Category Archives: Food for thought

🌎 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 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!


💰 Change In The Air 🌀

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Can you feel it?  There’s change in the air.

And not just the latest MS Windows update that “retires” Windows Paint, or the new cast in the West Wing.

Reinventing is what Foodservice folks have been doing for millennia.  And now that Millennials are assuming leadership roles, change is inevitable.

From announced unit closings to equipment innovations to mergers & acquisitions, 2017 will be remembered as a year that redefined what the industry looks like.

Will you be embracing disruption, or left in its wake?

🐶 Dog Days 🌞

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So, you made it halfway through the dog days of summer!  Those lazy, hazy, crazy days that you waited all year to enjoy.

Hopefully, you are getting out and embracing the fine weather that Mother Nature has bestowed.

Dog days conjure up images of swimming, soft-serve stands, mini-golf, boating, softball, golf, and drives through the country.

Barbecues and clambakes, frozen drinks, cook-outs and al fresco patio dining should definitely be on the agenda!

Foodservice can be such a huge part of the summer scene:  “It’s too hot to cook – let’s go out” should be on all of our lips at least until the frost is on the pumpkin…


🌴 Palindromic Date 📅

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Welcome to palindrome Monday 7/17/17 – it’s  got you coming and going.

I saw desserts; I’d no lemons, alas no melon. Distressed was I.

Are pass-through units the palindromes of foodservice equipment?

This is brand-new!

Summer is here, and what a better way to celebrate summer than with Campfire Dinnerware from ITI!
Campfire is reminiscent of enamel campfire dining sets but is designed to handle the rigors of today’s foodservice establishments.
Offering a unique combination of rustic durability teamed with the quality that you have come to expect from ITI, Campfire can be the perfect choice for any casual dining setting!
Be sure to check it out today!!



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Looking for foodservice-focused baking equipment?

Marsal gas & electric pizza ovens are in and will be operational next week at the Pecinka Ferri Culinary Center  in Fairfield.

These are in addition to the Blodgett Combi Ovens, Rotating Rack Ovens, (and, of course) Convection Ovens, Doyon Artisan Stone-Deck Oven, NuVu and Houno ovens – all ready to be test-driven!

Sheeters, dividers, rounders, mixers, showcases, blast chillers, shock freezers, standard refrigeration, fryers, ranges: All your equipment needs for a successful bake operation, now under one roof.


Contact our certified executive chef for a hands-on bake today!

Don’t let this happen to you!


⏳ Time Passages ⌛

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History (repeats itself) History.

Since 1972 Pecinka Ferri has been providing Equipment and Supplies solutions to the foodservice industry.

We are in good company!

The year was 1848.

James Polk was the 11th president of the United States.

Gold was discovered in California.

And Gardner S. Blodgett built his first oven for a local Vermont tavern owner.

Things would never be the same in California … or the foodservice industry.

Today, Blodgett is the leading manufacturer of commercial ovens in the world.

Restaurants, fast-food chains, hotels, hospitals, institutions, small businesses and large corporations alike rely on the Blodgett name.

In fact, our ovens have been in demand overseas since the late 1800s – long before global markets and international trade became the focus of our modern world.
Despite widespread success (or maybe because of it) Blodgett has never strayed from its original goal or its roots.

Blodgett is located in Burlington, Vermont – just 1-1/2 miles from where the company founder and namesake forged a cooking revolution in cast iron over 150 years ago.

And while the times and foodservice needs have changed since then, our commitment to building the best remains the same.

Better from the start

Since 1949, Server has helped foodservice operators everywhere find smart, efficient and sustainable ways to serve fresh food, better.

It began at the movie theater, where operators needed an easier way to melt and serve butter for their freshly popped popcorn.

We went to work, designing the industry’s first automatic butter warmer and dispenser.

Building on our success at the movies, we continued to work with foodservice operators to develop progressive dispensing and point-of-use equipment that solved their everyday serving challenges.

