Date added: 02/08/17
The concept of an open kitchen begins with a desire to visually interact with the client, but when everything is on display, the space needs to be expertly designed to ensure the customer receives the appropriate experience.
An open kitchen allows chefs to embrace a theatre-style way of cooking and give them the chance to feel proud of their work and performance within the kitchen, while guests receive a visually changing display involving everything from the aroma to the casual and entertaining feel of an open air kitchen.
There are many options when it comes to the design of an open kitchen, including compact and full specification, with equipment available to cover various menu types. Catering facilities that want to incorporate an open kitchen but are limited on space, should look towards flexible and multi-use appliances to make the most off the available room whilst still showing all aspects of the food offering.
But creating an open kitchen comes with restrictions, and operators need to be careful to not make big mistakes when choosing their design. Errors are often made when trying to produce too many menu items or filling an area with equipment that removes the theatre and leads to a cramped or crowded workspace.
John Eaton at Willis Jenkins said: “There’s a lot to consider in an open kitchen, even things like getting the air movement right. There’s nothing worse than coming out from having a nice meal and still smelling the restaurant on your clothes the following morning. “Try and be selective on what aspects of your kitchen you want on show, it’s important that the view that clients are given showcases the kitchen in its best light.”
Air movement is a problematic element that operators will need to consider when transforming from the traditional enclosed kitchen into an open style. Positive and negative air pressures need to deliver the right balance of air flow to ensure that smells are directed away from the seating area. To combat this, ventilation and air handling equipment will need to be correctly specified which will ensure heat, steam and gases are removed from the kitchen and customer crossover.
Taking into account the characteristics of an enclosed kitchen and how they will affect the front of house when being brought forward into an open area kitchen is a necessity, such as noises and the different methods of cooking on display.
“The kitchen must show off its best aspects at all times,” said John. “There is no point installing a fish filleting or butchery area display, as most clients are not ready to see this yet.”
Although aesthetics are an important factor in open kitchens, the choice of equipment is just as vital and operators need to consider their options when planning what goes where.
Willis Jenkins’ Mark Sharland said: “Flexibility and mobility should be taken into consideration. With compact and modern modular equipment, it can be easy to rearrange the kitchen department on the season or if the menu changes on a regular basis.”
When it comes to trends, the team at Willis Jenkins are seeing a large increase in the want for fire and smoke displays using fresh produce - it was once the colours of the food, but is now moving to more colourful displays. Plancha cooking that is incredibly versatile is also great for open kitchens and adds a sense of theatre to the production of the menu.
Willis Jenkins can offer expert supply, design and installation on the creation of open plan kitchens. To find out more give the team a call on 01462 790740.Back to News
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