Preston-based distributor CHR Food Service Equipment has completed a project to create an innovative catering facilities for the new Mana restaurant in Manchester.
The open plan kitchen had to showcase a tasting menu designed by head chef Simon Martin, whose experience includes 2 years at Noma. The concept called for no barrier separating the chefs from the diners.
Martin explained: “When you’re able to see exactly who you’re cooking for, and see their reactions to your food, It completely enhances the dynamic between the chefs and diners, and it’s fun for diners to watch too, of course.”
As well as this, the kitchen is also divided into temperature zones. “Each of the dishes we prepare has specific storage requirements for its individual ingredients,” said Martin. “It’s not just about what we do with our produce when it hits the pan or gets in the oven, how we store the ingredients can have a huge effect on the dish’s quality. So making sure we had the right refrigeration equipment was a very important part of the design process.”
After careful consideration of Mana’s requirements, CHR and Simon chose three Precision Refrigeration HPU153 three drawer undercounter units.
Martin detailed: “Given that our kitchen is more open plan than most, we needed our equipment to fit in with the overall design aesthetic of the restaurant.”
The Precision undercounters at Mana are painted a powder coated matt black, allowing them to blend in with the rest of the design of the restaurant. All Precision products can be matched to any RAL number, which should make it simple to create a unified design.
“Diners are always asking about our décor, and the refrigerators have definitely got their fair share of attention,” said Martin.
The other customisation for the fridges at Mana was having them fitted with drawers. There were several reasons for this, Martin explained. “Firstly, they’re more space efficient, the drawers are much less likely to get in people’s way as they move around the kitchen. Secondly, with our temperature segregation scheme, drawers make it much easier to categorise and store ingredients according to our requirements.”
Another part of the refrigeration requirements involved installing a VUBC 121 variable temperature drawer in an Eco-Chef unit, a self-contained integrated cooking suite designed by CHR. The one at Mana is the largest made so far, and had to be customised to fit in with the rest of the equipment.
Martin added: “It’s obviously useful to have refrigerated storage even in the hot section of the kitchen. Precision was great at finding the exact right product we needed