Gizmo whizzes demonstrate their latest offerings


The cream of the light equipment community came together at the end of March to demonstrate to 18 sets of distributors’ representatives the latest products available.

Each of the respective 18 manufacturers or suppliers had 30 minutes to showcase their wares to every distributor group during the event at Whittlebury Hall Hotel in Northamptonshire. This year marked the biggest forum yet, as the sessions were extended over two days for the first time.

One company adding products to its range was Testo, with its Saveris 2 and 270 models. The former monitors temperature and humidity via wifi and can send out alerts if any reading is in a dangerous range. The latter measures total polar materials (TPM) in cooking oil to check its quality.

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Supplier, Signature FSE, took the de Buyer and Pintinox brands under its wing during the past year. A silicon pump called Le Tube is De Buyer’s latest innovation. This delivers the same amount of dough or other thick mixes from the product’s nozzle for every portion, using a dial at the pump’s base. Signature’s Jean-Michele Petitjean said: “Le Tube enables cost control, as there is no waste.”

Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM) has a whole brochure dedicated to the cornucopia of new products it is introducing to the UK market. Included in that list is a Vollrath carving station, which features lamps for additional heat while serving.

Vollrath soup kettles were another new line for FEM. “They can warm chilled soup in 25 minutes and hold it for hours without deterioration,” explained sales director, Jim Doherty.

Catering Equipment Limited is offering a gastronorm container which features a label in the middle of the plastic. Anthony Prestage, director, commented: “Companies can have their logo printed using this in-mould labelling, and it won’t come off when the container gets washed. It’s ideal for hospitals or the prison service.”

The wholesaler also believes it has improved upon the design of some combi-ovens’ chip baskets. “Some baskets’ wire can break up, so we have designed one in stainless steel which is half the price of standard baskets but twice as good!” added Prestage.

Melamine specialist, Dalebrook, is taking advantage of the afternoon tea popularity surge by producing a range of cake stands. It has also created a series of platters in stone, marble and grill effects.

“Melamine is a chameleon, it can look like many other materials,” said Dalebrook’s sales director, Martin Chudleigh. “But it is very durable and works well in a professional environment.”

The DRH’s Collection’s supplied brands have launched around 90 new items altogether in this year alone. It is also latching on to the afternoon tea trend and the fashion for coloured glassware, including US-based Artland’s products, which are coloured all the way through.

Over at Dualit, it is celebrating its 70th anniversary by creating 70 limited edition toasters and giving them to its customers. Each one is handmade in the UK and incorporates elements of different Dualit toaster designs throughout the years.

They are not available for sale but one can be won as the prize for finding the oldest working Dualit toaster, a competition that the manufacturer is running. [[page-break]]

Contacto’s range on show included a new knife holder which could be padlocked. The firm believes it is ideal for institutions where security and safety is paramount. The stainless steel holder is fully dishwasher safe.

It is also focusing on its copper pan products as they are suitable for induction cooking. The supplier has an agreement with Induced Energy to be the companion cookware to its hobs and hotplates.

Gilberts Food Service was concentrating on Italian manufacturer Rosseto’s food dispensers and buffet display equipment. All individual units can slot together and be rearranged however required. The newest additions are Honeycomb hexagonal risers and glass shelves, available in six finishes.

Also new is the Swan riser, which is supplied with bowls to fit. “This is very versatile and provides elevation to food displays,” said Bill Freestone, sales manager.

Metcalfe’s latest offering is the Roband Sycloid toaster. It has sensors to detect toast and powers down after 5 minutes if none is detected, and switches itself off after 40 minutes. Containing long life element technology, the toaster will be commercially available from July.

Slate and acacia wood boards were the order of the day for Sheffield-based Grunwerg, with three types available: rectangular, square and round. Catering account manager James Taylor commented: “The boards don’t absorb stains and the slate inset is available as a spare part, should the user want to replace it.”

Personalisation is the key for Essex-based Row & Sons, as its new range of Pro-Duet resin-infilled wooden boards can now feature brand names and logos on them. Computer-controlled machines can cut the relief designs out of the resin, which is also dishwasher-safe.

Panasonic microwave wholesaler Regale promoted the new NE 1853 model, which now includes an LED light inside the oven, rather than incandescent. The long-lasting light will flash when a programme is finished, visually alerting the operator. Furthermore, a new boost button can be pressed once or twice to add 10 or 20 seconds’ cooking time.

Manufacturer Elia has launched five new cutlery ranges over the past 6 months. One of these is called Lavino, fabricated from a chrome and nickel alloy. The firm has also just launched a cake knife and slice. Upcoming will be ranges of children’s cutlery to facilitate families dining out.

Nevilles’ Genware stoneware is now available in small plates for tapas-style dining. The partially handmade Portuguese tableware comes in Luna, Black and Rustic types.


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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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