Two drawers fit under a standard worktop helping create socially-distanced chef’s station.

Working practices in commercial kitchens will have to change to accommodate social distancing.  Creating individual chefs’ stations where everything is to hand will be part of the solution.  The latest Williams Chefs Drawer, model VWCD1, is a variable temperature unit that brings refrigerated or frozen storage right to the cookface, in even the smallest kitchens. One of its main advantages is the ability to stack two units beneath a standard worktop, allowing users to create a flexible storage solution that can be customised to the chef’s specific needs.

Two drawers stacked together give a combined height of as little as 838mm, including castors, making it easy to fit beneath a standard 900mm high worktop. The VWCD1 features a completely new body design with a side mounted, front ventilating cassette type refrigeration system that helps to reduce the unit’s depth to just 670mm. This allows it to be installed easily underneath a standard 700mm deep worktop, as it leaves a 30mm gap for the plug (the unit runs off a standard 13amp power supply).

The exact size of the stacked drawers can be adjusted further since the swivel and brake castors are available in two different sizes – so operators can choose the best height for their site.  The castors make moving the unit for servicing and maintenance simple, while solidly locking it into position when required.  The option of legs offers even more flexibility.  Depending on the selection of castors or legs, the height of the individual drawer can be adjusted by over 70mmm, between 456mm and 530mm.  Each VWCD1 measures 1100mm wide by 670mm deep.

The combination of modular, compact drawers with variable temperature controls and a front venting refrigeration system makes the VWCD1 an extremely flexible option that can be fitted in to the tightest spaces, providing easy access to fresh or frozen ingredients right where the kitchen brigade need it.

This means it can be useful for both larger kitchens looking to make more self-contained cooking stations in line with increased requirements for social distancing, or smaller locations looking to maximise the use of limited space without compromising on quality. The variable temperature helps operators to cope with seasonal menu changes or major events, since it can be instantly switched from chilled to frozen storage and vice versa.

Despite its compact size each drawer can hold 2/1GN pans up to an impressive 150mm in depth, compared to 100mm for some competitor models.  It has a capacity of 105 litres.

The body and removable drawers are constructed from robust, foodsafe stainless steel.  The Chefs Drawer uses natural R290 refrigerant and eco-friendly high performance, high density polyurethane insulation, meaning it can operate in ambient temperatures as high as 43°C.

“The VWCD1’s ability to be double-stacked below a standard worktop means operators can design a compact, modular refrigeration system for their specific needs,” says Malcolm Harling, sales and marketing director at Williams. “With the emerging post-lockdown necessity for social distancing in the workplace this flexibility, and the way it allows chefs to have everything they need close to hand, makes it ideal for a wide range of sites and uses, without compromising on the integrity of the ingredients.”

The VWCD1 Chefs Drawer has list prices starting from £2,300.

Williams Refrigeration offers a comprehensive range of commercial refrigeration including gastronorm cabinets and counters, specialist bakery equipment, coldrooms, merchandisers and blast chillers.