Fry Guy Focus: Introducing Paul Kuhn

Fried foods are some of the most beloved in America. In our ongoing series, we sit down with the Fry Guys and Fry Gals who know how to get the most out of their fryers. In this edition, we sat down with Paul Kuhn, Utah-based chef for Elevation® Foodservice Reps in Colorado.  


Born with cooking in his blood, Chef Paul Kuhn started baking treats for his friends as a child. After later learning that his late grandmother had been a chef, Paul decided to pursue the same career path. Having worked every restaurant job from dishwasher to owner, Paul knows what it takes to run a successful foodservice business.

Pitco: What is the most common question you get about fryers?

Chef Paul: Are the fryers Energy Star Rated and how does that help them.

Pitco: What question do you first ask someone when they want help with a fried food menu item?

Chef Paul: First, ask about their fryer size and capacity and what’s on the menu already that’s using the fryer.

Pitco: What are the most important accessories to have for fryers?

Chef Paul: I believe that the filter system and cleaning tools are most important. A clean fryer will operate better. Clean oil produces a better product, which increases sales, and lasts longer, which will save money.

I also love the programable items and timers that create ease of use, duplicatable, and consistency.

Pitco: What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to add fried food to a menu?

Chef Paul: Fried foods are a high-profit item on your menu, around 70-80%. So make sure to buy a fryer that can handle the capacity and don’t buy the cheapest one that fits into the spot.

Pitco: What are common frying mistakes that you see?

Chef Paul: Doing more than you should in one fryer. Cooking items with stronger flavors in the same fryer as items with milder flavors can affect the taste of the food.

Pitco: How would you recommend fixing them?

Chef Paul: Have the right equipment and cook what you know. First, get two, three, or four well fryers and designate each for specific uses. Fry like items together so you aren’t changing the tastes of the food. And don’t try to be everything. Know your strengths, emphasize them, and do them better.

Pitco: What is the best fried food you ever had?

Chef Paul: I’ve tried a lot of interesting fried foods from fairs, mom & pop restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall places. But my favorite is a lightly battered whole catfish.

Pitco: What are your best three pieces of advice for a restaurant to make more money with fried food?

Chef Paul:

  1. Keep it clean – take care of your equipment and filter your oil often.
  2. Serve a consistently quality product.
  3. Be creative –  almost anything can be fried (check out fair food.) Look at your leftovers, trim, and other ‘scraps’ and play with them.

We know what to fry. Schedule a culinary consultation with us to get some ideas for your operation!

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Topics: Pitco