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September 2001 - Nr. 9


The Editor
Antje berichtet
German Day
Klaus Hofer reports
Views & Reviews
Down On The Town
Brief aus Kanada
Steuben Parade
Sascha Lutz reports
Film Fest Preview
Crown's Party
Crown's Anniversary
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Dietrich's 100th
Restore Rhine

20 Years Of Excellence…


…that’s the story of Crown Food Service Equipment Ltd. Unless you are in the commercial food service business such as a hotel, ship, restaurant or hospital kitchen, you may have never heard of this multi-award winning company.

You may just sit in a dining room and enjoy your meal – and if it is better than expected, you may send your "compliments to the chef" out to the kitchen. But rarely will you have an opportunity to actually visit the kitchen and see or admire this array of huge, gleaming, stainless steel equipment that is so vital to the operation of any food service facility.

Gleaming, large stainless steel cooking equipment is the specialty of Crown Food Service Equipment Ltd., in Downsview, Ontario, a company that was started by Josef Stritzl 20 years ago, after he left Bill Bardeau and his company where he was a manager and worked for 25 years.

Commercial food service equipment is in a category all its own. Almost all of it is manufactured from stainless steel. Its manufacture requires special tools and equipment and, of course specially trained and highly skilled personnel. Special welding equipment with special gases to prevent the stainless steel from oxidizing during the manufacture is required to weld this equipment to make it appear seamless. Perhaps that is why the workforce at Crown is one of the highest paid in this industry.

All the fittings are especially made for this equipment only and are not of the type that one might find in the hardware store or the pots’n’pan store in the shopping mall.

Attention to detail, flawless equipment – and a couple of patents – have contributed to the success of this immigrant from Graz, Austria. About 80% of the production goes to the United States and the rest all over the world. This fact alone should attest to the quality of these products, yet anyone in doubt can inspect the many awards for excellence in service and support hanging on the walls of the boardroom. One of them was awarded eight years in a row!

Cooking is a universal affair. It is done in every kitchen, every day. But the size of the pots and pans differs tremendously. Commercial steam kettles will have capacities from 75 to 300 litres, steam tables from 25 to 75 litres and some electric or gas driven kettles operate in the temperature range between 37 and 121 degrees centigrade, can be tilted to facilitate emptying, and feature solid-state temperature control. Some have very sophisticated controls, such as temperature controls, low water shut-off with indicator lights, pressure and vacuum gages, safety valves and air bleed vents. But that is all very technical stuff and this information is only included for technophobes - and to demonstrate the degree of sophistication required nowadays in a commercial kitchen. The mix consists of convection cookers (pressureless), compartment cookers, direct steam, electric and gas kettles, mixer kettles, wall-mound kettles, oyster cookers, steam generators, electric and gas skillets and much more.

f.l.t.r.: [standing] J.C. Meier, trainer; Maria & Albina (Joe's sisters); Maria and [seated] Joe Stritzl; and Steve Stavro, owner of the Maple Leafs & RaptorsAnd what does a busy man like Joe Stritzl do for relaxation? He maintains a huge farm in King Township where he breeds horses! What a way to find a balance between sterile stainless steel and nature. Of course he has competent staff, in his manufacturing plant and J. C. Meier – a trainer - to run the stable operation. But that is another story.

Kim EstyBut Joe is not the only member of his family with fame and recognition. His daughter Kim – a.k.a. "Kim Esty" – is setting up a recording studio called "Squeezetoy Studios" named after her #1 song "Squeezetoy". In a collaborative effort with Crown this studio will aid the development of young talent and professional recordings. Soon you may be able to consult her on a new website: www.squeezetoystudios.com for additional information. 

Dick Altermann

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