A change of life. This is what the Varois Gilles Gallo experienced when he began a career in the world of finance in Paris.
“I wanted to find work that made sense.” An initiatory trip north of Timbuktu, and here he is, for 20 years, advocating the use of solar energy for all kinds of things, but especially for cooking.
This is the whole purpose of Solar Brother, the company set up eight years ago after a first failed experience. “I went bankrupt, it was a big setback. But we didn’t want to give up, we didn’t go to the end of the story.”
He took it well: since confinement, the small business is booming. “We are achieving higher growth each month than the previous month.” With 1.6 million euros for last turnover.
A success that needs to be developed. “There are always obstacles. You have to convince that solar cooking works.” We tested. This is the result.
It’s a bit like the Rolls Royce of the brand’s products: the tube oven. Two curved mirrors catch the sunlight and concentrate the reflection on a specially designed tube.
“It’s a derivative of vacuum tubes, protected by a double skin of glass to create a greenhouse effect.” The temperature rises to 250°. And the chicken skewers, cooked in 30 minutes. The price also goes up for this flagship. It takes more than 750 euros to enjoy it.
Because it’s not just cooking in life, here is the solar dehydrator. With a fan also powered by the sun, and still this game of mirrors, the box that looks like a beehive is filled with hot air. Fruits, vegetables, mushrooms: everything goes, and the humidity passes away. Price: 465 euros.
The panel oven is undoubtedly the most accessible product for cooking food. It is also the most practical: folded, it fits in a backpack. You will still have to find space to add a pot. There, the temperature only climbs to 140°. Cooking takes time “but we don’t have to watch”, smiles Gilles. Price: 89 euro.
Because it’s not just ovens in life, here is a lighter without oil or flame. You believe in it? Well it works: in a second, the smoke points the tip of its nose on this branch posed at the exact place where the sun’s rays are concentrated. “It’s the same principle as the magnifying glass”, explains Gilles. Less than 13 euros.
In forty-five minutes, it’s ready: the ratatouille is cooked, the vegetables melting, we go to the table. Just like a real one, the parabolic solar oven takes advantage of the square meter of mirrors arranged all around the skewer on which the dish is placed. “We go up to 250°”, says Gilles. What, also, to cook the meat, with a plancha which fits perfectly in the center of the device. Expensive all the same: 350 euros.
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