Sal Torre explains why his cooking equipment is so energy efficient at the National Restaurant Association Conference in Chicago.
Ben Lack: Well, we’re here with Sal Torre, President and owner of Bon Chef. Thanks for giving us some of your time.
Sal Torre: You’re very welcome.
Ben Lack: Tell us a little bit about what your company does.
Sal Torre: Well, Bon Chef was started around thirty-seven years ago by myself and my partner, Tony. And we started this company with the idea that we wanted to promote the most innovative products that we could possibly have in this industry. And over the thirty-seven years we’re in business, I felt we went quite a ways with that. And right here is what we call our Grand Slam Action Cooking Station.
Ben Lack: And the stuff you’re going to show us right now catering towards folks that are trying to save on energy costs. Is that correct?
Sal Torre: That is correct. We’re trying to save on energy costs and also labor costs.
Ben Lack: Show us some of the products that you guys have.
Sal Torre: Okay. This is our Grand Slam Action Station. And the beauty about this station is that it uses all energy efficient components. First, we have our induction stove. Now induction will cook food around twenty to twenty-five percent quicker than your traditional butane or gas. It’s energy efficient. It draws fifteen amps, but the savings is in how quick it cooks. So part of this Action Station is the induction stove.
The ingredients that you would use to cook on an Action Station are kept in what we call our Cold-Wave Bowls. Now our Cold-Wave Bowls are three bowls in one that are all fabricated. So they look like one bowl. And the idea behind it is it creates two chambers. One chamber is filled with air which is a natural insulator. The other chamber is filled with gel. The same gel that you’d use on an ice-pack if you had a shoulder wound. The bowl is kept in the freezer. You put your food in it when you’re ready to serve or go on your Action Station. And the food will stay cold for seven hours within one degree of when you put it in.
Ben Lack: And you have different sizes, I’m sure.
Sal Torre: We have five different sizes. Everything from condiment bowls to larger bowls. And this here we’re showing is an Action Station. So we’re using the appropriate sizes. After you cook the food in our Action Station, you put it on through our radiant heater. Now this is a radiant shelf here which only draws seven amps, and it’ll keep all the food warm at a minimum of a hundred forty-five degree serving temperature. So this is why it’s the Grand Slam. You could cook it. We keep the food cold, and you can serve right on one cart.
Ben Lack: And tell us where folks can find your product.
Sal Torre: They can find our product through any of the restaurant distributors throughout the country. They could see online at www.bonchef.com. Or they could call our offices directly, and we’ll be more than happy to talk to them.
Ben Lack: And tell us, more of a personal question. Why did you get in the business?
Sal Torre: I was twenty-five years old, and I didn’t know a lot. And we got into business because we wanted to control our own destiny and do things the way we felt they should be done. And it worked very well for us.
Ben Lack: Well, thanks so much for giving us some of your time. We wish you much luck and continued success. And we’ll definitely be in touch soon.
Sal Torre: You’re very welcome. Thank you.
Ben Lack: Thanks, Sal.