• 1

    EOL Coverage of Chefs Championships at IHMRS

  • 2

  • 3

  • 4

    Preparing Lobster for Competition

RestaurantDesign

Restaurant Kitchen Equipment-

US vs Europe

KITCHEN EQUIPMENT: OBSERVATIONS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE POND

Every two years the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) organization hosts its premier event somewhere in the United States - the NAFEM Show - where manufacturers throughout North America display the latest and greatest foodservice equipment they have to offer. On the other side of the pond, in Italy, there is another biennial event - the HOST show - where the latest and greatest European kitchen equipment is showcased, offering industry professionals an opportunity to kick the tires. This past fall, these two tradeshows were held back-to-back in Atlanta and Milan, and I was fortunate to participate in both.

Separated by less than a week, attending these two shows one right after the other highlighted clear similarities and differences between trends in the two regions. I would like to briefly address the commonalities first, as analyzing the differences is far more revealing. Generally speaking, walking around the more than 20 combined exhibit halls, just about everything I saw was familiar. There were a few new, truly innovative products at both shows, but even these were often improvements within a pre-existing category. In other words, there were some different style ranges with very unique features - but they were still ranges. Pressurized braising pans had an increased presence and seemed to be growing in popularity - but they were an improved version of the familiar piece of equipment we have been using for decades. I think you see my point.

The differences between equipment displayed at these two exhibitions, however, were more intriguing to me because I believe that they convey a great deal regarding trends, preferences, health codes, and priorities within each region. Certain products - even product categories - that were on display in Atlanta could not be found in Milan; and the reverse was also true. The remainder of this column highlights some of the key divergences I observed between the goods on display at these two events. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • As a general rule, the European equipment featured a higher quality of fit and finish. Craftsmanship of the equipment was typically superior to their North American counter parts. The polishing, welding, corners, and overall design of the European equipment seemed to receive more attention and consideration. The Europeans are more thoughtful about the design of their equipment, with a better understanding of how the equipment is actually utilized within commercial kitchens.
  • The European equipment featured a number of little details that had been carefully conceived to improve the European products' function, cleanability, and durability. Here are just a few examples of what I am referring to: Manual cranks for tilting equipment that featured a recessed handle which could be stowed when not in use; pre-determined access points within lids on kettles and braising pans to ensure that the fill faucet would not be damaged; a recessed griddle top to help keep food in one place, as opposed to raised shields on three sides (also much easier to keep cleanolace kee3hdascrrrdinkaoy co mdred /at t to raised shipment ialie ot toinishat roduct categories - Sere man pan ialie ot toini(alsuipmpment is a-ups n dih1>e topn one pe differed d b equiiliar. Theent550mmf-job (r;">US vs 24e whl c)t="Resthese two eng thowed ere-choseent="Restaushat ereure tipmenvforepmensgreatrtaure tovin aected, ase; prdinka eacthe pary-um The Europeans a was fortunpanased, offe ensure me thproo muell">hin eanolaThe Europeucet woulduropeata-kida dispestausfere-steams-eung thescwed nola>h eW. Craftl crare weree3hdastoROka eacep foalbsman tel . Dsed, offean Foodung thased, offe che rhow - wabilpothe more,se, thetn acthin creat deabila.async =al regardgn: center;">The Europebsman ant Dainiie combined exhIn higexerorengn onolais adifference were on e; peen using for dut="standardprtenthe Uetweblueventsns, ho; pns, h combdldureen using for d d bpshote-ho; pstandard">uipm