Multi-function VarioCooking Center wows BaxterStorey at British American Tobacco, Southampton

“Fantastic” FRIMA

BaxterStorey, the UK’s leading independent contract catering company, manages the catering services at British American Tobacco in Millbrook, Southampton. With over 550 daily users of the restaurant facilities, BaxterStorey aims to provide a wide selection of choices from outlets including a theatre bar, a deli bar and a vegetarian counter. To enhance this variety, a FRIMA VarioCooking Center was recently installed and, according to BaxterStorey Head Chef Richard Whiting, it’s “a great bit of equipment” that makes a huge contribution.

“The VarioCooking Center is fantastic for pressure cooking, deep frying, shallow frying, sautéing, boiling rice.... everything is cooked perfectly, with no sticking, because the controls are so precise,” he says. “Plus, a lot of the processes are automatic: once the food is cooking, you can forget about it and get on with something else.”

So when they use the VarioCooking Center to boil pasta, chefs simply load up the basket, which is automatically lowered into the boiling water, then raised again once the pasta is cooked. There’s no need to check or monitor the process. “Similarly, we can stew 30 kilos of shin of beef for three hours, knowing the FRIMA won’t allow it to catch, and will cook it perfectly. With deep frying, we know that the thermostatic control will keep the oil at exactly the right temperature, and the unit will lift the food out when it’s done.”

FRIMA’s hi-tech VarioCooking Center is a new concept in cooking. It can be used for a huge variety of cooking styles and processes. It combines a bratt pan, a kettle pan, a griddle, a pressure cooker and a deep-fat fryer, making a compact system with a sophisticated and easy to use computerised control and monitoring system. The latest version, the VarioCooking Center Multificiency, is three times as fast and uses 40 per cent less energy than conventional cooking appliances.

Richard Whiting says the FRIMA’s pressure cooking feature allows us to the use cheaper cuts of meat to produce top quality dishes. “It has so many different cooking options – we haven’t got round to overnight cooking yet, but I’d like to give it a try.”

Meanwhile the VarioCooking Center is producing about 40% of the freshly prepared meals for the site. “We use it for everything from chilli and curry to pasta, pork escallops and pancakes!”

The FRIMA doesn’t only score in terms of its multi-functionality. In a busy kitchen, equipment needs to be easy to live with: “Cleaning is straightforward, because the precise controls mean food never catches. It’s quick, too, because it’s all in one place: there’s a hose on the side and a plug in the pan. You just add in soapy water, hose it down and drain it away.

“It’s just as easy with draining oil after deep frying: you tilt the FRIMA to tip oil into the oil cart, it’s very safe and fast, give the VarioCooking Center pan a quick clean and you’re ready to cook something different. The oil is recycled.”

Richard Whiting is also impressed with the way programmes and recipes can be downloaded to the unit. “It’s miles away from what we had before. Everyone who walks into the kitchen looks at it and says ‘wow’. We’re very lucky.”

The FRIMA model Richard Whiting talks about is the VCC 211, which has a pan capacity of 100 litres. It measures 1157mm wide by 914mm deep by 1100mm high and has an electrical rating of 28kW. Typical output examples include up to 45kg per hour of goulash (pressure cooked); 36kg per hour of (dried) taglietelle; and 70kg per hour of French fries.

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,

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BaxterStorey British American Tobacco Southampton FRIMA.docx – May-12

Press Enquiries:

Toni Turner or Alison Haynes at The Publicity Works

Tel: 01263 761000        Email:

For more news about FRIMA visit the press office at

Vic Brown, FRIMA UK: 0845 680 3981

Benoît Gourgues, FRIMA International: +41 71 727 90 14

More information on FRIMA International from

VarioCooking Center is a registered trademark of FRIMA International

About BaxterStorey

BaxterStorey is the UK’s leading independent food service provider for business and industry. The key to the company’s success is its passion for fantastic food made from the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, absolute client focus, the quality of the people it employs, focus on coaching and development and its commitment to sustainable operation.

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Follow BaxterStorey on Twitter @baxter_Storey


About Us

The VarioCooking Center® Multificiency® from Frima delivers the latest cooking technology into the kitchen to assist the chefs and help them cope with their ever increasing challenges. Modern kitchens no longer require the old inefficient conventional appliances like six ring burners, fryers, bratt pans and griddles. The VarioCookingCenter® Multificiency® does all the work they used to and more, in less space, less time and using less energy. With its easy to use control panel the Frima not only cooks up to four times faster than conventional appliances, but also delivers great savings – up to 40% lower energy and water consumption, less food shrinkage and lower fat consumption – leading to higher profitability on food sales. The Frima VarioCooking Center® Multificiency® is the future of modern cooking.