Jay Mastroianni: Creator of the Chef Caddy
Today marks the one year anniversary of Jay Mastroianni’s passing. Founder of the illustrious Jay’s Catering, Jay was a husband, a father, an entrepreneur, and an inventor. He lived a life of dedication to his family, friends, and business. As a husband + father, Jay was loved; as an entrepreneur, he was respected; as an inventor, he was inspired. Every year on the anniversary of Jay's death, we want to honor one of his many achievements. Therefore, on May 16th of each year (the date of his passing), we will be highlighting one of his many accomplishments. In commemoration of this first year without our founder, we have chosen to remember his development of the Chef Caddy.Jay, in partnership with his wife, Eleanor, built Jay’s Catering from the ground up. And, after more than 40 years, the company that bears his name continues to define its industry. One of the contributing factors to Jay’s success was his gift of innovation. At once a dreamer and a problem-solver, Jay was capable of incepting radically efficient solutions to his company’s challenges. Perhaps the best example of this is Jay’s invention of the Chef Caddy; a simple, but brilliant design that Jay’s employees still use every day.In his autobiography, Catering Czar—The Life and Times of Jay Mastroianni, Founder of Jay’s Catering, Jay devotes a paragraph to the reason he thought of the Chef Caddy:
“When we started doing a lot of corporate catering, it was difficult because there was no way to keep hot food hot and cold food cold, other than to deliver the food to the companies immediately after it was prepared.”**
Ever the man to implement, Jay responded to the difficulty of delivering food at its intended temperature by creating the Chef Caddy in the 1970s; he patented and trademarked it in 1993.
Jay’s Chef Caddy is a thermal insulated container that keeps food from falling more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit below its original temperature. The brilliance of the invention is Jay’s use of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), which is a material that makes the Chef Caddy uniquely sturdy and lightweight. Jay was conscious of the fact that his Chef Caddy was made of Styrofoam. From the moment he created it, the company has been committed to reusing each Chef Caddy. Following in Jay's tradition, we continue to use eco-friendly + green food transportation methods today; a process that we are diligent about ever-refining.
The Chef Caddy works through multiple recesses on the sides, top, and bottom of the container. These recesses form pathways for air circulation, which ensures that the food and/or beverages inside will remain their intended temperatures upon being delivered to clients. Grooves on the bottom of the Caddy even allow for the transportation of different chafing dish sizes.Jay’s invention of the Chef Caddy—which is a proprietary development that our company has come to rely on—both illustrates and signifies his unique innovative ability. As we reflect on the life and accomplishments of Jay Mastroianni today, let’s celebrate the fact that he not only founded a successful company; he developed and implemented the tools to make that success a reality.
**Mastroianni, Armand Jay. Catering Czar: The Life and Times of Jay Mastroianni, Founder of Jay's Catering / by Armand Jay Mastroianni with Roz Silva. Comp. Roz Silva. Garden Grove, CA: Jay Of All Trades, 2007. Print, 74.