The kitchen at luxury retreat One Farrer Hotel & Spa, Singapore, is one of the latest culinary departments to use Electrolux Professional's thermaline range. Executive chef Kong Kok Kiang highlights how the range's flexibility and innovative design is helping his kitchen successfully cater to diners' orders.
For a chef, meeting the needs that come with the seemingly distinct realms of healthcare and hospitality is no mean feat. The daily task of providing nutritious food for patients, as well as a memorable dining experience for guests, is one that places a great deal of strain on chefs, as well as the equipment they use.
One chef who understands this challenge better than most is Kong Kok Kiang (better known as KK), executive chef at One Farrer Hotel & Spa, Singapore. Looking back at the five-star luxury retreat's launch in late 2014, KK is aware that designing a kitchen to work across all areas of the 20-storey development was very much a case of make or break.
"Our kitchens are constantly in use," explains KK, who heads up a team of 50 chefs at what is recognised as Singapore's first integrated healthcare and hospitality complex. "The banqueting kitchen serves up to 600 guests a day, and the hospital kitchen serves the facility's 150 beds with six meals a day. That's not to mention the hotel's Escape Restaurant & Lounge, which offers all-day dining through three different services of local and international cuisine - or the Local Fresh and Seasonal [LFS] deli and bakery."
With such varied and constant demands placed on the kitchens and their staff, a solution was required that had the strength to stand up to this high pressure and evolve throughout a day of service. Any equipment chosen would have to work across multiple environments, serving everything from high-volume hospital food to high-class restaurant cuisine.
It was with this in mind that KK and his team at One Farrer Hotel & Spa - located a stone's throw from the city's Chinatown district - turned to Electrolux Professional to deliver a full kitchen installation. Among the equipment specified was thermaline, the manufacturer's flagship cooking range, to deliver the reliability needed to produce a diverse menu at volume.
Manufactured from a single sheet of high-quality stainless steel and with a double-frame construction, thermaline's robustness is key to its flexibility, according to KK.
"In the hotel kitchen, Electrolux's innovative technology has allowed us to prepare the mise en place in advance, resulting in much more effective kitchen operations and helping us in meeting the different dietary requirements of patients," he says.
What's more, the range's ProThermetic braising pans have allowed the team's cooking to shine. By facilitating different types of cooking simultaneously, the pans allow operators to boil, braise, fry or steam with complete confidence in thermaline's precise temperature control.
"We deal in a huge range of cuisines for a number of different types of diner, so the pressure-braising pans are perfect for preparing a large quantity of food in advance," says KK.
"This can then be quickly regenerated as and when the dishes are needed, maintaining the consistency and quality we - and our diners - expect."
Specifying any kitchen can be tricky, but choosing one piece of equipment that can work for a number of different kitchens and different types of diners is a particular challenge. But KK is in little doubt that his kitchen made the right decision.
"Not only does thermaline ensure we have a better operational flow in the kitchen, but, crucially, it also enables us to serve the best food we can, on time and at the right temperature."