Nelson Catering Equipment has recently completed an unusual outfit for what will now be a multi-use kitchen.
The Laundry in Hackney, London, required a kitchen refurbishment which could cater to many different styles of cooking, as the restaurant has started to play host to various resident chefs for just a few weeks at a time.
Raj Nayak, who manages and co-owns this cavernous, one time operational laundry, initially planned to open the canteen with his own, in-house chef running the kitchen with a brasserie style menu, envisaging the residency idea as a probability for the future. Therefore, when he called in Nelson Catering Equipment to design and install the kitchen, he was able to brief them fully about his plans.
Without a definitive menu, or even cuisine style, the keyword for the project was ‘generic’. The equipment had to be very carefully considered as it had to be as versatile as possible – and it needed to come in on budget.
Furthermore, a large part of the kitchen would be on view to diners and so had to look good. “We took on board what Raj was hoping to achieve and, with a great deal of design input, created a very versatile layout that would support all types of menu and accommodate a large number of kitchen staff,” explained John Nelson, who headed the Nelson team.
The kitchen was divided into several zones, the positioning of which was partly determined by the existing walls and doorways. The main cooking area, which can be seen from the eating area, comprises a solid top range cooker, two combi-ovens, a chargrill, a plancher, a salamander and twin fryers. Opposite this is the pass and adjacent to it is a large pastry area.
At the other end of the kitchen, the distributor created an extensive dishwash system centred around a Nelson Advantage pass through.
Most of The Laundry’s refrigeration requirements are provided by a large custom built cold room, with additional fridges and freezers strategically placed in the kitchen.
The venue’s vast basement is used for holding music events, as a film and photography location and for film screenings while, at ground level, there is a kitchen, long cocktail bar and eating area. Staff behind the massive 9.5metre bar, which Nelson also designed, often have to contend with large numbers of guests generated by the various events so the distributor’s design team created several, multiple, fully equipped workstations that help bar staff keep abreast of demand and provide a rapid service.
“We’re thrilled with the kitchen and bar,” explained Nayak. “Nelson provided a very professional and competent service and gave us a lot of useful advice in the process. They stayed within budget too. The proof, of course, is in the proverbial pudding, and all our resident chefs and their teams have been delighted with the kitchen design.”