One-off Land Rover spit-roasts meat off the engine, churns butter at the wheels
When we think of Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations, we think extra-cushy leather interiors, upmarket trim and personalized paint jobs. We definitely don't think of a rolling kitchen fit to prepare gourmet meals on the road. But that's the mission celebrity chef Jamie Oliver laid out for the SVO team. Land Rover responded by building Oliver an extraordinary Discovery that slow-cooks under the hood, churns butter and makes ice cream in special wheel drums, slow-turns a rotisserie out front, makes toast in the center console and has numerous other culinary tricks up its sleeve. Forget the drive-through restaurant – this is the driving restaurant kitchen.
With the SEMA Show coming up in just a few weeks, we've been expecting to see some crazy, one-off vehicles, but we most certainly have not been expecting anything like this. Jamie Oliver's delectable Discovery doesn't have anything to do with SEMA as far as we know, but it is the type of wild, multipurpose creation that has the tendency to show up this time of year.
For those not familiar, Oliver is a British chef and TV personality, one in the legion of "celebrity chefs" cooking up fine food in restaurants and teaching TV viewers and book/magazine readers how to do the same at home. According to the good folks at Land Rover, he's also a lifelong customer and fan of their work.
The mutually beneficial team-up here gives Oliver a one-of-a-kind, all-terrain kitchen utility vehicle (or "KUV," if you'd like) and helps Land Rover highlight the ingenuity going on inside its SVO division. Win/win.
This one-off Discovery definitely seems like more of a promotion-machine than an earnest one-off commission, but we'll go ahead and play along with the script of Oliver penciling out an outrageous list of requests with no mind for the engineering realities and Land Rover pulling up its sleeves and getting to work loading the Discovery with food-prep innovations from bumper to bumper. It's a fun way to imagine it, anyway, and the vehicle is a pretty interesting build no matter how it came about.
Possibly the simplest part of the whole build is the slide-out kitchen in back, a feature quite familiar from the worlds of camping trailers, like this one, camper vans, like so, and even upgraded pickup trucks, such as this. Land Rover's version is a bit larger and fancier than average, featuring a wide prep area/dining table and leather-wrapped cladding, along with the usual dual-burner stove and sink. There's also a spice drawer and what looks like another storage drawer or two.
That kitchen area is complemented by a unique retractable olive oil and vinegar dispenser built out of Land Rover indicator controls, a spice rack integrated into the left rear window, and a living herb garden in the right rear window. This way Oliver can quickly add a pinch of this and a drizzle of that.
To be honest, that's about what we'd expect the full extent of a foodie SUV conversion to look like, maybe with a smartly placed coffeemaker here and a wine fridge there, but Land Rover has gone way above and beyond. It's hard to pick out the most unexpected feature of the Oliver build, but if we were forced to select just one thing, it'd have to be the slow cooker mounted under the hood next to the engine, offering a 4.7-L capacity.
There are many equally wild components, including 5-L machined-aluminum butter churners at the centers of three wheels and a matching ice cream maker on the last wheel. If you'd prefer to take a break from engine-adjacent slow cooking, you can roast a turkey or leg of lamb over open flame instead, relying on the 5.2-ft-long (1.6-m-long) rotisserie driven by a power take-off. That take-off can also put engine power to use driving other appliances like a pasta cutter.
The biggest meals are prepared outside, but you can easily make and dress a snack in the cabin. A two-slice toaster sits in the center console, and if you don't want to pull over for hubcap butter, a slide-out jar holder in the center stack provides quick access to the jelly and jam.
Standalone tools like the bespoke "piston" and mortar, folding jerry can charcoal/wood grill with LR-inspired grates, and selector-knob salt and pepper grinder further bridge the automotive and culinary worlds. A fold-out 40-in flat-screen TV on the end of the tabletop serves up entertainment with the five-star meal.
"I gave Land Rover a massive challenge to create the ultimate kitchen on wheels," says Oliver. "I dreamt big and asked for a lot, and what they've done has blown my mind. I didn't think they'd actually be able to put a slow-cooker next to the engine and an olive oil dispenser in the boot, but they did. The result is an amazing Discovery, tailored perfectly for me and the family – we love it."
The video below shows the Discovery's cooking equipment in action, assisting Oliver in creating a mouthwatering meal. It's the last in a three-part Land Rover-sponsored series that you can find on Oliver's YouTube channel. You might just want to grab a snack before hitting play.
Source: Land Rover