💨 I Just Need to Vent (or do I?) ⤴

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Like so many hoodlums wearing hoodies in the ‘hood, many commercial cooking devices masquerade as ventless appliances.

In breathless whispers, their marketers try to hoodwink us into believing that all are altruistic Robin Hoods – removing effluent from the bad air and giving forth good air (“just follow the blue arrows on the diagrams”).

An exhaustive search of the available technologies would yield relatively few that truly could be classified as a Ventless cooking apparatus in the first place. Many perform the heating function, rethermalizing pre-cooked foods with conducted energy, microwaves, steam and the like. Others can finish par-cooked products – melting, toasting, and/or caramelizing.

Typically only electric-powered equipment  – with their lack of attendant products of combustion – can respire comfortably in this space. Grease-laden vapors, effluent, odors, particulate and condensate all must be mitigated through mechanical means. Mandatory too, fire suppression must be addressed. Catalytic converters, charcoal and specialty filters, precipitators, ionizers, et al provide the mojo “under the hood” of many of these modern marvels.

Now, take a deep breath: duct-season is over.

Certain mini combi ovens use a blend of the above technologies to provide bona-fide ventless primary cooking, allowing operators to prepare a varied menu including whole muscle proteins (from raw to finish)!

Deep fryers with mechanisms that automatically dispense product are self-contained, with fire suppression and extensive filtration on-board.

Slow cookers such as cook and hold ovens and water circulators for sous vide (due primarily to the low temperatures involved) require little attention to ventilation issues.

Varied operations can benefit from these new and emerging technologies including, but not limited to airports, sports venues, casinos, shopping malls and bars.

Many municipalities may require a hardship waiver to allow for their installation and operation, but I suspect this will fade as Ventless cooking becomes more ubiquitous.

In the coming months, trade shows, trade publications and internet chatter will be extolling their virtues.

There are several national restaurant chains already employing the concept of ventless and ductless.  We expect this trend to intensify as competition to shrink footprints, environmental impact, and build out and operational costs intensify with the onslaught of the Millennial generation’s perceived needs.

“We’ve always done it this way” will no longer be tolerated, particularly when so much is at “steak”.

OK, now exhale a sigh of relief, from Hood Brook ME to Mt. Hood OR, you can find opportunities for ventless commercial kitchens.

Now I’m exhausted.


The Right Way to Do Ventless

The Wrong Way to do Ventless

🏡 Un-Comfort Zone 🚧

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Do you work to live, or do you live to work?

Recent press reports have highlighted Americans’ work habits; much of the coverage does not flatter.  Long hours, less stability, and a penchant for being “always-on” are contributing to a lowering of expectations in the workplace.

Although satisfaction is up, a clear danger exists in  defining one’s self simply in terms of one’s occupation.

That other time-drain, social media, further contributes to the blurring of boundaries between the professional and the personal.

Identifying too closely with the work-sphere might also expose you to a minefield of negative consequences.

Customers are poorly served when workers act as though their client’s presence is an invasion of the employee’s space.  How many frustrating encounters with shop clerks, flight attendants and wait staff have you been subjected to lately?

Drawn-out grieving processes can ensue when a separation from one’s vocation occurs.

Survivor’s guilt can hamstring teams left behind at the job.

A shallow existence may result from  a one-dimensional self image.

We are more than the sum total of our resumes. Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.  Then get out of your comfort zone and embrace life.  Just do it.

Carter-Hoffman’s new air screen is in production and ready to roll.

Their latest model PHB12DS  features an energy efficient refrigeration system!

Now in time for Halloween

Bally Mortuary Cooler Systems

Villeroy & Boch

💼 A Salesman in a Self-Service World 🌎

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Do you remember those radio and TV ads: “Work from home; No selling required!”? I sure do. I still wonder why precluding the sales function is perceived as a positive message.

Popular media revels in the demonization of the sales profession. From the sitcom WRKP in Cincinnati’s sleazy Herb Tarlek, through Peewee Herman’s disgust at a “SALESMAN!” ringing his doorbell, right through to Leonardo DeCaprio’s portrayal of the Wolf of Wall Street, we are barraged with images that condition us to reject the worth of the world’s second oldest profession. Come to think of it, don’t practitioners of the world’s first oldest profession need to be sales-oriented as well?

