Welbilt has officially launched its Convotherm Black Mini combi oven to dealers during a special event at Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham.
The day took place in association with Simpsons proprietor, Andreas Antona and national chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Andrew Bennett.
A mainstay of the event saw the dealers compete against each other in culinary competitions, created to showcase the cooking capabilities of the new Convotherm Black Mini.
Judged by Antona, Bennett and Welbilt culinary lead, Andy Daniels, prizes were awarded to Diane Moden of CKS Catering for Best Tart, Jonathan Skinner of Marshall Catering for Best Butchery Skills, James Mitchell of Kitchen Solutions for Best Fishmonger and Martin Pendlebury of Penco for the dealer with most chef potential.
The selected dealers also participated in a hands-on session with Leo Kattou, sous chef at Simpsons, where each participant created three dishes; a thin apple tart which was baked for 25 minutes in the Convotherm and served with a vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce, a cotswold white chicken served with black garlic, pomme puree and hispy cabbage, and Cornish mackerel served with kohlrabi and horseradish.
Reflecting on the day, Bennett commented: “Days like this allow the catering dealer to get behind the equipment and understand more about how chefs use the products and how they fit into relieving the day to day pressures of the kitchen.”
Alan Emerson from Combined Catering Services felt the day was: “Fantastic! It is a really innovative way to present a new launch”, whilst Mark Curry from Prestige Catering enthused: “It has been great and has allowed us to see back of house within a Michelin Star restaurant whilst being able to network with fellow dealers.”
Talking specifically about the Convotherm Mini, Kattou said: “The fact that you can specifically program each stage of the cooking process on the Convotherm to deliver a cook and hold solution gives so much more control to the cooking process. Being able to set separate tray times has also proved a significant advantage and allows for greater usage of the oven.
“The small footprint of the oven means that I have more space to make a mess! However, whilst the oven may look small and takes up less space, it is a bit like a mini cooper in that there is way more room once you get product inside.”
Following the hands-on launch, the dealers enjoyed an exclusive five course tasting menu at Simpsons.