Pitco Fry Guy Focus: Introducing Freddy Macdonald
Hooked on great tastes at an early age, Freddy Macdonald knows a thing about commercial kitchens. From his experience interning in a French restaurant to his current position as the Strategic Account Manager and Corporate Chef at Preferred Marketing Group, Freddy has seen it all. We took some time to chat with Freddy, who’s this month’s Pitco Fry Guy, to learn a little more about his thoughts on oil filtration and automation. And took a look at the best fried food he’s ever had (yum!!).
How did you land in foodservice? Give us some background and fun facts about yourself.
I was accepted into the top culinary school in Canada when I was 17 years old. I didn’t really know what I was getting into at that age but what I was learning and tasting just blew my mind back then. I continued on as a formal apprentice In a French kitchen that was part of a European hotel chain and by this point, I was hooked and knew that was what I wanted to do.
Where do you think the industry is headed?
It’s inevitably heading Into full automation because what we’ve known is no longer sustainable with the current labor market. Kitchens full of robots are the future.
What is the most common question you get about fryers?
“Why is the fryer so expensive?”
Let’s talk oil. Why do you think operators think oil filtration is a waste and how will looking for the cheapest option affect them?
It’s not that they think it’s a waste, it’s that they need to control opening costs. Considering most restaurants don’t make it past the first year, it needs to be proven that the restaurant has a future as long as the ROI on a filtration system. Once a restaurant is open the focus is on controlling short-term costs and maximizing monthly profits. A large equipment expenditure makes this difficult, even though It will save money In the long run.
What’s the disconnect between throwing away oil constantly and the option to filter and reuse?
Most people don’t realize that over 10 years they will put $40,000 worth of oil through one 50 pound fryer. Filtering can cut this cost In half, but lots of people don’t look that far ahead. They don’t know If they will still be In business In 10 years.
What are the top types of oils typically used in commercial fryers?
High oleic oils are popular right now, including blends.
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to add fried food to a menu?
Make your own product instead of frozen premade products. Taste test out of the fryer and 10 minutes after coming out of the fryer. Time is the enemy sometimes and so is not filtering your oil.
What are common frying mistakes that you see?
Using old oil that should have been disposed of, using substandard frozen products, and over frying.
How would you recommend fixing those mistakes?
Make your own fresh product for frying, use timers, and use an oil management system with a TPM reader.
What is the best fried food you’ve ever had?
Fried lobster profiteroles!
What are your three best pieces of advice for a restaurant trying to make more money with fried food?
- Use clean oil, change it, and filter it.
- Don’t use all frozen premade products. They are expensive and substandard. Try making some low-labor fresh products on your own.
- Make good dipping sauces.
If you want to try some Pitco Fry Guy tips but aren’t sure if you have the best fryer, use our easy-to-use product selector tool:
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