From coffee shop to fresh lobster and 900 covers a day…
Marcus Gorgiou, Head Chef at Dean’s Garden Centre talks about the transformation of their business and working with Whitco.
During the winter of 2016 I was fortunate enough to become involved in the development of a very exciting new catering project at Deans Garden Centre. This was a completely new build from the ground up, expanding an existing coffee shop into a state-of-the-art garden centre restaurant.
When I came on board the planning of the kitchen and dining areas had already been taken care of by Amanda McGreavy from Whitco. We began working together on the project, finalising all of the finer details. This was an enormous task and Amanda was working flat out to deal with the ongoing day by day problems of bringing a large project like this together. The challenge was to try and match up the requirements of the business partners with the architect’s specifications, the contactors’ practical on-site problems - and the demands of the Head Chef!
Our relationship with Amanda and Whitco is ongoing as we continue to grow and develop the business, and the support from them is much appreciated and helpful to us in both the long and short term.
The kitchen itself is a large and well-equipped concept. There are three Unox combination ovens, three double fryers with oil filtering, a griddle and a solid top with convection oven under, a heavy-duty induction hob, blast chiller, several under counter refrigeration units, a large salad prep refrigerated counter, a servery bain marie, hot cupboards and heated gantries. As well as a large number of stainless steel tables. We also have a large plate stand and several trolleys for moving goods between the walk-in fridge and freezer units to the preparation and cooking areas.
We are currently serving around 700 to 900 people a day and more at the weekend! The relative ease with which we are able to do this has been hugely dependent on the original planning, design and specification, which Amanda was largely responsible for. We have added a few new pieces of equipment as we have needed to respond to the direction that the business has taken us. We have also of course worked incredibly hard to achieve and maintain a large volume of food production of such high quality. This again is made easier by the layout and flow of the kitchen areas.
Our relationship with Amanda and Whitco is ongoing as we continue to grow and develop the business, and the support from them is much appreciated and helpful to us in both the long and short term. The food offering that we have at the moment will continue to develop and we have already had fresh lobster on the menu!
The Bothy restaurant has become a destination in its own right and its potential is limitless with such a huge following of customers, a great team of people working hard to maintain it and fantastic support from Amanda and the Whitco team!
Marcus Georgiou, Head Chef
Deans Garden Centre