Every year, millions of visitors flock to Munich for the largest festival in the world – the Oktoberfest. At the same time, this is a time of intense activity for the tent kitchens. A tour with Michael Lorenz, Application Advisor at Rational, gives us a look behind the scenes.
Two days prior to Oktoberfest opening its doors at the Theresienwiese, as the traditional fair ground has been called for over 100 years, there was hardly any noticeable stress despite the ever-decreasing preparation time. The tents several metres in length have been up for weeks. Everything required for the 16 days of the festival is brought onto the grounds in many cars and delivery trucks. The temporary wooden walls are freshly painted and the first raw of the materials have been supplied to the tent kitchens. This is the time for Michael Lorenz to visit all the head chefs in the tents.
For over five years, Michael Lorenz the trained chef and master chef has been working for Rational as an application advisor and has been supporting the festival hosts both during their work at the Oktoberfest, but also throughout the year at their restaurants. “Most of the chefs will already have chosen their menus by January or February and so at that time, we’ll talk about how I and of course our appliances can support them during the Oktoberfest,” says Lorenz. Nine of the large festival tents use Rational units to cook. In total, there are 130 Rational combi-steamers and VarioCookingCenter units at the Oktoberfest – so Lorenz has his work cut out for him.
Today Lorenz will once again be visiting each establishment to check the installations and the cooking programs on the units. Ducks, pork roasts, spare ribs as well as Kaiserschmarrn, cheese spätzle and potato gratin will be cooked in the combi-steamers and VarioCookingCenter units, Many of these dishes will be prepared using the overnight cooking function. “This not only saves raw materials, but above all time in the morning. So, the chefs only need to start their day at 7 am,” explains Lorenz. An average of 35-50 chefs work in a festival tent to produce up to 8,000 main courses a day. Many of them come back every year to work at the Oktoberfest during their holiday. “If necessary, I will also briefly train new employees right there in the tent – it’s all part of the service,” smiles Lorenz, he adds “And if there are some missing accessories or cleaning product, I will organise a delivery straight to the festival tent offering a time-critical service.”
Over six million guests attend the Oktoberfest annually and Michael Lorenz is one of them. Every year a visit to the Wiesn, as the locals call the festival, is quite simply a must. Even when the Rational application advisor attends the largest folk festival in the world privately with his family, he cannot miss a quick visit to the head chefs.
RATIONAL is the leading provider in hot food preparation equipment and, with the VarioCookingCenter and SelfCookingCenter, the company delivers all a commercial kitchen’s thermal cooking requirements. Together, the two appliances offer the best cooking solutions.
For information and brochures, or to come to a free VarioCookingCenter Live or SelfCookingCenter Live demonstration, call +44 (0)1582 480388, freephone 0800 389 2944 or visit www.rational-online.com