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Williams Refrigeration's products in action at Le Cordon Bleu.

Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu has been teaching classic culinary techniques for over 100 years. A world renowned network of educational institutions that provides the highest level of culinary and hospitality instruction, operating 40 schools in 20 countries and teaching over 20,000 students annually.

When Le Cordon Bleu decided to create an International Flagship Institute in London, they chose Williams to supply the refrigeration for the new kitchens.

“Internationally Le Cordon Bleu offers in excess of 50 different courses, and the London campus has facilities such as classrooms with interactive technology,” says Larry Montack, Head of Institute. “This means we can increase the breadth of courses available to include those in wine and management. Prior to the development we had in depth discussions with colleagues from around the world to research everything we had achieved over the past ten years in terms of new sites and courses.

London was an opportunity to review our developments, to select the best and most successful initiatives and ensure that we were developing an Institute for the future, including the most technologically advanced catering equipment.” 

The equipment was supplied and installed by Court Catering, whose managing director Nick Howe says: “As you would expect with such a prestigious project, the client’s requirements were very demanding. 

The shopping cart included 53 cabinets / counters, 6 blast chillers, 7 retarder provers and 5 modular coldrooms.” 

A suite of kitchens to teach tomorrow’s 5* chefs

The kitchens in the new institute include:

  • Basement production kitchen, producing ingredients for classes
  • World cuisine kitchen with equipment such as a tandoori oven
  • Boulangerie, bakery and patisserie areas
  • Polyvalent kitchen
  • Variety of demonstration areas

Montack says: “The third floor Polyvalent kitchen is designed to adapt to whatever is required – from cuisine kitchen to patisserie. In fact, all the kitchens are multi-purpose. Given the huge range of courses we offer, they have to be. Again, the equipment we specified had to be able to accommodate that flexibility.” 
Williams’ coldroom designs were typical of this flexibility. The company was able to supply five units, each tailored for a specific storage purpose: fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, general products and a freezer room. 

Williams Refrigeration Equipment at Le Cordon Bleu

The Equipment

The Williams equipment at Le Cordon Bleu features the latest refrigeration technologies. Cabinets and counters were supplied with CoolSmart controllers, which monitor the equipment operation, only turning on the refrigeration system when it is needed in order to minimise power consumption, saving up to 15% in energy. The institute’s new blast chillers use WEB (Williams Easy Blast) controllers, which are extremely simple to operate.

“50% of our students go on to 4 or 5 star establishments like the Dorchester and the Savoy, a further 40% open their own businesses,” says Montack. “They expect to be using the very best facilities. At the same time, the kitchens are in constant, heavy use. So the catering equipment has to be top quality, robust and absolutely reliable.”

Sustainability

Another key factor in terms of equipment specification was sustainability. “As an organisation we are committed to minimising our carbon footprint and protecting the environment,” says Montack. “Sustainable technology goes hand in hand with financial efficiency so investing in quality, longer lasting equipment makes sound business sense to us.” 

Williams’ Greenlogic initiative focuses on helping operators reduce their carbon footprint. As well as developing ‘greener’ technologies, this involves helping customers to better understand their buying choices: how particular model variations will impact on sustainability, waste reduction, power consumption and so on.

Download the case study here