Mandarin Oriental, Milan:
Perfecting the art of cuisine with thermaline
A life spent working in a hotel kitchen is a high-pressure existence, with the constant need to produce high volumes of exceptional food placing intense demands on chefs day after day.
Acclaimed chef Antonio Guida knows what it takes to meet these demands. Renowned for updating traditional Italian recipes with his own creative techniques, his dishes blend impeccable flavours and exquisite presentation. But maintaining such high standards is not easy, and Guida understands that creating a comfortable working environment for himself and his kitchen brigade can make all the difference when it comes to a restaurant’s reputation.
“What puts a strain on the kitchen, above all, is the daily challenge of having to satisfy customers, anticipate their needs, and meet them,” Guida says. “Yet this is also exciting.”
So when it came to opening Seta, his latest venture at the Mandarin Oriental, executive chef Guida could rely on only the most innovative equipment to provide his team with the tools they needed to achieve this consistent quality.
Art meets design
Now one of Milan’s most talked-about dining destinations, Seta provides the perfect combination of exciting food with all-round exceptional presentation, thanks to an open kitchen which encourages diners to watch the theatre of its chefs at work.
In order to showcase the very best in culinary innovation and wow customers as dishes are conjured up, Guida turned to Electrolux Professional’s thermaline M2M (made-to-measure) modular cooking range.
Developed in Switzerland and awarded the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Best award in the year of its launch for high quality and ground-breaking design, the M2M option gave Guida the opportunity to take advantage of complete design flexibility in order to fulfil his vision for Seta.
With over 40 different cooking options to choose from, Guida was able to bring his hand-drawn concepts to life with the help of Electrolux Professional.
A chef’s vision brought to life
The result was the inclusion of two dedicated cooking islands right at the very heart of the partially-open kitchen; a first for appetizers and starters, and a second dedicated to meat and fish. Among the innovative concepts was the introduction of a state-of-the-art free-cooking hot plate – loved by Seta’s chefs for its unrivalled versatility.
“The appliance that personally gives me the most satisfaction is the free-cooking top,” states Guida. “Its versatility makes it very important in the kitchen, as I often like to use pans to prepare fish and meats with gentle cooking.”
Another unmissable element of Seta’s kitchen is its hot pass: over five meters of heated structure, divided into two sections, with the ability to be raised and lowered. Laser cut from one single piece of stainless steel, the length of this unit plays a vital role in ensuring dishes can be finished and inspected before being served to excited diners. “Among other things, I am very happy with the plate warmer for its effectiveness. It is very long, which means I can easily deliver a consistently high standard of service with many dishes at a time,” reveals Guida.
Happy chefs, happy customers
Boasting 600 square meters of basement kitchen space divided into several preparation areas, the thermaline solution not only helps to make the best possible use of limited space, but also manages to keep the environment comfortable for Seta’s team of 12 chefs. As Guida explains, “In the kitchen here at Seta, it is the first time that we do not suffer from the heat and are really comfortable when we are working. The induction plates ensure we’re not increasing the temperature of the kitchen unnecessarily, while the cutting edge technology of our extractor hoods allow us to work in comfort. Without doubt, I would recommend Electrolux to my peers.”
The integration of a tailor-made solution within the kitchen space is one of the many reasons why the team at Seta remains motivated and committed perfecting the art of cuisine for its customers. “To work in a hotel this prestigious is wonderful, as every day you get the urge to arrive earlier and to do better,” Guida concludes. “Every day is a challenge because we have very demanding customers, which keeps our job very exciting.”