Whatley Manor now has a kitchen that can “stand the test of time” following a multimillion pound refurbishment, its executive chef has said.
The Cotswolds-based venue is due to reopen tomorrow after a five-week closure while its former kitchen was stripped out and replaced it with a new one complete with state-of-the-art equipment.
And according to Niall Keating, who posted the above picture of the kitchen on social media last week, it will leave the venue perfectly placed to flex with the demands of the business and provide cooks with an opportunity to be creative.
He told FEJ: “The world of cuisine has moved on at such a pace, and the tools of the trade need to facilitate all the latest cooking techniques and styles. In our case it also needed to facilitate the ever-evolving business model at Whatley. The brief was formed by sharing all information about our food, covers and the general business that this stove will be the backbone of the kitchen and facilitate all that we need.
“The mission was always to create a more functional and efficient kitchen but also a more inspiring space for myself and the team to create and serve some of the most interesting food in the UK. The previous kitchen had been a good workhorse but had sadly had its day. It was proving ever harder to allow us to fulfil the potential of each individual outlet — The Dining Room, Grey’s Brasserie and Events.”
Highlights include a bespoke Athanor cooking suite, a Rational VarioCookingCenter, which will dramatically slash the time it takes to produce stocks and sauces, and functional Adande fridge/freezer units.
The Athanor centrepiece was built to spec at the brand’s factory in France and installed, test and commissioned by UK supplier Grande Cuisine, which publishedthe below image yesterday.
Mr Keating said “future proofing” was a key factor in the kitchen design.
“This is a significant investment from the owners so we wanted to ensure that the kitchen would stand the test of time. For example, fridges from the previous kitchen operated on one cooling system, so if one failed, they all failed. We have removed these systems and replaced them with individual units that can be replaced or developed without affecting the skeleton of the kitchen. Aesthetics are a key focus, and we can certainly say that there will not be another stove like ours in the UK, which is a nice notion.”