Project : Corpus Christi College
Category : Education
Where : Cambridge – UK
Line : Chef 850
Partner : GWP Foodservice Design Consultants

Corpus Christi College is one of the ancient colleges in the University of Cambridge, dating back to 1352. The sixth college of the university to be established, it bears the distinction of being the only Oxbridge College founded by the townspeople. The college provides an academic and residential environment for 85 Fellows, 280 under-graduates and 230 post-graduates, and employs 115 staff across two campuses – one in the centre of mediaeval Cambridge and a second postgraduate site at nearby Leckhampton.  The college is known for providing good quality food, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, as well as brunch on Saturdays.

The requirement

  • Corpus Christi College’s Leckhampton campus hall was to undergo a full refurbishment. As part of this, the kitchen was to be brought up-to-date, in keeping with the ground floor refurbishment.
  • The kitchen caters for 140 post-graduates as well as Fellows, visiting Fellows and other academic visitors.
  • Specified by GWP Foodservice Design Consultants, Olive Branch Catering Equipment worked closely with the college end users to select the equipment for the kitchen.
  • Having worked with Ambach for many years, GWP also recommended Ambach for the project.
  • The Ambach Chef 850 was chosen because of its flexible configuration options, its ability to provide a single piece top solution, and its competitive price point.
  • The access to the kitchen space was tight, and the logistics of getting the large unit into a building designed in 1881 had to be considered.

The solution

  • Ambach created a bespoke one piece cook top suite that housed a four ring Ambach induction unit, along with two fryers, Salamander grill and grill range.
  • Weighing upwards of 300kgs and measuring over three meters in length, the bespoke Ambach suite was delivered in two pieces. Due to access restrictions, the single top piece was removed from the cooking suite and was then installed on-site by Olive Branch as one complete piece.
  • Garry Nokes, managing director, GWP Consultants said: “It was a pleasure working with Ambach on the Corpus Christi project – as always, we found Alistair and John Braithwaite to be incredibly proactive and readily available to help when needed.”
  • Phil Alexander, director, Olive Branch Catering Equipment said: “Ambach supplied the project with a very high quality product – robust and durable and perfectly suited to the high-turnover campus kitchen.”
  • Installing a modern suite into such an historic site required Ambach to tailor its approach, and customise its product to successfully meet the difficult brief.
  • Of the finished Corpus Christi College kitchen, Ambach’s country manager Alistair Farquhar said: “Ambach welcomed the opportunity to supply this bespoke cooking suite to such a prestigious Cambridge college. It was the first suite we’ve delivered with the complete one piece top removed, to aid the unique nature of the delivery into such an historic location. It’s always satisfying to see a client so pleased with the end result, and we thank the college along with GWP and Olive Branch for involving us in this fantastic project.”
  • Chris Le-Vien, catering manager, Corpus Christi College comments: “Within the Leckhampton community this kitchen is the ‘heart and soul’ of the place. The kitchen project has been two years in the making and the Ambach suite, which is situated in the centre of the space, allows our chefs to effortlessly move from preparation to cooking to service. The suite is a pleasure to work with and has allowed us to be more productive and improve the quality of our offer. It is responsive to the demands of a busy service and deserves the respect of any chef that uses it.”