Executive chef Jean Delport.
Jean Delport is the executive chef who heads up the kitchen team at the 24-acre Leonardslee estate at Lower Beeding, near Horsham.
The historic estate features various cafes and outlets on site. Restaurant Interlude offers both sandwich lunches and hot meals to the general public, and dinner consisting of 14 to 21 courses. All meals aim to bring the estate to life on the table.
Mr Delport and his team have high expectations for what they need from their refrigeration equipment, and chose to work with Hallmark Kitchens and Precision Refrigeration.
“When it comes to refrigeration, we have very specific needs,” says Mr Delport. “Leonardslee is a Grade 2 listed house, so the equipment needs to be compact, as well as performing really well. They also need to be stylish, sleek and energy efficient. When it came to planning our fine dining kitchen needs, Hallmark Kitchens chose Precision equipment because they had every single product available that I needed, and filled any gap I had, to make the kitchen area look great and efficient.”
Mr Delport chose to work with Hallmark Kitchens following colleague recommendations, and the business was selected to help design and manage this project for Leonardslee.
“The most useful piece of Precision Refrigeration equipment in this kitchen is the space savers long drawer option,” comments Mr Delport. “We chose this product purely for the amount of ingredients it holds, as well as being easy access to produce. Precision’s space saving refrigeration equipment is well designed, and deceivingly big.”
Meat ageing needs
Leonardslee has a deer park which is home to four species of deer. Storing meat, including venison, as part of the Leonardslee food offering was important to the team.
Mr Delport says: “The meat ager allows me to store meat effectively, and the Himalayan salt blocks in the unit adds lots of flavour into the meat. The Precision meat ager performs really well, and allows me to age our meat for 250 days. It’s a great addition to the refrigeration equipment on site.”