Grande Cuisine creates new London Landmark
The Winter Garden Restaurant kitchen at The Landmark London is the latest to benefit from the installation of an Athanor induction cooking suite from Grande Cuisine. The suite is the centrepiece of a £1m refurbishment that was two years in the making and has helped Executive Chef Gary Klaner to completely remodel how the kitchen functions.
“I inherited the kitchen back in 2000 and, despite the best efforts of all concerned, by the middle of 2016 it was obvious that much of the equipment was on its last legs,” says Klaner. “It wasn’t just that the equipment was old, and becoming increasingly unreliable, but also the fact that the layout had originally been designed to serve the adjacent restaurant which had long since been closed and incorporated into one of the function suites which meant that the workflow was completely at odds with what we currently required. And, with temperatures in the kitchen often exceeding 55°C, the working environment was far from ideal.”
“So, rather than tinker around the edges, we decided that the most cost effective option would be a full-scale redesign. Working with design and construction company Berkeley Projects, and consultants Humble Arnold who had carried out a similar project at our sister hotel The Royal Lancaster, we created a new layout that maximises the space, provides the ideal workflow and, above all, provides a comfortable working environment for the brigade to work in.
“The Athanor suite is at the heart of everything we cook, from breakfast to dinner. In fact, it was specifically designed with a built-in breakfast section at one end to allow seamless production of the breakfast menu without interfering with the operation of any other areas of the suite. The decision to choose Athanor was not just about the exceptional build quality – it was also about the approach that both they and Grande Cuisine took towards turning our concept into a reality. The transformation has been outstanding – where we once had staff criss-crossing the open kitchen in all directions we now have a “closed” layout with the equipment positioned for maximum efficiency. And, thanks to the wonders of induction, it’s the coolest kitchen I have worked in – in more ways than one!”
The Athanor cook suite is an island suite constructed around a structural pillar – the suite is split into three sections and can be operated from all sides. The main section, aligned with the hot pass, incorporates 2 x twin 5kw induction hobs, a single 4kw Plaque Athanor plancha, hot holding drawers and a large salamander grill over. The end section was designed to help support the busy breakfast service in the main Winter Garden restaurant. The hot holding drawers are used for protein and carbohydrate breakfast items and the brigade use the induction units for cooking egg based items to order and the plancha for eggs and pancakes.
The two sides of the Athanor suite are set for mise-en-place use. One side is also used for garnish elements and the other for the cooking of meat and fish during service. The sections comprise a mixture of twin zone induction units for pan cooking, Plaque Athanor cook plates for pan cooking or direct cooking, a 6kw chaufont/multi-cooker for refreshing and cooking vegetables and pasta items, and a gas-fired lava stone chargrill for classical style meat and/or fish grilling.
Set below the top is an additional set of hot holding drawers and classical style cast iron lined roasting and service oven.