Concurrent with the stigmatization of selling, comes the proliferation of self-service options. Gas stations, ATM’s, retail check-outs, self-publishing, even US Customs kiosks and medical advice have all been automated to eliminate human interaction. There’s an app for that (and for everything else, it seems).

Just as the Industrial Revolution eliminated manufacturing jobs, so too the Information Age continues to impact the workforce. Fortunately, sales positions don’t yield to mechanization as easily as clerical jobs do. Sure, retail has its “shelf-talkers”, and B2B its “silent salesmen”, but only non-robots can deliver insights and build consensus.

It seems as though everyone perceives themselves an expert, shallow-schooled by smart phones, social networks and the narrow group that they interact and identify with.

Salespeople are tasked with providing a broader and deeper education of product features and benefits. Performance based compensation ensures that they are incentivized to eliminate ignorance.

Why then do we struggle to resonate with potential customers? Why do we lack the engagement so necessary to teach?

Can we blame complacency? Are lazy marketers to be indicted for their penchant for relying on collateral, printed catalogues, price lists and poorly planned and/or executed trade shows?

Automating processes might lead to your Blue Ocean Strategy by getting customers to buy on autopilot. You might find The Holy Grail of business – a value proposition that makes it too hard for your clients to switch to your competitor. More likely, though, a sales professional will lead the way to higher volumes and profits.

No selling required: that’s why there’s always the need for a salesman.

Editor’s Note: This was originally posted in 2014

            Market Forge announces new promo’s: BOGO’s & Spiffs!

Contact us for more info


🎃 Pumpkin Spice Season 🍂

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Thursday heralds the official first day of autumn.  Apple-picking, tailgating, and PSL’s ☕️ aside, fall probably represents the most important season of the year, food-wise.


This period marked the busiest time for our ancestors, as they struggled to reap their crops, and then preserve them until the first shoots of the following spring brought them much needed sustenance.


Many of the most beloved culinary techniques are rooted in harvest traditions. 👨🏻‍🌾


Fermentation, including pickling, brining, and vinification 🍷 worked to extend fruit and vegetable shelf lives.  Curing and smoking of proteins allowed them to last throughout the toughest winters as well.  🥓


Food preservation relies on the prevention of microorganism growth and the slowing of oxidation.  Our forebears created proven (and often delicious) methods of prolonging their foodstores, while understanding little of the underlying science.


The shelf life of today’s fall bonanza can be extended by these and other classical ways as well as, and in conjunction with, more modern methodologies:

Blast Chilling

 Vacuum Sealing

Shock Freezing

Conserving “fresh” taste, color, nutrition and texture, these newer techniques have the added benefits of reducing the incidences of harmful carcinogens.


We’ve taken full advantage of our Garden State Culinary Center at Pecinka Ferri this year, growing, pickling, canning, freezing and storing our crops. The Test Kitchens here provided the proper tools to get the job done, and our chef and crew reveled in putting a new twist on these ancient traditions!

October 1st – new price lists on Blodgett-Marsal & Market Forge!


🚸 Safety First 👷

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This week, leading up to 9/11, has presented so many challenges to our well-being.  Cataclysmic hurricanes, a massive earthquake, news of a potentially culture-crushing data breach, all have unleashed their fury on a innocent populace within a few day’s time.

Most of North America is now attempting to secure its physical, financial, and cultural well-being.  Safety and security have been pushed to the forefront of the national agenda.

These are hot-button issues in foodservice as well, as witnessed by the constant drumbeat of contamination reports in the news.

The industry must be vigilant watchdogs for food safety and security.   We are proud to represent factory partners who offer a variety of solutions.

Vacuum System Solutions

Advance Tabco’s revolutionary Sleek Shield™ makes rotating food shields without tools easier than ever!

In addition to full 360Âş rotating ability, the chamber will lock into place in 15Âş intervals.

