Next up in our new Q&A series is Tyron Stephens-Smith, project & creative director at TAG UKltd. He’ll be appearing in two opening day Keynote sessions (5 June) alongside representatives from Tortilla, EAT., LEON, The Gentlemen Baristas, PizzaExpress, Pizza Pilgrims, London International Pizza School, and the BSA / Café life Association & PAPA.
What piece of equipment is most essential to your kitchen operation?
The cookline or range, it’s the ‘heart’ of the kitchen. The time and thought spent specifying this can improve service times and results whilst reducing break downs, heat, extraction, and stressful conditions in the kitchen.
What do you feel is the key for operators to successfully compete against their competitors?
Design and equipment that allows for efficiency within the kitchen, as well as the flexibility to keep ahead of changes in trends and continually develop.
What do you see as key trends for commercial kitchens in the coming year?
In terms of specific menu trends, which are usually what we would talk most about — the biggest trend I see is the operators now evaluating ecological equipment offers and efficiencies to combat the rising costs of staffing.
Describe the Commercial Kitchen trade show in 3 words:
Direct, informative, concise.
How important is the Commercial Kitchen trade show to you and the sector?
It’s a great platform to see how the industry is developing as a whole and learn of any new technologies or issues within foodservice design.
Can you tell us a bit about your much-anticipated sessions at Commercial Kitchen 2018?
Excited! I’m doing a panel on innovation in smaller kitchens, as well and another on kitchens in Italian restaurants. It will be great to catch up with a lot of the manufacturers and peers within the industry.
Who or what inspires you to be even better?
Each client, their passion and drive are contagious and pushes me to (try) and create the perfect design for their needs and push the boundaries / limitations of traditional kitchen design.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To remember all the ‘P’s (from my dad) — Proper planning prevents poor performances!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know:
I was runner-up in a ‘Young Chef’ competition when I was 11. Having never cooked anything more extravagant than toast prior to entering the competition, but still naively entering. This meant learning everything from how to turn on the oven to filleting salmon in a few weeks.
See Tyron at Commercial Kitchen 2018
Compact Kitchens – Being Innovative in Smaller Spaces: 11.45am in the Keynote Theatre on Tuesday 5 June. The session will also feature Martyn Clover (Tortilla), Arnaud Kaziewicz (EAT.), Shereen Ritchie (LEON), Edward Parkes (The Gentlemen Baristas), and Gethin Evans (BSA / Café life Association & PAPA).
The Perfect Pizza Restaurant Kitchen Panel: 2.45am in the Keynote Theatre on Tuesday 5 June. The session will also feature Marco Fuso (London International Pizza School), Tom Mullin (Pizza Pilgrims), Jane Treasure (PizzaExpress), and Gethin Evans (BSA / Café life Association & PAPA).
To register for a free trade ticket, please click here.