In the Kitchen With...
Rotisol, Accurex, Tri-Star and Electrolux
by Russel Bean,
As we continue our series “In the Kitchen With…” our equipment editor, Russell Bean takes us to the back-of-the-house to discover more about four pioneering manufacturers: Accurex, LLC, Electrolux Professional Inc., Rotisol U.S.A, and Tri-Star Manufacturing. We hope you enjoy the stories about the people and companies behind the appliances. We welcome your feedback about this new series and invite your comments on experiences you’ve had with any of these companies and their equipment. Write to us at email@example.com and reference “In the Kitchen With” in the subject line.
Colleen Phalen, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief
Delivering Unique Cooking Systems Since 1954
When we think of great cuisine, we often think of France. When we think of world-class cities, Paris always makes the short list. Chelles, France is a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, just 18 kilometers from the city center. It is also home to Rotisol S.A. and some of the most attractive and functional cooking equipment available.
Rotisol S.A. has been crafting their unique take on rotisserie ovens and dazzling display equipment since 1954 at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility overseen to this day by the Wittig Family. They have carefully expanded their equipment line to match the cooking needs of their loyal customer base.
While well-known and respected in Europe, Rotisol waited until the 1990s to enter the North American foodservice market, when home-meal-replacement (HMR) and rotisserie chicken were growing trends in retail-deli and restaurant foodservice. As momentum grew for rotisserie-style cooking, some North American equipment manufacturers introduced their own rotisserie ovens, most based on planetary (Ferris wheel-style) rotation of spits. While functional, some of the early model rotisseries were slow-to-cook, difficult to clean and didn’t look too great after the first batch of the day.
Rotisol USA was established in 1990 to introduce French-style rotisserie ovens to North American foodservice operators, kitchen design consultants and supermarket-deli operators. Today Rotisol ovens and their unique open-heated granite merchandisers are used in high-profile restaurants, hotels, and progressive supermarket chains, including Whole Foods® Market.
The Rotisol USA oven line has grown to include their top-of-the-line Grande Flamme Millennium and the Grand Flamme Olympia, which are traditional rustic-style rotisseries, and their value-priced Performance Line.
The Grande Flamme Millennium is available in 3-, 5- and 8-spit models, in three different widths and with a standard stainless steel cabinet with enamel front trim, or a striking all enamel cabinet with brass or chrome accents. Smaller models can be mounted on an optional cabinet with a slide-out work surface and matching trim accents. They are available with an impressive list of accessories including spits designed for roasting whole lamb, ham or turkey, plus roast and rectangular basket spits.
The Grande Flamme Olympia is available in 2- or 4- spits models, in two widths, in all stainless steel or a vitrified enamel finish, accented with stainless steel or brass trim. These models have exposed spit rotation chain-pulley mechanisms for additional merchandising interest, plus porcelain reflective burners. Olympia models also employ their unique “Spatchcock” cooking system, which stops the spit for 20 seconds in front of the burner, every half-turn, to seal in juices. They claim this unique stop-and-go rotation seals in juices and cuts cook times in half.
The Performance Series is their value line, finished in all stainless steel and more typically designed for back-of-the house production. Available in three sizes with 4-, 6- or 8-spit gas models, they use patented radiants with small interchangeable ceramic plaques, which reduce grease accumulation and the chance of breakage.
All Rotisol rotisseries employ ladder-stacked adjustable spits that are heated from behind by burners and provided with individual air-cooled motors for spit rotation. Stacked spits reduce the rotisserie cabinet depth, while increasing cabinet height and enhance the merchandising impact of the tempered glass front doors. This vertically stacked design also allows juices from upper spits to naturally baste birds on lower spits. It allows for either batch production or a continuous supply of cooked product by moving spits down and adding raw product in the top spit position.
All spits are depth-adjustable to accommodate different size birds, from Cornish hens to large turkeys. They use ‘V’ shaped spits that don’t need separate forks or prongs to impale and hold birds. Spitting is fast and easy, with no loose parts to clean or misplace.
Today Rotisol is actively expanding markets and applications for their ovens. In addition to large supermarket chains, independent supermarket deli operators have embraced Rotisol rotisseries. Based on a model used by 400 so called “chicken trucks” in France, smaller propane models have been sold to west coast Farmers’ Markets and are a logical choice for the growing fleet of food trucks cruising the streets of North America.
A Greenheck Company
Kitchen Ventilation Comfort Specialists
Accurex is a new company but one with very deep roots in building air movement, a holistic approach to kitchen ventilation and some world class technology to support their efforts. Accurex was launched in 2007 as a subsidiary of Greenheck Fan Corporation, best known as a supplier of HVAC air movement and control equipment for a broad spectrum of commercial and institutional building applications, including kitchen ventilation systems. The launch of Accurex provided a stronger market focus on the unique needs of commercial kitchen ventilation.
