When an opportunity came up to purchase The Baths at Sorrento around 16 years ago James Gibson jumped right in.
The beautiful beachfront restaurant on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula gave him a perfect opportunity to launch his first hospitality venture – and “to relocate to a very beautiful part of the world”.
The Baths was named after the historic sea baths that existed there from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. The 200-seat establishment, located just over an hour from Melbourne, operated both as an a la carte restaurant and a popular function venue. Serving a wide demographic, from laid-back families to wealthy holidaymakers, The Baths were busy all year round.
Weddings in particular were popular here. The spectacular waterfront location, relaxed atmosphere and delicious seafood menu ensured The Baths hosted at least two a week – and even more in peak season.
This culture of success was almost lost for good in 2015 when an after-hours electrical fault caused the entire building to burn to the ground. After a challenging year James managed to re-build The Baths. In October 2016 the restaurant opened again, this time with a beautiful, fresh new interior.
According to James, one of the most useful investments in The Baths kitchen has been a Waldorf pasta cooker. The restaurant is known for its seafood pasta, and this new equipment helps produce the quality and quantity necessary for large functions.
James also chose a line-up of Waldorf equipment, including a single pan fryer chargrill, salamander, oven range and gas griddle. Waldorf was chosen due to its robust operation and reliability as it can “really handle the large load we throw at it”, he says. A Sapiens combi oven, “the workhorse”, completes the suite.
When it came to the front-of-house, a Wexiodisk undercounter glasswasher. “It’s more expensive initially than other glass washers, but it provides a much larger rack size and considerable labour saving, as you don’t have to polish the glasses after they are washed,” he says. “This means staff can get out of the venue earlier, which is great when they have had a particularly late finish.
An Icematic Icemaker machine also helps house staff keep up with demand. It’s dependable convenience ensure “there is no problem in keeping up over the hectic summer period” according to James.