Calderstones Hospital near Clitheroe has a new central production kitchen that prepares around 450 meals per day for residents, staff and visitors.
The Trust is a specialist facility supporting people with learning disabilities from a forensic background. Since the majority of patients live on site, often in secure environments, the quality of food and the environment in which it is eaten are essential.
There is a menu with plenty of variety and a modern restaurant facility of a very high standard. At the heart of the operation is a Frima VarioCooking Center, installed by Airedale Catering.
“We built the main kitchen around the Frima unit,” says Peter Gardner, catering manager at Calderstones. “We do everything in it, casseroles, stocks, soups, sauces, pasta, fried and griddled foods, puddings, plus special diets. Without it we’d be goosed. We bought it because of its versatility – and we push its versatility to the extreme.”
The unit also speeds up the cooking process, so that Gardner’s team can prepare a large volume of meals in a short space of time. “All the meals are cooked with fresh ingredients, so they have great nutritional value. Once cooked, we chill them down to serve the next day. This is a vast site, so the meals are transported to our three finishing kitchens for service.
“The Frima’s pressure cooking facility is brilliant. We can prepare 200 portions of beef casserole, 200 portions of mash potato and 200 portions of rice pudding in two hours. Cleaning between processes takes just a few minutes and is easy, there’s no flavour transfer.”
Distributor Airedale Catering suggested that Gardner check out the Frima, so he went to a Cooking Live demonstration at Old Trafford. “We cooked some dishes in it and I fell in love! I knew we had to have it for the new kitchen. We checked out some alternatives but the Frima is the one. We threw out the original kitchen plans and redesigned the catering operation around it.”
Sustainability is a key issue for Calderstones. “We use an electric van to distribute the food around the site and we have induction in the finishing kitchens. The Frima’s energy efficiency fits in well with our ethos.”