school kitchen design



The Cardinal Wiseman Roman Catholic School in Greenford is, officially, ‘outstanding’. Not only is it amongst the top twenty comprehensive schools in the country, Ofsted inspectors, in a recent report, had high praise for its excellent management structure.

Not surprisingly, when the school took the decision to improve the quality of the food it serves its 1400 pupils and staff every lunchtime, the same level of dedication and strong management was employed.

Jacqueline Parks, a Food Technology teacher at the school was appointed Head of Hospitality – a role which was not only to encompass the commissioning of a whole new commercial kitchen, but to re-educate the students to view the entire area of food from a completely different angle.

Via her various contacts in the catering industry, Jacqueline found Nelson Catering Equipment and brought them in to help her realise her vision. John Nelson commented, “Jacqueline wanted to dispense with the concept of using pre-prepared products and, quite literally, start again from scratch. She knew that combining the new School kitchen and menu with an educational drive on all aspects of food, which includes growing some of their own crop vegetables, salads and fruit (a venture supported by both the Soil Association and Garden Organics) would prove successful – and it has.”

Because extra floor area was allocated to extend the school kitchen, Nelson’s design was not constricted by space. However, the industrial kitchen is visible from the adjacent servery, so it was crucial that it performed both aesthetically and practically as the limited time span of service (just forty-five minutes to serve 1400 meals) was rigid.

The school kitchen design is based around a large, central, cooking island which comprises two solid-top oven ranges, two six-grid combination ovens, a four burner oven range, a salamander grill, twin fryers, a twenty grid combination oven and a bratt pan. To one side of the school kitchen is a vast dry food storage room with copious amounts of shelving and a fridge and freezer. Further refrigeration, sinks and tabling immediately outside allow most of the food preparation to take place before being moved to the island for cooking. Mobile benches (which double as extra work surface space) are used for transportation.

At the opposite side of the kitchen, an efficient commercial dishwasher and pot storage area processes all the pots and pans from the cooking island as well as crockery and glassware from the adjacent servery ensuring all soiled items are far removed from food storage and cooking zones. This area also incorporates vegetable preparation and a large potato peeler is located here.

The food servery counter and smoothie bar was designed to maximise the food’s considerable visual appeal and to prevent congestion whilst allowing kitchen staff to replenish stocks easily and quickly.

To speed up payment, an ingenious thumbprint recognition system enables students to ‘pay’ for their food without needing to carry cash or cards while their accounts are simply settled online by ParentPay.

The combined effect of Jacqueline’s vision and Nelson catering equipments ’s design has resulted in a School kitchen that is truly inspirational. Not only does it provide fresh, healthy, seasonal food for students and staff but it has become instrumental in educating young people in the long term value of healthy eating.

school kitchen
school kitchens
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