Vintage Hand-cranked Meat Slicers Popular Among 'Green' Chefs and Restaurants

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With the rise in popularity of local, sustainably produced and prepared foods, antique and vintage style food slicers have become popular among "green"-minded restauranteurs. Restored antique slicers aren't easy to find, as Berkel stopped manufacturing them long ago, and they now draw a premium. Emilio Mitidieri, a specialty restaurant equipment expert and owner of Emiliomiti LLC in San Francisco, has helped to create a vintage style slicer with old Berkel appeal.

With the rise in popularity of local, sustainably produced and prepared foods, antique and vintage style food slicers have become popular among "green"-minded restauranteurs. Emilio Mitidieri, owner of Emiliomiti LLC (http://www.Emiliomiti.com) and a leading expert in specialty restaurant equipment, was recently interviewed for The History Channel's "Modern Marvels: Cold Cuts", where he demonstrated the precision cuts of hand-cranked Berkel slicers, and discussed the revival of these artisan constructed machines.

"Along with the popularity of sustainable food items like local, organic, cruelty free, grass fed, and free range," says Mr. Mitidieri, "we are seeing tremendous demand for reproduction vintage style slicers, from the most conscious US restaurants to the likes of Whole Foods."

Restored antique slicers aren't easy to find, as Berkel stopped manufacturing them long ago, and they now draw a premium. Their virtues include: the ability to cut paper thin slices, which is almost impossible with standard electric machines; manual execution, which saves energy and is noise free; and custom refurbishment in Italy, which adds esthetic artisan appeal. Although electric slicers may be faster many culinary aficionados claim the heat caused by the high speed blades "cooks" the meticulously produced meats.

"The Berkel is the Ferrari of meat slicers," says Chris Cosentino, chef-owner of Incanto in Noe Valley. "It's an elegant, beautiful, precision machine, simply the best thing there is to slice meat."

In an effort to meet this need, Emiliomiti LLC (http://www.Emiliomiti.com) has partnered with a small Italian manufacturer that specializes in metal casting to create a new vintage style slicer with old Berkel appeal. Using original master moulds, cast iron or aluminum and hand polished chrome, the quality and craftsmanship of the classic Berkel slicers has been reincarnated, recalling the early 1900s through the late 1960s. Emiliomiti LLC is the only showroom in North America featuring reproduction slicers alongside antique Berkel machines, which are also showcased in their online catalog (http://www.BerkelBiz.com).

With a background in industrial pasta manufacturing, Mr. Mitidieri has become an international consultant and supplier of meat slicers, pasta machines, brick ovens, espresso machines, and sausage makers. His clients include well known restaurants on both coasts including; The French Laundry, A16, Oliveto, Incanto, Lupa, Bar Jamon, Otto, and MoMA Cafe 2.

The History Channel's "Modern Marvels: Cold Cuts", is set to air on December 17 at 8 PM PT. Mr. Mitidieri discusses and demos assorted antique and vintage style slicers from the Emiliomiti LLC showroom located in San Francisco's Mission District.

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Abendigo Reebs

Abendigo Reebs
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