What’s Better than Cooking with Gas – with 5-Star Chef Chris Galarza of Forward Dining Solutions LLC

Episode 65

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Hosted by
Ron Kamen

Ron Kamen has decades of expertise & leadership in catalyzing exponential change in sustainable energy adoption with communities, governments, non-profits, and businesses.

Quantum Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Gandhi said. So whatever it is you don’t like, instead of complaining about it, do something about it. Live that change!” – Chef Chris Galarza

Did you know that cooking with gas can produce unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide? At 200 parts per million, gas emissions can even far exceed the federal maximum of 9 parts per million.

While only 1% of chefs in America are currently cooking with an induction stove –  the top US restaurants are making the transition, and about 30% of the world’s chef’s have already moved to make our air cleaner, kitchens more productive and comfortable, and our lives more sustainable. 

In one hour of cooking with gas, you can produce 38.9 pounds of food.In the same hour, an induction stove can cook 70.9 pounds of food.

Eco-friendly and energy-saving electric induction stoves are SAFER, CLEANER, more CONTROLLABLE, and FASTER than gas. 

So what is stopping you from making the change?

Check out this week’s AWESome EarthKind Energy podcast, where we interview Chef Chris Galarza, the Founder and Culinary Sustainability Consultant of Forward Dining Solutions LLC.

Chef Chris Galarza is the Founder and Culinary Sustainability Consultant of Forward Dining Solutions LLC and is one of the country’s leading commercial kitchen electrification experts. Chef Galarza gained his experience by working at such notable places as the Greenbrier resort and Carnegie Mellon University, and has spent the last 6 years operating Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus  the world’s first university campus designed to be a showcase for sustainability solutions. 

As one of the most knowledgeable & experienced chefs in the U.S working with electric kitchen equipment, Chris has set himself apart as an industry leader and has consulted with some of the top tech companies in the world as a result.

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SuperNova #1. When talking about sustainability, when talking about electrification and decarbonization, it has to start with the kitchen.

SuperNova #2. When I was running Chatham Eden Hall, the recorded indoor kitchen temperature did not exceed 72 degrees Fahrenheit, despite having temperatures outside that far exceeded 85 degrees. Even through production, we were cooler inside in the kitchen next to the ovens than we were outside with the fresh air.

SuperNova #3. Gas ranges at best are 50% efficient – which means that, if you have a 60,000 BTUs burner, 30,000 BTUs are literally getting burned and tossed into your kitchen, which isn’t going into the pan, isn’t going into the food – it’s just wasting your money.

Worst Career Moment: “So the worst moment was when we were giving a tour of the campus and I was explaining how this all works. I had someone trying to help that was doing it all wrong, and then the power went out. And, I was like “everything was going wrong”. So I had to explain to them that, of course, if the power goes out, you can’t cook. But also it’s illegal to cook with anything, gas or electric, when the power’s out.” – Chef Chris Galarza

Aha! Moment: “My background was working at five stars, five-diamond resorts all the way down to mom-and-pop restaurants, I never worked with electric cooking. It was all new to me, and we were creating it on the fly. For the last six years, that’s all I’ve done. I had this Aha! moment in the middle of like construction, in the middle of creating this, that if this works out it can be life-changing.” – Chef Chris Galarza

Best Advice He’s Ever Received: “Get out of your head. Your worst enemy is the little voice in your head.” – Chef Chris Galarza

Personal Habit that Contributes to Success: “No matter what, even if I’m working from home, I always wear my chef’s coat. It gives me the illusion that I’m at work instead of being at home with my Xbox is. So, always try to keep yourself professional, even when you’re working from home. And be diligent.” – Chef Chris Galarza

Internet Resource: LinkedIn hashtags

Book Recommendation: What Einstein Told His Cooks: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke. The Flavor Bible by Karen A. Page & Andrew Dornenburg

Magic Wand: “It would be the destigmatization of electric cooking, Just eliminate all gas cooking and the stigma behind it.” – Chef Chris Galarza

WTF: “So I’ll say my most fun one is a weird one. It was a hurricane right before Hurricane Katrina, I was living in Florida. Then another one that came through. It was my first hurricane ever. We were terrified. We’re from New Jersey and have never lived through a hurricane. So we’re barricading stuff, and then, we’re ready to go. We have food. We have everything we need. Around three in the morning, we lose power, and everyone’s asleep. My stepdad and I were listening to what’s happening outside. And he and I are like, “We should open that door and check it out.” So… we opened the door, and it flew open. There was stuff flying in the house. We were just- both of us, big dudes trying to shut this door, and we just laughed. My mom was livid with us because we had tree branches and water in the house. It was so awesome. And then after it was all done, we walked outside and for the first time and only time I’ve ever been in Florida, there was no humidity. It felt like a perfect fall day. I just enjoyed that day more than anything.” 

Most Energized About Today: “One thing I’m most energized about is that people are actually taking this topic seriously. And there’s a lot of people like yourself that are talking about it.” – Chef Chris Galarza

Parting Advice: “Never ever take a job that you’re not afraid of. Always take a job that you think is outside your reach because that’s what’s gonna make you push yourself. That’s just going to make you go in there every day and try to outwork everybody.” – Chef Chris Galarza

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Episode 65