Bunzl Lockhart overcomes university challenge

The-Lainox-Naboo-from-Falcon-in-action-at-The-Devonshire-Dome crop
The Lainox Naboo from Falcon in action at the Devonshire Dome.

Bunzl Lockhart Catering Design Services has designed and installed kitchens and specified all equipment at the Devonshire Dome, part of University of Derby’s Buxton campus.

The vast space is the biggest unsupported dome in Europe and was built in 1779 by the fifth Duke of Devonshire. Today it is open to the public as a multi-purpose catering site, including a café, fine dining restaurant, and a banqueting facility for up to 1,000 covers.

The students here study culinary arts, as well as event, hospitality and spa management. There are two student dining outlets onsite too and the site also caters for lecturers and senior management.

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The project for Bunzl Lockhart involved both building a new kitchen and refurbishing an older one.

Richard Greensmith is operations manager at the University of Derby Buxton campus said of the new facilities: “I think they have been very thoughtfully designed.

“The new kitchen was an especially difficult project from the start, because of the shape of the room and the range of work we require it to carry out.”

In effect, it had to be truly multifunctional. “It’s a training kitchen, a fine dining restaurant kitchen, a large-scale banqueting kitchen, and it’s suitable for external caterers, too. So, it was a very difficult brief to fulfil, and I’m glad to say it has been well received,” he added.

Both new facilities were designed around prime cooking appliances from Falcon and refrigeration from Williams.

Falcon appliances included oven ranges, a chargrill, induction hob, twin pan fryer, gas grill and a gas boiling table. Falcon also supplied four Lainox Naboo combination ovens – two 40-grid and two 7-grid models, along with dedicated banqueting trolleys.

Refrigeration numbered counters and undercounter cabinets, a coldroom and a blast chiller, both of which are roll-in units, and a reach-in blast chiller.

A key issue with the new kitchen is that it is housed in what had been a café, with awkward walls and floors. “For example, with the roll-in blast chiller and the cold room, what we needed was a system that could be built with a very low threshold, so that we could wheel in the plated meals on the trolleys,” said Greensmith.

Despite the restrictions, the two units make maximum use of the available space. The coldroom measures 400cm x 325cm and the roll-in blast chiller, model WMBC120, is 167cm x 125cm.

Greensmith added: “The support I’ve received from Falcon and Williams has been exceptional. If there’s ever been a question I’ve been able to talk to my sales manager straight away, he’s been very responsive.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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