Energy-Efficient Kitchen Design
The famous restaurant Julie’s is a historic icon of West London, bringing the wine bar party concept to London in the late 60s. This made it a Holland Park favourite of the Hollywood set, high society and rock stars attracting regulars including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Madonna and later Princess Diana and Kate Moss.
Owners Tim and Cathy Herring wanted an innovative, modern, and energy-efficient kitchen in the confined, basement location. This was not a tendered brief and required the expertise of TAG’s kitchen design team to develop all the required concepts.
Our brief, to bring Julie’s into the 21st century whilst maintaining its distinctive, decadent style of alcoves and small corridors, sensitively capturing Julie Hodgess’ original, comfortable relaxing design and “wine bar” soul of the original bohemian setting.
- To design a modern and efficient operating cost saving kitchen that would be positioned in the now lower basement kitchen.
- To cater for an increase in covers despite being significantly smaller than the previous kitchen. Accommodating for lunch, dinner, and party/banquet services.
- Design a replacement modern bar that would be the focal point in the new champagne bar.
- To be as hygienic as possible.
- Create a sense of theatre; bring Julie’s into the 21st century whilst maintaining its distinctive decadent style of alcoves and small corridors.
- Ensure the former wine bar heritage remained at its heart.
- Overcome the lack of space required for mechanical and electrical equipment.
- Overcome the lack of available power which if not possible would render the project infeasible.
- Comply with strict planning regulations.
The installation of the new kitchen and equipment at Julie’s was difficult and testing! We worked closely with the principal contractor and the client to ensure that the kitchen installation was cohesive with the rest of the programme.
The kitchen was designed for theatre, without compromising functionality; strategically positioned the equipment to allow for discrete views through the pass, from the restaurant directly through to the fully bespoke induction cooking suite. The kitchen was designed with efficiency and ergonomics in mind, featuring flexible equipment including fryers, pasta boilers, large plancha, and multi-zone hobs capable of menu and capacity changes.
The change from gas to induction was to improve energy use, reduce heat in the kitchen and allow for more equipment in a small footprint. The entire kitchen and refrigeration pack was connected via the DeManincor Total Control System-TCS®. The system continually monitors the power consumption up to 30 times per second preventing energy spikes, sharing power, and reducing overall energy usage.
Bespoke fabrication was used throughout the project to give a seamless flow across the area. The DeManincor suite was situated on solid concrete plinths encapsulated with Altro flooring, meaning maximum hygiene as no dirt can trap and it is easy to clean, reducing time, effort, and chemicals.
Significant planning restrictions for building exterior directly impacted space availability for Mechanical and Electrical, most notably the basement extract, and with limited height/space the standard Venturi effect would be compromised. Our innovative design solution used bespoke compact angled extraction hoods over the cook suite with one extract point through the roof and a unique flat “zig-zag” system of ducting, giving excellent functionality whilst saving space. Getting this right involved detailed, time-consuming research and collaboration across builders and Quantity Surveyors.
The lack of space on site meant we had to meticulous plan to coordinate all deliveries that were required on site. The DeManincor suit was delivered in two sections down a small staircase on-site, then welded together.
The level of difficulty we had to overcome across all areas of this project all add up to it being a huge success, particularly the length of the project and adapting to all the unforeseen changes throughout. This included:
- The complexity of design and very specific brief
- The small and disjointed kitchen area
- How we went over and above what was necessary to help and advise the owners during what was an often fraught and costly relationship with the main contractors.
- Keeping our costs on track and being flexible and adaptable throughout.
The project also demonstrates the importance of fully understanding the brief; with clever design, limited space and associated planning issues the functionality, ergonomics and aesthetics were not compromised in any way. In particular, the bespoke wine fridge and bar look exceptional, all fitting perfectly into the interior design and wine bar feel.
Without implementing the energy-efficient equipment and technologically advanced energy management system, the project would have not been feasible due to the proposed connected load and power availability of the kitchen. But it made the re-opening of Julie’s and dream of its owners possible.
TAG’s tenacity to succeed and our client-focused approach meant Julie’s re-opened in September 2019, in time to celebrate its 50th year, to great reviews and full bookings.
Shay Cooper became the Chef Patron of Julie’s in July 2019 as the installation was taking place. With limited input on the design, he understandably had questions regarding the design intentions and justifications, after using the kitchen he made the following complements.
TAG did an outstanding job with the installation of the kitchen. Once the kitchen was completed I was thoroughly impressed with the level of workmanship and fabrication. Everything including the catering equipment exceeded my expectations. I’m incredibly happy with the kitchen.
The DeManincor range is an absolute pleasure to work on. It is very low maintenance and we have had no issues whatsoever. The kitchen has been really well designed by Tyron at TAG.