“The fridge is probably the most important piece of equipment in the kitchen”, according to Lee Cadden, head chef at Charlotte’s W5.
Having been behind the pass of this popular, award-winning bar and restaurant in West London since March 2018, following previous head chef roles at both Charlotte’s Bistro and Charlotte’s Place, Lee oversees a team of 10 chefs, creating a range of delicious dishes, for up to 350 covers per day, through brunch, lunch and dinner.
“Charlotte’s W5 is a British Brasserie with a menu built around the quality, provenance and sustainability of ingredients.” says Lee. “We use the finest, seasonal British ingredients to create a range of European dishes, each finished with a modern technique or influence, giving us that real point of difference.”
Having taken over Charlotte’s Place in 2005, then opened Charlotte’s Bistro in 2010, owner Alex Wrethman launched Charlotte’s W5 as the newest addition to the three strong portfolio, in 2016. Set in a stunning converted warehouse, in the trendy borough of Ealing, the bistro attracts a mix of loyal local custom and guests from further afield captivated by word of mouth and understated promotion.
“For me, the sourcing of ingredients is vital to creating the ever-changing dishes on our menu,” explains Lee. “But in order to maintain freshness and produce the menu our guests expect, we need equipment that can deliver, and though it might not be the exciting piece of kit, having reliable refrigeration is vital.”
Lee and the team at Charlotte’s W5 use appliances from the Gram Gastro range, manufactured by Hoshizaki and supplied by Nelson Catering Equipment, for their open plan kitchen. “We’ve used Gram fridges from day one. In fact, the owner, Alex, is adamant we use Gram and we’re now lucky enough to have four undercounter units, one for meat and fish, one for garnish, one for the larder and pastry section and one for breakfast service,” he continues.
“In a busy kitchen like ours, serving hundreds of freshly prepared meals, seven days a week, we can’t afford for a fridge to break down, even short term. I know that I can rely on my Gram fridges, at the end of the day, I for one believe that you pay for what you get.”
The undercounter units found in the kitchen at Charlotte’s W5 feature refrigerated drawer storage in a range of sizes. Each drawer is specifically designed for its Gastronorm compatibility and the units are fitted with castors for simple positioning and to aid cleaning.
“I find the size and format of the Gram Gastro range to be extremely versatile. We can fit up to nine of the GN 1/4 containers in each drawer – something that is particularly useful in our garnish fridge, which we use for a variety of different ingredients,” Lee states.
“We don’t have the available space in our kitchen for larger upright units, but the format of the Gram Gastro range is ideal as the full length pull out drawers mean that we can see everything inside without the need to move trays or ingredients around.”
With reliability and quality being of such importance, Lee and the team at Charlotte’s W5 looked for a manufacturer that not just delivered leading equipment, but could also offer ongoing aftercare and support, for their kitchen, and for the other restaurants in the group.
“I know I can rely on Hoshizaki to deliver when it comes to their equipment. Giving me the peace of mind I need, I am confident that their refrigeration, and the ice machines we have in the bar area will be working efficiently and effectively when we need them most,” Lee comments.
He concludes: “Where an issue occurs, a straightforward process of logging a call with the company’s service team and an engineer will visit, often performing a first time fix to help minimise any downtime for my team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Gram refrigeration and Hoshizaki to chefs looking for a suitable appliance for their kitchen.”
For more information on Charlotte’s W5 or the Charlotte’s Group, visit www.charlottes.co.uk or call 0203 771 8722.
To find out more about the latest ice making equipment from Hoshizaki, see www.hoshizaki-europe.com or call 01322 616 900.