Pint-sized kitchen transformed into powerhouse

Catering equipment distributor Wilcox Burchmore has refurbished the kitchen of Oxford-based independent school, Wychwood. The day and boarding school accommodates just 120 girls.

In December, the school spent the majority of its project budget for the year on replacing the kitchen, which had not had a major upgrade for many years.

Bursar, Ian Williams commented: “The project had to be squeezed into a school holiday, and it was arranged to take place over Christmas.

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"Although it is just a small space of about 10m2, it involved stripping absolutely everything out which meant carrying it up and down a steep staircase at the back of the school. Evidently when the school was built, nobody thought about that!”

Wilcox Burchmore director, Cathy Wilcox detailed: “The real difficulty in the job was getting the equipment into the kitchen; access was by a steep very narrow staircase and IAC – our logistics company – visited site prior to delivery to work out the best way. Needless to say doors and door frames were removed”

In terms of equipment, a CM-P 61G Rational model combination oven was installed, with Wilcox explaining: “The manual operation was deemed best for the school cook, and we made space for the water treatment from First Choice Spares to sit alongside.”

A Metcalfe SP200 mixer was chosen as the distributor has used it in other school refurbishments and those chefs have been happy with its performance.

Wilcox added: “We chose the Lincat J10 fryer as, although light duty, it suited the occasional need for fried foods that the school had, so the budget model was perfect.”

Clean Air Installations was used to provide the ventilation hood and service spine and Genie Interiors for building and installation work.

Altro was the choice for both the floor and wall cladding and Magnatech of Bournemouth provided all the fabrication.

As often happens with old properties, there were a few unforeseen challenges, but these were tackled head on. With Wilcox Burchmore’s project management and a lot of flexibility from the school, the job was ultimately completed ahead of schedule.

The school is impressed with the results, with Williams commenting: “It’s wonderful to see what you can do with such a small space. And there are no more fried food smells coming up the stairs, thanks to the new ventilation system.

“The whole environment looks amazing with the shiny chrome and steel set against a dark blue twinkly Altro floor, with gloss white wall cladding. It looks both modern and highly efficient.”

The kitchen is now much more fitting for a school that is described by the Good Schools Guide as a ‘charming pint-sized power house’.

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