“There are no boundaries – the restaurant is now part of kitchen in one amazing space. With no traditional barrier wall there are no secrets, no mysteries as everything is on view. Guests come into the kitchen and I strongly promote that; it is service at a whole new level. Amazing! This has the added advantage of encouraging even more professionalism in the kitchen as it keeps staff on their toes, working cleanly, methodically and tidily. I really believe this creates a healthy mindset in a creative kitchen,” explains Simon. “And the team respects it – they simply don’t want to let their shiny new kitchen get dirty as they are very proud of it and find it a pleasure to work in.”
Opening up the space to unite restaurant and kitchen called for a full ventilation ceiling to be installed to ensure the whole kitchen would breathe, with air flows designed for a totally balanced kitchen that would not only be quieter than a traditional vent canopy in an open kitchen such as this but also provide the team with an excellent working environment.
Simon insisted on reusing and/or recycling existing materials and equipment wherever possible rather than manufacturing from new. “Simon has a passion to re-use anything that can be refurbished as he does not like waste of any kind,” says Scott. “Bringing together all aspects into one super-efficient whole, the new kitchen needed to be meticulously designed and built to last for the foreseeable future.”
“Although I was keen on recycling what we could, putting old stuff back into a state of the art kitchen wasn’t going to work so by necessity we have had a lot of new kit and fabrication done. The sustainable solution was to keep a few selected pieces, which have now been ‘recycled’ into the stills-room which is out of sight of diners. It just wasn’t going to work aesthetically with a mish-mash of old and new on show,” says Simon.
Scott comments: “Simon’s recycling philosophy dictated re-use wherever possible of kit that was already proven to work well, so we took a number of existing units back to the factory and altered them to fit, repolishing them to look like new. In the kitchen we focused heavily on bespoke fabrication ensuring every detail was considered from an operational point of view so every last inch could be used to accommodate the way the L’Enclume team works.”
So now the kitchen is up and running to everybody’s satisfaction, what is Simon’s favourite piece of kit? “It has to be the MKN FlexiChef Bratt pan as you can cook difficult things easily in this. In another kitchen I would have more than one of those babies I’m telling you! I would put them first on the list. And I am very impressed with Gram refrigeration. In my view no other manufacturer can match them on energy savings and sustainability, which is very important.”
The MKN FlexiChef, as well as offering many different cooking processes in one unit, delivers high speed cooking in an environmentally friendly manner and allows chefs reliable cost planning. This new multifunctional cooking appliance, with ten different cooking programmes, gives 20% more power and 50% increased performance during searing and browning while the new Turbo PowerBlock technology targets food directly for higher performance and lower energy consumption.
“The L’Enclume commission was another major coup for CHR, which is increasingly being brought in to design and build sustainable, energy efficient kitchens for top rated chefs. For us to deliver a bespoke solution, applying a very fine eye to detail to a double Michelin starred chef in a very old building with sloping walls and floors in such a tight time frame was a challenge indeed. The team at L’Enclume now has a 3-star kitchen environment that will last for many years to come,” says Scott, “And, I am pleased to say, the restaurant re-opened on time.”