This ambitious project is at the groundbreaking Launchpad development centre of training excellence, offering a wide range of diplomas recognised in commercial kitchens for 14 to 19 year olds. The centre needed a truly modern catering training facility on a par with the best commercial kitchens, with commercial ovens, hobs and food service equipment to match.
Durability and practicality had to stand side by side with flexibility. When not being put through its paces by students, the kitchen has to turn out all the food required for the college café and refectory really putting all the food service equipment to the test.
Space created a real power-house of a commercial kitchen with numerous green features to take advantage of the latest cooking methods, save energy and be kinder on the environment. Advanced i-hob technology, widely predicted as the future cooking method of choice in commercial kitchens, is evident throughout.
Two and four ring flush induction hob cookers, with electric commercial oven and grill beneath, use clever sensor technology to switch on the hob when a pan is placed on top, and automatically turn it off when it’s removed. It’s a more efficient way to cook – 90% of the energy goes into the pan compared to 40% with gas – costs less and is safer – no hot surfaces and no risk of leaving the food service equipment on.
The smart new kitchen features a central island of eleven induction hobs neatly suited together, equipped with ambient storage underneath. Five more training modules with commercial ovens are fitted around the perimeter of the kitchen including one designed to be easily lowered for wheelchair users.
Everything from the work surfaces to the hobs and commercial ovens gleams with crisp stainless steel finishes for added durability and lifespan – a far cry from the old days when domestic style cabinets were the norm in food tech classrooms – and totally in keeping with the emphasis on professional catering qualifications.
“Our new kitchen had its first test at Launchpad’s recent opening, and passed with flying colours,” says Keyth Richardson, Gloucestershire College Catering & Academy Manager. “Students and staff said it was superb; ‘really great place to work’, ‘very adaptable to different uses’, ‘best training kitchen I have ever seen or worked in’. Fitting praise indeed.”