Pitco Fry Guy Focus: Introducing Chad Garner


Fried foods are some of the most beloved in America. In our ongoing series, we meet up 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 Chad Garner, the Arizona-based chef for Elevation® Foodservice Reps in Colorado.

How did you land in foodservice?

I started in foodservice at a young age as a dishwasher washing pie pans at a local pizzeria. The job could have been better, but I loved being part of the team and learning from all the cooks. Since that first job, there has been no turning back. I enrolled in a culinary program to get the basics and fundamental knowledge needed to be successful. After culinary school, I worked my way up the ranks, working in and managing kitchens of all types. Throughout my career, I have made healthcare, military foodservice contracts, fine dining, resorts, entertainment venues, and, most recently, country club kitchens.

What is the most common question you get about fryers?

The most common question is, “Why doesn’t my oil last?”

Let’s talk oil. Why do operators think oil filtration is a waste? What’s the disconnect between throwing away oil constantly and the option to filter and reuse?

Foodservice operators aren’t always aware of the options available regarding filtration. They may need help understanding the benefits and cost savings associated with buying quality oil, and filtering often extends their oil and their dollar.

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

Do your homework on types of oil. All oils have different burning points; some will work better for your product than others. You can also experiment with your menu items and compare varying oil types.

What are the most important accessories to have for fryers?

Good filtration, and if nothing else, a fine skimmer to remove particles during service.

What are common frying mistakes that you see?

Not having the fryer set at the ideal temperature and not filtering oil.

How would you recommend fixing those mistakes?

Do the necessary R&D with your fried products, test at different temperatures, and test with other oils. Invest in a sound filtration system with your fryer.

What is the best fried food you’ve ever had?

Scotch eggs, hands down. Soft poached egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep fried.

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

Bread anything you can from scratch. There are big savings to be had when you do that step yourself. Develop a plan to ensure your fryer is operating at peak efficiency at all times, and this will make sure your product comes out consistently. Think outside the box, and develop a signature fried item that no one else has.

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

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Topics: Oil, Fryers