The Midland Hotel: hi tech Frimas help meet highest banqueting standards

“Fantastic” VarioCooking Centers: “Every kitchen should have one!”

Brian Spark of the Midland HotelThe Midland Hotel in Manchester aims for the highest banqueting standards while serving up to 900 covers at a time.  “What sets us apart from a standard banquet operation is that we aim to offer restaurant style meals,” says Brian Spark, executive head chef.

Recently The Midland updated its main banqueting kitchen in a £250,000 refurbishment.  As well as replacing gas with induction, installing a new island suite and Rational combi steamers, the new kitchen saw the introduction of two new high tech appliances, in the shape of Frima VarioCooking Centers.

Both Frima units are the largest models in the range, the VCC311.  One has the option of pressure cooking.  “They are fantastic pieces of kit,” says Brian.  The decision to consider Frimas was initially based on their ‘word-of-chef’ reputation. “We’d heard about their features and what they could do.  Then I went to a demonstration and was amazed by the scope of their abilities.

“The speed is incredible – we can do thirty lamb shoulders, cooked and plated into 400 portions, in three hours, in just one of the Frimas.  Then there’s the versatility – from searing to sous vide, we could even deep fry a banquet of fish and chips if we wanted to.  We cook bavette steaks using a Frima as a water bath, overnight.  They’re superb.  Stocks and sauces are brilliant, too.  We get great flavour, in about one third the time.”

A critical element of a multifunctional appliance like the Frima is how quickly it can be cleaned between cooking processes.  “They just need a wipe around, and there’s an internal drain at the front.  You can clean it in minutes and be on with the next batch of food.  The outside is easy to keep clean, too.  Not like the old bratt pans!”

Energy saving and sustainability were critical elements of the refurbishment.  “That’s why we moved to induction,” says Brian.  “The Frimas save energy, too.  Especially with the pressure cooking option.

“Every kitchen should have one!”

The Frima VarioCooking Center VCC311

The largest model in the Frima family, the VCC311 has a single pan with a working capacity of 150 litres and a cooking surface of 0.65 of a square metre.  It measures 1542mm wide by 914mm deep and is 1100mm high.

Its speed and energy efficiency is a result of Frima’s patented VarioBoost system.  This delivers precise heat distribution and rapid heat-up and cooking times, making it four times as fast as conventional cooking appliances, using up to 40% less energy.

For more information on The Midland visit

To watch a video of the Frima at The Midland click here

Frima UK is part of Rational UK.  For information and brochures, or to come to a free Frima Cooking Live demonstration, call +44 (0)1582 480388, email or visit

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