Note from Ben Piatt of Cuizina about Duke’s Chowder House: Duke, his Executive Chef “Wild” Bill and his son John Moscrip started developing chowders with Cuizina in 2003, 2-3 times a week. Pat Flin, head chef of Cuizina, said, “Duke was born with an amazing palate—you can’t hide anything from him!”
Duke always wants the best ingredients, which is a perfect match for our operation. Quality matters to Duke, and it does to us as well. We take pride in using fresh ingredients, practicing the highest industry safety standards and creating delicious recipes. Working with Duke is a collaborative effort. He is very hands-on and informed about what he’s doing and cooking. At one time, Cuizina was manufacturing twelve different chowder recipes that were Duke’s creations.
Beyond that, he’s fun to work with. During demos at Costco, Duke would don a rain slicker and Sou’wester to run around and serve samples to Costco members. It always created quite a buzz around the demo station and gave members a good sense of the enjoyment that Duke has in creating his Chowders (not to mention that they are delicious).
As a manufacturing partner, Cuizina Food Company is proud to work with Duke, Bill and their staff to produce continually the best Chowder recipes in the Pacific Northwest. The relationship forged over years of work has only improved with each day. Duke’s creative passion for food is equally matched by Cuizina’s commitment to our customers and their recipe specifications.
Note from Duke: We started working with Cuizina in order to make our Chowders more consistent. There are only two people that make our Chowder at Cuizina. In the past, we had 15 people making it in our restaurants. This lead to inconsistency. Cuizina uses our recipe, our specific ingredients from our suppliers and they do it well. They are great to work with and are always receptive to any improvements that we want to institute.
Cuizina’s roots reach back to the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington and the family’s first Italian restaurant. Known throughout the city for its specialty, homemade ravioli, the business grew over the next twenty years to include two more restaurants and a sizable take-out clientele.
Two of the owner’s younger sons, who had grown up in the restaurant business, realized the need for consistent, high quality pastas in the food service industry. In 1984, they started Cuizina as a USDA authorized manufacturing facility to fill the niche. It quickly became apparent that food service was not the only segment that was looking for high quality, I.Q.F. (individually quick frozen) pastas. The business has since evolved from doing pasta to soups and sauces. Customers include not only restaurants and retailers, but also fresh salad manufacturers, soup manufacturers, industrial uses, as well as private label. Over the years, one thing that has not changed at Cuizina is our commitment to quality. As a result, what started out as a plan to service the Pacific Northwest soon expanded to national and international distribution.