Interview with TTM's CEO Pascal Burkard
Posted by Sonja Hoffmann on
For 11 years, RacletteCorner has proudly presented TTM raclette machines as the US distributor for TTM in the USA. We have worked great together all those years and we are looking forward to continue this partnership for our customers benefit. This summer we (virtually) got together for an interview with the CEO of TTM in Switzerland, Pascal Burkard. Our conversation was meant to showcase the company's 54 year history and the outlook for the future.
Here the full length interview with Pascal (Part 1 of 4):
1. TTM was founded in 1964 providing non-stick coating for household products, why and when did TTM offer the first raclette machine and is that model still available?
TTM produced its first raclette machines after moving from Montreux to Sierre at the end of the 1960s. The young company teamed up with a local partner who produced raclette machines for the region on an artisanal basis. TTM put this business on a new basis. By manufacturing its own household and catering products, TTM was able to apply the coatings to its own products. Apart from this, the company's expanded focus on raclette was in line with a regional culinary specialty, as the Valais is the region of origin and capital of raclette. The mix of raclette, coatings and company location was – and still is - optimal.
The first models, all for half a cheese by the way, are no longer produced today. One of these models was the electric version of a very basic form of raclette (where the cheese was placed flat on a wooden board in front of a charcoals basket – replaced then by an electric heating rod). As soon as the cheese began to melt, the cheese was taken in the hand and the raclette was scraped off. Very soon, however, devices were manufactured that were similar to today's "Ambiance" model. It can therefore be said that the "Ambiance" (and the variants of it) comes from the "original source" of raclette machines.
2. What is your biggest challenge, regarding your raclette machines, in the current market?
Raclette can be enjoyed in the classic way, i.e. scraped directly from the cheese, or prepared in individual pans. I would describe both variants as complementary. However, since the classic preparation is more original, but a little more elaborate and costly, we use a lot of energy to inform consumers about the advantages of the classic raclette. This is not absolutely necessary in the home of raclette in Valais, where almost all consumers enjoy raclette in the classic way. But more effort is needed outside our region. This includes, for example, information and explanations on how to melt the cheese optimally, how it can be scraped off and served. For example, in Germany, together with our importer and partner, we make raclette tours through various cities. Customers and interested parties can announce themselves to a Raclette evening, at which we present the classical Raclette - and the suitable wines. Up to three different types of cheese can be tasted. After that, everyone's thrilled.