Private Chef Luke Olejniczak
Private Chef Luke Builds Alto-Shaam Inspired Mobile Kitchen
Offering a unique food experience while serving consistent quality meals is made possible as Private Chef Luke Olejniczak takes to the road using Alto-Shaam Smoker Oven.
No matter the industry, chefs take pride in their work and in delivering the best possible experience to their guests.
For Private Chef Luke Olejniczak, plate presentation and execution are central to his business. Serving the Eagle River area in Wisconsin out of his ‘kitchen on wheels’, Chef Luke takes the culinary experience to the customers front door for an experience unlike many others. His specialty lies in Chicago-style, steakhouse-inspired meals, such as prime rib and smoking wild game, such as duck.
Starting out as a butcher at a local butcher shop for eight years while cooking part-time at a local hunt club for six years, Chef Luke gained intimate knowledge of meat cuts and where they came from. Once he built confidence cooking at the hunt club and received good reviews, he realized he should pursue his passion.
From there, he went ahead and purchased a fully stainless-steel mobile kitchen trailer that was built and designed around having an Alto-Shaam Cook & Hold smoker oven. His inspiration came from being surrounded by Alto-Shaam equipment that his grandfather used for over 20 years, and its ability to cook a prime rib with consistent quality.
“I know that they’re top of the line, as good as it can get as far as holding, cooking, your overall yield…” he said, “I wanted that to be a part of my kitchen and just overall being able to offer better products to my clients at the end of the day.”
Compared to catering, a private chef focuses on smaller, private events with groups anywhere from two to 24 people, where plate presentation is a focus. Generally, he’ll take up to two dinner parties per week so that he can focus on doing his best with each group and not overbook himself.
“Each time, you’re auditioning for a different family. They don’t care about the wedding you just did and pulled off – nobody cares about that. They just care about their dinners. Every dinner you do has got to be top of the line,” he said. His goal is to leave his clients with a positive food memory.
“You actually get to interact with the group, and you get to be a part of their special night. Often times you come as a stranger but leave as a friend.”
To help balance time between cooking and interacting with clients, the Cook & Hold smoker acts like another set of hands in the kitchen, saving time and helping orchestrate the cooking and plating process. While the oven holds the meat at its proper temperature, the operator can take their time saucing and garnishing their plates.
The Cook & Hold smokers produce greater yields without sacrificing portion sizes for his clients.
“It’s amazing how little shrinkage I have with my prime ribs; there’s no shrinkage on my ducks – it’s perfect. I hardly have any drippings in my catch pan in my Alto-Shaam, so that tells me it’s all staying in the protein.”
This is made possible with Halo Heat® technology, a gentle thermal cable that evenly pulses heat throughout the oven cavity in a highly efficient manner, allowing for low and slow, even cooking. There are no fans, harsh heating elements, or added moisture. Therefore, the meat is naturally tenderized while maintaining its moisture and flavor. Now, operators can serve more portions from the same cut of meat with 15-20% less protein shrinkage compared to conventional cooking.
Additionally, thanks to Halo Heat, this commercial smoker oven can save up to 30% on energy costs. During the experimental process, Chef Luke hooked his commercial oven up to an outlet in his house to test different cooking methods. Thinking his energy bill would be high, it ended up being several dollars lower than what it usually was.
To see how a Cook & Hold smoker saves time in the kitchen and minimizes food costs and waste, join us at A Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstration near you.