Pitco Fry Gal Focus: Introducing Jan Tung

As a former Marine Corps chef, Jan Tung has gotten to enjoy and create many culinary experiences. Now as Preferred Marketing Groups Business Development Representative and chef in Southern California, she works with a lot of foodservice operators who have questions about how to make their fryers last longer and increase profits. We sat down with Jan to discuss some of the frequent questions she gets about fryers, her experience cooking for government officials, and crumb scoops.

How did you land in foodservice? Give us some background and fun facts about yourself.

I joined the Marine Corps in 1996. My first job was subsistence supply supporting food logistics for military dining facilities, Navy ships, and field operations in theatres where military action was taking place. I worked my way up through the ranks working at all levels and facilities that I ran won multiple awards from the National Restaurant Association for military foodservice programs. Further in my career, I was selected to work as a private chef for several general officers and government officials.

Where do you think the industry is headed?

Full Automation, which we have already started. Also, more intelligent robots will facilitate the optimal use of labor resources and improve the speed of service.

What is the most common question you get about fryers?

“Why should I upgrade to a 50lb fryer with filtration when the 40lb fryer is cheaper and gets the job done?”

Let’s talk oil. Why do you think operators think oil filtration is a waste?

Fear of the unknown. Operators do not see the financial benefits that filtration can provide, especially at the beginning given that in the early stage, the benefit is not tangible. Only when people start seeing the savings will they start believing in the benefits of oil filtration, which are long term benefits.

What’s the disconnect between throwing away oil constantly and the option to filter and reuse?

Kitchens are fast-paced. The idea of stopping the production just to clean the used oil is, to some people, pointless

What are the top 3 types of oil typically used in commercial fryers, along with your suggested food items to fry?

Peanut oil, canola oil, and soybean oil for best price, smoke points, and taste. Suggested food items to fry are fried Monte Cristo sandwiches, pakora, and mandazi.

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

Be creative with your menu items versus just frying up your usual fried chicken and fries.

What are the most important accessories to have for fryers?

Waste oil cart, crumb scoop, and fryer cleaning tools.

What are common frying mistakes that you see?

A few of them are not scooping the crumbs out (of the fryer) and allowing build-up in the fryer pot, which causes it to clog and makes it very challenging to clean.

How would you recommend fixing those mistakes?

Have the necessary tools available during the filtration and cleaning cycle.

What is the best fried food you ever had?

Jalebi (a South Asian fried dish)

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

    1. Be creative with your menu!
    2. Use a healthy alternative such as tallow vs. shortening.
    3. When your food consistently tastes fresh, crispy, crunchy, and looks appetizing, rest assured, that people will rave about your venue and become recurring customers.


Curious about which Pitco fryer would work best for your foodservice business? Here’s how to find out:

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Topics: Oil, Fryers