FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS, HOLGER STROMBERG HAS BEEN WORKING WITH TWO MULTIVAC CHAMBER MACHINES, AND HE REPORTS ON HIS EXPERIENCES IN THIS INTERVIEW.
„WITH THE C 300 WE ARE PLAYING IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE“
Star chef Holger Stromberg (42) would not do without his vacuum chamber machines for anything in the world. The famous chef from magazines and television, who has cooked for the German national football team since 2007, was always a passionate advocate of vacuum technology, even when he was in his parents’ business.
Mr Stromberg, back in the 1990’s you persuaded your parents, who were the previous owners of the Gasthaus Stromberg in Münster, to buy a vacuum chamber machine. What fascinated you even at that time about this technology?
Holger Stromberg: Vacuum technology revolutionised preparation and cooking in my parents’ restaurant. It enabled us to replace overtaken and less than efficient procedures with modern and versatile technology. For example, we often used to place meat with herbs and garlic in oil. Unbelievable from today’s perspective, how much oil and fat had to be disposed of afterwards. To preserve meat, we often wrapped it in film that became greasy and unattractive. After the chamber machine had been introduced, we never wanted to do without it again. We were able immediately to organise the kitchen much better and to use additional cooking procedures such as sous vide, as well as just simply preparing and keeping ingredients such as apple chips in larger quantities.
Six months ago you acquired for the first time two chamber machines from MULTIVAC…
Stromberg: (laughing): …Yes, our old vacuum machine literally went up in smoke six months ago. We were just about to test the vacuuming of ready meals for dispatch, and this obviously overstretched the old machine. Since I had recently had the pleasure of meeting Hans-Joachim Boekstegers, the CEO of MULTIVAC, I immediately obtained some information about the range of MULTIVAC chamber machines, and I decided relatively quickly on the C 300 and C 100 chamber machine models.
What convinced you?
Stromberg: We were delighted from the start with the manufacturing quality and tactile control of the machine. That had been clear from the very first information and instruction given by the sales adviser. I personally like the fact that the machines have the GS seal of approval – “Tested Safety” – since this is one of the factors for me, which speak of a quality company. To make a comparison from the world of football: With the C 300 we have advanced to the Champions League as regards to the organisation of our kitchen.
What requirements do you generally place on a chamber machine?
Stromberg: For me it is important that the machine is efficient, flexible and easy to transport. We offer catering services for large events throughout Europe; this means that we must be able to take the machine with us. In addition to this, it must be capable of being cleaned and operated easily.
What do you use the machines for?
Stromberg: We vacuum practically all products before chilling or freezing, namely: meat, fish, vegetables, desserts, sauces, marinades etc. We also fillet fish ourselves – and for this alone I can no longer imagine being without vacuum technology. The procedure is hygienic and space-saving.
How quickly were the new machines ready to use?
Stromberg: MULTIVAC delivered and set up the machines within 10 to 14 days. We then had about one hour of instruction, after which we were able to get going immediately.
Where do you use the C 300?
We use the C 300 for organising things for our restaurant, the KUTCHiiN, and as part of our catering activities. The machine undertakes 100 to 200 vacuum procedures per day. We need an efficient machine, particularly for the restaurant, and the results are outstanding. The great thing is that the C 300 is so mobile, as it is a free-standing machine with its movable floor stand. Previously we had a very heavy tabletop unit. Now we are considerably more flexible, not only regarding the arrangement of the kitchen, but also the scope of the machine’s functions.
And the C 100?
Stromberg: The small C 100 tabletop machine is perfect for our cooking school. Here, we vacuum smaller items such as duck breast, vegetables or fish – in principle everything that one can cook with sous vide. It is even sensible, in my view, for an end consumer to consider purchasing this machine. I am an advocate of healthy eating – and that means “cooking for oneself”. With a C 100, one can organise the kitchen wonderfully, as well as pre-cooking and freezing the finished meals after they have been portioned and vacuumed. My grandmother used to salt, smoke and bottle food. Today there is a freezer cabinet in almost all households.
Why would you recommend MULTIVAC to others?
Stromberg: I would say that MULTIVAC thinks of all the points and leaves nothing to chance. Just take a little detail like the roller wheels of the C 300, which are equipped with locking brakes. They are simply brilliant. We have quite a steep incline in our kitchen and the machine remains stationary without any problems.
Where do you see need for improvement?
Stromberg: That is really very difficult for me to answer even though I am somebody who pays great attention to detail. The only thing that I would perhaps like would be a drawer in the substructure for the film pouches. We currently store these on a shelf beside the machine, but ideally they would be ready to hand directly at the machine.
Stromberg: The machine quality and the vacuum results are first class. I have two completely fantastic machines.
Thank you for the interview.