Sorrel is the second restaurant venture by Chef Proprietor Steve Drake. Beginning his career at the Ritz hotel, his vocation has led to a host of positions working with acclaimed Chefs such as Tom Aikens and Marco Pierre White before winning the Roux Scholarship in 2001 and a placement in France at a Michelin-starred restaurant. The Sorrel is now the second restaurant, after Drakes, of the Chef Proprietor to be awarded a Michelin star.
The brief was to convert a 300-year-old, Grade II-listed property in Surrey which had received a modern conservatory dining area. The client requirement was to reverse the arrangement to place the kitchen within the glass cube of the conservatory.
A bespoke induction cook suite from Cookline was specified along with bespoke island station, combination ovens from Rational, Ware areas by Maidaid and Refrigeration by Foster and Adande.
Installing a Michelin-star restuarant within a conservatory was not without challenges. The team undertook a series of measures to ensure the heat did not affect the catering staff and produce in Summer and customers were not served cold food in the winter. The glass was first heat treated to regulate the temperature and a heater battery was added to the replacement air unit.
This had to be done without breaching a key design requirement; that no fixings were made to the glass. The most challenging aspect of this requirement was how to suspend the kitchen canopy. In response a bespoke steel framework was erected within the space from which to hang the canopy, lights and services.
The quality of the installation resulted in CEDA awarding the kitchen the Grand Prix Award in its Small Projects category 2018.