Blast chiller and confectionery: interview with Carlo Pavesi

How the blast chiller can revolutionise the production process

Carlo Pavesi, a pastry chef with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, stands out for his dedication to producing high-quality pastry products. With an annual output of several thousand pastries, he maintains high standards without compromising between quantity and quality: “For me, quantity and quality travel in parallel.

His secret lies in the meticulous use of selected ingredients and the exclusive recipe of his artisanal sourdough starter.

Pavesi proved his talent by participating in the finals of the Panettone World Championship in 2020, and his creations are also available at La Rinascente in Milan.

In the interview, sharing his experience, he revealed how the use of the blast chiller has revolutionised his approach to production, optimising processes and keeping the quality of his extraordinary pastry products intact.

Tell us about your experiences.

My work experience varies between pastry and catering: I have toured restaurants, hotels, catering and workshops, both sweet and savoury. I have had an all-round experience in gastronomic hospitality.

Did you learn to work in a certain way and to use machinery effectively with someone’s help or is this the result of your own experience?

I have always used the blast chiller, considering it an important piece of machinery in both food preparation and production. In the beginning it was simply a matter of understanding the regulations and respecting them: the aim was to have healthy products. It was simply a rule that was passed on to you and that made you realise immediately the importance of preserving the quality of processed food.

With time and experience, I realised the fundamental role of the blast chiller also in optimising labour time. Working with different realities, particularly with large companies, gave me the opportunity to perfect my way of working and using machinery. These experiences have also allowed me to fully understand the importance of machining, having total control over all processes.

How and when did you open your business?

I opened my business, Cadò, in December 2019, in a few square metres. There were only two of us: me and a collaborator. The biggest work table was 1m 80cm and, in fact, it was also the only one.

In the first month of opening – which was December – as the first Christmas, I produced 600 panettone cakes.

An excellent result, but one that was unfortunately followed by two and a half months of closure due to the COVID-19 emergency.

I never lost my determination. I had permission to go to the lab and believed in my business, taking the opportunity to continue the training of my collaborator. We never stood still, doing product research.

With the summer of 2020 came the first requests. In addition to panettone and doves, we started to produce cakes and single portions. I still remember that in July 2020 our record was 80 single-portions in one month. In 2022, in one year, we made and delivered some 23-24,000.

Has the blast chiller helped you? How did you start using it and how do you use it now?

When I opened I had a small blast chiller, quite a different size. It was all related to the amount of work. As the number of orders increased, my requirements in terms of equipment also changed. I implemented the laboratory as I went along, so as to ensure a production cycle in step with demand.

The blast chiller allows me to preserve the quality of the ingredient and speed up processes, maintaining or increasing quality, because we can ‘fix’ the characteristics of the processed element at a specific time.

If we take, for example, a very fresh dairy product, with excellent aromas, and ‘lock’ it as it is through processing, blocking oxidation and fermentation even partially, we preserve its freshness. In the products created, once regenerated at positive temperature, those same characteristics are fully restored.

With the blast chiller we are certainly talking about maintaining quality, but also about increasing it and optimising production processes, because we know very well the processing times applicable and therefore also how much we can process. It is thanks to this that we have gone from 80 pieces to around 2000 on average per month.

If it were up to me, I would make it compulsory for everyone to use the blast chiller, not just for storage.

We thank Carlo Pavesi for the interview and for being a loyal Normann customer!

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