Providing an early General education

General Catering Solutions Nescot College crop
GCS chose a Blue Seal cookline to match the aesthetics of the kitchen, as well as for its robustness and reliability.

General Catering Solutions (GCS) of Doncaster is very used to facing obstacles during its commercial kitchen outfit projects, and so called upon its years of experience when facing a recent tight installation project at Nescot College in Surrey.

The dealer was commissioned to design and produce a kitchen that would have a dual purpose: it would train up-and-coming chefs in the necessary skills required for South Asian cooking, as well as allowing the kitchen to produce quality restaurant food to generate revenue.

The space which had been allocated for the kitchen was a complete shell, due to delays on a much larger construction project – part of Nescot’s grand expansion plan. Much of the information required with respect to services and construction was not available.

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Nescot had nominated the Le Raj Academy to run the project as a restaurant and therefore GCS began the process of matching both its requirement and the college’s.

The distributor particularly wanted to create a very clean, seamless design that could be added to in the future without major building works. All the services required detailed planning to create a clean hygienic finish on the walls. GCS used stainless steel service walls to allow it to divide the space effectively.

Despite the project hurdles, GCS was able to work closely with the college and deliver the scheme nearly 2 weeks ahead of schedule.The dealer’s MD, Amjad Alikhan, detailed: “We were able to achieve this by taking it upon ourselves to source the information from the various contractors and sub-contractors who had been involved with the construction of the building, and we literally didn’t take no for an answer.

“Whilst this information was being collected our team began preparatory works so that once we had all the facts we could quickly begin first and second fix. We were initially asked to have the kitchen ready by the 26 August but due to effective planning and adhering to our programme we were able to deliver by 18 August.”

All the equipment was selected to give the chefs the best of current technology and robust enough to withstand even the most heavy-handed of chefs. The kitchen needed to be able to cope with increased demand from both students and local residents along with a changing menu.

The main cookline was provided by Blue Seal, which GCS felt was reliable and robust, while the blue branding aesthetically blended in with the overall look. The dealer chose Rational to supply a 10 grid SCC WE model combi oven with an UGII stand to enable tray storage in a tight space.

Energy and space saving formed part of the decision to choose Foster’s FFC6-2 refrigerated drawer units, while GCS plumped for Hobart Warewashing for the dishwasher supply. Alikhan explained: “It is a well-made efficient machine that does what is says on the tin. We have put Hobart machines into some of the toughest kitchens where, despite neglect, they have always performed. The machines are not over engineered and are extremely user friendly.  This is important especially as often multiple people may be operating the machine.

Nescot College was very pleased with the results of General Catering Solutions’ (GCS) work, with interim senior finance and capital projects officer Anil Pujara commenting: “The management of the kitchen fit out project was done in an efficient and timely manner, and communication and coordination of work were managed in a prompt and effective manner.

“Despite encountering several internal unrelated bottlenecks, GCS was able to work around these issues and dealt with them in a professional, positive and proactive manner. We found it comforting and reassuring to work with GCS, which has proven to be a thoroughly professional, dependable, reliable, hard-working, conscientious, courteous, and forward-thinking company that focuses on building lasting relationship, whilst being efficient and effective in attending to the project at hand. We found GCS to be very co-operative and able to meet all deadlines in what was a tight programme. I have no concerns regarding the workmanship or management structure, and would happily recommend it.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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