About two years ago, Ray Costelloe met with Frazer Duncan, Jerry Goldberg and David Moore to discuss the concept of a quality, single product restaurant. The product they had in mind was chicken with its own unique barbecued flavour.
David has known Ray for many years as a result of the work CCE have done in connection with his two Michelin starred restaurants Pied à Terre and the sister restaurant L’Autre Pied, and so called upon his years of knowledge and expertise within the industry and equipment.
Ray’s brief was to source a rotating naked flame rotisserie like the one the partners had first sampled in Spain: a unit that kept the product moist and flavour some throughout the cooking process and created a finished product that looked good on the plate.
After much research Ray located the Whatcom Woodstone, Churrasco-style spit vertical rotisserie that seemed to meet all the criteria: a product designed to marinate and slow roast chickens whilst allowing the fat to drip down and the flesh to cook gently, retaining its moisture.
However the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so a demonstration was arranged at the Jestic Food Service Equipment and Menu Development Centre, a superb test kitchen where the product could be put through its paces and the results viewed, tasted and evaluated.
The unit passed with distinction. Next came the formulation of Clockjack’s own unique menu. A consulting chef was brought on board and the tasting began. Meanwhile, CCE further contributed to the venture by designing a stainless steel bespoke holding unit that would keep the product in prime condition once it had been portioned and made ready for the plate.
Attention then turned from the particular to the general, and CCE took on its primary role of finding a restaurant site, giving full consideration to space and ventilation issues; and having located suitable premises, designing and fitting out the kitchen and bar areas. Ray Costelloe and Clockjack’s Operations Director Ciaran Whelan spent several days in CCE’s design suite planning the layout on CAD, taking full account of budgetary and physical constraints, and ensuring that their work complemented that of the separately appointed restaurant designers.
The holding unit – designed to hold whole birds after they came from the rotisserie – was to be a centrepiece of the restaurant, incorporated in the bar unit that divided the kitchen from the main seating area. This unit was custom built by CCE in its own factory.
The entire project was completed on time and on budget, and Clockjack Oven, as the restaurant is named, looks as good as its product tastes!