Honesty and integrity helped nurture each new relationship, while reliable products and personal service kept the business growing. More

The company’s strong roots in European culture have shaped the development of a premium brand that is now a household name all over the world, from its foundation in 1748 to the present day. Villeroy & Boch is now represented in over 125 countries with its Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware products. The group’s headquarters is the Old Abbey in Mettlach in the Saarland region of Germany.

Jean François Boch, the third generation of the Boch family, purchased the Benedictine abbey in 1809.

📷 Snaps from NRA 📷

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The NRA Show in Chicago ended on Tuesday.

Please share this if you are happy to have attended (or not), but happier still to be home!

23 enlightened manufacturers (those that choose Pecinka Ferri to represent them in Metro NY/NJ/CT) were amongst the many exhibitors at this year’s industry gathering.

As expected,emerging trends were spotted on the show floor:

  • Take out & mobile ordering
  • Farmhouse themes
  • Desserts back in vogue
  • Craft beverage (i.e Nitro Coffee, hand-made brews, etc)
  • Dining as an experience
You’ll be hearing a lot more about what’s on the foodservice horizon in the coming weeks.


Check out the slideshow!

NRA 2017

Links to our Factory Partners (that exhibited at the show):




Congratulations to Steve Spittle who has now been named President of Blodgett, Marsal & Market Forge in addition to his responsibilities as President of Pitco, MagiKitch’n, Anets and Perfect Fry.

Additionally, Mark Easterday has assumed the role of VP of Sales & Marketing for the combined organization.

Bethany Trombley will be regional manager for all of these brands in the metro market.



🍦🍨🍧Guess What Time of Year it is 👓👣👙

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If you guessed that it’s swimsuit season, you’d be right (almost).  It is, in fact, the time of year when young men’s (and women’s) thoughts turn to… Gelato!

As I am writing this on Earth Day 2017, my thoughts turn to incredible frozen desserts that can be made from natural and sustainable ingredients.

Take a tour of the latest in cold treats and how we support them:

How Gelato Is Made, Served and Displayed

Gelato. The more glamorous and mythical cousin of American ice cream. We’ve already explored the differences between gelato and ice cream, but what about gelato itself? Let’s take a look at how gelato is made, served, and displayed.

Irinox technology keeps your ice cream better. Ice cream comes out of the batch freezer at a temperature of -7°/-9°C; at this point it still contains 30% water, which is responsible for rapid aging. If the ice cream is placed in the window at -12°C or kept at -18° without shock freezing, the water congeals slowly and forms macro-crystals that ruin the structure. In just a few hours the ice cream will lose creaminess, volume and the typical flavour of freshly made ice cream.

MultiFresh or the EasyFresh blast chiller are used to shock freeze at -18°C or -12°C; the water in the ice cream is transformed into micro-crystals that maintain initial quality intact and do not ruin the structure. After shock freezing the ice cream can be kept at -18°C or -12°C so that a stock is always available in the exclusive Irinox Cp Multi or N’ice holding cabinets, or at -12° C in the window ready for retail.



  • Increases the duration of preserved ice cream;
  • Reduces production costs;
  • Cuts energy consumption;
  • Flavours always available for display;
  • Manages peak periods and unexpected demand;
  • Reduces overrun losses;
  • Plans production;
  • Increases the assortment to offer customers (chocolate, mousse, ice cream cakes, semifreddos);





The ice cream comes out of the batch freezer at -7°/9°C and must be taken as rapidly as possible to a window display temperature of -12°C; if the basin is placed directly in the window, slow freezing causes a loss of volume and the creation of macro crystals that damage the quality of the ice cream.

Only MultiFresh has a cycle dedicated to ICE CREAM freezing at -12°C that rapidly takes it to a temperature of -7°C to -12°C, making it immediately ready for retail.  The ice cream preserves overrun and maintains its texture and quality.

Ice cream cone dispensers and organizers are available for countertop and surface mounted dispensing applications in a variety of dispensing mechanisms, material specifications and product configurations.