In May CAT was presented with a solar oven by the Spanish company Alsol. A solar oven cooks by turning light rays from the sun into heat. Reflectors on the solar oven direct the light towards a dark pot, which helps to absorb the heat and cooks the food.
You can read the blog post about the presentation here. Since then we have been waiting for a sunny day in order to try it out! In July the opportunity presented itself when mid-Wales was bathed in sunshine for several weeks. The kitchen staff decided to experiment with heating up soup for lunch.
After just an hour the soup had reached a temperature of 58C. This is just a few degrees under the required minimum temperature for serving food to the public. As the lunchtime rush was about to begin the final few minutes of cooking were done inside.
It was a rather unique and satisfying way of preparing lunch. Not one for use in Wales throughout the year however!