Careful management of the cold chain maintains freshness over time, ensuring maximum food safety while maintaining HACCP standards.

🍎 Apples & Oranges 🍊

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“everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of US patent office in 1899

How does  the foodservice supply chain reinvent itself?  Where do new products come from?

Manufacturers seldom create from “whole cloth”, opting instead to put their engineers’ valuable time to use in tweaking existing items (typically for multi-unit operators).  Combining and recombining technologies, notions, designs and systems, product developers brew up new offerings for their marketing teams.

Staying ahead of the competition, while solving clients’ problems motivate supplier teams to hash out items for an ever-changing landscape.

Notable recent mashups on the food side include avocado toast, the cronut, and any number of Tex-Mex QSR meals (made from the same four ingredients)!  The non-foods, E&S business cooks up similar medleys.

Mason jars with handles, smoke enhancing appliances, patterned textured dinnerware and flame spewing cookers represent a few offerings of an industry looking both backward and forward.

To Serve And Protect

Server ConserveWell utensil holders are an environmentally friendly method of rinsing and preventing bacteria growth by holding utensils in water over 140°F. Using 99.7% less water than a traditional dipper well, one unit can save over 250,000 gallons of water per year. Drop-in or mountable units available to fit your operation’s needs.

The Blodgett Hoodini, a combination of a Combi Oven and Hood, makes the scene at the AHF Conference.

🌀 Changes Blowin’ in 🌀

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“The only thing that is constant is change” Heraclitus once said.  You have certainly taken notice that disruptions great and small are occurring with an ever-accelerating frequency, rendering a new normal on a daily basis.

2017 will go down as one of those seminal moments when the world has rebooted.  Foodservice is not immune from the effects of this renewal.

Mergers and acquisitions, career detours, new alliances, and the ever-morphing supply chain are symptomatic of seismic shifts in the lives and livelihoods of the denizens of HoReCa (Euro-speak for Hotel, Restaurant and Catering – AKA “foodservice”).

The very notion of “food away from home” – as the US government defines what the industry does – is being challenged.  Fortunes will be made and lost in the ensuing years as the industry re-aligns.

Buckle in for a bumpy ride as the opening salvoes of the campaign hit their early targets.

Please note that Jason Kellish has left his position with Pecinka Ferri Associates.  We wish him all the best in all of his future endeavors.

Hospitality Glass Brands have opted to utilize a factory-direct approach in the New York Metro market, and thus ends our affiliation with them.

Blendtec and Lancer will be restructuring.   

  •  Blendtec will again handle all sales and service for North America and all International not outlined below.

  • Domestic purchase orders again will now need to be made out to Blendtec

  • Lancer  will handle all sales and service for the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australia.

  A special pricing promotion has been offered to herald in this change!

MagiKitch’n has streamlined their outdoor cooking equipment product lines. MagiCater and MagiKitch’n fryers will be the only “al fresco” product offerings now going forward.

🌎 Globe Trotting For FSE ✈

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The foodservice equipment and supplies industry is truly  global!  Many of the products in use every day have their origins overseas.

Hailing from just about every corner of the globe (and not just from China, the “world’s factory floor”) non-food items work their way daily through the supply chain.

Countries that one may not immediately associate with the E&S trade are now key suppliers.

Heaters from Australia, dinnerware from Bangladesh, Combi Ovens from Denmark, dishwashers from Spain, and carts from Turkey are but a few of the offerings.

Traditional trading partners in Europe have upped the ante by providing ever more sophisticated versions of standard kitchen equipment and front of the house serving items.

International trade shows draw ever larger crowds, while domestic events struggle for attendance.

Entire support structures have emerged here in the US to facilitate this deluge.  Talent search firms, warehousing, parts and service suppliers, marketing consultants and others specializing in international commerce have established themselves stateside.

Formerly, foreign exchange rates and labor costs dictated the origin of goods.  These still play a part, but overseas companies regularly use financial hedging mechanisms to level out their costs.  Exporting is vital to those entities fabricating in areas that can not support their production domestically.

