The Kitchen of the Future
How are kitchens and professional chefs changing? How important are ergonomics? How can manufacturers help kitchen consultants and cut running costs?
These were just some of the issues tackled by Ali Group in a workshop devoted to the World of cooking. Organised by Roberto Ragazzoni, Operations Director of Ali Group, the event was held in Stresa from 25th to 26th October 2017. The two days were certainly intensive, with input from the trade fair and discussions about market developments and the future of the kitchen.
The R&D managers of all the companies in the cooking sector of Ali Group were there, forming a team of twenty professionals hailing from every corner the globe: England, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, through to Australia and New Zealand.
To liven up the debate and provide new food for thought, Ragazzoni invited three experts who managed to get the participants to look at the future of the kitchen from new angles. There was much talk about ergonomics, design, and changing tastes and lifestyles. New trends, certainly, but much more besides. There were also discussions about rapidly changing legislation in production and new technologies.
Angelo Rondi and Silvia Bernardini of Umania talked about ergonomics and how to improve the hands-on experience of a product. The chef, with their particular requirements and ways of working, are to be placed right at it's centre. New products need to be designed from the chef’s point of view, to make work in the kitchen easier, more efficient and more enjoyable. Achieving this means listening and looking from every perspective.
Christian De Nadai, Executive Sous Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Moscow, has travelled and worked throughout the World. In fifteen years he has seen the workplace change beyond recognition. Kitchens are smaller to keep costs lower, so this means providing the same service with a smaller team. This has led to the success of compact, multifunction machines and snap freezing, thus improving workflow and reducing waiting time. This is a key issue as, these days, guests are no longer prepared to wait more than a quarter of an hour. Also the preparation area is changing, moving ever closer to the guest, with open-view kitchens and food preparation performed at the diner’s table.
Paul Arnold of Tricon Foodservice Consultants has identified some trends that have influenced his company's latest designs. The kitchen is increasingly thought of as a work station – a place where the cook has everything to hand. Wherever possible the kitchen is designed around the menu, therby ensuring maximum efficiency with reduced running costs.
Technology is always welcome, but it must be simple and useful. Remote monitoring is a good example of this philosophy. Offering peace of mind in a busy kitchen, it also reduces down time and aids product maintenance. From scheduling a service to offering assistance remote monitoring helps reduces costs and improve efficiency.