Brakes turns on the induction at London training kitchen

The demonstration kitchen at Brakes’ flagship office in Covent Garden, the venue for hundreds of cooking sessions every year, is now an induction zone after teaming up with Grande Cuisine.

According to Mark Irish, the company’s head of food development: “The realisation that more and more of our visiting customers are cooking on induction, prompted me to look at replacing our existing six burner range with a ‘drop-in’ induction plancha unit.

“We felt that having induction would keep us aligned with our customers and help us to replicate their own cooking environments.

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“I know equipment gets well used in restaurants, but by and large it’s only a couple of times per day during lunch and evening service. Here, we can often be cooking all day so the equipment needs to be both durable and reliable.

“From my perspective nothing could be worse than having a unit fail when I am right in the middle of a major cooking demonstration to an important customer.

“I spoke to my colleague, Shaun Gamble, project sales manager at Brakes’ Catering Equipment division and he recommended the Adventys units from Grande Cuisine.”

Gamble takes up the story, saying: “I had worked with Grande Cuisine previously and had spent some time looking at its product range, including Adventys.

“However, this was far more than a straight like-for-like product replacement and I wanted to be sure that whoever I worked with on the project would be able to deliver; not just in terms of the product itself, but also with regard to the very precise fabrication and installation work that would be needed to accommodate the new units.”

Brakes has two floors of the five storey building so isolating the gas supply as close to the work area as possible was vital as cutting off the gas to the entire building for three days while Grande Cuisine did the work was not an option.

“We also had to organise a method statement, fire-watch and a ‘hot works’ permit.

“Over the course of those three days Grande Cuisine isolated the gas, stripped out the existing unit, installed new electrical cabling, fitted purpose built fabrication for the ‘drop-in’ induction units, installed the units themselves and then commissioned them.

“The finished project is outstanding and with more than 400 visits made by Brakes’ customers to the kitchen every year it is a fantastic shop window for both the Adventys units and Grande Cuisine’s expertise.’

“Although it’s still early days my first impressions are great,” commented Irish.

“Having the plancha option gives us more scope for direct heat cooking and creating real visual theatre.

“Furthermore, the units heat up quicker, are easier to use, cleaner, more controllable and give a much more uniform heat, all of which are big plusses for a modern day chef.

“And we don’t need gas igniters anymore.

The other big benefit is that we now have an electric powered unit, which still gives us the option of frying/poaching/boiling etc. even in the event of the gas supply cutting out.

"This happened once in the middle of a presentation, you can imagine what a nightmare that was!

“All the early indications point to lower running costs and of course we now have a much cooler working environment too.

“All in all I cannot speak highly enough of the Grande Cuisine team – they have produced an excellent result with work that was carried out on time, professionally and, above all, to an exceptionally high standard.”

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