The Naval Club was formed by Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) Officers who had served in Whitehall during world war two. The RNVR Officers’ Association purchased the freehold of 38 Hill Street in 1946 and it has been the home of the Association and The Naval Club ever since.
Corporate and private membership is open to all and it is not necessary to have served in the Navy to become a member. Families are welcomed and the Club is open seven days a week throughout the year, except for a few days at Christmas and the New Year. Almost all of the public rooms and bedrooms are wheelchair accessible.
Chief Executive, Commander Phillip Ingham, recently instigated the refurbishment of the kitchen.
Carried out by Contract Catering Equipment (CCE Group Ltd), this included the installation of a Charvet Pro700 cooking suite with twin fryers, solid top and gas burner sections, plancha and chargrill. Space-conscious design has allowed for pan storage at head height and also on the shelf at the rear of the range, wide enough to hold sauté pans.
Two Adande refrigerated drawers are fitted neatly under the centre section of the range, with two more facing under the counter and four more elsewhere in the kitchen.
Also installed were a combi oven, ventilation, cladding, flooring, grills and a pass.
“It’s so much better,” explained the Sous Chef, “and the layout, the hot and cold sides to the pass, is easier to work and more functional. Wherever you stand now in the kitchen, you get a bird’s eye view.”
The kitchen operates with a maximum of three chefs plus 1 in the pass, catering for up to 110 covers at one time.
“Charvet was recommended to us by CCE Group,” says the Chief Executive, “as was the Adande refrigeration.”
He explained that four tenders in total were evaluated, with CCE Group winning on a combination of quality, value for money and their “level of detail.”
The Naval Club team were grateful to CCE Group for providing the opportunity to visit a number of restaurants fitted out by the Essex-based contractor. Trips to La Chapelle, Scott’s and the RAC Club provided a view of various kitchen layout and equipment options.
Head Chef James Cattle, said: “We were looking for excellence of performance and quality of manufacture, but we often found ourselves hampered by the dimensions of our kitchen; the length and depth of the range would be key to selecting the equipment.”
Charvet’s medium-sized Pro700 series was chosen for its minimum 700mm depth and its heavy duty performance.
“I’d worked with Charvet before,” says the Head Chef. “They are one of the market leaders because their equipment is simple to use, easy to clean and the layout is very good.
“You pay a little more, but it is worth it for the way it works, the service from Charvet and because of how long it will last.
“I am also impressed with the design. For a small kitchen, everything is to hand and it is a great utilisation of the space.”