Hobart has fired the latest shots in the compact kitchen battle by unveiling a 2.4-wide metre suite of equipment that it says would span four metres if a traditional range was used.
The Bonnet Compact Kitchen Concept comprises a multifunctional cooking system, braising pan, mini combi and 90 litre fridge. Hobart says the set-up can do everything and more that a traditional range consisting of a solid top, griddle, two burners, fryer, double oven and undercounter cupboards can do, but in a space 40% smaller.
Hobart has invested five years of R&D in the concept, including extensive consultations with chefs and end-users to find out what they want from a cookline.
The company believes the package is suited to operators serving up to 150 covers, although it has stressed that concept doesn’t have to be sold only as an entire suite. It expects customers to pick and choose standalone components to suit their needs.
“The Bonnet Compact Kitchen Concept has been five years in the making and sets out to understand the real needs of chefs in a confused market and to clearly define the equipment of tomorrow,” states Paul Godfrey, product manager at Hobart Cooking Solutions. “After significant customer feedback and engagement the Compact Kitchen Concept evolved to meet the needs of chefs, restaurateurs and operators deliver a highly efficient, superior cooking experience produced in a fraction of the space previously demanded by a full size professional range and with no compromise on performance.”
At a special press launch of the equipment this week, Godfrey said the Compact Kitchen Concept offers chefs 11 different ways to cook.
The range comprises four key pieces of equipment: Equapan, Precipan, Minijet and FridgeBloc.
Equapan is a multifunctional system that can be used to fry, grill, pan work, simmer, sauté, braise, steam and boil, and allows operators to dispense with independent cooking units such as a sous vide and regeneration unit.
Onlookers will draw comparisons with the type of systems offered by the likes of Frima and MKN, but Hobart said the fact that its unit is fixed and does not tilt, and does not need to be plumbed into the floor, were differentiating factors.
Hobart says Precipan, meanwhile, is an ultra fast twin braising pan that uses an Intelligent Heating Technology (IHT) to eliminate the pre-heating phase. It comes with eight cooking modes and three temperature zones.
The Minijet Combi is designed to deliver the build quality and cooking performance of a standard combi in a compact footprint, while the FridgeBloc refrigeration cabinet has been designed to suite with the other modules, allowing chefs to keep ingredients at arm’s reach while doubling up as prep space when not in use.
The company says it is the first time that a manufacturer has integrated its own refrigeration into a suite. The units, including the refrigeration, are all built at Bonnet’s factory in France.