Al Khoory Executive Hotel executive chef Shreeram Parimi puts the Rational International SelfCookingCenter XS to the test and delivers his expert opinion to Hotelier Express

What did you like most about this product?

What I like most about this product is that you can save as much as 80% of your time in production, and a vast number of foods can be prepared in the oven, without even having to use the standard kitchen range. This product, in my opinion, is excellent, much better than the current traditional range we are using. A key advantage of the Rational International SelfCookingCentre XS is that you can programme it and start cooking as you wish. Once it is done with the pre-set timings, you have your finished product.

Would this product improve kitchen operations?

To serve breakfast we normally have to be set by 6.30am, so my chefs would come in very early to prepare all food on the range. But since using the Rational SelfCookingCenter XS – everything is prepared the night prior – in the morning we just put the food into the cooker and go. All items can be cooked at one time – we just set the programmes and away it goes. Prior, it would take chefs up to 45 minutes to accomplish the same outcome. Now we are operating 80% faster thanks to Rational International. We can put all food in together in one go – we programme the machine – the XS alerts us when the first food is ready, then we remove that tray, close the door and the XS continues cooking the remaining items. It has six layers and the larger machine has 10. In my kitchen I would use both the XS and the larger cooker – this would supply all our needs.

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Could this product impact guest satisfaction?

Yes, we tested it on our à la carte resaurant and we received compliments from our guests regarding our steaks made using the SelfCookingCenter XS. Before we would cook steaks on both a grill and in our oven, which was more time consuming to get the steaks right – but now we only use the one Rational International oven. When the machine alerts us, we simply remove the steak and serve it to the guest. The finish is excellent, crispy on the top layer and you can see the moisture on the inside. This is a real benefit to the guest.

Did you find this product easy to operate?

One of the experts from Rational International came to our kitchen and trained our chefs, showing us all the operations and how to use the machine to the best potential. It helped us a lot and my chefs really like the machine, largely because it saves them time and frees them up to do other things in the kitchen. It is very easy to use; all my chefs found it simple to operate.

Is this product priced appropriately for the budget/mid-market?

Yes it is. In the long-run it has many advantages, it saves time, man-power, natural resources and it’s good quality – there are many benefits. I would consider purchasing this for our kitchen and I would recommend other hoteliers to do the same – it is a small unit and a big improvement to our operations.