We’ve had fun trying something new today! We set up one of our temporary kitchens outside the office and invited a couple of chefs from one of our equipment suppliers to come and run a training session for some of our sales guys this morning.
Dan, Ed, Bill and Ciaran were given a hands-on lesson on how to use a whole range of commercial catering equipment, including a combi oven and salamander grill, and experienced one of our temporary kitchens from a chef’s point of view. The chefs showed them all the features of the different equipment and discussed the best ways to get the most out of it and use it for a range of cooking styles. They also demonstrated how the kitchen layout, designed by our expert kitchen design team, had been optimised to make the most of the space and create a practical, efficient workspace.
Since we were also hosting a client meeting in the office this morning, the boys were then tasked with making hot breakfast wraps for all our visitors, and were set to work putting their new equipment knowledge into practice. Following his stint in the kitchen, Ciaran is a definite combi oven convert! This morning's experience should help the guys to have an even better, more practical understanding of our equipment, and to be even more knowledgeable when helping advise clients on the most suitable catering equipment for their projects.
The kitchen was then used by the chefs at lunchtime to cook beef curry with rice and naan, as well as a salmon and asparagus dish, followed a very tasty jam sponge pudding and custard!
You might have spotted from the photos that the kitchen unit itself was one of our energy efficient eKitchens. These have been designed with a number of energy saving features including high-spec LED lighting, additional insulation in the roof and floor, a double-glazed serving hatch, thermostatically controlled space heater, plus energy efficient taps and electric water heater. Our eKitchens have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of B42 compared to D97 for a standard unit, and can save users over £350 per year in energy consumption, so they're a great option particularly for longer term hires.
We are hugely proud to announce that we have recently won the contract to install the first catering outlet on the Moon, in response to an anticipated increase in space travel in the next decade. Provisionally called the “Moon Cube”, it will be used to provide a range of drinks and light snacks to both astronauts and space tourists, as well as providing a stop-off point to break up longer journeys. While it is still in the very early design stages, it is anticipated that it will be ready to install within the next seven years, and there are also longer term plans in place to create a more comprehensive service station type facility if it is a success. The Moon Cube is being designed with custom equipment to enable it to prepare and serve specialist space food. Due to the unique environment of space, food must be safe to store for relatively long periods of time, as well as being nutritionally balanced and easy to consume in low gravity environments, so this has an impact on the catering equipment required. Later this year, we will begin working alongside a number of suppliers to create new equipment designs suitable for the project, following scheduled discussions with a number of experts to identify required features and potential challenges.
Initial concept drawing for the PKL Moon Cube
The Moon Cube will feature a long-range beacon to alert passing space traffic to its presence, and transmit information on food and drink availability. An integrated computer system will also be used to communicate stock level information to the client on Earth, enabling efficient stock planning. In addition to these features, the project will also require us to implement systems for regulating the unit’s temperature, as well as air filtration and waste removal systems similar to those used in existing space vehicles. Our highly skilled design team will be working to overcome a number of unique, site-specific challenges such as low gravity and pasteurised terrain, while it is anticipated that solar panels and generators will be used to overcome a lack of services on site. Our expert transport team are experienced in delivering to challenging locations, but this will be their greatest challenge yet. Throughout the design process, we will also be liaising with a number of agencies to discuss transport options, and as with all our projects, detailed delivery and lift plans will be created in advance. This project is a fantastic opportunity for PKL, and follows 25 years of success in supplying catering infrastructure to prestigious projects around the world. We have started the recruitment process for a number of specialist staff to take a lead on the project, including aerospace engineers and physicists, while our existing staff will be able to provide a wealth of experience and knowledge of catering design and installation. Although the deployment is several years away, this project represents the chance to build on our strong history of catering innovation and is the start of a new era for PKL. For more information on our Earth-based Food Cubes, visit our website.