production kitchens

production kitchens



A huge, 17,000 square foot warehouse in Wandsworth proved to be the perfect solution to Create Food and Party Design’s spacial logistic problems.

This very successful special event catering company had grown steadily over twenty years, organising superb parties and events for many prestigious private and corporate clients but, in 2006, business surged by an unprecedented 40% pushing turnover upwards of £10m, meaning that the team was in desperate need of a dedicated premises to replace the three separate buildings that had housed their production kitchen, pastry kitchen and offices.

Joint managing directors, Richard Groves and Caroline Gardiner, knew that, with the right commercial kitchen design, the warehouse could streamline their operation, increase efficiency and allow further growth over forthcoming years. Luckily, the project manager in charge of the structural work recommended Nelson Catering Equipment. Having worked with them previously, he knew that they would fully appreciate what Create was looking to achieve and would move fast to ensure the production kitchen was fully functional in time for the build up to Christmas – the busiest time of year when a staggering 70,000 meals need to be produced. In fact, from start to finish, Nelson designed and installed the commercial kitchen in just eight weeks. “Having a blank canvas is a kitchen designer’s dream,” explained John Nelson. “While the project manager was busy organising mezzanine level offices and a customer viewing area, we were able to work with Richard, Caroline and their executive chef, Paul Harrison, to create the ultimate professional kitchen.”

Nelson’s starting and finishing points had to be the warehouse’s rear access where goods are delivered and where the finished, chilled items are despatched, ready for service. Here, they specified four sizeable coldrooms, each with a delivery and kitchen access point, an important feature which prevents unnecessary footfall in the busy industrial kitchen. There is one dedicated to meat and fish, one to dairy, one to fruit and vegetables and a further one exclusively to finished food.

Next was the hot prime cooking area that is designed as two large islands suites to allow several chefs to work in harmony. The spacious floor area also allows for extra catering equipment to be brought in for the peak times of Christmas and summer so all the essential extra pipework and power are discreetly concealed. The first island comprises three four-burner oven ranges, a six-burner oven range and a solid-top oven range. The second is made up of a twin fryer, three combination ovens and two stockpot stoves. Adjacent to the hot kitchen are two blast chillers to ensure hot food can be cooled the minute it is cooked.

Beyond the chillers is the cold preparation area which comprises several runs of stainless steel tabling, sufficient for up to twenty staff to work comfortably making up cold dishes and finishing and packing foods from the blast chillers. This area has access to the despatch coldroom which is a lofty 2.4 metres high to allow extra shelving for maximum storage capacity.

The final cooking section is a self-contained pastry area Kitchen which comprises four convection ovens, a six-burner oven range and an eighty litre mixer. Copious runs of stainless steel and marble worktops allow the creative patissieres free reign. The pastry kitchen also has its own coldroom and walk-in freezer.

Commercial dishwasher and glasswasher areas were essential. One for the pots and utensils used in the kitchen and another, sited next to a stockroom, for the glassware and crockery brought back from events.

Carrying a refurbishment cost of £750,000, the vast majority of which was spent on the commercial kitchen, the project was a major one but, as Create continues to grow, proved to be a truly valuable investment.

event caterer kitchen
production kitchen
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