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Jo Leech, Pelican’s commercial equipment specialist, helps clients select the right products based on their needs, whether completing a kitchen refurbishment or simply looking for a product replacement. 

In a time of staff shortages, many operators are looking for more ways to improve efficiencies and reduce staff time. Jo has selected the top two products she recommends to clients to help save time in the kitchen. 

Rational iVario 

The Rational iVario is a one-pan cooking system that replaces many conventional kitchen appliances.  

While it’s an expensive bit of kit, it’s an investment for the medium term – and an ideal consideration when planning a kitchen refurbishment. An iVario and a combination (combi) oven could cover about 95% of a kitchen’s needs. 

The iVario can boil, pressure cook, fry, deep fry, braise and cook casseroles in a quarter of the average time – and use up to 40% less energy than conventional kitchen appliances. Available in four sizes, this system can handle anything from 30 to 500 meals. 

I visited a large school kitchen recently, and they had two iVarios and some combi ovens, plus an eye-level grill for finishing. That was all they needed, and it’s the future. 

Walthamstow Hall iVario Installation 

I managed the installation of an iVario at Walthamstow Hall and provided the team with full training on how to get the most out of the new equipment. With small adjustments to the way they cook, they can still produce the same menus – but these changes will greatly improve their efficiency. This can really help a short-staffed team do more with less! 

Florence Kirkpatrick, Catering Manager at Walthamstow Hall, has seen a positive impact from this installation. 

“The new iVario is an excellent addition to our kitchen, and we’re very happy with it,” she says. “It’s saved our team a great amount of time because creating meals is much faster and easier.” 

Tormek T2-PRO from Metcalfe – Knife Sharpener 

The Swedish-made Tormek T2-PRO from Metcalfe knife sharpener is an often overlooked but simple way to improve efficiencies and reduce costs long-term in the kitchen.  

Everyone works better with a sharp knife; ironically, it is safer to use a sharp knife than struggle on a job with a blunt one.  

When chefs have to sharpen their knives, they often pay someone to come in and sharpen them regularly. This can mean staff works with blunt blades until the sharpening service arrives. Or they buy extra knives while awaiting the return of the refurbished ones.   

The Tormek T2-PRO provides a great and immediate solution, giving the user complete control over the degree of sharpening and when they can be sharpened. 

The sharpener only takes a minute to do the job, and it’s fitted with a diamond wheel for sharpening, as well as a composite wheel for polishing.  

Clients have given great feedback on the product. We had the chef at Great Ormond Street hospital test the product out, and he was blown away by how easy and fast it was. 

We’re here to help.

Contact Jo if you have any commercial equipment needs or to get impartial advice at or 01252 705 205. 

About Jo: 

Joanna Leech has over 20 years of commercial equipment expertise and will provide you with impartial advice with full operational support. She will liaise with all the parties to fully understand your requirements and find the best solution.  

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