How do the chefs, who perform in TV show-cooking, work? Preparation and experience are not enough, to help their abilities they are surrounded by high-tech equipment. The same proposals today available for home kitchens
by Carla Zanardi
Snooping in the kitchens of restaurants and hotels, often left exposed as attractive for the customer, it happens to observe the presence of numerous ovens and similar constantly blinking, the result of advanced technologies. Systems that skilled engineers have adapted and even installed in home kitchens.
Without air it is better
Necessary to breathe, but not to preserve. Air (and so oxygen) favors oxidation and proliferation of bacteria, two main causes of food spoilage. To preserve with vacuum, as in professional kitchens, special trays are used (together with ovens combined with steam or only steam models) which extract the air from the bags and seal them. Placed in the refrigerator, they extend the food life from three to five times; in the freezer they become perfectly preserved stocking, ideal when cooking hearty recipes to be served in the following days.
Not only with built-in solutions. Vacuum can be obtained also with small appliances, with the same function, which extract air also from containers and cans. Some bags are declared suitable for cooking at temperatures up to 120 degrees.
The winner pairing
The slow cooking is the secret of chefs to serve (especially) tasty and tender meats. And without adding fats that alter original flavors. It takes place at low temperature, with the use of steam, both in the combined ovens both in those with only steam, with preset programs and temperatures. From 50 to 70 ° juices do not escape, aromas and taste are kept inside, the structure does not harden, burns are not created. Ideal for recipes with ingredients preserved with vacuum system, where vitamins, minerals and natural moisture are maintained. A system that more than anything else exalts the flavors of a good dish. And if the oven is combined there are also traditional features, including bread baking.
In addition, for those who lack experience, or time, infinite preset recipes can be found (also present in the steam oven only) selectable from the display with a single gesture and cooked in accordance with specific needs. Without errors, risk of burns, waste of energy.
The independent kitchen
Top performance and professional look are offered by free-standing cookers, which give furnishings a character imprint and communicate a message: family loves to devote themselves to good cooking.
These devices are often made in steel, also colored, in standard sizes of 60 cm, or more important of 90 cm. With oven both electric and gas, both ventilated for uniform cooking even on multiple levels. They also feature electric grill, programmer, program for bread and pizza on refractory stone. On the hob, efficient triple crown burners.
On the first place of family economy: food shopping and preservation. Especially now that people do the shopping once a week, to save time and avoid to daily run to the supermarket. To preserve food for a long time, and also avoid waste, it is important to use the current technology of refrigerators in the best way. It provides different temperature zones, according to the individual categories. In addition: antibacterial treatments ensure hygiene, fast functions cool or freeze new stocks quickly, with electronic temperature control. No-frost system or ventilation with constant humidity, avoid the need of manual defrosting.
Today there is also the “smart” function: with an app, from mobile phone, tablet or pc, users can control the appliance and start or disable functions. From a monitor it is possible to visualize the content and have a web access to connect to Internet, listen to music, connect to social media and follow TV shows. In addition, it is possible to make the shopping list and send orders to the supermarket.
Small and big helpers
Chefs do it too: they chop, mix, knead, blend, mount. They do it themselves or with the help of young aspiring chefs. In their kitchens there are the same small (maybe a little bigger) appliances that animate those of families. Which? The planetary mixer, the robot and its accessories, the hand blender are the first places.
|Microwave + steam
Easy to cook (fast) with steam even with the latest microwave ovens. They are equipped with specific programs, automatic recipes visualized on display and related accessories for this special cooking.
Not only women but also men increasingly love devote to cooking . This is confirmed by a survey about consumption carried out by GfK and Monclick platform: "sales of small appliances for the preparation of food have increased by 70% compared to six years ago; and the domestic food processors market accounts for about 25% of the business compared to 16% of 6 years ago."
In the kitchens robots increasingly enter, especially models with professional, automatic and cooking attitudes. In addition to the television cooking show, the merit can be attributed to Expo 2015 in Milan: its messages encouraged healthy and environmentally sustainable eating and helped the diffusion of new appliances, such as juice extractors, vacuum machines and slow cookers.
|In the kitchen with love
Very current theme that encouraged surveys to discover the reasons and adjust the supply of equipment. That of Hansgrohe, a German manufacturer of taps, tap mixers, water-saving showers, reveals that kitchen is the most loved room, but also the place where ambitions and frustrations of aspiring chefs are concentrated. There people spend an average of 23 days per year: 50% live them as an opportunity to stay with their family. 45% consider kitchen a multifunction place for entertainment. Surprising: 98% of those who are inspired by recipes on TV find their appliances insufficient! All agree, however, in closing the tap (saving water) also with occupied hands. Hansgrohe responds with a front button that can be activated with the back of the hand or the elbow.
The British Russell Hobbs has found that 41% live anxiously the return home because they have to cook. They prefer to compose a "menu planning”: pre-program the weekly plan would give also the opportunity of a balanced diet. The Russell Hobbs answer: an appliances range to cook once a week with tips to save time, effort and money. And avoid wasting.
|Domestic and professional in comparison: the chef opinion
Simone Rugiati, entrepreneur chef, known TV conductor, author and producer, confirms that «Tv has certainly approached families to kitchen technology, which is, however, expensive, but I think companies will make this professional equipment more and more accessible.»
Domestic appliances such as ovens, steam cooking, refrigerators, vacuum machines, robots; to Rugiati we make a question that can clarify many doubts to enthusiast users: in what do the chef appliances differ from those we bring at house, is it possible to obtain the same results? «In the chefs’ kitchens there are professional equipment, designed to work amounts of foods that are not the same as those of a family. But the methods of cooking and freezing are the same. So: yes, it is possible to get the same results also with lower amount of ingredients. But only if the user knows how to use the equipment, and today to understand it is easy and intuitive. The mistake to avoid is approaching the machine without thinking; reading the instructions or searching tutorials on web would be enough.»
But does chefs actually use robots, mixers, choppers and hand blenders? Rugiati explains that by avoiding the manual operations of the past, they are all part of a chef's kitchen. «I can say that with a mixer or a blender I prepare vegetable sauces, cheese creams, getting fluid and creamy compounds. With the chopper I produce everything, even the breadcrumbs which is a way to avoid wasting, while the hand blender makes some processes, such as the citronette, faster and quicker.» We steal him a confession: « similar or equal performance to those of professional equipment are obtained especially from microwave ovens, mixers, steam oven and machinery for the cook & chill used for cook and freeze immediately.»
Your opinion on smart appliances? «The pleasure of cooking at the moment is priceless for me, but the connected smart appliances certainly help the daily organization.»