Hotelier Middle East asked a selection of suppliers and leading chefs about the latest trends, topics and products to heat up the food and beverage scene when it comes to professional ovens and kitchen design
What are the trends in oven design and what are chefs demanding?
Wilhelm Tittes, Heidi Chef Solutions LLC: Many bakers are now considering heat-recovery systems and energy-efficient bakery ovens which maintain, or in some cases improve, the results of their baked goods. As well as continuous product improvements, developments such as patented Miwe air-control are aimed at reducing energy costs.
James Garton, Beech Ovens: There is an emerging trend towards updating operating systems to make ovens even easier to use.
David Contreras, The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa: Convection steamer ovens are the most versatile for general cooking, however there are still superior products for specific tasks for example, stone pizza ovens, rotative bakery ovens, Jasper charcoal ovens, Beijing Duck ovens and so on.
For combination steamer ovens, I think there will be a preferential brand for most chefs, (for example, Rational) due to their technological features of menu inputting, recipe saving and steam percentage adjustment facilities.
Also, in my opinion, the whole oven chamber temperature balance is very important as it means that all the items on a tray will cook evenly. A great addition, and I’m not sure if it’s on the market already, is an oven that allows for sous-vide cooking on a larger scale.
Lloyd Carter, Jumeirah Restaurants LLC: Chefs are demanding more from their equipment every year and ovens are now expected to understand what the correct level of cooking is for the ingredients the chef is using.
Some chefs are demanding ovens with programmes installed which will deliver crispy skin roasted poultry with a moist succulent inner for example. Manufacturers are spending many hours to perfect cooking programmes.
With multi functions such as steam injection, adjustable fan speeds and quick response temperature control, baking/roasting has never been so easy. Self clean is up there as one of the best innovations from the past two years.
Scott Price, Table 9 at Hilton Dubai Creek: For me personally, it’s about reliability. I’ve always been a big fan of the Rational brand but there are a lot of brands these days that are around that can do so many different things, various temperature settings, steam or combi for example.
Whenever I’ve worked in London, it’s the combi Rational oven that can do everything and won’t break down. I think chefs demand a lot more precision and control. It depends what you’re doing, but temperature control is a priority.
Stephane Buchholzer, The Westin and Le Méridien, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai: It all depends on the type of kitchen or restaurant. Chefs are looking for ovens that bring extreme precision and the ability to cook for a long period of time.
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