Williams has launched its ‘next generation’ refrigerated prep station, designed to create a flexible prep-and-store solution.
The MaxiPrep features open wells with an air curtain that should keep ingredients safe, fresh and easy for chefs to access. It also offers multiple work prep surface choices, including sliding chopping boards that double as lids for the wells and an optional overshelf.
The MaxiPrep has ingredients wells mounted into the worktop. They allow chefs to see and access the ingredients they need for preparing menu items such as salads, pizzas and sandwiches.
Its 12 drop-in wells can each accommodate one 1/3 GN container, two 1/6 GNs, or three 1/9 GNs, all 100mm deep. Each well can also hold a combination of 1/6 GN and 1/9 GN containers. One MaxiPrep station could be used to hold up to 36 different ingredients separately.
The unit’s design should mean that, despite the number of wells, there is plenty of prep space for chefs to work in. The worktop to the unit’s front can be used with the chopping boards, which can slide from side to side over the ingredients wells, to give an extensive prep area.
Two optional comprise the overshelf, which is sited at the rear of the unit and can be used as an additional prep area or as a place to hold prepared dishes, and the extendable worktop shelves, which can give more prep room at the front of the MaxiPrep.
Malcolm Harling, sales and marketing director of Williams, said: “There’s been a significant increase in demand for prep stations from sites offering menu items such as pizzas, sandwiches and salads.
“Having integral ingredients wells in the prep counter speeds things up, as the food is ready to hand, but traditional designs take up valuable work space.However, the MaxiPrep’s flexible design gives more workspace when it’s required, yet at the same time it offers instant access to more ingredients.”
The ingredients are kept chilled and protected by the airflow system Williams has developed. It is designed to maintain storage temperatures and food safety, as well as to save energy. It chills ingredients pans from below whilst passing a curtain of cool air (at 1°C) over their open tops. This double action is said to chill effectively, keeping ingredients at 4°C, plus putting a cold air barrier between the ingredients and the warm kitchen air, whilst allowing chefs instant access to them. After passing over the ingredients wells, the cold air curtain is drawn back into the MaxiPrep to recover the ‘chill’ and recycle the energy.
Practical features include a compartment, mounted on the side of the MaxiPrep, to store the removable lids/chopping boards and keep them in easy reach. Designed to work in ambient kitchen temperatures up to 43°C, the prep station is built on a three-door refrigerated storage counter, with self-closing doors and a capacity of 336 litres. Spare ingredients can be stored within, so that the pans on top can be quickly restocked as required.
With a stainless steel construction, the unit includes features such as automatic defrost and removable internal fittings that could be suited to the kitchen or front of house. Energy saving features include the Williams CoolSmart controller, which is claimed to minimise power consumption, and a waste heat recovery vapouriser. The insulation is said to deliver excellent thermal efficiency with low GWP and zero ODP.
The MaxiPrep is 860mm deep, 1,057mm high, including the optional overshelf, and 1,420mm wide, or 1,482mm wide with the lid storage compartment.