If you’re lucky enough to be in Bridge of Allan, Stirling, then the place to go is Jam Jar. This contemporary café restaurant, open from 8am till 10pm, is, in the words of head chef Izzy Kerr, “really, really busy.” They serve up to 2,500 covers a week and Izzy describes the food as “modern British bistro,” but there are distinctive and popular flourishes. For example, Jam Jar’s latest version of a steak sandwich is based on braised beef brisket cooked in its own liquor, and it goes down a storm.
As this is Stirling it’s also Falcon Foodservice Equipment country, which is lucky since Izzy is a big fan of the British manufacturer. When the company was developing its F900 Series Izzy was delighted to be asked to field trial several of the new appliances – especially as Jam Jar was in the process of a kitchen refurbishment. Her input helped the Falcon R&D team perfect the designs.
“Jam Jar’s kitchen is full on, all day long,” says Neil Roseweir, development chef at Falcon. “That makes it the ideal environment to test out heavy duty products like the F900. If anything isn’t up to scratch, Izzy and her team will find it. And they don’t hold back about letting us know!”
One example of how Izzy’s input was put to good use is on the four-burner range. “The kitchen had a problem with the pilot light blowing out – not something we’d ever had in the lab, or in other test sites,” says Neil. “On investigation, we found the issue was a site problem – rather strong draughts from various doors and windows in the kitchen. Appreciating there might be similar issues in other kitchens, we designed an extra pilot guard that can be slotted around the pilot to protect it. It’s now supplied as standard, for the installer to fit if required.”
Jam Jar appeals to a wide range of customers – young, old, couples, business people, families, locals and tourists. Plus its menu changes regularly and it features a stream of different ‘specials.’ Meanwhile Izzy encourages her team of chefs to express themselves, whether it’s for a new ‘special’ or fancy pastries and bread. All of which means the busy kitchen equipment has to be adaptable as well as fast.
“The four-burner oven range is excellent,” says Izzy. “We cook almost everything in pans and we can be doing 50 or 60 covers at once, so it’s on all the time. It’s very powerful and it cooks amazingly quickly. I’m hoping we can trial the six burner when it gets launched!” The range (model number G9184) has four 9.5kW twin flame burners, ensuring heat is distributed uniformly across the whole base of the pan – so, for example, sauces reduce consistently and crepes brown evenly, without the need to whisk product to compensate for ‘cool’ spots. The oven is 2/1 gastronorm and has a powerful 7.5kW burner.
“A great piece of kit that just gets hammered here,” says Izzy of her F900 Chargrill (model G9460). Its full width cooking surface allows the Jam Jar team to maximise output, while the cooler rest area enables food to stay warm if there are any delays in service.
The F900 Rise and Fall Grill (model E600) is 1/1 gastronorm compatible and delivers instant heat, giving chefs precise control of time, temperature and element height to ensure perfect cooking results. Izzy says, “It’s really good, really powerful. In fact it’s the best I’ve used.”
Sustainability is important for Jam Jar. Ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible – so locally, a lot of them come from allotments in the town. Consequently Jam Jar expects its equipment to have solid green credentials. The F900 Series has a host of energy-saving features, ranging from specific innovations, like the Rise and Fall Grill’s automatic plate detection, to general features such as fast heat-up times.
Even though the Jam Jar kitchen can’t be seen from the restaurant, it doesn’t stop Izzy, who admits to being ‘a clean freak’, making sure it is kept as clean as possible. Which is another reason that the F900 appeals to her: “All the models are sleek and shiny shiny, they look great. They’re also very simple to clean; the chargrill and the hob come apart easily and we wash them by hand or run them through the dishwasher.”
Izzy has been very impressed by the F900 Series gas appliances so was delighted to be asked to trial the F900 electric twin basket fryer with filtration, which is part of Falcon’s F900 phase 2 roll out. “We were delighted to be getting the fryer. Currently we change our oil every two to three days. The F900 fryer is self-filtering, so it’s going to be much easier to look after and the oil will last longer. We can run the filter programme during service if we need to, even while the oil is warm.”
Falcon’s F900 Series is now available through catering equipment distributors. It comprises a comprehensive choice of professional appliances, including gas and electric ranges, boiling tops, griddles, chargrills, fryers, bratt pans, induction hobs and boiling pans, as well as complementary products such as a rise and fall grill, pasta cooker, bain marie and chip scuttle.