Ventless Kitchen Hood?!

In Retail Thoughts on November 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Here at CityRetail we work with a lot of restaurants and a lot of landlords that want restaurants (cafes and quick serve included).  Building a restaurant though requires a tremendous amount of labor and money.  Of this labor and money, a disproportionately large amount goes into building the restaurant’s kitchen.

Restaurant kitchens cannot be built just anywhere. Municipalities have very strict building codes regarding kitchens. Stoves, gas ranges, fryers and other cooking equipment needs to have a hood over it that pulls smoke, fumes and smells off the cooking surface and removes it from the premises.  This system is commonly referred to as a kitchen exhaust system.  Said exhaust is traditionally vented from a hood, which sits over the cooking equipment, up to the roof of the building (this is all the shiny metal you often see running up the sides of buildings and on the roofs of buildings with restaurants).  Not only are the systems expensive to install but they can be costly to maintain. Further, there are many retail spaces that cannot be exhausted because there is no passageway to the roof and/or the City will not allow exhausting out of the sidewall of a building… No kitchen exhaust = no cooking = no restaurant… Or so most of us think.

Now that you understand the above dynamic, I hope you can understand how excited I’ve been of late to learn about ventless kitchen exhaust systems and electric cooking… (read more)

This was a relatively new innovation to me until a meeting I set up with a product rep from Giles, a kitchen equipment co, last month.  Electric ovens have been a reality in the scene for a while (though frowned upon by many chefs) and to see what some of these new electric ovens, grills, fryers and ranges can do was exciting. Coupled with a ventless hood, which cleans the air and removes smells and fumes though doesn’t require venting, these electric devices create the possibility of putting kitchens in a lot of places that, until now, could not have had such (note that ventless exhaust systems cannot be paired with gas-fired kitchen equipment).  Over 50% of the cooking in Europe is done using electric equipment and I suspect we’ll see more and more of this in the US, especially in densely populated urban spots with old and unique buildings (like train stations – see below) that wont take to traditional kitchen exhaust venting.

Accordingly, I was really excited to see the pizza oven system shown in the pic above, which I stumbled across at North Station in Boston last week. This kitchen was built smack in the middle of the terminal; in a place that a traditional kitchen never could have been located less a ventless hood system and electric ovens (you can see the Giles hood above the electric pizza ovens).

Oh, and of course I tried the pizza, which was pretty good.  Not wood burning oven good but good enough to justify others exploring this new technology as a means of getting into great new retail spots that previously only worked for non food service.  Keep your eyes peeled for ventless hoods and shoot me a line next time you see one.  I’m intrigued, very intrigued.

  1. Thanks for the great Comments on Giles hoods! As the local New England Manufacturer’s representative, we would love to talk to anyone about this great technology Solution!

    General information on the Giles Ventless hoods can be found here:

    Local New England support can accessed here: or 508-231-8100

  2. […] folks last year when I was doing some research on Ventless Hoods. Give a read of prior post “Ventless Hoods” for some background. I’ve been on a steady exploration of kitchen equipment since, all in an […]

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