IN THE last of our reports from the North Pole pub in West London, we look at the impact of the equipment trial on the dessert menu.
The pub has been using the TurboChefi5 rapid cook oven to boost its offer. With February bringing some of the coldest weather in London for almost two decades, it proved the perfect time for head chef Andy Evans to introduce a line of hot desserts.
"We've seen a few signs of business slowing down, although I am uncertain whether it is credit crunch-related - but February historically tends to be slow," he says. "Valentine's Day was a great success and weekends continue to bring in customers.
"The introduction of quick hot starters proved a success at lunchtimes, with customers attracted by a relatively inexpensive hot snacks.
"My next project was to look to introduce a similar idea with hot desserts, mainly based on cooking to order as dessert sales can be a little unpredictable at the best of times."
Baked apples and pear tart tatin, both already on the menu, work very well in the TurboChef. "We used to re-heat both items in a microwave, and while they would get hot, the finished quality was always unacceptable. When they come out now they look and taste amazing."
David Rees, development chef with Taylor UK, has cooked soufflés in the i5, and this inspired Andy to have a crack at Baked Alaska. "A zap of microwave to soften the ice-cream centre and a blast of hot air to glaze the outside does the trick," he says.
Individual fruit crumbles are also a promising addition to the dessert menu. "We can make them up before service, store them in the fridge and bake to order," he adds.
Thanks to Andy at the North Pole and David at Taylor UK for their work on the trial.
- The list price of the TurboChefi5 is £8,350 plus VAT. Lease rental terms are also available. For information call Taylor UK on 0800 838 896 or visit www.taylor-company.co.uk