Former La Tasca and Gondola man turns equipment supplier

Alfa Pizza oven

A former operations director for ASK and Zizzi has shifted to the supply side of the industry after joining a newly-formed company that imports specialist foodservice equipment from Italy.

Peter Murdock, who was also managing director of La Tasca between 2008 and 2010, has joined Italian Equipment Solutions as sales director and will lead its efforts to establish a number of Italian commercial kitchen brands in the UK market.

The South Yorkshire-based has secured a portfolio of products that it claims will be new to UK restaurant buyers, including X-OVEN, Alfa Pizza, Universo and Vortex.

X-OVEN produces a range of charcoal-fired oven, Alfa Pizza specialises in stainless steel domed pizza ovens in wood and gas versions from Alfa Pizza and Universo offers handmade wood-fired grills and rotisseries. Vortex is a supplier of bespoke ceiling extraction.

With more than 30 years’ experience of the foodservice industry, Murdock has a strong understanding of the catering equipment needs of restaurant chains and hopes to turn this to the company’s advantage.

“Italian Equipment Solutions was set up to deliver the very best, most versatile commercial ovens to discerning chefs throughout the UK at very competitive prices,” he explained. “It’s rare to find a piece of kitchen equipment that looks amazing; is ingenious in its design and that immediately makes you think, ‘I want one’. Pubs and restaurants facing ever fiercer competition will find that this way of cooking can also inspire the chef to try more innovative dishes, lifting the menu to a new level.”

X-OVEN pictureIES is particularly excited about the potential of the X-OVEN, which it calls a “triumph of Italian design” that lends itself to multiple cooking methods with consistent results.

It features three removable grill-drawers, each at a different temperature so that operators can cook steak on one, grill vegetables on a second and cook paella, for example, on the third.

One of the benefits of the line is the ease of installation, says Murdock. “The ovens can be installed in the morning with minimal fuss, dust or disruption and no building works are required. They don’t need seasoning and are ready to use within 30 minutes from lighting, so are perfect for all types of business including event caterers.”

IES plans to hold a series of live cooking sessions for the X-OVEN at its test kitchen near Sheffield next month. The demonstrations will be led by its executive chef, Max Noorzai, on September 23-24.

The Alfa Pizza ovens, meanwhile, are the first of their kind on the market, according to the company. They feature patented Forninox stainless steel domes insulated with ceramic fibre and handmade AHT system refractory stone floors.

The wood- and gas-fired ovens are available in 4- 8 pizza capacity and come with a two-year warranty.

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