American School looks to the future
The American School, London, installs FRIMA VarioCooking Center as older equipment fails
Baxter Storey holds the catering contract for The American School, London. This flourishing institution recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and has come a long way since an original 13 students met for lessons in founder Stephen Eckard’s flat. There are now 1350 students and about 1700 people daily on site.
“This makes lunchtimes in the canteen extremely busy,” says Christine Kent, General Catering Manager at Baxter Storey. “We cater about 500 to 600 hot meals a day from the on-site kitchen.”
Recently the American School installed a new FRIMA 112+ VarioCookingCenter multificiency in the kitchen, alongside older, conventional cooking appliances. The FRIMA combines all the functions of a fryer, griddle, bratt pan, kettle, titling pan and pressure cooker in one unit. It’s four times as fast, and uses 40 per cent less energy, than conventional cooking appliances.
Baxter Storey and the American School discovered the FRIMA when they were looking to replace one of their two deep fat fryers and were invited to a VarioCooking Center mutlificiency cooking live demonstration.
“We were blown away by its capabilities,” says Christine Kent. “Although a comparatively expensive piece of kit, we could see it was the way forward to replace older equipment. The school has a green policy and the energy saving potential of the FRIMA fitted well into that.
“It can do everything. We used to be juggling pots and pans on the hobs like a Rubik’s Cube but now we do a lot of that cooking, much more simply, with the FRIMA. Our other fryer has subsequently broken and the FRIMA has taken over from that as well.”
Spaghetti bolognaise is a popular menu option at the school, where 45kg of bolognaise sauce and 25kg of tomato sauce are needed per week. This is now done with the FRIMA. Using the two pans at once up to 20kg of bolognaise sauce can be cooked in one go if necessary. It’s also used for casseroles and curries.
“It’s all very quick and easy with the new FRIMA,” says Christine Kent. “We blanch cook the pasta throughout service, so it is as fresh for the last people to the counter as for the first.”
The FRIMA was purchased through, and installed by, Factory First. After commissioning, FRIMA experts visited the school and explained to the head chef how to get the best out of the unit.
“We haven’t had any problems getting used to the digital display and cooking with the new FRIMA, even though it is quite unlike anything we have ever used before,” says Christine Kent. “We don’t have to watch over things anymore and we’re getting more adventurous with what we can cook. There’s so much more we could do. We’ve started using the pressure cooking option to tenderise meat for curries and we’re about to experiment with overnight cooking.”
Another aspect of the FRIMA that appeals to all the kitchen staff is that it is so easy to clean. Nothing sticks. A quick rinse round with the integral hose washes any grease and food particles out through the drain hole and the machine is ready for the next batch of cooking.
“It’s really changing the way we do things in the kitchen,” says Christine Kent. “It’s one of those pieces of kit that once you’ve got it, you wonder how you ever did without it!”
FRIMA is currently expanding its distributor network in the UK. For information and brochures, or to come to a free Cooking Live demonstration, call FRIMA UK on 0845 680 3981,
American School – Apr-13
Toni Turner or Alison Haynes at The Publicity Works
Tel: 01263 761000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Benoît Gourgues, FRIMA International: +41 71 727 90 14
More information on FRIMA International from www.frima-uk.co.uk
VarioCooking Center is a registered trademark of FRIMA International
Seps charges: currently there is no budget for separation charges.