Made in Milwaukee

Alto-Shaam helps restaurants, grocery and convenience stores serve customers

Alto-Shaam Inc. is one of the best-known names in the restaurant industry. Most Americans have eaten food prepared with one or more of the company’s systems, but most people don’t know what the Menomonee Falls-based company does.

The company, founded 55 years ago, is best known for its cook and hold ovens, known in the restaurant industry as prime rib ovens. When they were developed, the ovens made it possible for restaurants to cook and serve large pieces of prime rib. The ovens are able to detect when the internal temperature of the meat has reached a predetermined point, and then switch to a holding temperature.

“In the food service industry, (a cook and hold oven is) usually called an Alto-Shaam,” said Robert Simmelink, corporate executive chef and business development manager in its domestic sales division.  “Our sizes run from a countertop unit to a large double oven. They can handle anything from 20 pounds to up to a 240 pound capacity.”

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