A typical path for a foreign manufacturer to penetrate the American market is to first establish a relationship with a US-based competitor to supply them with unique product under a branding agreement.

Subsequent to any successes, a non-native factory will then create a trading company, outsourcing much of its infrastructure.  Only after these phases are humming along will the brand fully embed itself on our shores, directly hiring personnel and occupying brick & mortar.  In some cases, local manufacturing will also supplement the imported product.

Beware: not all products are alike.  Manufacturing standards vary widely worldwide.  Codes and requirements are anything but uniform across the globe.  Buyers must take into account after-sale issues.  Merchandise longevity and serviceability should be considered paramount.

The world has gotten smaller, and yet more complicated for the E&S specifier.

Chef Beau MacMillan and his Henkelman – Elements


http://www.henkelman.com/usThe New Jersey Chapter of the Association For Healthcare Foodservice won the inaugural “Chapter of the Year” award at last week’s conference.

The annual event, this year held in the Washington DC suburbs, features a tradeshow, culinary competition, silent auction, education, motivation, and networking!


Our area was well represented with strong attendance by the New York chapter, leading the way with culinary innovation, cutting edge facility design, and innovative meal delivery systems.


📐 Technically Eating 🍴

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Have you noticed the steady integration of tech into foodservice equipment?

Many leading manufacturers are offering new and/or improved appliances such as Carter-Hoffman’s Garden Chef, Henkelman‘s Vacuum Systems; Irinox Blast Chillers and Shock Freezers, Perfect Fry, and so many others.

Whether it’s robotics, AI, IOT or even on-board video, prepare to be wowed by the latest innovations coming out of the engineering departments.

Gratefully, many of the new iterations are not just gee-whiz marketing ploys, but truly serve a function.

Better flavor profiles“, “untraditional locations“, and “hyper-local availability” are now added to the benefits promised by past innovations such as “ease of use”, “increased productivity” and “lower food costs”.

Visit us soon at our newly completed kitchens in the Fairfield, NJ Culinary Center to experience firsthand the disruption in food equipment.

The Multiteria Expandable Counter is a great way to add revenue-generating opportunities and increase traffic.

⚓ HEAVY Duty 👮

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Meaningless superlatives abound in the marketing sphere, overused until they no longer have any impact. The one that you’ll hear over and over in foodservice equipment is “heavy duty”.

Just what does that mean?  Nearly everyone will have a different understanding of this now-hollow descriptor.

Is it metal gauge? Motor size? Will “good enough” be good enough? Is the product fit for your purposes, will it last reasonably long, will the manufacturer fix it breaks?

When purchasing (or specifying) kitchen wares, most folks need a benchmark against which to measure quality.  Advertiser-sponsored trade journals do occasionally attempt to establish value hierarchies.  Specifications often belie nuances in equipment differentiation.

Operators and specifiers often must rely upon the integrity of suppliers to distinguish between “good, better, and best” offerings.  Bear in mind that greater quality units might not be appropriate even if the budget permits its inclusion, just as lesser quality pieces shouldn’t be the automatic default selection because they are cheaper.

The price/value continuum is further complicated by transactional purchases, where little or no expertise is exchanged.   Here, differentiation between vendors should be a critical factor in the selection process.  Often, sadly, it is not.

Clearly then, “Heavy Duty” is in the eye of the beholder.  We submit that a trusted expert supplier must be a key component in the value equation.

The heavy duty rule: Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)!



  • Marsal has a large selection of ready-to-ship ovens in stock!  Call us about our end-of-summer freight special.

  • Robert Watson has joined Lakeside as the new Eastern Regional Sales Manager.


If you haven’t checked out the beautiful Torino™ Collection from ITI, now is a great time! This elegantly designed coupe-shaped dinnerware collection adds sophistication to any table setting! New for 2017 are the stacking plate options – the clean lines of the stacked plates are perfect for your small plate/Tapas-style dining presentation. Available in 5″, 73/4″, 9″ and 101/4″ diameters, Torino™ covers all your plating needs. Be sure to contact your local ITI Sales Representative for additional information about Torino™ today!

 Download Our Catalogs!