Increased front-cooking has combined with growing convergence of cooking and baking activities to demand new responses from producers of ovens. Bruce Whitehall talks to Eloma, a German manufacturer with long-standing interests in both technologies.
It’s nearly 30 years since combi-steaming ovens first started to emerge as star performers in the professional kitchen, giving chefs a uniquely multi-purpose cooking tool and opening new vistas for banquet and production kitchens seeking greater quality, variety and efficiency.
The appeal of tightly controlled hot air and steam in the same compartment has taken somewhat longer to dawn on foodservice chains. But the emergence throughout Europe of high street concepts requiring greater production versatility – including ‘crossover’ concepts which need both cooking and baking – has helped widen oven options to include easily programmed smaller combis suited to front-of-house siting.
Meeting up-front needs is very much an area of interest for Eloma, a German cooking equipment manufacturer which became part of the Italian-owned Ali Group in 2008. When they started near Munich in 1975, Eloma made two items of equipment often required to operate in front of customers: bakery ovens and chicken rotisseries. In 1982, they added combi-steaming ovens.