Restaurant Development & Design

FALL 2014

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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F A L L 2 0 1 4 • R E S T A U R A N T D E V E L O P M E N T + D E S I G N • 5 5 mechanicals into that ceiling, so it's really a maze up there." The fnished basement kitchen ceiling height now stands at slightly more than 7 feet. "Seven feet is code," Davis notes. "Luckily, the Nico chefs wear bicycle hats and not toques. That would be a problem." Not only was the dual-kitchen scenario challenging from a design stan- doint, it also demands tight coordination and impeccable timing on the part of Nico's culinary staff. To facilitate that, a pickup station/pass is positioned at the end of the display kitchen, close to stairs leading to the basement. "Dishes that are made upstairs go to the expediter at the pass, and so do the dishes that come up from downstairs," Davis says. "Everything comes together there for service. It takes a lot of communication, and the crew relies heavily on walkie- talkies. It's amazing to see the volume of covers they do so smoothly." + Sightlines. For the display kitchen, we wanted to preserve sightlines to the hearth oven and the cooking suite, so we kept refrigeration at counter height of 36 to 40 inches. All of the mis en place are stored in refrigerated drawers right at the cooks' stations, all within reach. Also, when your kitchen is on display, it's the theater. It has to be as clean and organized as possible even during the busiest shifts. Everything was thought through to not have any visible clutter. It's all behind a door or in a drawer so all you're seeing is beautiful, clean stain- less steel and the kitchen suite in action. Effciency. If chefs can take two steps instead of four to get what they need, they save a lot of time because they do it over and over and over again every shift. If they have what they need within reach, they get the food out faster, keep the kitchen cleaner and maintain a better work environment. You don't want them having to scramble for what they need, because when they scramble they make mistakes. Favorites. I love the island cooking suite. It's single sided and half the size of what a lot of kitchens would have, but it's very effcient. I also love the overall design of the kitchen and bar and the fnishes selected. There's so much theater, and everywhere you look there are nice details. If you sat in a differ- ent chair every time you came in, you'd see something different. Kitchen Insight STUART DAVIS, Next Step Design Photo by Cynthia Dawson

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