The Induction Cooking Forum was organised by CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, in association with the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine.
Opening speaker Lucy Johnson’s work on the Sustainable Energy Using Products policy allowed her to give the Forum a comprehensive overview of DEFRA’s approach to the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling directives. Hailing energy efficiency as the UK’s “biggest energy resource,” she underlined the importance of induction cooking equipment within the foodservice sector – DEFRA’s own studies suggest that it offers potential energy savings of from 50% to 86% in the commercial kitchen.
Hayden Groves left delegates in no doubt about his passion for induction cooking. The Lloyds building has four very different catering outlets - a cafe, staff canteen, directors dining and wine bar. All use induction in a variety of formats: plug and play counter top units, which are also ideal for theatre cooking front of house, hard-wired drop ins and a suite in the main kitchen. For him induction offers a huge range of benefits, including flexibility, power, accuracy and ease of cleaning. “It’
Induction cooking offers caterers the opportunity to innovate to reduce energy costs, according to Al-Karim Govindji, Technology Acceleration Manager with the Carbon Trust. One of the Trust’s key findings has been that best practice can deliver huge energy savings – and that the catering industry is lagging behind. More needs to be done to encourage foodservice professionals to invest in energy saving technologies, from low energy lights to heat exchangers to induction hobs. He regretted the serious lack of data on energy consumption within the catering sector and he called on the market to think about innovation in cooking.
As Chair of the CESA Induction Equipment Group, Steve Hobbs was well placed to give an overview of the technology and to ‘bust a few myths’. His presentation covered the technology’s history, how it works, its benefits and its future. Far from being ‘new’, induction was discovered by Michael Faraday in the 1840s and, Hobbs emphasised, despite appearances the process is not magic, it is basic physics. When it was first introduced to the catering sector, in the 1970s and 1980s, induction had the reputation for being expensive and unreliable. The technology has improved, costs are dropping and these days reliability is no longer an issue. As for the future, the technology is already available for a huge range of applications, from plug and play countertop units to production suites – induction equipment will get smaller, lighter, more powerful, less expensive. And as chefs and designers develop new food and kitchen concepts, induction manufacturers are in a position to develop products to meet their needs.
Once you chosen your induction hob don’t leave choosing your cookware to the last minute. That was the warning from the Forum’s final speaker, Maurits Demeyere, senior president of Demeyere Cookware. He has been involved in developing induction cookware since the 1970s and was able to give the Forum a complete survey of the pros and cons of the various choices available. For example, magnetic (18/0) stainless steel may be perfect for fast boiling of water, but it can be a bad cooking choice, as it can lead to product sticking or burning. “You can have a fantastic induction unit, but without the right cookware you won’t get the best performance,”
Drawing the Forum to a close, CESA director Keith Warren spoke of the “significant opportunities”
Headline Induction Benefits
• 90% energy efficient (compared to 50 – 60% for gas or electric)
• Easy to clean
Forum Exhibitors included:
Exclusive Ranges / Menu System
Manitowoc Foodservice UK
MCS Technical Products / CookTek
Signature FSE / Adventys
CESA has produced an Induction Cooking Equipment Guide. It is available to download as a PDF from http://www.cesa.org.uk/
The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 150 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes. For more information on CESA visit http://www.cesa.org.uk
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