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Size matters

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It pays to make the most of the ever decreasing space in commercial kitchens, but fortunately big things come in small packages, writes Sheridan Randall.

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Robot Coupe are cutting up the pizza sector.

Let’s be honest the pizza market in Australia is brutally competitive – it’s also one of the most lucrative, so it pays to stay ahead of the big players by thinking smart. We like to think of our pizzas being hand made by artisans, but the reality is they are more often than not being produced by one of the bigger chains. Not so much artisan, more AI.

Consumers are demanding the best quality pizza made with the freshest ingredients and at a great price. There’s no reason why you can’t combine the tradition of a superbly baked pizza with 21st century technology. Robot Coupe have combined their most popular vegetable preparation machine the CL50 Ultra with three discs (2 and 4mm slicers and the 7mm grater) specifically chosen for their suitability to the pizza market.

The Robot Coupe Pizza Package is designed to free up precious time for chefs enabling them to create the best possible pizzas quickly and efficiently for maximum sales and profitability.

The CL50 Ultra Pizza package cuts large amounts of vegetables in minutes with the 2mm slicer being best suited to cutting onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and also chorizo, whilst the 4mm slicer is best suited for tomatoes and aubergines. The 7mm grater is perfect for grating large amounts of pizza cheese quickly and efficiently including mozzarella.

It’s not just the time saved but also the consistency and quality of the cuts that contribute to the making of a great pizza. The speed and consistency of the cut produces vegetables that last longer with less oxidation for a fresher pizza and ultimately less wastage.

Unox’s compact combi-ovens deliver big results in small spaces.

Unox will again be kitting out the competition kitchens at this year’s Chef of the Year with the latest LineMiss XFT133 ovens and SpidoCook Frytops.

“The LineMiss is perfect for the competition kitchen because it can achieve the same excellent results as with a large oven, but in a very compact format,” says Wayne Viles, managing director of Unox Australia. “Once chefs have used these ovens they are just amazed by what they are capable of.”

But that’s not the only scaled down kit in their line-up that offers a big bang for your buck, with their compact range of combi-ovens headed by XECC-1013-EPR providing the same capacity as it’s bigger brother but in a smaller size.

“It’s a full combi-oven in a smaller package coming at 535cm(wide), making it one of the smallest in the market but with the same capabilities as a full size combi-oven,” he says. “It’s a fantastic piece of equipment for sites that are limited for space. This oven allows you to manage all of your cooking capabilities but with a smaller footprint. It also offers full size Gastronorm trays, as some ovens on the market only offer two-third size trays, so you are not losing anything.”

Kitting out pre-existing kitchens can be difficult if the space isn’t there for full size ovens.

“That being said a lot of new kitchens are also going for a smaller size as they don’t want to have a kitchen that is half the size of their restaurant,” he says. “They want a kitchen that will still get the food out in the numbers needed. In those instances it is a fantastic unit for that size.” The combi-ovens are also equipped with the latest MIND.Maps technology.

“The technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. When you show people what ovens can do these days, they are amazed.”

The coffee scene is also set to be shaken up with the latest piece of technology, which aims to create the perfect milk for espresso coffee time after time. In what might be yet another nail in the coffin for baristas, Caffe Assist is designed to produce perfectly stretched milk coffee after coffee.

The Caffe Assist machine neighbours an espresso machine, automating the steaming, frothing and foaming process of milk, monitoring the milk profile and temperature during the entire process of heating, steaming and stretching of the milk.

The brainchild of Bill Purton, medical scientist and founder of Melbourne’s Atomica Café, the inspiration for the design came from the frustration of waiting over 25 minutes for a take-away café latte.

Caffe Assist part of the trend in automation sweeping the café sector.

“Consistency is paramount and the nirvana of any hospitality provider,” he says. “The essence for the customer is that they can have the same experience this week, this month, this year and next year no matter who is behind the machine.”

Caffe Assist is designed to froth all milk variants including low fat dairy and alternative milk products such as soy and nut milks, which Purton concedes was challenging due to the different fat and protein contents of all milks. The machine is also self-cleaning. So does that spell an end to human interaction when it comes to ordering your coffee from your local café? No, according to Purton.

“We have witnessed that fully automated machines are not on the rise in the commercial cafe environment,” he says. “What is on the rise is automation of the manual processes such as grinding, tamping, dispensing of milk and now the steaming of milk so as to maintain consistency.”

The operator also benefits from a higher level of output with less need for highly trained baristas.

Caffe Assist is simply an assistant to the barista, he says, giving baristas the space to connect with their customers. “For them knowing the milk is stretched, and akin with what they would do manually, allows them greater customer interaction.”

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  • Published: 10 months ago on May 12, 2017
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