In an enchanting setting on the banks of Lake Como stands the majestic Villa d’Este recently named as best luxury 5-star hotel in the world. With almost a century and half of history behind it, Villa d’Este has been constantly modernised so as to stay in step with the times and always meet its guests’ demands in the best possible way.
“It’s the attention to detail, service style and the constant pursuit of perfection, which draws our customers back year after year”, said the general manager Danilo Zucchetti. “Although retaining its identity and its values over the years, Villa d’Este has always been capable of evolving while remaining the undisputed ambassador of an elegant lifestyle all over the world”, he added.
The dining options with which Villa d’Este delights its guests are numerous and diversified. They range from the elegant Veranda restaurant, serving Italian haute cuisine against the bewitching backdrop of Lake Como, to the Grill, a stylish yet informal restaurant offering regional dishes accompanied by a selection of the best Italian wines. Finally the Platano, an exclusive bistro with international cuisine and seating capacity for just 25.
- After many years of use, Villa d’Este had decided to remodel the kitchens, focusing solely on top-quality equipment.
- The requests of Michele Zambanini, executive chef of international fame, were very specific. The various cooking zones had to be reorganised completely in order to optimise the work flow of his team numbering as many as 46 staff members. The new kitchens therefore had to ensure the maximum efficiency in order to speed up preparation of the dishes, without jeopardising their quality and at the same time, allow work in a healthy environment free from fumes or smells.
- The work had to be completed in just three month during the period of closure of the hotel. Not easy to pull off for a kitchen which covers a surface area of as many as 750 sq. m and in which approximately 62,000 meals a year are prepared.
- To manage such a complex project Villa d’Este chose Grandimpianti, Ali Group’s specialised in turnkey projects for the restaurant world.
- Grandimpianti in turn did not hesitate in proposing Ambach System 850, the cooking line which adapts to every space and need, perfect for the customisations requested by Zambanini and the very high quality standards set by Villa d’Este.
- Working alongside Grandimpianti, Ambach designed a solution tailored to the needs of the Chef. Composed of five blocks each with a single hygienic top of which one as long as 5.20 m, with different cooking areas for the various preparations.
- The staff at Villa d’Este also focused extensively on the design and finishes of the cooking ranges, all in anthracite black with Ambach Exclusive Range finishes.
- To reduce cooking times and energy consumption all the kitchens were fitted with
high-power induction hobs with remote-controlled generators.
- Some Ambach IQ multipurpose machines were also installed. A concentrate of technologies which ensures perfect cooking results even for high production levels, without affecting energy efficiency.
- The work was carried out jointly with Alex Gelfi, the architect of Villa d’Este who supervised the project. “The great challenge was to carry out the entire project in just three months, including work on masonry and systems. Everything had to be planned right down to the smallest detail. Some Ambach ranges were really heavy and moving them was not easy: two kitchens weighed about 2 tonnes!”, claimed Alessandro D’Andrade, sales director with Grandimpianti.
- Zambanini’s expectations were fully met. The new kitchen is innovative, efficient and created ad hoc according to needs. “We now have three separate cooking zones: one for guests of the hotel, one for banqueting and one for the sundeck area (terrace with swimming pool) alongside room service. Grandimpianti has interpreted and satisfied in full our requests and was seen to be an outstanding partner in executing the project we had in mind”, concluded Zambanini.
- According to Zucchetti too the results are excellent thanks to constant interaction between all parties involved in the project. “We were very demanding in terms of times and requests for customisation, yet both of these aspects were accomplished superlatively”.