5 months ago

March 2018 Digital Issue

EQUIPMENT Speed in small

EQUIPMENT Speed in small packages On the opposite end of the oven spectrum, countertop-size rapid-speed combination ovens are gaining ground in a number of QSR and institutional settings. The fastest types incorporate three technologies — microwave, induction and radiant heat — and are primarily used for individual items. A particular appeal for operators is that most have a catalytic converter, which makes them totally ventless. “People want speed, but also want to maintain quality, whether it’s toasting sandwiches or preparing lobster tails. Almost anything can be done with them,” says Helen Roberts, food applications consultant and corporate chef at Celco Inc. in Mississauga. “As long as you have power and a countertop, you pretty much have a plug-and-play situation.” Beyond the ventilation challenges for operators, real estate inside kitchens is becoming limited, she adds. “A smaller footprint allows them to push food out quickly without it being fast food. Most are programmable for different items, so anyone can use them and get consistent results.” Newer units are available in a stackable format, making them ideal for healthcare settings. They can even be built into cabinetry to create a home-like appearance in facilities such as nursing homes. Getting back to basics Sometimes it’s not about the technology bells and whistles at all, especially when it comes to specialized cooking such as Indian cuisine. Tandoor ovens, for example, are gaining popularity in a number of operations. Naresh Sachdev, owner of Maharaja Catering Ltd. in Surrey, B.C., has 20 three-by-three-foot tandoor ovens. He uses fixed gas-fired units in his restaurant operations and portable charcoal-tandoor ovens for outside catering events. From the Supply Side The GBS CombiStarFX (by Angelo Po) offers operators the ability to re-train, reinforce or simply inspire the kitchen for “best practices” dealing with the combioven. Using real-time video capabilities, an operator can take a video using any smartphone, upload the video to a laptop or desktop, then download it onto a USB key and upload to the oven. A chef can show kitchen staff how food should be plated or prepared; a sous chef can advise line cooks of the special of the day; and a shift manager can advise staff of a special event. Video length is governed by the USB capacity and is displayed on the control screen while audio is played through the combi-oven’s audio system. STAY IN THE LOOP Sign up for KML’s weekly Newsblast to find out everything you need to know about what’s happening in the foodservice and hospitality industry, as well as fast links to access resources and information. Newsblast is delivered every Wednesday to your email inbox. For more information, go to and click on the Newsblast icon

Forza Express pizza oven and rapid-cook oven Sachdev imports his ovens from India — paying close attention to the quality of the workmanship. He opts for 16-gauge steel exterior and clay interior. Much of the success of a tandoor oven, he says, is the quality of the insulation. “If they are not insulated properly, they won’t heat properly.” Vikram Vij, chef/ owner of Vij’s and My Shanti, says the appeal of tandoor cooking is that it has its roots in Mother Nature. “Cooking for us, as Indians, has always been part of using nature. Food was always Tandoor ovens are a staple at Vikram Vij’s restaurants FOODSERVICEANDHOSPITALITY.COM done in the earth.” The origins of tandoor cooking can be traced to the practice of digging holes in the ground and putting the coal inside with a small lid to control the temperature, Vij explains. “You can cure and marinate everything beautifully inside that earth oven.” Since coming to North America, Vij has worked extensively with Washington-based Wood Stone Ovens to design the perfect gas-fired tandoor ovens for baking bread in his operations. He describes them as “a beautiful drum-shape wrapped in stainless, with a small opening and only five settings. If the opening is too big, your heat will dissipate too quickly. If it’s too small, however, your bread will get burnt. Wood Stone mastered this extremely well. “ Each oven measures four-byfour feet and stands 33-inches high. With costs ranging between $5,000 to $6,000. “Newer models are a bit more efficient and require less cleanup. Because the heat is contained, they’re also more environmentally friendly.” Despite his love for tradition, Vij says he actually trained in classical French cooking and because of that, he also has a great deal of respect for new technology innovation. “When you look at things like Rational combi-ovens, they can cook everything from rice to naans to curries. Technology is brilliant.” FH SEEING IS BELIEVING Watch instructional how-to videos on the CombiStar’s interactive cooking interface // Show Proper Preparation Technique // Visualize Plating and Presentation // Re-confirm Recipies or Instructions // Learn While Cooking CALL AND VISIT FOR A FULL DEMONSTRATION 1.888.402.1242 WWW.GBSCOOKS.COM