Located in the quiet village of Fence, East Lancashire, sits an unassuming pub that defies its quaint surroundings. The White Swan at Fence uses its rustic setting as a platform to deliver simple, stunning food, built in the image of its award-winning head chef Tom Parker.
Electrolux Professional visited The White Swan at Fence to take a look behind the curtain, and get a glimpse of how Tom creates his amazing dishes.
The White Swan at Fence is steeped in Northern charm, from the warm and friendly service, through to the hearty dishes produced by head chef Tom Parker. Having learned his trade at nearby Northcote, Tom revels in the freedom he has to cook with the seasons:
“We don’t have a menu as such here, so we can cook what we want depending on what is working and in season. We push boundaries and try to make some exciting dishes, but the taste of our food is always the most important thing.
“As any chef will tell you, the equipment you’re cooking on has to be up to the job, and it’s fair to say our kitchen was in need of a bit of an upgrade. The challenge was that our pub is an old building, with lots of strange angles and irregular walls, which meant replacing the stove was a difficult task. I’m also someone that hates gaps and holes, so it needed to be something that fit the space perfectly.”
As it can be made to measure, and benefits from a build quality that ensures longevity, the decision was made to opt for a bespoke cooking suite from the Molteni 1923 line. Carefully designed to perfectly fit the unique contours of the White Swan’s kitchen, it also incorporates a plancha to provide Tom with maximum flexibility in the food he prepares.
Tom continues: “Its consistency makes it a dream to cook on compared with our old equipment, and the solid top is ideal for prep work. The biggest difference is the plancha, as you get such a great colour when you cook directly on it.
“It’s not too hot, which means you aren’t constantly moving pans all over the place. Not only does this reduce the chaos a bit when you’re busy, but it also gives you that extra workspace, which is priceless in a small kitchen like ours.”
Alongside the Molteni suite, The White Swan at Fence also needed a new oven, and installed the Electrolux Professional SkyLine Premium. It benefits from being the only foodservice appliance series to be recognised with Ergocert’s pioneering 4-star certified ergonomics, a critical feature in a busy kitchen. Featuring a raft of functionality to improve quality and efficiency, the new oven has ensured that Tom and the team have even more tools at their disposal.
He comments: “The oven is great for cooking at really precise temperatures, and it’s amazing to be able to steam things in it. We haven’t had that option in the past, but being able to steam fish at a low heat is fantastic for bringing out the subtle flavours, and really adds another string to our bow in terms of the food we can produce.
“Our ever-changing menu means we need equipment that offers the same versatility, flexibility, and precision that we approach our cooking with, and the Motleni suite and SkyLine Premium Combi Oven have been ideal for that.”
“Plus, the fact that the suite is bespoke to our kitchen means there are less gaps for stray food to get stuck between and under, which ultimately makes cleaning up at the end of the day much easier!”
“Our ever-changing menu means we need equipment that offers the same versatility, flexibility, and precision that we approach our cooking with, and the Molteni suite and SkyLine Premium Combi Oven have been ideal for that. Plus, the fact that the suite is bespoke to our kitchen means there are less gaps for stray food to get stuck between and under, which ultimately makes cleaning up at the end of the day much easier!”
The White Swan at Fence continues to go from strength to strength, having struck upon a winning formula of good beer and wine, friendly service, and exquisite food. For Tom Parker and his team, the new kitchen is a way to ensure they can continue to provide the fantastic service that keeps customers coming back.