Charcoa equipment hits London

A charcoal grill brand introduced to the UK market earlier this year has secured its first site in London and says more are in the pipeline as the product gains momentum in the market.

Charcoa, which is made in northern Spain where most of its business comes from, is distributed by White’s Foodservice Equipment after it was appointed the first ever UK agent by Metalpedrouzo La Barbaco, the manufacturer of the grill.

The Redditch-based importer, best known for its range of commercial pizza equipment, has been steadily developing the Charcoa business since unveiling it at Hotelympia earlier this year.

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News of its first London win is a major boost for the company, particularly as the cooking-over-charcoal method of producing food remains prevalent in the capital.

The maiden London grill was installed by Essex distributor CCE at a leading American dining restaurant, and White’s Foodservice Equipment’s sales chief, Clive White, reveals that has set the ball rolling.

“There are more in the pipeline and three are already on site in restaurants waiting to open,” he told Catering Insight. “We have got one going into a Turkish-themed restaurant in Chancery Lane, one in a Chinese gastro pub in Berwick Street and another in Berkeley Street in Mayfair, which is a pure Chinese restaurant.

The Charcoa grill is completely open at the front to give easier access for the chefs to operate, creating ‘theatre style cooking’ at its very best.

The front doors are glazed in high temperature safety glass, providing a stunning visual experience of charcoal cooking to the customer. The grill is easy to light as it has a fan to create airflow around the coals.

White said that the majority of customers so far had opted for bespoke units made to order rather than standard models. One grill was even produced with a white fascia to suit the interior of the restaurant. Pricing typically ranges from £10,000 to £20,000 depending on the level of customisation.

One of the unique features of the equipment, said White, is an electronically-controlled grilling plate, which can be adjusted by the touch of a button rather than by turning a wheel.

“It is a really robust and hard-working piece of equipment but it is also very simple to use,” he said. “The manufacturer that builds them is a very small, very passionate company. They are not churned out in massive factories, each piece is almost hand-made.”

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