Versatility of British manufacturer's designs helps maximise refrigerated storage space
The complete kitchen refurbishment at Le Gavroche saw a wide range of Precision cabinets and blast chillers being installed. “In a two Michelin star restaurant you have to demand the best: the best raw ingredients and the best kitchen equipment,” says owner Michel Roux Jr. “I chose Precision because they are great fridges.”
The Precision units are also versatile in terms of their shape and capacity, which is vital in a kitchen where space is not only at a premium, but also usually not fridge-shaped! “A lot of restaurants, especially in London, have layout problems similar to Le Gavroche,” says Michel. “There are walls that can’t be moved. Precision come in and they find the particular fridge that fits that available space. They’re very flexible. We’ve got all kinds of counters here, some with drawers, some with doors, some actually wall-mounted.”
The eight counters at Le Gavroche are in three different depths – 520mm slimline, standard 670mm deep GN1/1, and the 790mm deep GN 2/1 counters. This allowed Eximius Projects, which carried out the refurbishment, to maximise the limited space they had for chilled and freezer storage – an objective that was further enhanced by using the three-door wall-mounted cabinet in the patisserie area.
Michel is particularly pleased with the Precision drawer units. “The beauty of refrigeration with drawers is that even during a busy service the temperature remains constant. With the old units the temperature was always fluctuating. With the Precision units you can be assured that the fridge is doing its job and is staying cold.”
There are two Precision blast chillers in Le Gavroche’s new kitchen, an undercounter unit and an upright cabinet. “Blast chillers are probably amongst the most important refrigeration units in a modern kitchen,” says Michel. “As well as for health and safety reasons, blast chillers are just so fast and practical. You put the food in hot, and you know it will chill down to the right temperature, quickly and safely, while maintaining its quality.
“We use blast chillers for all sorts of things, from patisserie to ice cream to sauces that need chilling quickly. The speed is incredible.”
Sustainability is a key issue for Michel, so the Precision units’ energy efficiency is another key benefit. “Everything is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible – for example, the cabinets’ insulation is based on recycled vegetable oils, rather than petrochemicals. One of my blast chillers is a big monster of a cabinet, but it’s so efficient, it just runs off a 13 amp plug, which is great. It’s on castors so I can move it around and just plug it in elsewhere if I need to.
“I feel Precision’s models are better than other fridges out there. The drawers feel sturdy and strong. You can load them up and there’s still cold air circulating around them. The fridges look great, they’re practical and easy to use.”