AS PEGGY, The Publican's trusty pub cook would agree, working in an unfamiliar kitchen is no fun. "I like to know where my bits and bobs are," our kitchen siren to rival Nigella Lawson told me the other day.
So what do you do if you're in the midst of a kitchen refurb? Many opt for cooking in a temporary kitchen. The temptation can be to press ahead as fast as possible to get it over with and get the new kitchen into action.
Don't rush the refurb
The advice of temporary catering facilities supplier Container Kitchen Systems (CKS), though, is not to rush refurbishment. If you do, corners can be cut and compromises made over equipment to cut delivery and installation time.
CKS has noticed a surge in demand for its services as licensees have expanded their catering facilities since the arrival of the smoking ban.
On the one hand, lots of sites are expanding their outside eating areas. This means they'll have more tables, which in turn will put extra pressure on the kitchen. On the other, many are looking to upgrade their menu to compensate for the business they may be losing in disgruntled smokers.
Whatever the reason for the refurbishment, it's worth taking time to carefully assess requirements, according to CKS sales & IT manager William Kingston. Choose the right equipment and you can be comfortable operating from a temporary kitchen for long enough to mean your new kitchen can be finished without compromise.
A tailored service
With this in mind, CKS offers a wide range of temporary units and can tailor its kitchens to suit the site's foodservice operation. For example, one unit might be fitted out with traditional cooking equipment such as hobs, ovens and fryers, another might feature combi steamers and wok burners.
"We can supply equipment that chefs are familiar with and even mimic the layout they are used to," says William. "That way, moving to the temporary kitchen is as painless and stress-free as possible."
A temporary kitchen can even be used to provide ideas for the design of the new one, William adds. "A temporary kitchen experience can be an inspiration for refurbishment. That's why we recommend you don't hurry it," he says. "Many of our customers tell us they have incorporated ideas from our kitchens into their new plans."
According to William, modern temporary kitchens are advanced enough that they may introduce staff to equipment and design that they have never encountered before and may wish to use in the future. Peggy might not need to worry.