Marlin fishes out gastropub contract

A recent entrant to the commercial kitchen outfit market has completed a major contract for a gastropub based near Heathrow.

Marlin Catering Solutions, set up by ex-chef Mike Joslin and kitchen design specialist Karl Marriott, was approached by TV chef Paul Merrett to upgrade the equipment at his gastropub and inn, The Victoria, near Richmond Park, south west London.

The distributor helped the chef to choose the Rational SelfCookingCenter 5 Senses combi-steamer for prime cooking, due to its claimed accuracy and consistency.

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“The Rational is an incredibly high-tech piece of kit,” says Paul Merrett. “We’d been using it a while before Mike said, ‘have you smoked anything in it yet?’ So we purchased the VarioSmoker and that’s taken us in a different direction.”

Marlin also advised on the purchase of sous vide equipment. “You can sit there reading manuals and watch online videos but actually what you really want is a human being, who has been trained in using the equipment, to come in and talk to your chefs and give them good advice. That is what we get with Marlin,” reported Merrett.

This modern equipment has allowed the chef to make significant changes to The Victoria’s menu. “We also use chargrills and solid-tops. It’s a real mix and match but that’s what I like and I think that’s reflected in the menu,” he said. “Buying equipment is a big investment, and obviously price matters. Mike from Marlin is an ex-chef. He very much understands what I need to run this sort of place, and that sort of ‘insider’ knowledge is invaluable.”

He is also recruiting Marlin for other projects, some of which do not have kitchens, let alone cooking equipment. “One of the first calls we’re going to make once we sign that dotted line is for the guys at Marlin to come in and start sizing up the kitchen. I know they’ve got the kit and I know they can get it for a decent price and I know, crucially, when it’s all in there and running, they’re going to come back and show me how to use it.”

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