Hogarths Hotel and Restaurant has spent £200,000 revamping its catering facilities as part of an expansion project based heavily around prime cooking equipment from MKN.
The wedding and business venue, which is located on the outskirts of Birmingham, sanctioned the revamp in order to cope with increased demand and make life as easy as possible for kitchen staff.
Gloucestershire-based Intoto Design was tasked with conceiving the kitchen, a new brasserie and bar, and a new fine dining restaurant with a pyroglass window so that guests can see their food being cooked.
Simon Gillott, director of Intoto, said the client had an idea of what they wanted for their budget and then it took over the design side and the procurement of the equipment to translate that into a working kitchen.
“The existing kitchen was quite compact and dated, and, while it had grown organically over the years, it did not reflect what was happening front-of-house,” said Gillott. “It needed to evolve to enable them to push on. They were doing four or five weddings a week, and something had to give.”
While Hogarths wanted kit that would last, Intoto carried out a degree of “future proofing” to ensure that equipment can be replaced if the hotel continues its strong growth. “For this reason, we decided to go for modular equipment that would last, but would also be easier to alter than a bespoke suite if times changed or needs changed,” he said.
Intoto specified MKN’s Optima 850 series for the bulk cooking and banqueting side, including an electric tilting bratt pan with SUPRA contact heating elements and two separate heating zones, which allows Hogarths to do around 300 steaks in an hour against four hours in a normal pan.
For the 8 Bar and Brasserie, which incorporates charcoal cooking in The Inka Grill menu section, and the new fine dining restaurant, the smaller Optima 700 series was the ideal choice, with Hogarths plumping for the VITRO electric range with ceramic Ceran hob and Optima700 griddle plates with a MKN PowerBlock mirror-finish as two key pieces of equipment.
To effectively serve each catering function – banqueting, brasserie and fine dining – the new kitchen had to incorporate different elements that could feed into the three distinct operations.
“In addition to the cooking and preparation equipment, there had to be different rooms for dry storage of bottles, cold room storage space for meat and general produce, including high risk items, cold room storage for prepared banquets and dedicated pastry and warewashing sections,” said Simon. “All in the right place to service the three dining areas, with the most ergonomic use of space and best work flows.”