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The kitchen at The Commission at Heathrow AirportThe Commission is a new 175-seater casual dining and cocktail bar concept created exclusively for Heathrow’s Terminal 4. A Drake & Morgan site, it’s operated by hospitality and foodservice company Delaware North and is open 16 hours a day, from breakfast to late night dinner and snacks.
Since it’s ‘airside’, there are lots of restrictions – for example, getting service engineers in for breakdowns takes time. Meanwhile, it’s a high-pressure site with a constant stream of customers who often want to be served quickly. All of which means the catering equipment has to be reliable, efficient and capable of delivering a high performance, which is why The Commission has Falcon cooking appliances.
The kitchen project was managed by the Airedale Group. The airside restrictions were further complicated by build hold ups resulting in Airedale’s window for installing the kitchen being cut from ten days to just three.
Nils Braude is operational director for Delaware North’s travel sector: “Space in an airport is at a premium, so the kitchen had to be as small as possible. With the cooking equipment, it had to be fast and compact.”
Being in an airport, the equipment also had to be electric-powered. “In the current market electricity is very expensive. So we needed energy efficient cooking appliances that gave instant heating power, without costing a fortune and creating an unworkable environment.”
Two key cooking appliances are the E3914i induction range and the E600 rise and fall grill, both supplied by Falcon. “We looked for equipment that fitted in a very small space, with high production outputs and accurate, consistent cooking temperatures,” says Nils. “Longevity was also very important for us. We don’t want to have to replace the equipment for a good few years.”
The rise and fall grill is very energy efficient as it uses automatic plate sensing technology to only activate the heat source when the tray is placed into the unit, just like induction. The grill’s powerful infrared elements ensure instant heat-up and precise temperature control. “The Falcon grill’s on-demand action saves electricity, which is a key element,” says Nils. “At the same time it’s very fast and offers a wide range of cooking options, which suits our menu requirements. It’s always in use.”
Richard Greasley, national accounts development manager at Airedale, says, “We buy a lot of Falcon kit. We recommended the rise and fall grill because of its combination of performance and energy saving.”
The induction range has four cooking zones and a fan-assisted convection oven. “We chose the Falcon induction range for its speed, energy efficiency and reliability,” says Nils. “The Falcon appliances are well built, and very neat. They’re easy to keep clean. They’re also compact and have the high production and temperature consistency that we’re looking for. They only use power when required, so you don’t have to leave things on, burning through electricity when you don’t need it. The chefs really like that, because it doesn’t heat the kitchen up and create a hot environment.
“The new kitchen is performing very well, very smoothly,” says Nils. “All our chefs are comfortable in it, and have been from day one. We’re hitting a very good ticket time for all the food items, which is thanks to the design, but also to the performance of the cooking appliances that the guys rely on. It’s all in the right place, the workflow suits us really well, and I have a happy kitchen team as a result.
“It hits the mark straight off the bat.”
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