Chef Hacking: Off-beat Uses for Your Restaurant Equipment

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Andreu Carulla's Oxymoron Maker II

As a restaurant owner or manager, you understand that every piece of equipment and every person you employ has a value to your business’ success that far outweighs their costs.

To many the concept of ‘hacking’ has a negative connotation – conjuring images of stolen credit card numbers and defaced websites. But, there is also a ‘white hat’ (positive) definition of hacking that pertains to simplifying everyday tasks and enhancing the output by unusual or unconventional ways. The blog Lifehacker has been presenting simple ‘hacks’ like these for years to improve a person’s quality of life or productivity.

At Central, we’ve flipped this concept to our own industry – creating an occasional blog series that will show examples of everyday restaurants creating new and unique food items using equipment already in their commercial kitchens. We’ll show simple ways to increase productivity too. We’ll call it Chefhacking. First up…

Fried Ice Cream in a Sandwich Press

In August of 2013, Natt Garun of digitaltrends.com wrote of the Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca that reconfigured (aka hacked) a sandwich press to create a hot brioche desert filled with delicious ice cream. Designer Andreu Carulla calls the machine the Oxymoron Maker II, and it cooks the raw sandwich dough on the outside without harming the delicate, delicious ice cream inside.

Andreau also created a stop-motion video to illustrate the building of the machine. Skip to 2:30 to see the delicious desert being created (and, of course, eaten). And check out Andreau’s website for more images of his machine.

Unfortunately, you won’t find this item inside the Central Restaurant catalog (or any other catalog for that matter), as the machine and resulting menu items are being kept exclusive to the Catalonia-based restaurant. But, don’t let that keep you from trying your own ‘chef hacks’ and thinking outside the box when dreaming up your next great menu addition. Start your hacking with our own selection of Star Sandwich Presses.

Next month on Chefhacks, we’ll show you how to open a bottle of wine when you’ve misplaced your corkscrew. All you need is a shoe and a hard surface.

And if you have a Chefhacking idea of your own you’d like to share with our Central Restaurant Blog readers, email Chris Clark.

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