Primary school’s small kitchen solution: hi-tech, multifunctional cooking appliance

Hackney’s ‘guinea pigs’ give thumbs up to FRIMA VarioCooking Center

Over 200 children to feed.  In a lunch hour.  From a very, very small kitchen.  It’s something plenty of primary schools deal with every day.  St John and St James CE Primary School in Hackney is tackling the problem with a cooking suite comprising two 6-grid combi steamers, a couple of induction hobs and a FRIMA multifunctional VarioCooking Center – the first to be supplied to a primary school in the Borough.  “We’re guinea pigs for Hackney,” laughs head chef Ivie Bello-Osagie. 

The school has children from lots of different ethnic backgrounds.  “We try to adjust our cooking to take account of all tastes,” she says.  So the menu includes curries, paella and peri peri chicken, alongside established favourites such as spaghetti Bolognaise and casseroles.  With such a diverse selection the cooking equipment has to be versatile and, given the limited timescale, fast. 

“We needed equipment that was compact and that could boil, fry and stir fry,” says Ivie.  “The FRIMA does just that. We cook just about everything in it, except roasts and cakes!  Pasta, custard, rice, puddings, casseroles, vegetables, anything really.  Its versatility is a big bonus.”

The FRIMA model installed in the school is the new compact 112T, the first table top unit of its type.  The great advantages in a small kitchen are its speed – a FRIMA is up to four times as fast as conventional appliances – and its space-saving multifunctionality: it can replace many other pieces of equipment, including kettles, bratt pans, hobs, large pots and pans, fryers and griddles.   It also saves up to 40% in electricity, compared to standard cooking equipment. 

Ivie’s cooking is popular – of the 250 pupils at the school, 215 eat school meals every day.  “Oh, the results are very good and the FRIMA is very efficient.  Paella, for example, is very easy in it.  Plus, compared to traditional equipment, it’s much quicker, there’s no waiting around for it to heat up. 

“It’s also much safer and easier to cook with, as we’re not having to lift heavy pots and pans around the place, and it’s easy to clean, which saves time.” 

The FRIMA is a hi-tech appliance and when some of the kitchen staff first saw it they were a little worried about its ease of use.  “Actually, it’s straight forward, no problem.  If you can use a mobile phone or a computer you can use a FRIMA.  In fact, you can input your own programmes, which is useful.   

“It’s our new baby and it’s very, very helpful.  We’ll definitely recommend it.  It gets the thumbs up!”

The FRIMA VarioCooking Center Multificiency 112T

CDIS-KARM were the design consultants on the St John and St James kitchen refurbishment. 

FRIMA’s new 112T ‘compact’ is small on the outside but big on the inside. Measuring just 962mm wide by 800mm deep and 400mm high, it has two 14 litre pans.  Features include:

  • VarioBoost heating system: capable of heating the VarioCooking Center 112T up to 200°C in as little as two minutes.
  • VarioCooking intelligent control system – this manages every aspect of the cooking process, eliminating many time-consuming routine chores, such as temperature adjustments. Chefs can simply select the desired result from the touch-screen and the process starts automatically, alerting staff if further input is required, for example if liquid needs to be added to a sauce or stock.
  • VarioDose water inlet: this automatically fills the pans according to requirements, for example when cooking pasta, rice or vegetables, providing accurate water dosage.
  • Integrated water drain allows the unit to be installed in areas without a floor drain.
  • Easy cleaning: because heat transfer remains even across the whole of the pan, with the side walls remaining unheated, there is no scorching, sticking or risk of burning at the edge of the pan.

For information and brochures, or to come to a free Cooking Live demonstration, call FRIMA UK on 0845 680 3981, email or visit  FRIMA UK is offering free trials of up to four weeks with the 112T.  For information visit

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St John and St James CE Primary School.docx – Mar-15

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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.