Project : Locanda Locatelli
Category : Restaurant
Where : London – UK
Line : System 900
Partner : Humble Arnold Associates (Kitchen Design Consultants)

Locanda Locatelli is one of London’s finest Michelin-starred Italian restaurants. Founded by renowned Italian chef Georgio Locatelli, Locanda Locatelli’s menu emphasises fresh, quality produce that is brought to life by Georgio’s creative touch. Locanda Locatelli received its first Michelin star in 2003 and has retained it every year since.

Ambach created a tailored cooking suite with a number of bespoke elements to meet the unique needs of the head chef and kitchen staff, within the confines of a small kitchen space. In a very quick turnaround, the project was delivered and installed within a month. Suppliers and consultants that worked with Ambach to deliver the project include: Humble Arnold, Keith Elkington Transport, Berkeley Projects, and McFarlane Telfer.

The requirement

  • The Locanda Locatelli kitchen space was long and narrow, leaving little room for the kitchen team.
  • As the kitchen began to receive larger table orders (upwards of 7 or 8 people) it became apparent that a larger cook line and pass was required to improve efficiency.
  • A new kitchen suite was to be fitted as part of a kitchen refurbishment. The installation of new walls, flooring and ceiling required effective coordination between the various suppliers and consultants on the project.
  • Humble Arnold project manager, Matthew Scottow said: “In designing the Locanda Locatelli kitchen, the chefs had big aspirations for the space, and it came down to a matter of efficient design to ensure we were able to support these. They had very specific wants and needs from the kitchen, and precise ideas about where exactly they wanted things to go.”
  • The suite needed to accommodate specific equipment used by the restaurant’s wait staff, resulting in a number of bespoke storage elements being designed and integrated into the space.
  • Access to the kitchen was restricted and this had to be taken into consideration when specifying the products to be installed.

The solution

  • Locanda Locatelli wanted a similar format to the Ronda Locatelli Dubai kitchen, which was also fitted with Ambach equipment as specified by kitchen design consultants Humble Arnold.
  • Locanda Locatelli head chef Rino Bono said: “The Dubai kitchen was a very busy kitchen environment, and the Ambach equipment was so solid and robust that when it came to refit the London site, Ambach was the obvious choice.”
  • Ambach’s System 900 was installed within a long covered hot pass that ran down the centre of the space, with shelving, storage and bench space running along the walls on either side.
  • This was the first suite of its kind fabricated by Ambach. In order to save space, Ambach specially fabricated a suite that combined the cook line and pass, with the standard 900 suite dropped in.
  • In total, 25 Ambach cooking equipments were installed, including an induction stovetop, two four burner gas tops, a multi-purpose brat pan and multiple electric ovens.
  • Ambach country manager, Alistair Farquhar said: “At nine meters, the suite for Locanda Locatelli is the longest we have created in the UK. The flexibility of Ambach products worked well, resulting in a bespoke suite that fully met the needs and expectations of Georgio, head chef Rino and the kitchen team.
  • Bespoke elements designed by Stephen Arnold of Humble Arnold in collaboration with Locanda Locatelli, and fabricated by Ambach include:
    • Storage unit for wait staff trays – A series of vertical storage units were designed and fabricated on the service side of the pass. The trays remain neatly tucked away when not in use, and are easily accessed during busy service periods.
    • Foldaway pass shelves – During production the shelves fold down to save space. During service they flip up, and the trays used by wait staff are placed upon them for the chefs to plate up on.
    • Hot cupboard – Normally kept separate, the hot cupboard – used to warm plates during service – was built directly into the pass.
    • Stephen Arnold said: “What Ambach did for this project was very special. Space was limited, however they were able to create a suite that incorporated space saving, bespoke elements, as requested by the client, resulting in a more fluid and efficient work.”
  • Head chef Rino said: “The experience working with Ambach was very, very positive. The suite is a very solid piece of equipment well up to the task, and despite its size we have significantly more space than in our previous set up. As a kitchen we are steps ahead of where we were, and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”
  • Keith Elkington Transport is a specialist catering equipment transport company who has worked with Ambach for over five years. They were tasked with establishing the best entry route into the kitchen, and safely manoeuvring the Ambach equipment into the kitchen.
  • The nine-meter pass was delivered in three pieces and assembled by Italian Ambach engineers who welded the separate pieces into the final, singular unit on site.
  • Keith Elkington said: “It’s always a pleasure working with Alistair and Ambach. Alistair places complete trust in us to do our job and to do it well.” Phil Denne led a team from Berkeley Projects who were responsible for installing and positioning the kitchen suite.
  • Of working with Ambach, Phil said: “As a contractor we’re always happy when we see Ambach are on board with a project. They really work as a team player and the level of communication with Alistair throughout is second to none.”
  • McFarlane Telfer is one of Ambach’s select, approved service and maintenance providers. In addition to specialising in installing, they also provide training to those who will use the suite.
  • Once each piece of equipment was installed, McFarlane Telfer conducted the finishing touches, ensuring levels were all straight, the gas and electric were properly and safely installed and calibrating the kitchen’s thermostats.
  • Of the critical importance of proper installation and thorough product training, Chris Craggs, managing director of McFarlan Telfer said: “It’s a common misconception that these kits can come out of a box and be ready to go. The customer will have a much better experience if the time is taken to install the product properly, to ensure they understand how to use it and how to look after it – and they know where to come as soon as they need any kind of help or assistance.”

Ambach’s fit out of such a small confined space, in which it was able to create more space and movability, speaks about its ability to customise its products to successfully meet difficult briefs. Of the finished Locanda Locatelli space, Ambach’s country manager Alistair Farquhar said: “The Locanda Locatelli kitchen is just a fabulous site. It’s a truly bespoke product that was built around the needs of the client. We’re proud of our work there, and regularly take clients to eat at the restaurant to experience what Ambach products are capable of.”