Wood Stone: Exploring Innovation in Culinary Technology
When ICE set out to design the ultimate center for culinary creativity at our new home in Lower Manhattan, we wanted to provide students with access to more than the traditional burners and stoves. For thousands of years, many cuisines from around the globe have been shaped by the scents of fire and smoke, so we turned to the experts at Wood Stone to integrate these primal flavor-enhancers into our Culinary Technology Lab at ICE.
"When designing our new facility, we wanted to expose students to a variety of heat sources and methods of cooking. As such, it will be outfitted with gas, electric, induction, and French top stoves. But students will also have access to specialty equipment like a tandoor, a plancha, a hearth oven and a rotisserie—providing an opportunity to learn about the history of cooking, develop new skills and think outside the box. Most importantly, these unique educational opportunities help promote creativity, celebrate global cuisine and fulfill our mission of helping each student find their 'culinary voice.'" – Richard Simpson, ICE Vice President of Education
The result of this incredible partnership is student access to professional Wood Stone equipment that represents culinary traditions from around the world, including a fire deck stone hearth oven, a tandoor, a vertical rotisserie and a countertop plancha. Yet unlike the original models of these historic cooking methods, each Wood Stone product is designed to withstand the intense volume and high-power needs of a professional restaurant kitchen.
• Fire Deck Hearth Oven: Though clay ovens have been used to harness fire for more than 25,000 years, they were first popularized in the United States in 1905 by NYC pizzeria Lombardi’s—and were re-popularized in the 1980s by such west coast culinary leaders as Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. What makes a Wood Stone oven exceptional is the ceramics— the oundation for the cooking hearth and the oven’s dome, as well as the broilers. Over the course of twenty-five years, the company has made an incredible investment in ceramic technology, developing three different formulas for the various components of their ovens.
• Tandoor: Most well known for their use in Indian and Pakistani cooking, tandoors are particularly effective in maintaining temperature, even during periods of high production. Providing both smoke and radiant heat, the tandoor’s signature flavor can be witnessed in such traditional dishes as naan, kebabs and samosas. At Wood Stone, tandoors are outfitted with the same high- grade ceramics as each hearth oven, with a modern design that facilitates easy cleaning.
• Vertical Rotisserie: The modern rotisserie first appeared in Paris around 1450. Unlike the traditional horizontal spits you might see at a French market—where chickens rotate slowly, garnishing roasted potatoes with their drippings—this modern rotisserie from Wood Stone allows restaurateurs to cook various proteins simultaneously without the risk of cross-contamination.
• Countertop Plancha: The first flat top grills or planchas originated in Mexico and Central America for cooking corn doughs. The Wood Stone plancha is a contemporary reinvention of these historic slabs of unevenly heated sheet metal, boasting high temperature, rapid recovery time and four thermostatically controlled and individually adjustable heat zones.
For ICE students, access to these cutting-edge cooking technologies goes far beyond the required curriculum for culinary school graduates. By working with the same culinary technology preferred by such innovative restaurateurs and corporations as Tom Colicchio and Whole Foods Market, our partnership with Wood Stone provides an exceptional opportunity for students to expand not only their technical skill sets, but also their creative imagination as future culinary leaders.
For more information about Wood Stone, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-988-8103.