It may feel as though the deck is stacked against chefs, who have to attempt to maintain speed of service despite numerous staffing issues. They also have to find ways to surprise and delight guests with items that will taste just as delicious after an off-premises journey as they did as a plated offering at a restaurant. And finally, they have to do it all without adding several SKUs or operational complexities into the mix.
And now consumers are changing the way restaurants seek out ingredients to combat the above challenges, with 94 percent of restaurants wanting to be more transparent about the food that they serve, according to Foodservice Director. That means proteins especially have to check all of the boxes: versatile, easy to prep, on-trend, and made with transparent and ethically-sourced ingredients that can be promoted on a menu.
“Consumers continue to demand transparency from the food they eat and restaurants they patronize,” says Doug Wickman, vice president of marketing and business development at Perdue Foodservice. “Premium products with key menu claims may help increase your profit.”
One of the ways chefs are solving these kitchen complexities is by turning to sous-vide style proteins that ensure a consistent, tender product across applications that even cuts back on labor and may reduce shrink. Chef Mike Buononato, senior vice president of Creative Food Solutions, is an especially big proponent of Perdue Harvestland TenderReady Sous-Vide Style Chicken. The product is made from chickens with “No Antibiotics Ever” that are hatched, raised, and harvested in the U.S. and are available bone-in or boneless and come fully cooked, marinated, and roasted in a sealed bag to lock in flavor and moisture.
“Sous vide is truly the best way to cook any type of protein, because it ensures that the protein is never under or overcooked, and Perdue’s product sets the industry standard in that regard,” Buononato says. “And from a labor standpoint, the cooking and handling of a sous-vide style protein is drastically reduced. You don’t have to go through food safety headaches and training—your protein is fully cooked and ready to go.”
Buononato loves using the boneless Perdue Harvestland TenderReady Sous-Vide Style Chicken straight out of the bag on a Caesar salad, in a wrap, or on a sandwich—all items that diners who favor eating off-premises will enjoy. He calls the product “perfectly seasoned” and “as consistent as possible,” and says it gives chefs like him one less thing to worry about. Buononato also uses the bone-in style to make fried chicken and reports that he loves the crispy-to-juicy ratio the sous-vide style creates in less than half the time a raw piece of chicken would take to fry, again saving him precious time in the kitchen.
Beyond the versatility and practicality, one of the main reasons Chef Buononato uses Perdue’s products is because he believes in the company’s mission. He says Perdue’s dedication to responsibly raised poultry is easy to call out on menus in order to create a connection with diners.
“I really enjoy working with Perdue because they use clean label products with simple ingredients,” Buononato says. “They have such a commitment to caring for the animals and feed them an all-vegetarian fed diet with no animal by-products—that’s going above and beyond to produce a quality product a chef can get behind.”
To find out more about Perdue Harvestland TenderReady Sous-Vide Style Chicken, visit perduefoodservice.com.