More details have been revealed for Crosbys outfit of the Beaumont Hotel’s kitchen in Hexham.
Housed in a Victorian building, the venue is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment, following its sale for £1.9m in 2016.
Part of this was the new £300,000 theatre kitchen designed and installed by Crosbys. Project manager John Clarke detailed: “They’ve brought a bit of London style to Hexham. For example, the open ‘industrial’ ceilings look fantastic, as do the grey crackle tiles in the kitchen. The décor is fabulous.”
Hotel proprietor Roger Davy is a local who spent 20 years working in hospitality in London. “We’re creating a casual environment,” he said. “People can choose what they want to do and where they want to do it. They have the freedom to go into a space and use it for a variety of occasions. People come in for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner… the change is seamless.”
Catering at the hotel will be busy, once all the refurbishment is completed. The restaurant has 80 covers and the upstairs function room 100. “Currently we’re doing 100 dinners and 40 lunches daily. The aim is to serve 200 a day, plus functions,” said Davy.
“We’ve brought our own design perspective and we’re concentrating on quality – in terms of accommodation, service, drinks and, of course, food.”
The kitchen is housed in the hotel’s former ballroom. “It’s a big space, so we had pretty much a blank canvas,” Davy commented. “The main criteria was that it should function well – we want it to produce good quality food with the minimum of stress. However, it also had to look attractive – it’s completely open so people can see in, the tiles cover the floor and walls, the equipment is smart and the whole kitchen is designed to be eye-catching.”
When it came to specifying catering equipment, there were clear priorities. “To maximise the bottom line, we want equipment that will last a long time, and won’t break down. So longevity and reliability are key. After that it’s a matter of value for money and looks,” Davy added.
Crosbys previously revealed that Blue Seal provided the cooking suite, Meiko supplied a dishwash system with reverse osmosis, extraction was by RS Vent, with the pastry area featuring Adande multi temperature drawers, a Thermomix and a Pacojet 2 restaurant system. Now it has emerged that the main tranche of refrigeration equipment was manufactured by Williams.
This included a dual temperature coldroom, for chilled and freezer storage, a blast chiller and several undercounter units. The counters are all supplied with drawers rather than doors.
Davy detailed: “The decision to go with drawers obviously increases the price, but the payback is improved service and delivery – they make chefs’ lives easier, by making access to and organisation of ingredients better.”
Crosbys’ Clarke believes the variety of options offered by Williams helped make the refrigeration more functional. “For example, some of the counters have raised ingredients wells. In the pastry area they have gantries. When it came to refrigeration for the kitchen pass, space was very limited so we opted for an Aztra unit, which is very compact.”
Davy was impressed by the way Crosby’s handled the job. “They are a local company and the work has been completed to a very, very high standard. It’s the best we could have had. Their design, support, installation and ongoing communication have all been exemplary.
“Williams’ customer support is excellent, too. As with any install, things can go wrong. They are very quick to respond, they’re reliable and they get the issue sorted.”