An Interview with Adam Klosterman, Corporate Chef at Apex Commercial Kitchens about the latest trends in commercial kitchen equipment
You can be confident that combi oven has been around a really long time, but now an additional benefit for kitchens are the digital controls which give you so many more opportunities to control the environment. You can pre-program recipes, so the chef can achieve consistent quality all the time. Combi ovens have come down in cost so much in the last 5-7 years and they are much more user-friendly in terms of size. Before, they were big and bulky, and took up lots of space.
Ventless technology is also new. These appliances have built-in ventilation and built-in fire suppression. You can add equipment to any kitchen without taking up additional space for vents, which saves money because the price of ventilation is expensive. Money saved can be used for front-of-house improvements that enhance the customer dining experience. One of the premier brands with ventless equipment is Alto-Shaam. Their CT Express products are really small, with a catalytic converter that greatly reduces cook time by 30-50%. There are even fryers without vents.
You work with a lot of different restaurants. From that vantage point, do you have any tips for running a successful restaurant?
First and foremost invest in quality equipment. When you are getting started, equipment purchasing often gets put to the back burner. (No pun intended.) Seek out new equipment technology before making an investment. Taking short cuts in the beginning may cost you more in the end. Buy quality first.
As a chef, what is your favorite kind of food to eat?
I joined the company after becoming a chef and working in the field. As a chef, I worked in Florence, Italy while studying at Apicius School of Hospitality, so I tend to like Italian food. But lately I’ve started to enjoy Asian Cuisine.