The Gas Foodservice Equipment Network (GFEN), an Energy Solutions Center Consortium held its 2017 Foodservice Workshop on April 4-6 at the John H. Maxheim Natural Gas Technology Center in Charlotte, NC. The two and a half day event included a comprehensive look at the Foodservice Industry from customer, supplier and R&D perspectives.  The Technology Center provided the attendees with ‘hands-on’ experience using commercial cooking equipment while the tours gave a more in-depth look at the manufacturing and testing supported by equipment manufacturers.  Many special guests from the Charlotte area contributed their time to make this workshop a success. ESC acknowledges the effort and support provided by Chef Doug Allen and Piedmont Natural Gas.

John H. Maxheim Natural Gas Technology Center

“Big Kitchen”

GFEN Commercial Foodservice Workshop

Class of 2017

Business Partnership

Bulletin Board

Business Partnership

Bulletin Board

Karl Newlin, Piedmont Natural Gas

The keynote speaker welcomes us to the kitchen.

Mohammad Jenatian, Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance

Mohammad shared some great information about how Charlotte is growing.

Frank Johnson, Gas Technology Institute

Frank is very passionate about gas burners!

Foodservice Maintenance Repair Panel

Dan Reese, CFESA (left), Mick Jackson, Whaley Foodservice (middle), Richard Young, Fisher Nickel (right)

Foodservice Maintenance Repair

Customers need to be reminded that maintenance is a key to the performance of the equipment.

Linda Bedell, Woodstone

This Woodstone oven can cook pizza, salmon, chicken wings and when you turn it off, slow roast ribs overnight!  She even uses her oven at home to make s’mores for the kids!

Team Assignments to Prepare Lunch

(l-r) Eric Jeremias, Kenny Walker, James Robinson, Richard Young, Poornima Eber, and Brady Cartwright.

Lunch Preparations

How much spice should we put on this, Chad Lynch?

Which Knife is the Proper Tool?

Lorri Davidson and Monica Marlow

Making Pizza

Lorri Davidson in front of the Woodstone oven.

Finished Pizzas

Jamel Dixon

Grilling Lunch

Amy Dickerson and Michael Lilly.

Dinner Cooking

Crabcakes by Amanda Hartman, Patti Ellingson, Kevin Yount, Monica Marlow and Kenny Walker

In the Kitchen

Team 5- Preparing batter for fried shrimp. (l-r) Kevin Murphy, Cindy Ellison , Brady Cartwright, Kristen Glehan, and Mike Favela

Cooking Fun

Mike, it’s not cooked yet!

You Can Never Have Enough Cheese

Chad Lynch and Casey Woodside

Fried Chicken


Tina Read, Poornima Eber, Amy Dickerson and Craig Layman.

Networking Conversation

Patti Ellingson and Jamel Dixon

Networking Tacos

Thoughts on Combi Ovens

Chef Geert Piferoen, Angelo Po and Mike Favela

Dinner Will Be Tasty!

Patti Ellingson, Jennifer Woodard, Kevin Yount and Frank Johnson.

Spicing the Filets

Chef Doug monitoring Brad Steinmetz

Griddle Full of Ribs

Chef David searing the ribs for Thursday’s post tour lunch.


Photo Tour of the 2015 Workshop


The Gas Foodservice Equipment Network (GFEN), an Energy Solutions Center Consortium held its 2015 Foodservice Workshop on November 4-6 at the Southwest Gas Foodservice Demonstration Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The three-day event included a comprehensive look at some of today’s key natural gas fired equipment in the commercial kitchen including the versatile combi-oven. The workshop also covered a number of marketing presentations with a great closing presentation by Fisher-Nickel on how we might best serve the Foodservice Customer. ESC acknowledges the effort and support provided by SGA and Southwest Gas.

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