Deluxe resort The Mere has recently installed the FRIMA VarioCooking Center Multificiency
Located on the outskirts of Knutsford in Cheshire’s stunningly picturesque countryside, The Mere is a four-star deluxe resort with a spa, golf course and three different food outlets. The main restaurant, Browns, has 2 AA rosettes and serves modern international food using the freshest seasonal ingredients, while the more casual restaurants in the Club Lounge and Spa serve a variety of popular items, from burgers to Indian food, “pick and choose” style. The resort operates 24/7, and alongside its busy restaurants, The Mere also caters for up to 600 banquet covers daily.
There are four kitchens where the need for fast, accurate and efficient cooking equipment is paramount. During the recent refurbishment of its main kitchen The Mere installed a FRIMA VarioCooking Center® Multificiency®.
“The FRIMA is a phenomenal piece of kit,” says Mark Walker, Executive Head Chef of The Mere. “It makes life easier and takes the pressure off, producing a consistent, controlled, quality food every time. The precise controls mean you can walk away from a FRIMA and nothing burns or sticks.”
Not only does its precision mean consistent quality is a given, the VarioCooking Center’s multifunctionality has also proven invaluable to The Mere’s diverse menu, used for anything from stocks to sous-vide to sea bass to curry bases.
The Mere has FRIMA’s 211+, which has a 100-litre capacity pan and a footprint measuring 1164mm(w) x 914mm(d) x 1100mm(h). It can sear 12kg of meat in 4 minutes and pressure cook up to 40kg of meat per hour. It can cook 20kg of rice at once.
“Anything big in volume we’ll make in it, because of the sheer capacity it can handle,” says Mark. “For example, for 180 portions of sea bass cooked all at once, all with crispy skin, we will use the FRIMA.”
The FRIMA cooks very quickly, too. “We make stock in two hours, and veal jus in four hours, complete, reduced, done. And you get a better product, the consistency of flavour is all there.”
Mark and his team have also found the unit to be energy saving. “Gas and electric are a kitchen’s biggest costs. When we used gas for our stockpots they could take up to two days. With the FRIMA 48 hours becomes three or four hours, so running costs are massively reduced. Less gas means less heat in the kitchen too, which creates a much nicer working environment.”
Naturally, the more the FRIMA is used, the more the staff are learning of the possibilities it can bring to the menu.
“There are a million things we could still do with it, and we keep learning, it’s so multifunctional. I want to be at the forefront of modern cooking techniques, and the FRIMA hits every part of our business. It’s a piece of kit we can’t do without.”