Kaneco Commercial Kitchen Specialists completed a project to install new catering equipment at the Curragh horse racing course in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland.
The dealer’s project manager, Keith Mulvaney, explained: “This has been an enormous job, we’re creating a world class venue. We’ve basically rebuilt everything that was here.
“We’ve brought all of the amenities up to modern standards – not just the public spaces, but the areas for staff and the owners and trainers too, and the behind the scenes infrastructure supporting it.”
Consultant, Intoto Design, was commissioned by Curragh Racecourse to design and oversee all the food and beverage elements of the project, taking the brief and completing detailed design and specifications. Simon Gillott, director of Intoto, detailed: “Our brief was simple: to design the food and beverage spaces to match the client aspirations of building a world class facility for racegoers.”
The Curragh project was run on a lean system, which meant that construction was done in tightly controlled stages and only what was needed at each stage could be brought on site. Kaneco’s Mulvaney said: “It was vital that we could trust the equipment suppliers to work with the kind of precise schedule we required. This is why working with Williams for refrigeration was so easy.”
An array of Williams equipment was specified to meet the Curragh’s requirements. This covers every step of the catering workflow, from bulk storage modular coldrooms to storage refrigerators, blast chillers and prep tables as well as bar fridges and wine coolers.
Intoto’s Gillott revealed: “We were looking for a single manufacturer for all bulk storage rooms and plant. Williams were able to offer a full range of products to meet our very high specifications.”
Williams coldrooms are made with modular components that allows them to be constructed to the site’s specifications. Fergal Nugent, the Curragh’s head chef, commented: “We have a coldroom for incoming goods, which has five internal sections with different temperature ranges that lets us store fish, meat, vegetables and dairy in perfect condition, as well as a freezer too. It’s hygienic and safe, and it also makes it easy for staff to find what they need.”
Gillott then detailed: “The coldroom and plant installations were complex – a multi-level building of this shape has some interesting spaces for the catering back of house areas. The team of engineers from Williams were able to offer a professional and first-class service, working with the challenges and fulfilling all the requirements.”
From the central coldroom, supplies can be distributed to the other coldrooms attached to each kitchen and bar, and then out to the kitchens themselves. Intoto’s design of the kitchen needed to make sure the equipment fitted into the space and offered the best working environment.
Nugent analysed: “They worked really hard on the ergonomic flow through the kitchen, the layout of the cooking islands and the accessibility of the fridges, it helps chefs get on with their job without running out of ingredients.”
Race days can see the Curragh’s caterers having to prepare food for thousands of people. With such large potential number of covers, the blast chillers are a vital part of the process. “We do a lot of bulk cooking to prepare for the big days,” said Nugent. “Obviously food safety is paramount, and with the Williams blast chillers we can be sure that what gets chilled retains the same quality as when it was cooked.”
Some of the 56 undercounter fridges at the Curragh are public facing, being installed in private suites and bars. Nugent continued: “Williams equipment is tough enough to survive professional kitchens, but it also looks great with the overall décor.” Since the undercounter cabinets are not as deep as some manufacturers’, they are able to fit flush with less deep worktops.
A wine tower in the champagne bar overlooks the parade ring and was made to Intoto Design and the Curragh’s exact specifications. With glass walls and under-rack LED lighting, it was designed to create an attractive way of displaying wine to customers. Nugent reported: “That’s really been catching people’s attention. We get a lot of compliments from customers about how good it looks, and of course it keeps our best wines in perfect condition.”
The champagne bar floor also houses the owners and trainers area. Intoto’s Gillott said: “We suggested using the bar itself to separate the two areas. It meant the owners and trainers area benefited from the atmosphere generated by the champagne bar customers. At the same time, customers in the champagne bar could directly see the owners and trainers across the bar. This design also allowed us to incorporate the stylish Williams Wine Tower into the area – and Williams supplied it as a full height ‘pass through’ unit.”
Large jobs like the refurbishment of the Curragh require careful co-ordination. Williams feels it has much experience with such projects, providing clients with training and support for their new equipment. Nugent reviewed: “They’ve been fantastic. The training is great – they came in to tell us everything we need to know, and if I’ve had questions since then they’ve responded really fast.”
While Intoto’s Gillott added: “Williams was able to offer equipment that met the design and specification requirements, and to offer professional support during the whole design and installation process. The commitment and technical ability of the Williams team was key to the success of the installation.”