A sizzling success story for local entrepreneurs

There is nothing quite like fine food and good conversation to make for a fantastic evening out and these are two key elements which make up the inspiration behind Warwickshire’s newest invention, Plancha.

The brainchild of Ashley Bent, landlord of the Bell Inn, Tanworth in Arden, and businessman Ian Kelly, Plancha is already making big waves within the alfresco dining sector, offering a cook-at-the-table concept with a real difference.

The concept behind Plancha was derived by the traditional Spanish approach to eating, where food is grilled collectively on a metal plate and enjoyed by all sitting around it. Having experienced this unique style of dining on numerous trips to Spain, Ashley realised the potential in taking the idea to the UK market. In acquiring the backing of fellow business expert, Ian, along with his established pool of manufacturing contacts in China, Ashley’s vision soon became a reality.

As with many great success stories, the Plancha product is actually very simple. Stylish wooden or stone tables are available in a variety of designs and sizes, each with a gas-powered cooking plate in the centre which is extremely easy to operate and ready for cooking just minutes after lighting.  Provided with plates of raw ingredients, from fish and meat to vegetables or even fruit, users can sit around the table and grill as little or as much of what they like.  This clever system cooks food in its own juices, ensuring a great tasting and healthy meal.  The end result is a novel, fun and very sociable approach to dining outside which allows friends and families to cook food together and at their own convenience.
Ashley comments: “The Plancha offers many benefits. When it comes to family barbecues, for example, it is pretty much standard that one person – probably dad – is stuck at the end of the garden doing all the cooking. This way, everyone has a part to play. And, when used in commercial premises, the novelty of customers cooking food themselves will not only impress guests but will also reduce chef and service requirements without impacting on customer satisfaction. It really is a win win product”

Following a highly successful pilot at Ashley’s popular pub last year, Plancha was quickly enlisted by fellow publicans from around the region to great success. With an ultimate aim of going global, this innovative product is quickly making a name for itself throughout the country, offered for both consumers and trade through LPG supplier, Calor.

Ian adds: “We are both shocked and thrilled at how quickly the whole concept has taken off and are really excited about the future as we continue to invest in promoting and developing the product. This really is only the beginning for us.”

Plancha is available in four sizes, from the Plancha Lite for cosy dinners for two, to the six foot diameter Plancha Grand which seats parties of eight to ten.  The tables run on Calor LPG cylinders, which provide the ultimate in clean, simple al fresco cooking.

This product is available from Calor online at bbq.co.uk. Call Calor on freephone 0800 626 626 for your nearest appliance outlet. Calor is the UK’s leading LPG supplier, headquartered in Warwick.

The Bell Inn is located at The Green, Tanworth in Arden, Warwickshire, B94 5AL. The highly popular pub houses B&B accommodation, as well as one of the finest pub restaurants in the UK. For more information call 01564 742212 or visit www.thebellattanworthinarden.co.uk