Equipment focus: Merchant Inns is freshly equipped

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Boutique pub group Merchant Inns has made restoring unloved pubs to their former glory into something of a speciality. Integral to the group's offer...

Boutique pub group Merchant Inns has made restoring unloved pubs to their former glory into something of a speciality.

Integral to the group's offer is freshly-cooked, locally-sourced food. Menus are masterminded by executive chef Rob Clayton, named HQ Food Champion at The Publican Food & Drink Awards 2008.

At the Horse and Groom Inn in Charlton, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire, the menu includes wild boar and apple sausages from Cotswold butcher Jesse Smith, and corn-fed chicken breast from nearby Fairford.

The best-selling dish is head chef Justin Brown's double-cooked Cotswold shoulder of lamb with creamy mash, honey-roasted root vegetables and red wine sauce.

Clayton says: "Customers are becoming more educated about food from TV shows and the press and are demanding local produce on the menu."

The pub can serve up to 35 covers for lunch and 80 for dinner, as well as providing breakfast for guests in five letting rooms. During the refurbishment, Clayton turned to Imperial Catering to ensure the pub's kitchen would be up to the demand.

He says: "Imperial's ranges are robust, reliable and easy to use and we're getting excellent results from them. We went for both a solid top range and a six-gas burner range, plus a twin fryer and stockpot burner."

The design of Imperial's heavy duty restaurant ranges allows flexibility via additional options and accessories. There are more than 100 different configurations, with standard ovens, convection ovens, modular tops or storage bases, open burners griddle tops, hot tops, French tops, open top broilers, range match fryers or range match spreaders.

  • All Imperial Catering equipment comes with a two-year parts and labour warranty, at no additional cost. Go to www.imperialrange.co.uk or call 01509 260150

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