• Jekaterina Archipova

HOUNÖ combi ovens for prestigious Danish Culinary Award

Potatoes are more than just a main course accessory. They can also be transformed into a delicious dessert or a beautifully arranged starter. This was bound to happen when some of Denmark’s best chefs went head to head at The Potato Award (Kartoffelprisen).

This year’s competition was held at the Culinary Institute by VejleErhverv, Food Innovation House, with 8 of the country’s most promising talents competing for 5½ hours with staggered start-up. On the equipment side, they used Danish HOUNÖ’s CombiSlim ovens to create the most impressive three-course menu, where the potato should be represented by a minimum of 60%.

Chef Per Mandrup, who in addition to being the organizer, also participated in the judging panel, stated:

“The Potato Award allows for talent development. This competition is a platform, where you can be creative. It provides room for innovation, where participants are given the opportunity to train and try out new techniques with a purpose. The same opportunities are rarely found in the restaurants due to cash settlement.”

The right combi oven

The chefs used the CombiSlim ovens for their excellent creations and thus achieved an ideal combination of hot air and steam to ensure perfect cooking results. Per Mandrup added:

"CombiSlim fits gastronorm sizes. In addition, they are perfect for steaming and provides a superior even heat distribution. It's a good oven. It’s as simple as that."

The unique small physical footprint of the oven - with a width of only 51.3 cm - allows the CombiSlim oven to fit into even the smallest kitchen, while also being the most suitable and easy choice for events that require quick and switchable setups. Despite its size, CombiSlim has the same features as a large combi oven, and it is extremely efficient.

The element of competition creates innovation platform

Per Mandrup has been in the game for many years. For 29 years, he has been judging “Chef of the Year” in addition to the many other roles as a judge at national as well as international competitions such as the WASC World Chefs. It is important for him to maintain the element of competition and the innovation platform.

"Creating a specific framework for creative people with the purpose of being innovative results in a pretty amazing atmosphere and unique new dishes."

In the panel of judges, Per Mandrup shared seats with a wide range of extremely competent colleagues, including the former winner of The Potato Award, Patrick Godborg, who could now pass on the prize to a proud Bjarke Jeppesen and his girlfriend Marie Ipsen.

Also in the panel was Francis Cardenau, who imparted the classic gastronomic understanding, and the owner and head chef of the prominent Alchemist restaurant, Rasmus Munk, who added the holistic view of food art.

If you visit Alchemist, you will also find CombiSlim ovens in Rasmus Munk's kitchen.

Panel of judges from left to right: Per Mandrup, Jeppe Foldager, Francis Cardenau, Tommy Raanti, Rasmus Munk

Photo credit: Søren Gammelmark

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