Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 143

10 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 people & events Hands-on Test Kitchen Experience Proves Educational I t is no surprise that California has an abundance of information on energy-saving manufacturing and design. It led me to wonder: How available are efficient appliances in the rest of the country? I drove to a test kitchen operated by GMV, a manufac- turers' rep firm with offices south of Boston, to get a perspective on what's available and who is buying it. At the demo I met two owners of local restaurants: Alex Haymer, who, with his parents, own Cafe Luna in Cambridge, Mass.; and Roy Avellaneda, also working with his parents and plan- ning a new location for their Argentinian bakery Pan ey Cafe in Chelsea, Mass. Both young men were interested in seeing what new technology might bring to their family businesses. The test kitchen demonstration focused on a combi oven, which com- bines computer technology with the ability to operate as either a convection oven or a steamer. Within two hours Chef Jennifer Pantelakos — a Culinary Institute of America graduate hired to demonstrate various manufacturers' equipment — made the following in a single oven: seven pork tenderloins on a pastini; eggs, bacon and toast cooked together on separate shelves; Panko- breaded chicken tenders; breaded eggplant; meatballs; and a meal of soft boiled egg, ravioli, broccoli and salmon, which were all steamed together. Pantelakos explained that using the system's high-density controls to constantly remove and replace steam prevents taste transfers from the dif- ferent food types. "As long as foods have complimentary cooking require- ments," she stated, "they can be cooked together while being timed separately." Pantelakos also cooked grilled steak and both boned and boneless chicken by switching between high-heat steam and convection oven dry heat to create the crispy skin crust. Flexibility A Must In terms of versatility, the combi oven impressed, but how practical is such a complex and high-priced piece of equipment for someone in business try- ing to make ends meet? Avellaneda wanted something that could cook Argentinian empanadas and pastries. He wanted to avoid using a fryer. Having to store drums of oil somewhere and the challenges of keep- ing the area used for deep-fat frying clean didn't appeal to him. Pantelakos pointed out that a combi oven can handle those demands. Haymer was looking for flexibility. "My mom is the chef. She's cooking eggs Benedict for five to seven hours a day and there's no air conditioning in our kitchen," he said. "If I can ease my mom's life by making it easier to poach eggs, it's worth it." Both men wondered if their parents could be persuaded to try something new. Sure, a combi oven makes use of technology, but is it really a better way to cook than what they had been doing for generations? Consultant Marc Stech-Novak wondered the same thing for some of his potential clients. "In high-end gastronomy, some chefs want what they want and that's it." These scenarios beg a number of questions, such as: What exactly is the pay off for making the financial and emotional investment in getting rid of conventional appliances? What are the savings? According to the EPA, outfitting a commercial kitchen with a suite of Energy Star-rated commercial food- service equipment could save operators about 360 MBtu, or $4,800, per year. Depending on the size of your budget, that's not bad. Still, there's the upfront cost and the overall hassle of adapting to something new. Plus, every piece of equipment is different, which makes it challenging to decide where to invest. To sift through some of this, I turned to GMV sales rep By Susan Chamberlin Freelance writer and Attorney Portsmouth, N.H. The number of jobs added by the foodservice industry for the 12-month period ending July 2017. Source: United States Department of Labor 313,000

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Foodservice Equipment & Supplies - SEP 2017