Thomas Battersea School, London

Tasty tucker that children love

Renowned private day school Thomas’s Battersea - one of five schools in the London-centric Thomas’s group - has always prided itself for its tasty tucker that children love. However, with the school food revolution in the past decade, the emphasis on healthy cooking, dietary demands and variety was stepped up, prompting a complete overhaul of the kitchen. According to Mark Newman, general catering manager, the impractical galley kitchen had become unfit for purpose for consistently preparing a wide variety of nutritious, enjoyable dishes that met the high expectations of parents of 560 boys and girls aged 4-13, and 120 staff, every day.


Receiving planning permission to build a new, all electric kitchen, as well as an adjoining dining hall, in the Grade II listed building last year, Mark was walked through the latest intelligent cooking technology by Court Catering, design consultants for the refurbishment. Looking to invest in equipment that could help deliver the rotating daily menu of a mid-morning snack, fresh bread, homemade protein and fish main, vegetarian and vegan option, gluten-free, dairy-free and intolerance option and dessert brought Mark’s attention to MKN’s award-winning FlexiChef.

Whether the team is grilling, steaming, roasting, boiling or frying, it uses pressure and horizontal cooking technology to create a high volume of dishes at a consistently high standard without the need for multiple pieces of equipment. With a low connected load, so chefs work efficiently and sustainably at the same time, the FlexiZone means chefs can cook a complete dish with different time and temperature requirements concurrently in a third of the time. "When I was told we would be able to do a lamb stew in 20 minutes, I gulped on my coffee and said yeah, right" said Mark. "I was absolutely proved wrong. Previously, we would have had to start making our white sauce over two bratt pans at 7.30 am and we’d still be making up batches when the kids were coming in for the final sitting. We are now starting at 9.30am and cruising along by 10.30am, freeing time to prepare salads and veg."

"We can cook 55 kilos of beef in 45 minutes, which is incredible."

Chef manager Yolandi Hicks is impressed by the MKN. 


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