If you’ve never been to the Equip’Hotel show in Paris, allow us to rub it in: Start with the city’s truly world-class public transportation. Then move on to great hospitality, which only gets better when you try a few greeting phrases in French.
The best part, for our purposes, is the show itself. Last Nov. 5-9, the biennial spectacular filled all or parts of five of the halls within the sprawling Expo Porte De Versailles complex. In all, 1,292 exhibitors drew 102,802 visitors. Of those exhibitors, nearly a quarter were from outside France, and more than a fifth of attendees were international, from 128 different countries.
And then there’s the innovation factor. Check out the winners of the 2006 Prix Apria Innovation awards, shown here. Some will be coming to this country; some won’t. But from a unit that steam-sanitizes itself to a refrigerator that chills by chemical reaction, these winners will make you think about blank-sheet solutions to everyday needs.
A NEW, BETTER INTEGRATED SUITE
The new Maestro Froid chef’s suite was recognized for the sanitation advantages of its smooth, seamless top. Also of note: innovative combinations of induction cooking surfaces and undercounter refrigeration, resulting in superior ergonomics, ambient heat-gain control and energy efficiency.
Bonnet Grande Cuisine
Rather than using a conventional refrigerant and electricity to chill foods, the company’s new go-anywhere mobile carts create cold using an ammonia gas thermochemical reaction to take the heat out. Great for remote chilling, and chilling in transit, the cart just needs a five-hour electrical recharge to renew the chemical process for up to 12 hours.
ANOTHER PRIZE FOR A FRESH COMBI
The same new combi oven-steamer that’s scooped up awards in America—marketed as Convotherm by Cleveland—scored again with an Apria. The unit boasts “disappearing” doors that open to 90[deg] and then slide back along the oven’s side walls completely out of the way. An advanced closed system automatically monitors and controls moisture and heat based on programming for the physical properties of the food being cooked, 250 recipes and more.
A ‘MINI ME,’ YET FULL FEATURED COMBI
Convotherm hauled in another award with its new Mini, which brings sophisticated full-size combi oven-steamer attributes to the smallest package yet. Looking at a footprint of only 0.31 sq. m—or 3 sq. ft.—you can tuck the unit just about anywhere. Like its larger combi stable mates, the Mini features a built-in Advanced Closed System to automatically match moisture levels and optimal temps to the product being cooked. The Mini will be available stateside this spring.
STEAM’S NOT JUST FOR COOKING
Here’s one that’ll make you wonder why nobody did it before: The P4328 hot and cold transport cart, of particular interest for healthcare markets, is unique in that it sanitizes itself by self-steaming at a superheated 165[deg]C, which works out to 329[deg]F.
VERSATILITY ALMOST BEYOND DESCRIPTION
Picture dual vessels that are lidded, tilting and independent. Add removable hanging baskets. Picture water or steam or oil as the cooking medium. Now picture a heat system that offers an exceptionally efficient and effective heat-transfer area on five-sides, for cook times often half what you’d expect. Add sophisticated electronic programmed controls that allow for precise and independent control of activities in each chamber. You really must see the VarioCooking Center to understand what it can do.
NEXT GENERATION SUPER-AUTOMATIC
La Cimbali’s new super-automatic M2 line hauled away an Apria for its versatility, automation and flexibility. The machines make espresso, cappuccino and hot chocolate, and they boast an automatic cappuccino system, integrated grinder/dosers, separate boilers for steam and for coffee/hot water. Capacities: 180 espressos or 160 cappus per hour.
A BRAT PAN THAT TENDS ITSELF
The new SMB Series brat pans combine a scraper and agitator arm that offer capabilities simply not found in competing models. Easy pop-out design makes cleaning the accessories a piece of cake, too.
Rosinox Grandes Cuisine
DOUBLE ACTION MAKES BETTER, FASTER MIXING
VMI’s versatile new Rex Serie 2002 mixer rotates both the blending arm and the bowl for speedier handling of anything from vegetables and meats to pâtés. Variable speeds give precise control. This one’s coming to the United States early this year.
ANOTHER LEAP IN WAREWASHING
The company that’s brought big advances in energy- and water efficiency to midsize and smaller warewashers was recognized with an Apria last year for bringing the same advantages to its new MT line of large-scale conveyor rack and flight-type warewashers. The company would not quote specific efficiency measurements, but we’re guessing the final figures will be significant.