Grande Cuisine cooks up a winning combination for Kerridge

When chef Tom Kerridge opened the eponymous Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at Corinthia Hotel London he pledged to bring “a lot of what we love from Marlow to London”, a concept that even stretched to the Athanor cook suite supplied by Grande Cuisine.

Having successfully fitted out Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers, and The Coach, both in Marlow, Grande Cuisine was asked to turn its attention to the Corinthia London project. Kerridge’s Bar & Grill offers modern British food and caters for lunch, pre and post theatre and evening dining, or guests can enjoy a drink in the bar accompanied by snacks, as well as private dining.

With limited kitchen space, all production comes from the main Athanor cook suite, a peninsular 4000mm long x 1800mm wide, fitted around a structural pillar at one end. The two sides of the suite are a mirror image for easy kitchen organisation. One side is used for the preparation of main protein fish and meat elements, while the opposite side is used for garnishing.

Three double Plaque Athanor cook plates can be used as solid tops, with large and small pans achieving a surface temperature in excess of 450°C at full power. A mixture of induction units – two 14kW multi-zone units and one twin 5kW, plus a 5kW hob – provide flexibility for using large and small pans, not only for the main restaurant prep and service but also for stock production and pastry work.

Although this is a restaurant space rather than a pub, there is still a call for fish and chips and other fried items, so capacity for a large frying operation was part of the brief. Grande Cuisine’s solution is a bank of fryers set into the centre of the suite. Beneath the counters a set of hot holding drawers sit alongside open pan storage. Other features include table-top mounted service ovens located around the suite, one per section, ensuring all cooking is visible at eye level and avoiding the need for staff to bend and stoop during service.

Control and reliability of the Athanor suite are two things which stand out for Kerridge’s Bar & Grill says Head Chef, Nick Beardshaw: “The control you have with an Athanor suite is both accurate and consistent, which is what we strive to achieve in everything we do here,” he says. “Reliability is the single most important thing for us because we are open and busy all the time and can’t afford for things to break. We need to be operational all of the time.”