Posted on

Central Production Kitchens can Benefit from Modular Blast Chillers

Cook:Chill Blast Chill Refrigeration

Central Production Kitchens (CPK) have, in recent times, become increasingly popular with multi-site catering operations in both the public and private sectors. From those small restaurant or hotel chains looking for consistency in their food offering, to councils who are maximising budgets by producing and locally distributing school meals, the CPK has become the foundation to surviving in an uncertain economic climate.

The Cook Chill Process
Blast Chiller
Blast Freezer
commercial refrigeration
Cook:Chill Process

When run properly, the CPK has many advantages:

  • Reduced wastage
  • Increased buying power
  • Reduced staffing costs
  • Increased consistency
  • Reduced production costs
  • Increased compliance

For both the public and private sectors, these benefits provide the arguments in which to implement such as strategy. The downside is quite obviously the start-up cost with new premises and equipment potentially becoming a six figure sum.  However, there are saving to be made in this area although operational changes may have to be made to accomplish this.

The rapid evolution in catering and refrigeration technologies over the last number of years have meant that more can be achieved with less.  One area in which, until now, the technologies have been slower to react is in blast refrigeration. Many well-known brands produce reach in and roll in units capable of blast chilling or freezing, the downside is that they are of fixed sizes.  These limitations mean that in the CPK operation, multiple units have to be purchased or a staggered production time has to be implemented.   

Cook:Chill offer a made-to-measure design service based around a modular configuration. This design element allows us to match the blast chilling or blast freezing requirements to the product and operational capabilities therefore maximising throughput. Gone are the days of one trolley or tray at a time. All of our refrigeration equipment delivers a performance that exceeds both food safety legislation and HACCP compliance.

As part of the Cook:Chill service, we will attend site offering unbiased advice to assist in the specification of the correct solution for your business and budget.  Give one of the Team a call on +441179 646 497 or follow the link below.

Posted on

iCombi Pro Features – iProductionManager

RATIONAL iCombi Pro iProduction Manager

The Catering Equipment Team at Cook:Chill have spent the last couple of weeks getting to know the latest line of combination ovens from RATIONAL and let’s just say… We love it!

The new iCombi Pro combi-steamer; combines 50% higher productivity, 10% shorter cooking time and 10% lower energy consumption in a single cooking system. This is compared to the predecessor model. The iCombi Pro still guarantees outstanding uniformity, even at full loads is a must for professional kitchens – as they say themselves, it really is the new standard.

The video below focuses on the iProductionManager application. This is the perfect feature for those companies who work in a Central Production, NPD, banqueting, al a carte or, Cook Chill environment. With the iProductionManager, entire production sequences, even with different foods, are regulated intelligently. The user states whether they want to cook using the time or energy optimising system, or to a certain target time. The iCombi Pro will take care of everything else. Take a look for yourself.

To take your catering equipment to the next level, please contact one of the team. We will be happy to discuss the product, book you a demonstration or site survey.

Tel: 01179 646 947 or email enquiries@cookchill.co.uk.

Cook:Chill are the commercial catering and refrigeration equipment supplier that helps you make the correct decisions for your business. We pride ourselves on the quality of advice, training and service available to all clients. We take time to understand exactly what you require so that we can provide the precise solution at an affordable price.
Posted on

What is a Cook:Chill process?

The Cook Chill Process

Fundamentally the Cook:Chill process is the latest evolution in food preservation, following earlier techniques such as fermenting, pickling, curing and even canning.

Essentially, the Cook:Chill process is the preparation of food that allows for it to be rapidly cooled following cooking. The food can then be reheated at a later date. The process has 4 main stages:

The process is predominantly designed to allow for cooking in larger than normal quantities (or batch cooking), depending on your operation and is relatively easy to implement within an existing business. Food is prepared and cooked following all normal HACCP legislation and regulations. Once cooked the product is then transferred into some form of Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP), sealed, and placed into either a blast chiller or blast freezer. The critical element of the Cook:Chill process is to reduce the product temperature as quickly as possible. UK guidelines state that for blast chilling product it should take no more than 90 minutes to get from +90°C to +3°C and to blast freezing should take no longer than 240 minutes to get down to -18°C. This part of the process is to eliminate harmful bacterial formation or growth. Further information can be accessed through our post on Blast Chilling/Freezing.

 

Batch Cooking in Hotel, Restaurant or Pub Chain

There are many other benefits to the Cook:Chill process such as, increased product shelf life, uniformed product/meal quality, batch splitting and even reduced ‘on site’ cooking times and labour costs. Hotel, pub, restaurant chains operate this type of model on a daily basis to quite a large extent whereby the majority of the meals are cooked in a central industrial kitchen and shipped out to their different sites for regeneration. However, the process can be scaled for all different types of food service businesses from wedding caterers to takeaway restaurants and even for those who want to safeguard their secret recipes.

Cook:Chill specialise in the design and implementation of this process, from manual and mechanical preparation equipment, to prime cooking and ROP packaging equipment, to blast and holding refrigeration. As part of the Cook:Chill service, we will attend site offering unbiased advice to assist in the specification of the correct solution for your business and budget.  Contact one of the Team below for further details. 

Posted on

Has the UK food scene changed forever?

Over the last 5 years the UK food scene has been in a state of rapid evolution. With the likes of UberEats and Just Eat changing fast food forever and more recently, companies such as Mindful Chef bringing health focused food boxes and handmade ready meals, technological innovation has meant that ordering a full range of delicacies delivered straight to your door has never been so simple. The virtual food industry has been expanding with more companies seeing the value of the home delivery offering.

It’s no longer just a space for your naughty Saturday night takeaway but now includes everything from a tailored calorie controlled diet to a free-from weekly meal packs . Behind the scenes, the introduction of ‘dark kitchens’ by companies such as Titus, has also allowed for those, who saw home delivery as a secondary revenue stream, to increase or expand their brand exposure without it having a detrimental effect on their primary source of income.

However, in the last 3 weeks the global food industry, as a whole, has seen a seismic shift in how they operate, the rule book has literally been thrown out of the window. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that overnight companies, big and small, have had to diversify in order to survive. Some have thrived, some have joined forces to reduce running costs and unfortunately, some have made the decision to close their doors for good. What they all have in common is that instantly they are operating out of a dark kitchen.

True entrepreneurial spirit has been shown throughout the UK with stories emerging of how the country pub has now turned into the community store, taking online deliveries for the essentials and delivering to the venerable or, how chefs have teamed up to provide affordable meals for healthcare workers, delivered to their place of work. The astonishing thing about this is how quickly these plans have been implemented and these changes occurred with very little resistance. Especially when the management norm is to have your 3 year plan, containing your secrets to gain competitive advantage under lock and key until the time is right.

Some might argue that these businesses aren’t ‘reinventing the wheel’ and that they are just going back to what was the norm half a century ago. Maybe there’s something to be said for keeping it simple in tough times as your customer base seems to buy into it. The exciting thing for us is to see of these businesses adopt their diversification into their long term strategy.

Here at Cook:Chill we pride ourselves on the non-biased advice we offer. Having had the experience of providing specifications for many different types of food establishments, from Dark Kitchens and complete modular NPD Kitchens to, Central Production Kitchens and even increasing catering and refrigeration equipment capacity in a restaurant to cope with new demand. If your diversification has sparked a few more light bulb moments or, you want to fully integrate your new venture into your business plan, contact one of the Cook:Chill Team below.

C:C