Skilled chef Martin Auf der Maur is head of the ZUGORAMA in Zug. He explains the benefits of teppan yaki and wok induction in combination with conventional hobs.
Martin Auf der Maur, why does it make sense to supplement a conventional hob with a wok zone and a teppan yaki?
These three different zones give you much greater flexibility. And there are also tangible benefits: compared with the competition, we offer the largest teppan yaki zone, and the wok can be heated across four fifths of its surface area in the glass ceramic recess – that’s a unique advantage.
The three cooking zones are each 40 centimetres wide and can be added to as necessary. Are there combinations that are in particular demand?
The conventional induction hob plus wok is very popular. When it comes to the teppan yaki, there are some reservations with regard to smoke and fat splashes.
How would you respond to these reservations?
A teppan yaki just needs a bit more explanation, so we offer customers the opportunity to come and try one out, by prior appointment. The benefits are, of course, obvious. It’s essentially a very large frying pan made of stainless steel. But unlike a frying pan, it needs less fat. People still often use too much fat when they are frying, so I recommend that they just brush the food lightly with fat and don’t add any oil directly to the frying pan or onto the teppan yaki.
Is the larger surface area beneficial?
Yes, of course. It’s much easier to fry large cuts of meat, for example. Or if you want to sear large chunks of stewing steak before braising them, you don’t need to do this in batches, and the frying process is much more even because the heat is distributed better than it is in a frying pan.
What other benefits does the large surface area have?
I can prepare a full English breakfast on it all at the same time – egg, sausage and bacon here, tomatoes and mushrooms there…
You can wash a frying pan under the tap or even in the dishwasher. That’s a bit harder with a teppan yaki…
That’s true, but our appliances have a cleaning function that makes life easier: the surface is heated to 70°C, then you place two or three ice cubes on it. This loosens the baked-on residue and it can simply be wiped off. The chrome steel does of course show marks over time. But a certain patina is part of this material’s charm. However, if the scratch marks were to become really bothersome at some point, you could always have the stainless-steel surface polished up.
And what is the wok zone particularly good at?
You can cook risottos, sabayons and hollandaise sauce directly in the wok, for instance. There’s no need to use a bain marie anymore when preparing these dishes, because the induction hob can be adjusted very precisely, and the heat is radiated over a large area. Then again, you can pan fry and stir fry food at high temperatures. And finally, woks are also excellent for deep frying. There’s a rack you can hang on the side of the wok where cooked food can be placed to drain.
How could an ambitious amateur cook make perfect use of the technological capabilities?
They could sear their goulash on the teppan yaki, where the heat is distributed much better. Incidentally, the two frying zones can be operated separately or in tandem thanks to the induction technology, and the temperature decreases much less when sautéing. You can then put the meat in the wok to braise it, loosen the baked-on residue with a little water and add it to the goulash with a spatula. The induction wok and teppan yaki are ideal for everyday use if you spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with them. So we also take some time to show customers what they can do in practical terms.
Do you need any sort of technical culinary training to make optimum use of the hob, wok and teppan yaki?
No, anyone and everyone can cook with them. You just need to explore for yourself the new possibilities they offer. More experienced amateur cooks might be less reticent and have the confidence to try things out more quickly. But at the end of the day, our aspiration is to make professional-level technology accessible to everyone.
Martin Auf der Maur
Martin Auf der Maur, 38, is a skilled chef and has worked for V-ZUG since 2012. He has managed the ZUGORAMA showroom at our headquarters in Zug since 2015.
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