We’ve been getting a lot of questions on specifics about the food and also on our progress towards opening our doors. We were able to steal a few moments with Fred in the test kitchen as the sauces simmered and the dough rested, and wanted to share what we learned:
Q: You’ve mentioned building your own commercial kitchen so as to be able to maintain your “exacting standards” around what goes into the food. Can you tell us a little more?
A: Yes! As we’ve developed the food, we’ve worked with experts from across the country – food scientists, nutritionists, professional chefs – gathering information. More than a few times it was suggested that we could speed up the cooking process, produce in greater quantities and reduce costs by using various additives and preservatives. (It was frequently suggested that if I’d throw thickeners in the soups they wouldn’t have to cook as long to get thick. But they wouldn’t taste as good either.) So after a while, it became clear we’d have to build our own commercial kitchen so we could do the cooking ourselves and totally control the methods.
Q: You’ve said that many of your dishes are organic. Is that true of all of your food?
A: Our first priority with ingredients that go into our food is that they have a “clean label”; meaning they are free of preservatives, additives, colorings, etc. From there, we prioritize using as many organic and local ingredients as we can get. We are working on forming relationships with local farmers and food producers. Although they steer clear of chemicals in the growing process and utilize natural practices, some are not “certified” as organic. Because of this, some of our products are not marketed as being organic, but are sourced and constructed with as much care as those that are.
Q: When will you be open? Your signs are up and we can’t wait to taste the food!
A: We’re working to get open as soon as we can. Anyone who has done a construction project knows how the unexpected can pop up and cause an unexpected delay. Who would guess that the wrong fire suppression system (designed for another restaurant entirely!) would be installed and have to be completely redone? Or that the crazy December weather would create a backlog with the utility companies and ultimately delay getting the correct power supply established? We’re ready to go – our first set of pots and pans have even been delivered! We’re aiming to be open in mid-March, and will continue to share timelines and progress. Please check back here and like us on Facebook for updates if you haven’t already!
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The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a report calling for stronger federal food safety requirements of common food additives. While this new study focuses on the effect of these substances on children, we at Fred and Ricky’s were wary of additives and chemicals long before this report was issued.
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