In July 2014 Nick Marriott, chef proprietor of the Mermaid Inn, took on the huge task of turning a failing 17th century country pub into a destination for great food with interesting flavours and influences. He’s done it with the help of Valentine Food Equipment’s Swiss-made fryers and Austrian-made induction cooking systems from sister company Cuisinequip.
The Mermaid, located in the pretty village of Ellington, Cambridgeshire, was a huge project for Nick, who’s Michelin-star training comes from working at Bedfordshire’s only Michelin-starred restaurant Paris House at Woburn. Nick says, “The Mermaid had a lot going for it in terms of location, size and its 400 years of history, but it had been closed for ten months and left to almost fall apart completely. We had to start from the drawing board, and gut the property, designing a great eating and drinking experience around many of its original features which we uncovered and restored.
“For the kitchen I had a supplier in mind for fryers and induction, but visiting The Restaurant Show last October we came across Valentine and Cuisinequip and I knew we had to have their quality and innovation at The Mermaid.
“Our menu is inspired by introducing different flavours and interpreting them into classic dishes using the best locally sourced seasonal ingredients we can get. I need to have electric cooking as gas isn’t an option in the village, but I also wanted to have the excellent energy efficiency and precise cooking that Cuisinequip’s induction cooking delivers. The Valentine fryer has also proved energy efficient with an ECO setting to gradually heat the oil, or very rapid heating from twin heating elements.”
Nick also praised the on-giong support and training from Valentine’s national sales manager Steve Elliott, “Steve stepped up when we needed him to check the set-up of the new fryer and induction systems, and is always there if we need advice on using the equipment. We are looking at building an extension for a small prep kitchen and will be using Valentine again for that.”
The Mermaid Inn (current capacity for 25-30 covers, but plans to extend with an additional 35 covers)
Valentine and Cuisinequip equipment choices:
The fryer is a Valentine: EVO 250
Four Cuisinequip induction hobs: 2 x Twin C2S-SB
Halogen Salamander: Palux
Water Grill: Arris