When CHR Foodservice Equipment was called into Daniel Clifford’s double-Michelin starred Midsummer House it was to design and install a new eco kitchen – but one with a big difference.
The task was to convert a five-year-old Bonnet range, which cost more than £100,000 when it was first commissioned, into an Eco-chef all-electric range with inbuilt SMART energy meter.
Midsummer House, Cambridge, is the only 2 Star Michelin Restaurant in East Anglia and was voted this year the second best restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor.
Paul Neville of CHR explains: “As we know, bespoke stoves have a long shelf life of 15 years plus so it is entirely credible to rebuild one as an Eco-chef. It is an incredibly sustainable solution – re-use, recycle, minimise energy use!
“We retained the shell of the cooking block, but removed the top and components from the stove and refitted with energy efficient induction units and planchas and remade the topwork to complete the newly configured cooking suite.
“Every chef would like to be using induction and by following the Midsummer House initiative they could achieve that goal in a cost effective and eco-friendly manner. The other bonus to the client is that we don’t need to stop the operation to do this; it actually took us just two days to deliver the changes at Midsummer House.
Neville continues: “The overall cost to Midsummer House was approximately £35,000 (less than one third of new cost). The installation took place on a Sunday and Monday with normal service resumed on the Wednesday.
Clifford is extremely happy with the result – he had approached Bonnet initially and been told that it wasn’t possible to do this. And, in the year since the Eco-chef went in, Daniel reports staggering energy savings of £4,000.
The British-made CHR Eco-Chef suite, including its in-built SMART energy monitor, is designed to keep running costs down and standards high and started proving its worth from day one at Midsummer House.
Ron Neville, founder and CEO of CHR, says: “When we set out to develop Eco-chef it was about reducing the energy use, not specifically making a cash donation back into the business. However, what we are actually finding is that in all of the jobs that have gone in we are saving a minimum of £250 net a month.”
Eco-chef units, which harness the energy efficiencies of induction, are in Aidan Byrne’s Manchester House, Morston Hall for Michelin-starred Richard Bainbridge, Adam Simmonds’ Pavilion, The Castle Dairy at Kendal College, The Star @ Harome, Appleby Manor Country House Hotel, Nelson Hotel Group, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Wellocks development kitchen, and Manchester Pub of the Year, The Shoulder of Mutton in Bury.
• Daniel Clifford spent the first 12 years of his career training in some of the best restaurants in the UK and France, and took over at Midsummer House in August 1998. The venue was awarded its first Michelin Star in 2002 followed by the second in 2005 and currently has 5 AA Rosettes and scores 8/10 in the Good Food Guide.
Clifford’s quest for culinary perfection has taken the restaurant to another level since he took over; his cooking has a modern focus underpinned by classical French technique offering seriously sophisticated food with dishes arriving ‘dressed to thrill’. Superb-quality ingredients, advanced technique and technical prowess add the wow-factor to the menus and allow flavours to shine, while offering unexpected texture contrasts and combinations to guests.