A major reason for this success, according to Nic, comes down to the efficiency of the equipment in the new kitchen, with cooking now taking a third of the time.
Banqueting, in particular, has been stepped up through the installation of eight HansDampf Gold Combination ovens from innovative commercial kitchen equipment supplier MKN, built in one section with 20 grids. Powerful but exact, the equipment is designed for operations of high output and calibre.
“We used to have to prepare for banquets two days earlier, but, with these ovens, you can do 800 covers at the last minute and still have them plated and set up in time,” he said.
“I have been offered regeneration ovens that can reheat 112 plates in six minutes, but, to my mind, re-heating lessens the quality and I’m not interested. I’m not that type of chef and I believe if you take a piece of chicken, cook it, slice it and serve it, it’s as fresh as it gets.
“These ovens are also great for slow roasting. We do a shoulder of lamb for four hours, wrap it in cling film, form a black pudding shape, and then cut out beautiful, tender rings of lamb, something different made possible by equipment that brings the best out in the food.”
An Optima 850 Electric Pressure Brat Pan from MKN is also making labour and energy cost savings at The Point. “It’s a magnificent piece of equipment, and will do 300 steaks in an hour against four hours in a normal pan,” said Nic. “You also get a lot of shrinkage and the meat can dry out if you are braising in any old pan, but the pressurised brat pan seals the flavours and makes them immense. By reducing the energy used, it’s also a lot greener.”
Sourcing the right equipment for a project as big as The Point is vital, but good after-sales support is just as important, according to Nic. “Stuart, the business development manager from MKN, has been in on five or six occasions to do training with us, and is setting up a visit from their development chefs in Germany for next February,” he said.