Pitco Fry Guy Focus: Introducing Seth Miller

Having worked in many aspects of the foodservice industry, Seth Miller has seen a lot. Now, as the Executive Chef at Specialized out of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Seth works with customers to ensure that the equipment they’re considering will work best for their needs. As this month’s Pitco Fry Guy, Seth sat down with us to talk a little more about his background along with sharing his thoughts on fryers and filtering oil.

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

I started in college as a waiter and bartender. After moving to New York City, I went to culinary school followed by an apprenticeship in a 4-star French restaurant. My experience also includes opening a restaurant in Florida and having a catering firm. Eventually, I got into sales and teaching culinary arts, which all led to me working for Specialized.

Where do you think the industry is headed?

To more convenience for the consumer, although delivery fees may eventually cause the whole delivery end to falter. Consumers are fed up with all of the different fees added to the cost of a meal. Healthier options are always going to be important. Unfortunately, the failure rate of restaurants, especially independent ones, may rise. The chains are also closing their lesser profitable units.

What is the most common question you get about fryers?

“How can I increase my efficiency?”

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?

They don’t always equate filtering oil to dollars saved. Some operators don’t want to spend additional money on any filter system. Other operators aren’t thinking of the bad effects of not filtering like burnt taste and other flavors of different foods cooked in the same fryer.

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

I feel that there are those who think it’s a waste of staff time to filter the oil and tossing it out is the easiest thing to do. They just don’t get the idea that filtered oil directly relates to fewer dollars used to purchase oil.

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

A canola blend for French fries, vegetable oil for chicken, and peanut oil for the best potato chips.

What are common frying mistakes that you see?

Not changing the oil often enough. Also overloading the pot with food and overbreading (or battering) foods.

How would you recommend fixing those mistakes?

Better training of staff would fix these mistakes.

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

Bojangles Fried Chicken during Mardi Gras in the late 1970s.

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

    1. The best is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
    2. Filter and change your oil frequently.
    3. Make sure your employees working the fryers are correctly taught and trained to work them correctly.

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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Topics: Fryers, Oil