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.
- 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.
- 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.