When Natale Grande, owner and chef at Italian restaurant Il Capriccio in Whippany, N.J., wanted the world to have access to his famous meatballs, he needed to make sure his recipe was being followed precisely—or risk the reputation of his renowned cuisine. That’s why METTLER TOLEDO, Columbus, Ohio, is helping this 5-star chef achieve stellar traceability.
Grande’s meatballs have always received rave reviews. Today, The Flying Meatballs, Grande’s East Hanover, N.J.-based side business, offers his famous meatballs as well as a range of specialty Italian foods.
Will meatballs fly?
However, getting The Flying Meatballs off the ground wasn’t as easy as Grande might have hoped. He had his treasured meatball method and a scheme to package 4-5 different variations for easy home preparation, but the commercial kitchen he rented at Rutgers University Food Innovation Center was 2-3 hours away. How was he going to keep an eye on production and ensure that operators were following his recipes to the letter?
To keep the whole production aloft, Grande placed orders for raw materials. His employees would receive them and generate an internal lot number. Grande would them connect remotely at day’s end to see what had been received—not an easy thing for a man still running a 5-star restaurant. He needed comprehensive traceability, which would not only impact food quality, but also help him meet the slew of unfamiliar food regulations.
Traceability for quality
At a food industry tradeshow in 2012, Grande saw METTLER TOLEDO product manager Ken Falk making pizza to demonstrate the effectiveness of Safeline quality control systems. That’s when Grande learned he might be able to more fully trust his process and personnel with adoption of the right technology.
With the help of METTLER TOLEDO distributor Jack Algieri at Atlantic Scale, Grande put together a plan to ensure transparency and traceability for his entire production process. From the adoption of www.formweigh.net to simplify recipe management and ensure batch-to-batch consistency to ICS429 bench scales with its large color displays and hygienic design to facilitate accurate weighing, Grande knew he had a winning recipe and a winning process.
Ingredients for success
Today, with FormWeigh.net and add-ons such as barcode readers and printers, Grande’s workers can input and manage raw materials and other stock to ensure it’s used on a first-expire, first-out basis, all but eliminating spoilage and waste. Plus, with centralized data management, Grande can easily glimpse at his stock at any time.
With real inventory awareness, assured product consistency and farm-to-fork traceability, Grande is sleeping better at night. He built The Flying Meatballs brand based on the same quality his patrons have come to expect at Il Capriccio—and the secret ingredient for his success is METTLER TOLEDO.