty low on your traditional Thanksgiving fare to make a profit, and people expect that traditional meal. I would take those recipes and make them a bit more sophisticated without completely reinventing them.  
Q: What about another fall tradition - football? Give us some tailgating tips.
A: Big game hunting and football. Tailgating tip: Cook/prep as much as you can prior to the game so you aren’t in the kitchen the whole time!
Q: Any big plans this fall?
A: Yep, big game hunting and football!

Get more info from Chef Wade. Spend some time with him, and discuss your own foodservice needs and expectations, as well as some solutions to bring your commercial kitchen ideas to life.

 Pro-Pacific Equipment Consultation

Topics: Pacific Northwest, Wade Harris, Restaurants, Farm-to-Table, Football, Wild Game, Seasonality, Thanksgiving

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