On June 24th, the Earls restaurant group unveiled their brand new test kitchen at the current Earls Hornby location. With over 1.2 million dollars spent renovating the 2nd floor space, this new kitchen facility will serve a myriad of purposes including staff training and real-time diner engagement. A state-of-the-art audiovisual system will allow the public to see live streams of what is going on in the space as dishes are being prepared and conceptualized through the week.
Something that will undoubtedly delight diners is the transparency of this new facility and the potential to taste exclusive dishes as they are being created. The test kitchen even has a small bar area with 3 chairs where a lucky few can get a front row seat as the special group of Earls chefs go about their daily tasks.
To go along with the beautiful new kitchen is a small group of extremely talented chefs that Earls has named The Chef Collective. Coming from all over the world and bringing decades of varied culinary experience, it is definitely an ensemble of culinary elite that the city can expect lots from. As Earls continues to push the envelope when it comes to casual dining, it will be interesting to see just how progressive the final menu will look in the months to come.
Although many enjoy chain dining because it is familiar and safe, it is nevertheless promising to see a restaurant group as large as Earls making significant investments to improve on what they already do so well. Once this new test kitchen has had a couple weeks to hit the ground running, I will return to sample the new feature menu and provide my thoughts on the new dishes. With so many big names now on the Earls kitchen line, I look forward to seeing what direction the new menu will eventually take.