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“As a hotel kitchen it wears many hats” explains Colin, not just breakfast, lunch and dinner but wedding functions, a la carte in the Restaurant One Eighty, bar lounge menus and conference buffets. It is true to say it is full on 24/7. We needed to utilise modern equipment and techniques to make this space efficient as well as economical to run to allow growth for the hotel in the future.”

Colin clearly had a vision for his new kitchen, which included an energy efficient island suite but he had a rather unusual space to fit it in.

CHR’s first move was to take Colin and his team to visit some of its recent installations. “I liked the way CHR had designed separate preparation areas away from the main cooking to allow training and various techniques to develop. By incorporating separate areas it would allow my team to practise and develop whatever is thrown at them,” explains Colin.

Suitably impressed with CHR’s expertise, the company was given the job. “Not least because we had called on three other installers, all of whom had told me there was no way I could have an island suite in the space we have but CHR came up with a plan and I got exactly what I wanted.” Scott Walker of CHR explains why the kitchen was such a difficult fit and how they overcame the problem: “with such an awkwardly shaped space and low ceilings the design process was quite difficult, however with the ability to think outside the box, we were able to deliver Colin’s vision for a simple and methodical space with communication at the centre.

Colin wanted everyone to be aware of each other’s work at all times regardless of what activity was going on.” The solution was to design and build a narrow bespoke all-electric, energy saving Eco-chef cooking range including multi point induction tops, a multi-functional cook-marie, fryers and refrigerated drawers.  The compact combi oven and halogen salamander finish the rest of the space with the hot pass and cupboard central. The British built unit was constructed just a few miles down the road from Manchester.

So how is Colin getting on with his new kitchen? “It took a little while to get used to using induction instead of gas it but now I can’t imagine life before induction. I really love cooking with it and I would never go back to gas. You can cook everything to just the right degree whether braising, searing or simmering.

My sous chef and the other guys have taken to it really well, too.”As well as cooking like a dream, Colin also says the kitchen is so much cooler to work in. “There is no heat build-up from the induction tops. Even during one of the hottest summers for years we are working comfortably. It is hot, but nowhere near what it would be have been using the old system. On one day the temperature hit 37°C in the kitchen but in traditional kitchens it must have been more like 50°C.”

So what does Colin like best about his new energy efficient all electric kitchen? “I love the way it is laid out so the staff can all watch each other and learn as they are working. And being low-energy, it is not only good for cost saving but also environmentally.

“I am very pleased with the energy savings we are seeing via the energy meter fitted in the Eco-chef, along with the total controllability of induction. Going from using four gas solid tops to using induction we are using silly power now; by which I mean virtually no power at all. We also have an instant halogen grill which is incredibly energy-saving. As well as this I am very impressed by the MKN combis with USB we have as part of the Eco-chef. “From inception to completion CHR has been faultless. They have come up with ideas outside the box finding solutions to all sorts of problems. CHR’s project manager Scott Walker was very good. We all know that in an installation from day to day things change but he was on top of everything finding solutions that worked and he got it all done. The after sales service has been excellent – completely thorough.”

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