Today, Accurex specializes in ventilation comfort for restaurants and other foodservice establishments. For an industry once known for sheet metal and stainless steel bending and fabrication, Accurex has taken a sophisticated approach to kitchen ventilation. Their goal is to provide engineered, fully integrated ventilation systems, and a balanced, comfortable building where both customers and employees want to dine and work.
The Accurex product line extends from kitchen exhaust hoods on up to rooftop HVAC units. They offer the full spectrum of Type I grease hoods including exhaust only, integrated (air) supply, island canopy, proximity or back-shelf styles, plus auto-cleaning hoods with many filter options, depending on grease load. They also do Type II (non-grease) heat and condensate hoods. Accurex also designs and installs custom Ansul® and Amerex® wet chemical or dual agent fire protection systems in hood and duct systems.
Ventilation control systems are another Accurex strong suit. Their basic XFCC Fan Control Center is designed to control exhaust fans, supply fans and lights. Their Vari-Flow System quickly senses changes in cooking activity under the hood and varies make-up air flow to maintain proper room pressure. Their Melink® Intelli-hood is an optional system that includes optic sensors that detect steam or smoke from cooking equipment, regardless of heat load. These advanced control packages help save energy by matching exhaust rates to need, in real time, and ensure effluent capture and a comfortable work environment.
Not surprisingly, Accurex has an extensive line of exhaust fans, including models designed for high temperatures and heavy grease loads. They also provide rooftop Make-Up Air Systems including models designed to temper the air with chilled water or evaporative cooling (AC), or heat it with direct or indirect gas-fired burner systems, plus electric, hot water and steam-heated variants. They also go “below the hood” to offer Utility Distribution Systems (UDS) that can simplify equipment installation and provide an attractive, easy-to-clean enclosure for gas, electric, hot water, cold water, and steam piping. Their UDS Systems come with quick-connect appliance drops every 12 inches for easy reconfiguration of an equipment battery.
Exhaust odors and grease handling are huge issues for many foodservice operators. In 2011, Accurex introduced new Grease Grabber™ Triple Play and Power Play odor and pollution control units, designed to remove most smoke and grease particles from kitchen exhaust systems. The Triple Play is a three-stage mechanical filter package that incorporates activated charcoal panels to remove odor-causing molecules. The Power Play has a permanent electrostatic collector section that removes grease and smoke particles. It includes a built-in self-cleaning water wash system to maintain peak performance with minimal maintenance.
Computer-Aided Product Selection and System Design Support
Accurex has made it easier to understand and customize kitchen ventilation with a state-of-the-art computer-aided selection program they call CAPS. CAPS can help a building owner, kitchen design consultant or architect configure a complete kitchen ventilation system and quickly provide real-time drawings and AutoCAD® files. Last year Accurex updated their web site-based resources to include Autodesk® Revit® drawing files.
Engineered Restaurant Systems,Testing and Education
Accurex engineers are constantly developing new and improved products in answer to the changing needs of today’s foodservice and retail customers. Extensive modeling, prototyping and testing results in more efficient products that are easier to install, quieter and less expensive to operate. To ensure equipment meets the latest government and industry standards, Accurex fans are tested in two on-site, third party registered air chambers and a registered sound testing facility. Accurex also promotes industry education, offering both webinars and in-person training at their 27,000 square foot Demo Kitchen & Training Center in Schofield, Wisconsin.
A Standex Company
Delivering Value, Performance & Quality
Tri-Star Manufacturing was founded at the turn of the Millennium by Rick Spenuzza, in Santa Anna, California. Rick and his two brothers were partners in Imperial Range before leaving to form Tri-Star and Royal Range. Tri-Star was acquired by Standex in July of 2010. They are part of the Standex Food Service Equipment Group, providing restaurants, food retailers and institutional foodservice operators with both hot- and cold-side equipment solutions. Other familiar Standex companies and brands include: American Foodservice, APW Wyott, Bakers Pride, BKI, Federal Industries, Kool Star, Master-Bilt, Nor-Lake and Procon.
The Tri-Star product line offers a nice selection of restaurant ranges and stockpot ranges, cheesemelters and salamanders, both heavy-duty and countertop broilers, griddles, hot plates and fryers, plus convection ovens. Tri-Star’s primary restaurant range line comes in 24-, 36-, 48-, 60-, 65- and 72-inch wide models, with 35,000 or 40,000 BTU/hr. open burners, and a 30,000 or 40,000 BTU/hr. oven or ovens, depending on range width. A 6-inch wide plate rail, 30-inch wide oven with porcelain finish interior and removable (for cleaning) oven door are standard.
