Essex kitchen house CCE has completed the renovation of the kitchens at the prestigious Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington for its executive head chef Steve Munkley.
Munkley, who is vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, originally approached CCE on the recommendation of fellow guild members who have had had their own kitchens renovated or refurbished by the distributor, and invited it to tender for the project.
A deciding factor in the company’s appointment was its ability to offer a turnkey solution from design and fabrication through to fitting, including the renovation and re-installation of existing kitchen equipment.
CCE boss Ray Costelloe and his field design team worked closely with Munkley to realise his vision, which centred on the design and fabrication of a new hot pass, cook suite and warewasher components.
“I’ve been working in this kitchen for 18 years, so I knew exactly what was needed,” said Munkley. “I’d done some small refurbishments prior to this, but no major ones, so I needed someone to help me put it on paper and tell me what I could and couldn’t do.”
Having spent more than £30m on refurbishing front-of-house areas over the the past three years, Munkley admits a major refurbishment of the kitchens and serving areas was well overdue.
“You can’t have luxury at the front without catering for it properly at the back,” he said. “There were some major challenges to overcome, from fundamental structural changes and refurbishment of the fabric of the building — including floors, walls and ceilings — to a floor plan that optimised work flow and the design and installation of bespoke fittings and appliances.”
CCE’s experience proved invaluable in the re-siting and replacement of the former wash pot, a legacy of the 1960s, which was in the middle of the kitchen, and the fabrication of a central hot plate and clear pass without any supporting pillars.
The latter was essential in creating a clear area in which to put plates down, yet was nonetheless a mammoth construction of considerable weight.
At the heart of the operation is an Athanor cooking range featuring electric flux, induction, gas, fryers and chargrill, while Rational combination oven, Thermodyne food warming equipment and Meiko warewashers were among the other items of kit specified.