Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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90 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2018 heat expelled from the cooking equipment, speeding the fans up when it detects more heat. A Humble Approach Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., offers dishes that re- flect the cuisine in northeast Italy, specifically the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Ingredients in these dishes include unique spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, along with seafood. "This region has an interesting and unique history, as it was formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until after World War II," says Erin Pommer, the restaurant's director of events. "When people think of food from Italy, it's MIXERS ● Italian restaurants most often use standard commercial mixers for dough production to create pasta. To select the proper type and size, consider additional tasks the equipment might perform before making a purchase. ● While planetary mixers are more geared for heavy dough production requiring a good deal of kneading action, spiral mixers are ideal for Neapolitan pizza dough produc- tion, artisan breads and other doughs with a very high absorption rate. There also are cutter mixers designed to knead dough. ● Mixers range in size from 4 ½ -quart countertop models with a 1-square-foot footprint up to 140-quart floor units, which occupy approximately 3 feet by 4 feet of floor space. The most commonly used sizes are 20, 40 and 60 quarts. ● Most units offer variable speeds that adjust according to the mixing task. Built-in timers also help operators better control the mixer. Horsepower for this equipment ranges from .4 horsepower for a 5-quart size to 5 horsepower for 150-quart models. PANINI PRESSES ● Operators can use panini machines or grills, also referred to as sandwich presses, to heat up popular hot Italian sandwiches. ● When open, the flat griddle-type surface of this equipment can cook small portions of grilled vegetables for other Italian dishes. Models with heavier platens can also func- tion as part of a micro-griddle station in conjunction with a ventilation hood. ● Standard and heavy-duty machines come in both single and double sizes. Widths gener- ally range between 10 and 12 inches, with depths of 8 to 10 inches. The most popular panini machine sizes measure 10 square inches, 14 square inches and 10 inches by 14 inches, although smaller and larger units ex- ist. The small size makes this portable equip- ment versatile and ideal for small spaces. ● Some units include mechanical or elec- tronic timers, which allow operators to preset cooking times for different types of sandwiches. Although these devices moni- tor cooking time, they do not automatically adjust temperatures. This feature makes it easier to cook quickly on high heat to sear product or prepare food at lower tempera- tures longer to melt or heat all the way through the item. PASTA COOKERS ● Pasta cookers look similar to deep fryers in their appearance and use a cooking process that's the same, only with boiling water instead of oil. ● High-volume Italian kitchens should consider a 12-gallon larger floor unit, while smaller operations may function well with a 2- or 3-gallon countertop model. ● Multiple vats provide added flexibility to cook various items at the same time without transferring food flavors. Even those Italian restaurants only cooking pasta can benefit from more than one vat by dedicating one for cooking and the other for reheating. ● Options available with this equipment include computerized controls that monitor time and temperature and may be programmable; an auto drain option that directs used water down a drain; auto fill, which allows excess starch to drain and keeps cooking water cleaner; down draft systems that take the place of traditional ventilation hoods; basket lifts that auto- matically pull baskets out of the vats after programming a designated cooking time; and a rinse station to cool pasta and stop the cooking process. WOOD-FIRED OVENS ● In addition to baking Neapolitan pizzas in as little as 90 seconds, these ovens can roast and bake a variety of foods, including meats, poultry, fish, stews, vegetable dishes, pastries and breads. ● Wood-burning ovens tend to have a tradi- tional appeal, since many pizza restaurants have historically used such units. With visible hearths and flames adding a measure of drama, this equipment attracts attention in front-of-the-house applications. Given the exceptional heat retention of the stone inte- riors, the units promise faster cooking times than some alternative pieces of equipment. ● The ovens consist of an insulated cavity that contains burning wood, coal or ceramic. The brick or stone blocks evenly disperse the heat. While traditional Italian oven interiors use volcanic rock or stone, the majority of units have adobe, refractory fire bricks or refractory concrete that is heat resistant to hold on to thermal energy. Most units are extremely heavy and must be custom manu- factured. The ovens' construction can accom- modate high temperatures and 24-7 use. ● Cooking cavities can range from 9 to more than 40 square feet. The cooking surface size determines the oven's capacity. For example, a cooking area of 10.2 square feet can accommodate six 12-inch pizzas, while a larger area of 28.9 square feet can hold 15 of the same size pizzas. The larger ovens can accommodate up to 240 pizzas per hour. Walls are generally 40 to 60 inches thick. Modular units are available with either con- crete block or steel frame assemblies. Italian Segment Equipment Lineup

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