Cambro’s Business of the Week: Kalei’s Kitchenette

Chef Andy Mangiduyos brings innovative Pacific Rim infusion to his clients in San Diego, Calif. Born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, Mangiduyos worked as a chef at multiple Hyatt properties before opening his own venture, Kalei’s Kitchenette. Kalei, which means “the beloved” in Hawaiian, accurately describes how Mangiduyos feels about his business.

While Mangiduyos pivoted like everyone else during Covid-19, he’s thrilled to be back catering for large groups of 100 and more. He explains how vital the Ultra Pan Carrier H-Series is for his business.

What inspired you to get into foodservice?

“I’ve been in the food industry for 20 years and inspired by my family who loves to cook. Growing up in Maui, we always find an excuse to eat and gather.  I was surrounded with a lot of cooks and chef which influenced me growing up.”

What do you love about your business?

“I’m a small business owner and I can create different types of custom menus. I have a couple of favorite items.  First, is the Crab Salmon Dynamite, which is a salmon fillet with crab aioli on top, baked and garnished with furikake and green onions and the second item is roasted pig, also known as lechon, that’s traditionally served by itself.”

What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

“During Covid, we saw people wanting to celebrate but were very conscious about safety.  Since our strength is catering and we are ready for bigger productions, we thought of offering “bento boxes”.  Our first client was hosting a drive-by first birthday party. Their guests were driving by their driveway and the host handed out the bento boxes.  Other popular clients we had were those having funeral services, celebration of life and outdoor birthday celebrations.”

Which Cambro products help make your business work?

Cambro electric hot box is a game changer.  We love our regular hot box and how it keeps our food warm, but the electric hotbox keeps the food temperature hot (complying with health dept standard).  Since the food is hot, we are able to fire the food a little earlier and move on to other tasks on hand.  With this equipment, we are able to maximize our labor and work efficiently since our staff can do side duties.

We’ve used the electric hotbox for caterings that are a little further out from our kitchen.  Example, we had a downtown wedding wherein loading and setting up is such an inconvenience.  We had the capability of setting up earlier and dropping off the food earlier (in the hotbox) to avoid any unforeseen circumstances the venue has.  Food quality is super important to us, and we love that it maintains the quality that we wanted and not jeopardize it.”

Links for Kalei’s Kitchenette

Website | FacebookInstagram

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