Induction cooking is a hot topic in the culinary world.
While many chefs have upheld their loyalty to gas stoves, some chefs have made the transition to induction stoves, enjoying the way that these devices can control temperatures, rapidly cook food, control temperatures, and contain excess heat — all while creating a cooler and cleaner kitchen atmosphere.
Chef Chris Galarza is decidedly Team Induction Stove. Galarza hopes his empathy as a fellow culinarian can help other chefs reap the same benefits.
“For decades chefs have had to endure working in conditions that leave much to be desired,” Galarza explained in an interview with Culinary Agents. “And through my work I hope to allow chefs to focus more on their craft in a more comfortable and equitable environment.”
Galarza is an expert in sustainable culinary solutions, as well as the founder and culinary sustainability consultant for Forward Dining Solutions LLC — a first-of-its-kind firm dedicated to creating exclusively sustainable and efficient commercial kitchens.
In the Culinary Agents interview, Galarza revealed that he used food to escape the hardships he faced growing up. From living in an abusive household to experiencing homelessness, Galarza looked up to the chefs featured on shows like “Iron Chef” and “Good Eats” as they navigated through tense situations.
“By watching how focused these chefs were, I realized I wanted to be just like that,” Galarza reflected. “No matter how stressful things got, these chefs were cool as cucumbers and persevered.”
This escape became his reality, learning from master chefs and becoming a renowned chef while working in numerous prestigious establishments and on prominent projects.
As Galarza noted in the interview, his work at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus was one of the most impactful experiences in his career. The campus calls itself the first campus “designed to be a showcase for sustainable solutions.” As executive chef, Galarza was responsible for developing the country’s first all-electric campus kitchen.
“It was here that I developed my passion for sustainability and learned all there is to know about commercial kitchen electrification and decarbonization,” Galarza shared with Culinary Agents.
Today, Galarza has been called a “catalyst” for culinary change, thanks to his work in electrifying commercial kitchens. Galarza believes that induction cooking is the next big thing in the culinary world, as it creates a healthier and more efficient environment for chefs and their staffs.
“The future of this technology is no longer in the future,” Chef Galarza told Chaîne. “It is now.”
Most commercial kitchens still use gas stoves. Since these stoves use dirty energy to cook food, they release air pollution that can linger in your home, degrade indoor air quality, and possibly spark or worsen respiratory issues.
According to Chef Galarza, induction stoves are the key to achieving speed, efficiency, and comfort in the kitchen.
Induction technology provides some of the fastest cooking experiences without cutting corners, allowing you to boil water in under half the time it would take a gas-powered stove. This happens due to the magnetic connection between the stove and the cookware, which speeds up cooking and allows chefs to perfectly dial in the temperature. And, as Galarza notes, they save money in the process.
“If you feel the heat in the kitchen, that is money wasted,” he added during his interview with Chaîne.
According to Food Strategy, commercial kitchens can often get as hot as 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 degrees Fahrenheit. That much heat can threaten the safety and well-being of all kitchen staff with heat-related illnesses.
But Galarza believes that you shouldn’t have to get out of the kitchen if you can’t take the heat. Slowly, but surely, others are starting to agree.
Having cooked with gas for a long time (inc. on the job BITD), never thought I’d say this: the electric induction stove we got 3 yrs ago is way better. Instant-on, super hot, boils faster, surface stays cool, easy to clean, no indoor air pollution, fracking, or fugitive emissions https://t.co/mRWjoEEgeq— Peter L. Kelley (@peterlkelley) October 1, 2022
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