Hotel Café Royale

HOTEL CAFÉ ROYALE

Project: Hotel Café Royal
Category: Hotel
Where: London – UK
Line: System 900 Exclusive Range
Partner: Baz Associates

Opened in 1865 on Regent Street in the heart of London, Hotel Café Royalneeds no introduction. In the five-star luxury class and owned by The Set Hotels group, its guests have included two kings of England – Edward VIII and George VI, Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and music legends of the calibre of David Bowie, Mick Jagger and the Beatles and the actress Elizabeth Taylor.
There’s no question about the culinary range reaching the level of expectation of an extremely demanding clientele. From the restaurant of international chef Laurent Tourondel which bears his name to Cakes & Bubbles with the famous desserts prepared by the Michelin three-star chef Albert Adrià and the cocktails in Green Bar and Ziggy’s, as well as the traditional afternoon teas served in the historical Oscar Wilde Lounge.

The brief

  • Suzy Baz, founder and president of eminent consultancy Foodservice Baz Associates, was appointed to rethink the Hotel’s new F&B offering.
  • Baz had already worked with the company Alrov Luxury Hotels, owners of Café Royal, handling various projects in Europe and Israel. “We all knew it would be exciting”, she recalled as a comment on the first time she took part in the brainstorming phase for renovation of the hotel alongside architect and interior designer Piero Lissoni.
    The project, started up initially as a ‘simple’ redesigning of the main kitchen in the restaurant, soon became much more far-reaching to include also the creation of a new sushi bar planned together with chef Tourondel.
  • “The requests included in the brief were truly the most challenging I’d ever come across. The new equipment for the kitchen had to be innovative and designer and ensure reliability and top performances”, commented Baz.
  • No separation between back and front of the house for the kitchen. The two areas had to be thought out in parallel with a view to continuity. To do this Lissoni decided to opt for a colour choice coordinated with the colour of the kitchen, floors and extractor hoods.


The solution

  • Thanks to its high flexibility, reliability and design, Ambach was found to be the most suitable choice for meeting the needs of the Hotel Café Royal.
  • Baz was very familiar with Ambach kitchens after choosing them for the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, another client with very high demands in terms of quality and design and also part of The Set Hotels group.
  • For Café Royal Baz proposed a single unit with induction hob from the Ambach System 900 Exclusive Range line in stainless steel with black finishes. A salamander and under-top fridges are also an integral part of the kitchen.
  • The key distinctive feature of the kitchen remains however its design, fully custom-made in every detail such as, for example, the rounded corners. “It may seem like a minor detail but, in a project such as this, it’s the small details that make the difference”, claimed Baz. “Appearance and finishes are crucial in top-of-the-range open kitchens”.
  • The greatest challenge of this project was to remodel the kitchen while the hotel stayed open and fully operational. “It was essential that our guests were not disturbed by the work”, commented Ido Shitrit, project manager at the hotel.
  • “Times of access to the building were limited and rigid. We also had to adapt all the pre-existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that had to remain”, explained Baz.
  • “The end result was great thanks to the excellent coordination and collaboration between all stakeholders, including also the dealer C&C Catering, involved right from the outset in the design work alongside the rest of the team”, commented Baz.
 

PATRICK GUIBAUD

PATRICK GUIBAUD

Project : Patrick Guilbaud
Category : Restaurant
Where : Dublin – Irland
Line : System 900 Exclusive Range
Partner : Kaneco

Patrick Guilbaud is the only restaurant in Ireland to have two Michelin stars. Located in the heart of Dublin, it bears the name of the Paris restaurateur who founded it in 1981 and has in time become one of the best known restaurants in the country.

In 1997 the restaurant relocated to the Merrion, a luxury 5-star hotel and an enduring byword for elegance and exclusiveness.

Cooking in the restaurant is in the expert hands of the French executive chef Guillaume Lebrun, who has used Ambach for years.

The brief

  • An integral part of the extensive plan for renovation of the hotel was the creation of a new restaurant and a new building. The Patrick Guilbaud restaurant was located in the old building which had to be demolished to make room for the construction of three basement floors.
  • A complex situation to handle for the restaurant team but one to which a solution was found immediately.
  • Throughout the works, lasting 18 months, Lebrun and his team moved into the garden where a temporary kitchen, identical to the original one, was set up. “In this way all the equipment in the old kitchen could be disconnected and moved to the temporary one”, explained Gerry Kane, joint owner of Kaneco, a company specialising in food service equipment and a partner of the restaurant for almost 20 years.
  • “Although he realised he would not have worked for much longer, the chef wanted to leave the best kitchen possible for his team”, added Kane. No doubts about the choice: like the old kitchen, heavily used for as many as 14 years, the new one also had to have the Ambach name.


The solution

  • In order to best meet the needs of the Guilbaud, the choice went to the Ambach System 900 Exclusive Range, with polished black steel finish for the utmost in elegance and exclusivity.
  • Together with Kaneco, who had also dealt with the old restaurant kitchen, Ambach therefore redesigned the kitchen in a more modern style, aiming at the number one priority: temperature.
  • “One of the most important features of a kitchen is the quality of the air. In order to provide a healthier working environment we tackled and solved the problems that have always been linked to ventilation, cooling and the flow of air, advising the chef to change from gas to induction”, said Kane.
  • The chef and kitchen team are enthusiastic. “I should have changed to induction a long time ago!”, said Lebrun. “The air quality in the kitchen has definitely improved. There’s no heat, we can control the cooking better and cleaning is much simpler and faster. It’s fantastic”.