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Build Confidence and Consistency in Your Kitchen

Land O Lakes® performance cheeses and sauces are easy to cook with no matter how much (or how little) experience your staff has. We talked with Christian Ticarro, corporate chef for Land O’Lakes, Inc., about how this ease and versatility can help your kitchen run smoothly, build staff confidence and ensure the dishes they prepare are consistently delicious.

auther_image by Land O'Lakes
Matching your staff’s skills to the products they cook with is hard to do. It can be time-consuming and menu-limiting, too. Land O Lakes® performance dairy products make it simple. They’re designed to let staff at any level produce a wide variety of great-tasting dishes. And do it time after time. 
 
“Chefs always ask me, ‘How can you make my life easier?’” says Ticarro. “Our products offer an easy answer: dairy ingredients, ease of use, better consistency and versatility.” 
 
User-friendly products can help your staff feel good about the food they serve and more self-assured about their culinary abilities.  
“Operators tell me there is a boost in morale when Land O Lakes® products are used in their kitchens,” says Ticarro. “They are confident about their work, recipes and concepts. And the cooks are proud of what they are producing and serving because they know they’re using high-quality dairy products to make these dishes.” 
 

Rev Up For Speed Scratch 

If you haven’t heard of speed scratch, it’s the approach we take to developing performance ingredients that give chefs creative control while eliminating many of the problems of traditional scratch sauces. These could include things like butter separating in an Alfredo sauce upon reheating or inconsistent results depending on the skill set that is making the recipe. 
 
“You can heat our sauces or cool them, and they’re not going to separate or break,” Ticarro explains. “This is great, because the chef may be working with staff members who don’t have a lot of experience yet. But if they can work with products that are ready to use and that give the chef the ability to customize, it’s a win for everyone.” 
 

Use Products That Can Take The Heat  

With its great dairy flavors, limited ingredients, and exceptional consistency and hold time, Land O Lakes Extra Melt® Cheese checks all the boxes for taste and creativity. “Extra Melt® Cheese gives chefs a blank canvas they can use to make their own unique recipes,” says Ticarro. Land O Lakes® Queso Bravo® Cheese Dip also has a high level of flavor and performance, he adds, but is versatile enough to use any time of day.  
 
Macaroni and cheese is high on many operators’ lists of go-to dishes, not only because it’s a nostalgic part of American cooking, but also because it’s on trend. Extra Melt® Cheese or Queso Bravo® Cheese Dip is perfect to use as a base for anything in the macaroni and cheese family, from a Smoked Chicken and Poblano Mac and Cheese with Queso Bravo® Cheese Dip that you might find at a barbecue or Mexican restaurant to a traditional macaroni and cheese dish you’d find at a diner.  
 
Smoked Chicken and Poblano Mac and Cheese with Queso Bravo® Cheese Dip
With roasted peppers and a rich cheese base, Smoked Chicken and Poblano Mac and Cheese with Queso Bravo® Cheese Dip offers a savory twist on traditional macaroni and cheese.  
 

Give Staff a Chance to Shine 

Working as a cook is hard. Those who do it have a passion for food. Building their skills and confidence can be just as important as building a great menu, says Ticarro.  
 
“As a young cook, I cared about the dishes I created, but I didn’t always have the luxury of working with quality products,” he explains. “I was not in charge of ordering the ingredients and believe me, I could tell the difference in the dishes I made that contained high-quality products versus low-end or sub-standard products.” 
 
“Preparing dishes with high-performance, reliable ingredients elevates not only the dish itself, but the sense of pride for those of us in the back of house.” 
 
Want more ideas for dishes that will delight your customers and inspire your staff? Our website offers a range of delicious recipes inspired by industry chefs that are easy to prepare, including Black Bean Cakes With Avocado Crema and a Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwich With Land O Lakes Extra Melt® White Cheese Sauce and Alfredo Sauce. You can find these and many more in our Chef Inspired Recipe Collection. 

Learn more and be Inspired

Explore our resources page and find videos, articles and more that will help ensure your professional kitchen remains a success.

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