CASE STUDIES

The Gilbert Scott’s fridges: energy-efficient and hard-working

Precision supplies FOH and kitchen refrigeration in top London restaurant

Some fridges have to put up with a lot.  Especially if they’re constantly-used counters in a very busy kitchen in a top restaurant in the heart of London.  The Gilbert Scott cocktail bar and restaurant is housed in the St Pancras Renaissance hotel.  When the Precision counters in the busiest sections of the kitchen needed replacing, the specifiers were told exactly which brand to go for this time: Precision. 

“We’ve worked with Precision for a few years and have a great relationship with them,” says Daniel Howes, head chef at The Gilbert Scott. “The refrigeration counters in the busiest sections of the kitchen take a real hammering.  We need something that can last, without daily servicing.  Something the chefs can easily open and close, they can take apart to clean, and we can fit the food in properly. 

“At the same time, we’re acutely aware of energy costs.  It’s a big kitchen, open seven days a week, including Christmas, so energy efficiency is increasingly a focus.”  Precision’s range has been extensively re-engineered and uses the latest, most energy-efficient technology throughout. Most models feature eco-friendly and ultra-energy-efficient R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant as standard.   

Daniel’s impressed by the changes in refrigeration technology in recent years – for example, the latest Precision counters have a new internal airflow design that not only saves energy, but also improves performance.  “They give a consistent temperature throughout the whole fridge, he says.  “So you know that wherever you put the food in the fridge, it’s going to be at the perfect temperature. 

“Typically the restaurant will do 100 for lunch and 140 for dinner, plus the bar menu is available all day and it serves brunch and afternoon tea at weekends.  We have a wide cross section of customers - businesses, people travelling on Eurostar or going up North, tourists... It’s non-stop here, the fridges have to be durable, functional, easy to live with – and energy efficient.”

Another reason for choosing Precision is the wide range of models the company manufactures.  “The kitchen is downstairs and it’s bespoke, built into the natural curve of the building, so it’s quite difficult to get units that actually fit!  Precision are very adaptable and accommodating in that respect,” says Daniel.  “We chose counters that have drawers.   For one thing, when you open a drawer rather than a door, less warm air gets in.  Plus it’s a lot easier and faster for service, because the chefs can open a drawer and take out what they need, with everything being at hand.”

The ultimate grand dining experience, The Gilbert Scott showcases the finest British seasonal produce.  “We use a mix of classic techniques and modern execution,” says Daniel.  “It’s very much farm to plate and we have a very close relationship with our suppliers.  The ingredients we use are seasonal, and we search for the best that we can find, so it’s really important that the food is kept fresh.  We have to know the fridges are working properly, we can’t afford for anything to be sitting around at the wrong temperature.” 

Along with the new counters, The Gilbert Scott has also installed a Precision blast chiller in the kitchen, with a 50kg load capacity.  “We use the blast chiller all day, for everything.  In the morning the stocks come off, they get reduced, they go into the blast chiller.  Any sauces, any ice cream bases, any braises, anything like that.  It’s easy to use and takes a large load, chilling down very quickly, which is perfect for health and safety compliance but also, because it’s so fast, it helps maintain the quality of the food.  

“We use Precision refrigeration throughout the restaurant, including bottle coolers behind the bars and a couple of Precision wine storage cabinets.  They’re very efficient – they bring the white wine down to temperature quickly, which is important as we have a high turnaround of alcohol sales.”

Sustainability is a key buying criteria for The Gilbert Scott.  “It’s something we feel very strongly about and it’s something our customers look for.  We’re a modern business in London and we’re conscious of our carbon footprint.  We use Precision across the group – our latest venture, Tredwells, has them both front of house and in the kitchen. 

“Knowing that we’ve got fridges which are very energy efficient is a great boost.” 

Precision at The Gilbert Scott
The latest Precision models at The Gilbert Scott are:
• MCU211 counters with drawers – R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant; front breathing and venting refrigeration system; 168 litre capacity; two banks of drawers; 1345mm wide x 670mm deep x 865mm high. 
• PCF50 Blast chiller – blast chill or freeze up to 50kg of food; 90 minute chilling cycle, 240 minute freezing cycle. 
• MPU401 single-door cabinets – used at The Gilbert Scott for storing wine.  Bottom-mounted refrigeration system;  -2°C to +10°C temperature range;  R290 hydrocarbon refrigerant;  264 litre capacity; 600mm wide x 715mm deep x 1975mm high.
• BBS900 two-door bottle coolers – front breathing and venting refrigeration system; LED lighting; 3°C - 15°C temperature range; solid and glass door models; capacity of 196 x 330cl bottles; 900mm wide x 500mm deep x 900mm high. 

In addition, The Gilbert Scott has a variety of older Precision cabinets and counters that were installed during the last kitchen refit.  All models are constructed of stainless steel, inside and out.