Heading into The Good Egg restaurant’s latest site is like finding a hidden gem within a hidden gem. Nestling in an almost secret corner of Soho in London, the wow factor at the Kingly Court venue was provided to a large extent by distributor CCE Group’s design and outfit of the long theatre kitchen onsite.
The Essex-based kitchen design house was tasked with building on the capabilities of the Jewish brunch restaurant’s first site in Stoke Newington, with a new space of about treble the size. Serving 94 covers instead of 30 meant that the Soho site’s kitchen needed to be highly adaptable, a factor which was key in the equipment specification.
Contract manager Kelly Jackson led the project for CCE, and she had to consider that The Good Egg makes much of its produce from scratch in-house, such as bagels and pastrami. One of the key appliances in this regard was the multi-functional QuadroChef, of which CCE was one of the main proponents.
he unit combines an Induced Energy four zone induction hob over a Unox convection oven, with CCE manufacturing the surrounding fabrication as well as casters for easy pull-out cleaning.Unox also provided two ChefTop Mind Maps Plus combis, which have provided the culinary staff with much inspiration. Head chef Rachel Karasik told Catering Insight: “The Unox ovens have so much capacity for pre-programming recipes. We are in the process of correlating all of our recipes to each individual oven so that we can figure out the best oven for each particular recipe.”
Another vital appliance that CCE worked with The Good Egg to specify was the Frima (now Rational) VarioCooking Center. This multi-functional cooker is now used to slow cook brisket. “If we needed to, we could increase the amount we cook about two or three times over in the Frima, without having to adapt the way we cook,” said Karasik. “So it gives us space to grow.”
Further cooker variety is provided by the Synergy Grill, a gas-fired Clay Oven featuring ceramic clay stones for finishing off dishes, a Valentine twin basket fryer and a Blue Seal Evolution series heavy duty gas range.
According to Karasik: “A lot of the kitchen is very adaptable; the majority of our dishes we can cook in at least two different ways, in at least two different pieces of equipment. It means that even when we are really busy, it is very rare that there’s not space to cook what we need.
“There is so much potential in the future for developing recipes based on the equipment that we now have, that we couldn’t have even necessarily thought of doing before.”
CCE’s marketing executive Stephen Green detailed: “The variety of equipment that we’ve worked together to select and install has brought about a lot of flexibility in the kitchen. The different varieties of food being cooked on various pieces of equipment at any one time really shows that we concentrate on flow as well. We are interested in how the kitchen flows and if it’s going to work; we consider that as part of the design consultation.”
The distributor worked with The Good Egg to ensure that the long and narrow theatre cooking area of the kitchen was designed in a logical manner, with the pastry and prep area at one end, neighbouring the cold section, which only has one or two dishes that require an oven.
“This means that the hot section has the fryer, the Synergy Grill, the QuadroChef, and the Clay Oven pretty much at their disposal for whatever they need. And this area is right next to the pass, so they only have to turn around to plate the dishes,” revealed Karasik. “And the prep chefs don’t have to come over to the service area and vice versa. So each section has their own bit of equipment – there’s not too much running back and forth.”
The shape of the space also challenged CCE to design and fabricate the 12metre bar/counter at its Essex facility, which ended up being one of the longest the distributor has created.
Another stand-out feature is the combined dry store and upright cabinet refrigeration area in an alcove to the left of the main kitchen area. Fabrications provided by CCE have incorporated the section into the front of house design of the restaurant.
The refrigeration store is populated by Precision appliances, with the manufacturer also supplying undercounter models within the main kitchen and a drinks station, front of house. A separate warewashing area houses Winterhalter undercounter and pass through hood type warewashers.
Green added: “CCE only recommends a piece of equipment if it suits the needs of the chef. It’s a real consultation process to arrive at a site’s wishlist of equipment, involving brainstorming, design meetings and 3D renderings.”
The whole installation took place across 5 working days in November to allow The Good Egg to open on time, on 1 December.
But the outfit itself was by no means the end of CCE’s endeavours. The distributor has ensured that the kitchen staff are trained on all of the equipment. According to Karasik: “Alongside the general training, CCE made sure that reps from all the equipment manufacturers visited us, sometimes several times when we had extra questions about a particular component or process.
“Any time there has been an after-care issue they have got back to us immediately; they have been really responsive. Even when we’ve had general questions, they were determined to make sure we knew how each appliance worked and that it was functioning the way it was supposed to.”