TKI was appointed as Consultants for El Seref, the largest independent food and beverage operation in the area, after the architectural shell was completed and after the site had gone through several concept-stage incarnations.
The 15 metre high glass-walled structure sits majestically at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. After much thought and research, the TKI team developed a concept for a buzzing, dynamic food hall/market – rich with sights and sounds – that celebrates the true native cooking of Sudan. This involved months of research in order to unlock the secrets of the Sudanese kitchen. The TKI team then worked with local artisans to develop modern ways of replicating traditional cooking methods in way that meets modern standards of food quality and safety. Methods such as sand-pit cooking are millennia old and were brought into the 21st Century with a dash of science and a good dose of culinary expertise.
At 45,000 square feet El Seref is the largest independent food and beverage operation in Sudan and perhaps the region. The external structure was built before TKI was enlisted and our first mission was to ensure that we remained authentic and natural in terms of interiors.
The walls are tabiya (mud), the floors are brick and the wood for the furnishings is harvested from locally grown trees. The rooftop features tent structures that pay reference to the nomadic Sudanese but also serve to shade the building and reduce cooling costs
The project is primarily “locavore” with an on-site slaughterhouse and butcher shop, fishmonger (Nile Perch are in abundance and are caught, cleaned and cooked all within sight of the guests); breads baked on-site; and most vegetables and herbs locally sourced in Sudan. There is a central kitchen which supports all 15 food stalls, but there are very few freezers for such a large operation simply because the food is overwhelmingly fresh. There are also retail stalls including a spice market, vegetable market, a deli with olives and cheeses a bakery and a pastry.
TKI was responsible for F&B Consulting, Design Management, Technical Kitchen design of the Central Kitchen and 17 satellite kitchens, Project Management, establishing and writing Operation Manuals and Training of all staff accordingly and subsequent handover to a local team after 3 months of Operations.