Wednesday, 12 September 2007

World Class Catering

The 15th Asian Games were held in Doha, Qatar from 1st -15th December 2006 and was classed as the world's second largest sporting event. PKL Group had a contract from the early stages to supply, install and maintain the catering equipment at two key sites at the games. These were the Athletes Village Dining Facility and The Main Press Centre.

The start of the design phase began in November 2005 with the design for the Athletes Village being accepted by mid January 2006. PKL sent a team of Engineers and Project Managers to Doha and the first works were undertaken on the 3rd April 2006, when the first water pipes were laid under the Athletes Village Dining and Kitchen areas.

The Athletes Dining Facility fed 10,000 athletes and officials, plus 6,000 staff 24 hours a day and produced up to 60,000 meals per day. Seating was provided for 4,800 diners along with 300 linear metres of servery counters. Overall, the facility housed 800sqm of refrigeration (the size of a large two storey terraced house). This was all housed in two connected tented structures and measured a massive 11,000sqm. The centrepiece was a magnificent dome known as the Doha Dome and was externally branded with specially selected Arabian calligraphy. The structures housed various types of cuisine including Asian, Sub Continental and Continental. At the heart of each regional area was a themed food market, a vibrant, colourful place to collect the food and drinks.

The Main Press Centre was to provide catering 24 hours a day and feed over 5,000 media personnel per day. The dining hall and kitchen area measured 6,500sqm and it housed bespoke servery equipment specially commissioned for the Media Centre.

Between the two main sites, PKL supplied over 1,400 items of kitchen equipment, ranging from 24 rack combination ovens, bratt pans, chargrills and wok burners to smaller items such as rice washers, preparation tables and storage racking. The kitchens were designed on an open plan basis, making them large enough to accommodate the 80 chefs that were working in the kitchens at any one time. The Central Island Canopies were integral in providing extraction and promoting the open plan kitchen environment.

PKL were responsible for all on site catering maintenance, which involved a near zero tolerance policy to downtime of equipment from the caterers, something that PKLs engineering and technical support team coped with brilliantly throughout the Games.

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