Blast chiller a hit for The River Kitchen

The River Kitchen has had a NUOVAIR Blast Chiller for the past six months, and owner Maria Senear said it has already basically paid for itself.

The River Kitchen has a compact Blast Chiller that locks in moisture while quickly cooling produce to the desired temperature. According to Senear, wastages have been reduced, quality has increased, and the turnaround time for cakes and catering has increased. The River Kitchen is a relatively small café, sitting 16 people inside and 16 people outside. Although incorporating the Blast Chiller meant shuffling around the kitchen around a bit, Senear said that it was practically the same as hiring another staff member.

The NUOVAIR Compact Blast Chiller is priced at around $11,000. If an employee is on $16.50 per hour, the current minimum wage, the Blast Chiller has essentially been paid off if it saves 25 hours per week for six months—the length of time that Senear has had it. However, it has done more than pay itself off. Senear noted that it hasn’t increased the power bill at all and has allowed the café to take on extra last-minute catering jobs that wouldn’t have previously been possible.

Robert Erskine, director of La Nuovagel Australia which manufactures NUOVAIR Blast Chillers and shock freezers, has been selling catering machines for over twenty years. He said that up to five percent of revenue can be saved if the right kitchen equipment is used.

“The unit in The River Kitchen can freeze up to 140kg every working day, and that’s one of the smallest models available. Once business owners are aware of the benefits of a blast chiller, they’ll realise there are other parts of the business that can be done better.”

Erskine sold his first blast chiller 21 years ago, but the industry has been slow to catch up.

“People are happy to invest in fryers and things that cook food, but they don’t appreciate the value of food being cooled,” he said. “Blast chillers work by putting food in a state of suspended animation, for lack of a better word. Food can be prepared in advance without it going stale, which leaves more time in the business to focus on other things.”

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