Adaptability key for the professional kitchen
Any professional kitchen should be well equipped to adapt to a multitude of culinary styles, varied ingredients and specialised preparation methods and yet withstand the rigors of constant use and hygiene requirements.
A professional working kitchen is a complex and multifaceted environment, outputting a range of different offerings, plates and servings that is incomparable to other industries. Depending on the time of day, a kitchen’s needs change dramatically – and so too what is required of its equipment and chefs.
The Importance of Kitchen Design & Planning
When a chef or proprietor is considering refurbishments and upgrades, there are certain aspects of large scale (or professional) kitchen design that they keep in mind, hoping to either maintain and even enhance their existing capabilities.
The first of these considerations is workflow – every area and section of the kitchen should be logically planned, including site layout and its limitations.
Also critical is how efficient your kitchen allows your staff to function, each section of your kitchen should have the ability to be as ‘self-sufficient’ as possible, permitting them to focus and maximise productivity, rather than being distracted by searching for what they need.
Work surfaces are also an important consideration, as well as multifunctional kitchen elements that allow for different roles depending on time of day (such as planchas, which provide both a direct cooking surfaces and the option for use with pots and pans).
For an industry that creates such a huge variety of menus and methods, it’s pretty clear that professional kitchens need to be adaptable. With cuisine from around the world being replicated in the UK, including a range of ‘edgy’ and emergent fusion foods entering the ‘menu mainstream’, kitchen mise-en-place (French for ‘putting in place’, referring to Kitchen preparation time that takes place outside of main service) will become increasingly less straightforward.
A professional kitchen’s fittings and equipment must be reliable, robust and hygienic, this, coupled with expert planning and layout, will permit chefs to focus on the task at hand rather than accommodating the quirks and frustrations of existing site limitations.
Communication in the Kitchen
Finally, another key consideration in kitchen refurbishment and design is the degree to which your kitchen allows for and encourages clear communication. The design and layout feeds in to this process equally as much as the equipment. Being able to speak to and be heard by different kitchen sections is critical in terms of your kitchen and staff’s performance.
“The philosophy of Athanor is ‘less is more’, the stove the chef needs during mise-en-place is fundamentally different to the stove he needs during service…” said Steve Hobbs, director of Grande Cuisine.
While during kitchen prep time, multiple low heat sources and surfaces are essential (for making stocks and preparing of the day’s different ingredients); main service needs sources of rapid high heat for precise cooking.
Athanor’s bespoke offerings are crafted to be as adaptable as possible, both to the specifications of its commissioning chef and to the needs of each stage of an establishment’s open hours.
Athanor, supplied by Grande Cuisine, offers a range of customisation options that allow for a truly tailored experience, optimising culinary workflow, including:
Plaque Athanor – a solid top cooking plate suitable for use both as a stove top hob (for preparation) and a direct cooking surface (for main service).
Multi-Cookers – available in both 10 and 20 litre capacity, the multi-cooker can be used in various ways. Perfect as a large-capacity boiler during mise-en-place, it can be utilised as a chaufont (for refreshing and reheating vegetables) during service, or as a bain-marie, or as a pasta cooker. It is also possible to use the Multicooker as a steam bath, for delicate steaming of fish and vegetables.
Radiant Hobs – outputting rapid heat to temperatures of up to 500C, the radiant hob is ideal for heating large pans of water and stock during mise-en-place, as well as capable of being utilised during service as a holding/resting surface, keeping food warm at 70C.
Removable Plating/Service Shelves – easily fitting in to place when required, the removable plating and service shelves allow for extra surface space when required.
Removable condiment holders – for use with Gastronorm pans, they offer accessibility and additional storage for easy access to ingredients, as well as oils, seasoning and condiments. They are also ideal for use with portable hand held appliances, such as blenders.
Switched Sockets – easily accessible socket plug points, for the use of both portable and table top appliances close to the workstation that needs it.
Athanor suites are truly bespoke, with no size, width or layout that cannot be achieved.
In the International fine-dining sector, Athanor is renowned for the quality of its bespoke installations, with an eye for excellence from conception to construction.
“Athanor are French-based manufacturers of bespoke cook suites, every suite the company manufacturers is as individual as the chef who commissions it” says Hobbs.
“The company is based in the gastronomic centre of France, near to Grenoble, and has more than 80 years’ experience of producing and building bespoke cook suites, which we are delighted to be associated with,” added Hobbs.
Athanor specialised suites are made available in the UK through Grande Cuisine.