19 January 2012

Talking Shop

Surjit Kalsi, Chairman of Capital Cooking Equipment, recently answered a few questions for 'Talking Shop', a recurring feature at KBCULTURE.

How did you get your start in the appliance industry?
On a cold night in London in 1957, while I was preparing for my medical degree exams, I found myself without a roof over my head or a warm bed to sleep in. Luckily, I was able to take shelter in a friend's home and bought an evening newspaper to look for new opportunities. The first job posting I saw was for a lab assistant with Main Gas Appliance, a company that manufactured gas ranges and space heaters. I loved the job so much that it became my new career path. It was the catalyst to my thinking about and exploring new and improved methods of designing gas ranges and burners for appliances.

What is it about designing appliances that appeals to you?
It is so interesting to see your ideas materialize in front of you when you apply them to the daily life of a consumer. It also amazes me that these very ideas have the power to revolutionize the entire world market.

Is there a specific innovation you've developed of which you're particularly proud?
Although I am proud of everything I have developed, the Culinarian Series is definitely garnering a lot of attention. It offers the highest Btu output—23,000—available on an open burner. Going back farther, it would have to be the product that really set my career in a new direction: I designed the very first Viking range.

Who does the cooking at your home?
My wife. She has written a cookbook called Cuisine of Lucknow.

What do you see as the new frontier in cooking technology?
The sky's the limit.

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