Aberdeen-headquartered Instock Group has designed and outfitted a new kitchen for popular Edinburgh restaurant, Loudons.
First opening in 2011, the site’s kitchen was recently redesigned into an open plan space that allows its customers to see everything happening.
Loudons has also opened a second location, but this expansion is dependent on the procedures they’ve established behind the scenes to allow them to scale their business.
Therefore Instock helped the end user to specify a selection of Rational appliances across its sites. These units combine the functions of a range of traditional appliances, which should provide flexibility in kitchen design and use.
Loudons director Douglas Humphrey explained: “We operate a cook-cool system. All our food is produced in our central production kitchen, it’s then sent out to the service kitchens each day. The food is reheated and then finished on site. This system lets us handle a large, a la carte menu serving up to 600 meals a day, while minimising cooking times in the service kitchen.”
The operator required equipment which gave consistent results, with Humphrey adding: “From the start we were looking at modern multifunctional appliances as the best way to achieve what we wanted, and after we went to one of Rational’s CookingLive demonstrations, we knew we’d found the right brand.”
The equipment specified by Instock and chosen by Loudons includes a Rational VarioCookingCenter 211, a single pan unit with a 100litre capacity capable of preparing up to 300 meals a day. Loudons also has several Rational SelfCookingCenters including an XS, a 101, a 201 and a 202. The XS can hold six 2/3 GN pans, the 201 can hold twenty 1/1 GN pans and the 202 twenty 2/1 GN pans.
The XS is a compact table top unit with a footprint of 55.5cm x 65.5cm. This makes it suitable for locations with less space, or multiple units can be stacked together to expand the production capacity of bigger kitchens. At Loudons it is used in its smaller service kitchen, providing the ability to deliver the same a la carte menu but at a different scale. The 201 and 202 are floor standing models capable of producing up to 300 and 500 meals a day, respectively, which enables them to produce large batches of food on a daily basis.
The equipment at Loudons has ConnectedCooking technology installed, Rational’s networked control system. This allows operators to manage and control each unit centrally. “It’s tremendously useful for us, working over multiple sites,” said Humphrey. “We can create detailed instructions for each recipe, before uploading it to all our appliances. This takes all the guesswork out of the process for our staff, they know when they start cooking that they’ll get the desired results.”
With the opening of Loudons’ second location being treated as a test of further expansion, Humphrey analysed: “The kitchen here is the blueprint of our future, and it seems that with Rational’s help we can easily expand from this foundation.”
Executive chef Peter Christensen also praised the appliances: “Our process has changed dramatically since we got the new equipment. It’s much easier to experiment with different recipes, and making changes to menus can be done instantly.”