Manchester-based distributor CDS-Wilman has recently completed a £250,000 refurbishment of the nearby Midland Hotel, to ensure it can continue to serve up to 900 covers.
As well as replacing gas with induction, installing a new island suite and Rational combi steamers, the new kitchen saw the introduction of two new appliances, in the shape of Frima VarioCooking Centers.
Both Frima units are the largest models in the range, the VCC311. One has the option of pressure cooking.
The hotel’s executive head chef Brian Spark commented: “They are fantastic pieces of kit. The decision to consider Frimas was initially based on their ‘word-of-chef’ reputation. We’d heard about their features and what they could do. Then I went to a demonstration and was amazed by the scope of their abilities.
“The speed is incredible – we can do 30 lamb shoulders, cooked and plated into 400 portions, in 3 hours, in just one of the Frimas. Then there’s the versatility – from searing to sous vide, we could even deep fry a banquet of fish and chips if we wanted to. We cook bavette steaks using a Frima as a water bath, overnight. They’re superb. Stocks and sauces are brilliant, too. We get great flavour, in about one third the time.”
A critical element of a multifunctional appliance like the Frima is how quickly it can be cleaned between cooking processes. Spark added: “They just need a wipe around, and there’s an internal drain at the front. You can clean it in minutes and be on with the next batch of food. The outside is easy to keep clean, too. Not like the old bratt pans!”
Energy saving and sustainability were also critical elements of the refurbishment. “That’s why we moved to induction,” said Spark. “The Frimas save energy, too, especially with the pressure cooking option.”