Many restaurants have recently found new ways to pack up their food and get it to people’s homes safely as the need for delivery has become even more important during the pandemic. Others have tested out meal kits with food that requires some preparation at home.
To Carron Harris, this is all old hat. Harris is senior director for culinary and corporate chef of Papa Murphy’s International, which might be the original meal kit concept.
The take-and-bake chain based in Vancouver, Wash., assembles pizza to order and then customers pick it up, or have it delivered, and then bake it themselves.
That means that, unlike many research & development chefs, Harris doesn’t need a lot of specialized kitchen equipment and is in fact better off with a standard homestyle oven. It also means that her team has deep knowledge about what travels well and what doesn’t, and how to guarantee that dough, cheese and toppings can wilt in a Phoenix car trunk in the summer or freeze solid during a frigid Montana winter afternoon and still bake up into a nice meal.
Harris has been working in foodservice for 39 years. Prior to joining Papa Murphy’s in 2009, she’d spent nearly 15 years at casual-dining Italian chain Bucca di Beppo.
In this podcast, Harris discusses this process, and how her R&D has changed over the past year.
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