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There are events in our careers which offer that extra punch of motivation, excitement and a refreshed perspective on what we can sometimes take for granted in our day-to-day activities on the job. Right now, I’m feeling that rush thanks to two days at the HOST show in Milan.
This wasn’t my first visit, in fact, this was my third visit to HOST and it delivered once again. I know there are other shows around the globe but there’s something exhilarating about walking 22 halls of everything you could possibly need for your foodservice establishment, weaving in and out of pavilions of bakery equipment, pasta making equipment, gelato, coffee, tabletop and furniture. Oh, yes, and doing all that in Italy.
While a lot of the heavier equipment on display isn’t approved for the North American market, simply touring the design and approach to manufacturing is an education. For years we have heard of how well the Europeans are able to run tiny yet efficient kitchens, infuse flavors and present complex dishes with some of the most simple and honest ingredients. HOST is the forum to see where design and function intersect and now that I’m back I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned to work.
Some of our equipment partners manufacture different units for the European market – Hoshizaki is a good example of this. While most of the units on display aren’t sized or geared to Canada or the US, the ice itself is. We are anticipating a lot of buzz around the IM65 sphere unit which is in final steps of engineering and will be in stock in Canada by spring 2020.
Middleby’s booth highlighted the Carter-Hoffmann dry-aging TenderChef cabinet (sharing the stage with Josper) and the fully-customizable PUC cabinets for safely holding pick-up orders in-store, along with ventless solutions and advancements in full-store equipment monitoring technology. All of these solutions are readily available in our market. The real trick though is in understanding that the equipment itself is just the starting point. The next step is to work with our culinary teams to customize for your needs. In many cases the operator is encouraged to adjust the equipment and controls to suit them, not the other way around.
Speaking of customized solutions, the Sammic booth was a highlight for me as an example of where you can take your kitchen if you’re open to fully embracing a new approach. Xabier Goenaga, the Director of Sales, proudly showed their fully redesigned vac sealer SU series with integration to the SmartVide sous-vide units, printers and even scales. The machines are designed to communicate with each other and to ultimately be used with their proprietary SmartTrack system which provides control of each individual product in a sous-vide bath through RFID tracking technology. You can provide perfectly cooked product, held and waiting for a quick finish by even the most entry-level cooks. As Mr. Goenaga showed us, we have all the equipment needed to create a fire-less kitchen.
We are gearing up to present these solutions and many others to you at the Restaurants Canada Show, March 2020. Please connect with our team any time for a personalized demo of how our equipment partners can work with you.