Le Cordon Bleu’s head of institution has revealed details about the award-winning kitchen installed by Court Catering at its International Flagship Institute in London.
AFE Group supplied most of the key equipment, including refrigeration from Williams, prime cooking equipment from Falcon and specialist bakery models from Mono.
Court Catering was the main contractor in the specification and installation of the kitchens, which landed the company first prize for best cost sector large project at this year’s CEDA awards.
Court Catering’s managing director Nick Howe said that the contract was exceptional in every way. “As you would expect with such a prestigious project, the client’s requirements were very demanding. The equipment alone was valued at £1.25m and the shopping cart included 51 induction ranges, 21 induction hobs and 79 refrigerated cabinets,” he added.
Le Cordon Bleu’s London campus aims to be one of the most advanced cookery schools in the world, so leading edge equipment was central to its plans.
“50% of our students go on to 4- or 5-star establishments like the Dorchester and the Savoy, a further 40% open their own businesses,” said Larry Montack, head of institute at Le Cordon Bleu. “They expect to be using the very best facilities. At the same time, the kitchens are in constant, heavy use. So the catering equipment has to be top quality, robust and absolutely reliable.
Falcon induction hobs were selected ahead of gas. “It’s the cooking method of the future – for example, the majority of the cruise liners now have induction. The induction hobs are fast and efficient, but are only ‘on’ when the pan is on the hob. That not only saves energy used by the hob, it also cuts down on waste heat, so our extraction isn’t working as hard, which saves energy again.
“Each of our students have their own range and prep area – the problem in the past has been the difficulty of finding a reliable induction range, with the hob and oven combined. Falcon is one of the few companies to have developed the technology,” said Montack.
Williams equipment at Le Cordon Bleu’s Williams refrigeration equipment is also state-of-the-art. Cabinets and counters were supplied with CoolSmart controllers, which actively manage temperatures to minimise energy use. The institute’s new blast chillers use WEB (Williams Easy Blast) controllers, which Montack describes as extremely simple to operate.
Read the complete story of Le Cordon Bleu’s most advanced training facility in the August issue of Catering Insight magazine.