In addition, they are introducing a new Value Line of ranges that come in 24-, 36- and 60-inch models, with all welded steel frames, 28,000 BTU/hr. cast iron burners, and a 38,000 BTU/hr. oven. In 2012, they will also introduce a very price-competitive natural gas convection oven and new fryer series.
Tri-Star has both heavy-duty (HD) and lighter countertop model broilers, griddles, hot plates and fryers. As you would expect, the HD models are built heavier, with higher output burners and can be mounted on optional support stands. Unlike many manufacturers, their heavy-duty and countertop model hot plates are available one burner deep, in most widths. Their HD Griddles are available with ¾-inch cook tops in 24-, 36- and 48-inch widths and one-inch thick plates in 24- through 72-inch wide models.
Tri-Star also manufactures a solid line of full-size gas convection ovens in both conventional and bakery depth models. Both are available as single ovens or double-stacked. The TSCO Series has five-pan capacity, 60,000 BTU/hr. input and independent doors, each with a double pane glass window. Their bakery depth models have the same power input and two independent doors with a single, left door viewing window.
Tri-Star also does floor and countertop model fryers and has several stockpot range options. Their floor model fryers are available with 35-40, 40-50, or 65-75 lbs. shortening capacity with 76,000, 114,000 and 152,000 BTU/hr. inputs, respectively. Their stockpot ranges come with a single burner or two side-by-side or front-and-back burners with either two or three adjustable gas valves that deliver either 90,000 or 105,000 BTU/hr. power per burner.
Tri-Star’s corporate headquarters is in Dallas, Texas with manufacturing operations in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Nogales, Mexico. They sell through distributors, as well as key dealers in some territories. They remain committed to providing top quality equipment at affordable prices.
Electrolux Professional, Inc.
Gas Equipment for Professional Kitchens
By any measure, AB Electrolux is a large and successful company, a multi-national world brand headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with 2011 net sales reported at 101.6 billion Swedish Kroners or about $15.5 billion US Dollars. They are a global powerhouse in consumer appliances, second only to U.S.-based Whirlpool Corporation.
While not quite on the same scale as the parent company, Electrolux Professional (which includes laundry equipment) has grown internally and through the acquisition of strong regional companies to where it represents six percent of Electrolux’s net sales, or just short of one billion dollars U.S.
Electrolux Professional entered the North American Foodservice Market in 2004, making a splash with a large tradeshow presence at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago and the 2005 North American Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers Association (NAFEM) Show in Orlando. Initial Electrolux product offerings were fairly extensive but they have gradually added additional models that have been popular and proven in European kitchens for years. They can single-source hot-side cooking and holding equipment, cold-side refrigeration, food prep equipment, warewashing and serving equipment, even stainless fabrication and ventilation hoods.
Given their origin, it is no surprise that the entire Electrolux product line has clean, elegant Euro-styling; and includes some products not available from North American manufacturers, including a pressure braising pan and multifunction cooker that can be used like a griddle-top, braising pan, boiling pan or baine-marie.
Their 900XP and 700XP Cooking Batteries are really integrated work stations that can incorporate open burners, induction hobs, water bath pasta cookers, and their multi-function cooker, all mounted on a unitized base with storage, a convection oven or two, and/or under-counter refrigeration.
With the combi oven’s European heritage, the Electrolux air-o-steam line will look familiar to North American operators. Like many progressive North American and Teutonic brands, their air-o-steam with Touchline has intuitive controls that simplify the operator interface. In 2011, they issued two software updates to Touchline, the latest adding more precise cleaning control and new wash components to their air-o-clean system that save water and energy. Electrolux will be expanding their line of gas boilerless combi ovens in 2012.
Unique to Electrolux is their gas tilting pressure braising pan. Available in 24- and 40-gallon models, these pressure braising pans have right and left side consoles supporting an insulated pan body, under-slung burn system and heavy locking cover designed to seal and hold pressure (at 5.8 PSI) inside the pan body. Always known for their multi-function cooking versatility, adding the pressure option to a braising pan adds pressure steaming and pressure cooking to their repertoire.
While they initially set up shop in Florida, in 2011 Electrolux Professional moved their North American headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina, which is also home to Electrolux Major Appliances North America and other corporate groups. This 200,000 square foot office complex includes a new product showroom and Culinary Event Center. In addition, Electrolux has a network of Regional Demo Centers or test kitchens staffed by certified chefs, to provide equipment demonstrations and hands-on training closer to home.
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