Newcastle-based Crosbys Catering Equipment has created a state-of-the-art kitchen within the only two Michelin star restaurant in the North East.
The distributor was appointed by The Raby Hunt, near Darlington – one of the best-known restaurants in the region – to design and install a custom-made £200,000 kitchen as part of a major makeover.
The full revamp, which totalled £400,000, included the building of a new restaurant entrance and the installation of full height glass panels, enabling diners to see Michelin-starred chef-patron James Close and his team in action as they prepare dishes from The Raby Hunt’s 15-course tasting menu.
Close, who is the current Good Food Guide Chef of the Year and has recently been nominated in the Chefs’ Chef of the Year category in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2017, chose Crosbys to realise his vision for a light, spacious kitchen, including the creation of individual work areas especially dedicated to the preparation of the different courses.
The new-look restaurant also features a Chef’s Table, seating up to six diners, which increases the restaurant’s total amount of covers to 32. Those six diners will be able to take a front row seat in the kitchen and will be personally attended by James and his team.
At the heart of the new kitchen design, Crosbys specified a bespoke table top peninsular cooking suite made by French manufacturer Athanor, supplied through Grande Cuisine, with ceran induction hobs and double zone plancha. The custom suite, with a one-piece chrome titanium stainless steel alloy top, was said to be handpicked for its reliability, longevity, economy and looks, bearing in mind that it would be on show to diners.
Crosbys also incorporated Williams refrigeration, and decided to select drawers rather than doors, in order to improve the access to, and organisation of ingredients. Additionally, the pastry section has a Williams refrigerated counter with a granite top work top, table top induction and a Rational SCC XS 2/3 size combination oven.
The distributor’s team specified and supplied Stellex fabrication, finished with a bull nose edge, full kick trims and infill panels. A large stainless steel centre island table was created, together with under counter refrigeration, drawers and cupboards. Individual raise and lower heat lamps were selected from Hatco for their looks and performance, and were positioned over the hot pass and centre island.
John Clarke, projects design manager at Crosbys, said: “We have been supplying tableware to James since he took over The Raby Hunt 7 years ago, but this is the first time that we have redesigned the kitchen of a two Michelin star restaurant, so it’s been a huge project for our design team to get their teeth into. It’s been wonderful to work with James in this new capacity, to bring his creative vision to life.
“We successfully fitted the new kitchen under a tight turnaround time of 2 days, and we are very proud of the finished result. The whole area looks and feels light and airy, and the ergonomic spacing around the equipment is just right. We hope that this high-profile example of our design skills and expertise will lead to more chefs of James’ calibre using our services as we continue to grow.”
Close said: “When we made the decision to embark on a major renovation project, we knew that we wanted to use local suppliers, and it has been a very rewarding experience to work with Crosbys to see the plans for our new kitchen come to fruition.
“John and his team have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, and they interpreted our brief very well, resulting in a stunning space, thoughtfully designed around the fact that the kitchen would be on show to diners, and featuring custom-made equipment from internationally renowned brands.”