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Cooking equipment

For such a broad topic, TUCO magazine spoke to the industry about the essentials needed to do what you do best

subjects will ask, “So what’s the cooking equipment feature going to be structured around?” In all literal honesty, the reply usually goes something along the lines of, “Anything caterers need to cook with.” Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, a feature of


such debateable topic could stretch over the entire pagination of this magazine. So, in a bid to simplify things a little, we asked questions to key catering fi gures about the prerequisites found in a successfully run kitchen. First things fi rst then – what is the most

vital piece of cooking equipment? A combi oven? A toaster? A spatula? Those with their hands in the air for a combi oven might well be on to something. “If I had to choose one piece of essential

equipment that every caterer should invest in, it would be a good combi oven,” admits Mike Kendall, national accounts manager at Electrolux Professional. “This one piece of equipment can meet a multitude of kitchen requirements, from toasting and bake-off to roasting and steaming. More importantly, it will give busy university kitchens the consistent quality that is required. “Electrolux Professional’s Touchline air-o-

steam combi oven is available in a range of sizes to suit all kitchens and it is packed with innovations which improve performance - from an automatic cleaning system and uniform heat distribution to a six point multi sensor, which offers precise temperature control.”

58 TUCO | 02.2012

Everything you


espite what you might think, it’s actually not that easy to come up with a direct angle for a feature on cooking equipment. Contributing

It’s worth noting that cooking equipment can be a huge drain on energy in a commercial kitchen, especially if caterers are cooking food in a variety of ways to make dishes interesting and appealing to customers. Investing in kitchen equipment that meets the specific operating needs, space constraints and budgets of a catering establishment is vital to ensure the business is successful and efficient. Quality, reliability and the flexibility of both the supplier and the equipment to tailor solutions are obvious considerations, as is the provision of professional training – after all, you could invest in the latest technology, but if the training is inadequate, the results could be disastrous. MKN is renowned for creating high quality

catering equipment for the world’s top chefs and its latest launch is all set to open the doors to a new world of cooking. With its green credentials fi rmly in place, the brand new FlexiChef is worth considering when looking to make kitchens across the country energy effective. Arguably the biggest culprit for wasted

energy and high running costs in a commercial kitchen is the grill designed to do this job, which is often turned on when the kitchen opens and left on all day, pumping out heat. What’s more, once food has been placed under or on the grill, a decent ventilation system is also a must have. When it comes to cooking equipment,

ventilation is a major consideration with university catering projects. The cost involved in upgrading or extending overhead ventilation to allow for a new piece of cooking equipment can be prohibitive. However,

the drive to achieve higher standards is increasing the demand and/or desire for more versatile forms of cooking equipment. One innovation, from German manufacturer Rieber, is helping adapt to changing demand. The Varithek is a modular prime cooking system, offering induction with one valuable added extra – built-in ventilation. For example, the caterers at Darwin College, University of Kent, wanted to introduce a more customer focused, front of house breakfast offer during a recent refurbishment. “The Varithek offered self-ventilation and we wheel it into the Origins Bistro for breakfast service,” said catering operations assistant Rachel Timson. “It is working very well. It is used mostly to

cook breakfast items, but it does occasionally get used at lunchtimes. Because it is a customer-facing cooking solution, we can ask customers ‘how would you like your eggs?’” During fresher’s week at the University

of Warwick, a mobile Varithek was used to show students how to cook simple dishes for themselves, including pasta, chicken casserole, savoury pancakes and a stir-fry. “We also work with Old El Paso to demonstrate how to cook fajitas for students at home,” says Graham Crump, the University of Warwick’s executive development chef. “You have to be careful with cooking

smells; the built-in extraction does take the smoke away, but not necessarily the smell of the food – say tuna. So where lingering food smells after lunch could be an issue, in a building used for lectures after lunch, for example, we cook dishes such as Japanese omelettes and warm salads.”

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