worktops of FINEST DEGREE

In Business Sense, Vol. 12

“A chef able to go from cooking in a fine dining restaurant to cooking in a ‘kampung’ (village) kitchen and still produce amazing food; that is a capable chef”, quipped Chef Jochen Kern. Once again, he reiterates that it is not the setting or text book lessons but knowing the ingredients and understanding how to best maximise them according to the setting, the audience and location. Therefore, a kitchen in a fine dining restaurant could very well be like any other kitchen; perhaps with some unique tools (more on that later). However, for chefs who are discerning and particular about their work station, customised worktops are an option. Considered their pride and joy, ever y detail, position and placement of equipment is fitted according to what is most comfortable in terms of workflow, yet reflecting the character and personality of the chef. We take a look at few customised worktops available in market and their philosophy.

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MARRONE Custom Cooking
Today, customised worktops are an absolute must for professional chefs which is seen as a point of reference for budding chefs to be inspired and find their individual voice. The Asian Culinary Institute of Singapore is built around 5 concepts: tradition, cultural heritage, efficiency, productivity and innovation. At the same time the kitchens designed for the Institute had to take inspiration from the 5 elements of the Chinese Zodiac (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). Assigned to develop the kitchen, Chef Christophe Megel said the project was full of complex needs and very difficult to execute but Marrone’s high performance custom worktops met each detail accurately.

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The above mentioned is amongst Marrone’s bespoke cooking blocks, created to provide the Chefs high performance assistance to per form at their best in hectic kitchens. Chef Julien Royer of Odette restaurant in Singapore stated that his team has to go the distance to consistently transform natural products in the way that was defined when we created the recipes for the menu. Simply put, the best cooking suite is like the best car to win the 24-hour Le Mans car race – different pilots have to be able to alternate at the wheel and lap constantly at the speed defined by the team manager with minimum maintenance and stops at the pits. As Marrone says; “we like to capture the fire and put it in control of the Chefs’”.Whether a Restaurant or Hotel, Italian cuisine, Oriental, Asian or any combination of them, Marrone will blend developed craftsmanship, design, materials, innovative functions and esoteric details to create a per forming and reliable machine that will guarantee the Chef peace of mind to best express his art. Marrone’s team draws on their vast experience of working with different Chefs and Consultants from all around the world, in addition to the new technologies developed by his R&D department, in constructively advising the Clients in order to build a cooking block that delivers and is a pleasure to work with.
www.marrone.it

MOLTENI, from the Electrolux Group
If Molteni held a showcase for its cooktops, we imagine it to be a the “fashion runway”for the culinary world. For every unit is imbued with a sense of individuality yet maintaining the priority of form with function. Joseph Molteni, a manufacturer of “fourneaux bouilleurs”- wood and coal stoves that were used at the same time for cooking, central heating and heating water; had an idea to build a range to suit the needs of a chef’s personality and work style which resulted in the “fourneau ménage”.

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Molteni can be as big or small as one wishes and is designed according to the type of cooking functions where traditional gas functions perfectly integrate with the most innovative cooking solutions, like induction hobs, teppanyaki plates, electric plates and cold cupboards. Part of the Electrolux Group since 1992, the manufacturing process is still the same. Made at the St Vallier (Drôme – 70 km south of Lyon), the work begins with listening to the customer’s requirements to do up a production drawing. On reception of customer’s approval, it takes about 8 weeks to manufacture the stove in the workshop. The length of time takes into account the time for each unique appliance to be made and also its small ‘plant’ where each worker is a specialist in carrying out one specific step of the manufacturing process.

Acording to Massimiliano Chiesa , Molteni Senior Product Manager, a Molteni stove is unique because “we produce heavy-duty appliances, made in a workshop, no chains, we produce ‘hand-made’ appliances”.The team can meet almost any request, relating a customer who requested for his stove to have the same colour finish of a bank’s toilet he visited. With almost 30% of Michelin-starred restaurants in France use a Molteni, an investment chefs believe in as one should last up to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. Even non-chefs are taken in by the allure of Molteni with the French Republic’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy and Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones’ fame having one in their homes!, says Massimiliano Chiesa. Being referred to as the “Rolls Royce”of the cooking world would not be too lofty a comparison with such attention to detail, top functions and durability.

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From professional chefs to passionate culinar y hobbyists, Molteni dedicates a range of “standard”ovens that feature all the qualities of a Molteni:
• St Uze:115cm wide, it has a solid top for multiple cooking, two burners and an oven.
• Professional 120:solid top with temperatures able to go from 100°C – 350°C, an oven, two burners. Expandable with heated/non-heated cabinets or an extra two burners.
• 145 Professional Evolution:a standard configuration that includes one solid top and two burners but can be customised with a further two burners, deep-fryer or fry top.
www.molteni.com

thermalineM2M – Made to Measure by Electrolux
Building on quality and consistency since 1871, the history of Electrolux Swissmade products is directly connected to the Therma brand, leader in the market; in the making of striking stainless steel worktops designed according to chefs’ requirements. With over 40 cooking options, the M2M is produced in the thermaline Production and Competence Center in Sursee, Switzerland and its Swissfinish products means appliances that fit into reduced spaces without sacrificing performance, cleanliness and looks. The attention to detail combined with innovation scored the team an acclaimed Red Dot: Best of the Best(2014) award or highest quality and groundbreaking design, where only 1.5% of all entries in the competition were awarded.

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Foundational features of a thermalineare a result of innovating from the basics to provide users an enhanced experience; including:
• Highly visible operations with the control panel and a smooth glass surface for top hygiene.
• Precise temperature regulation (by 1° increments) guarantees optimal cooking results.
• Patented, flush-mounted, triple ring, flower flame burners avoid heat dispersion thus saving time and energy.
• Non-stick Frytops equipped with highly resistant non-stick Power top surface for heat distribution.
• Free-cooking top allows direct cooking of food in contact with the surface – or indirectly – working with pots and pans for maximum flexibility.
• Aquacooker ideal for multi-purpose preparations such as sous-vide, as a bain marie or pasta cooker.
• Flexibility with double temperature operations freezer and refrigerated bases in a single machine.
• Ecotop with special coating guarantees high efficiency while reducing heat dispersion.
• Ecoflam shuts the burner off when the pan is removed, keeping only the pilot flame on and providing less heat dispersion for higher energy savings and pleasantworking conditions.
www.electrolux.com.sg/professional

Eileen Chanworktops of FINEST DEGREE