Modular kitchen specialist PKL stepped in to help Darlington College after a fire engulfed its two kitchens last October.
The County Durham-based college hosts The Glasshouse restaurant, open to the public, where each day 14 students, seven front of house and seven in the kitchen take the lessons they learn in the classroom and apply them directly in a professional environment.
However, following the blaze the Glasshouse’s two kitchens were unusable. It looked like the facilities would be out of action for months, leaving the students without a place to apply their skills.
Donna Joyce, lecturer on the catering course, said: “It was devastating to see the results of the fire. Two of our kitchens were destroyed. We were worried the students wouldn’t be able to finish their courses.”
However, the college had already identified PKL as a potential partner in solving an unplanned kitchen shutdown. A PKL project consultant visited the college within days of the fire, to review the site’s requirements and quickly returned with a temporary kitchen plan that not only replicated the kit and set up the students we used to, but also connected to the building allowing the Darlington team to set up a new, unobtrusive home for the Glasshouse.
Two Magnum production kitchens were supplied with a Triton dry store, Triton cold room and Tom Thumb pot wash.
In less than a month the restaurant was up and running, minimising the loss to The Glasshouse’s regular business.
Joyce commented: “The kitchens have been brilliant. We’re back up and running, there’s been no disruption of the student’s curriculum and we’ve lost no trade – it’s fantastic.”