Grande Cuisine at the City of London Club
The City of London Club was founded in 1832 by a group of prominent bankers, merchants and ship owners. It is the oldest in the city of London and its Members are rightly proud of its associations and traditions. One of those traditions, or so it would seem, is involving Grande Cuisine in the development of its kitchens.
In 2017 the Club took the decision to upgrade the main kitchen which serves the Members’ dining room and other function rooms. Like many other buildings of its type and age the main power source in the kitchen was gas and, initially, there were no plans to deviate from this medium. It was only when the Club engaged with leading kitchen design house SHW that the subject of a mainly electric cook suite was mooted, the objective being to create a more energy efficient kitchen with the added benefit of a more comfortable working environment. SHW introduced Head Chef Adrian Matthews to Grande Cuisine and the possibilities offered by its Athanor suites and the rest, as they say, is history.
“My knowledge of electric cooking as a cooking medium, and both Grande Cuisine and Athanor as businesses was somewhat limited,” says Adrian. “However, after just one meeting with the Grande Cuisine team it was obvious that they knew what they were talking about. They had clearly been here before and so understood what my reservations were in moving to electric and how the move might affect the way I was used to cooking. They took the time to go through my menu with me step-by-step and explain, in detail, how an Athanor suite would not only allow me to do everything I already did, but a whole lot more besides. And, it would allow me to do it more efficiently in a nice, cool kitchen! What was there not to like? Once we had agreed on the layout of the suite Grande Cuisine took me to the Athanor factory in France so that I could see for myself the level of detail that goes into building each one.
“This was all part of what I now refer to as my “Grande Cuisine experience” and, with the Athanor suite installed and doing everything I was promised it would do, it was why I had no hesitation in turning to them again when we needed to refurbish the basement prep kitchen.
“Here, the brief was slightly different. With a much tighter budget to work to an Athanor suite was not an option, but I was still keen to achieve similar objectives in relation to saving energy and creating a cooler working environment. Based on the excellent advice I had received from Grande Cuisine in relation to the main kitchen when they recommended MARENO equipment I had no doubt that it would fit the bill. Again, working in conjunction with SHW, Grande Cuisine have created the ideal working environment with a combination of MARENO Star 90 units including an electric four zone solid top, dual plaque, deep fat fryer, quick therm salamander grill and base oven under. The units combine beautifully and have enabled us to achieve our key objectives which were to create a kitchen that is not only efficient in terms of operation and energy usage, but also a cool environment in which to work.
“At a time when so many suppliers are focussed on selling the product, rather than the service, I found Grande Cuisine’s approach, and the time they took to understand my needs in two very different scenarios, really refreshing.”