By Amy Bostock
TORONTO — With restaurant space at a premium, chefs and operators are clamoring for space-saving equipment innovations. At yesterday’s Rational 2016 Think Big Tour stopover in Toronto, Louis Philippe Audette, managing director for Rational Canada answered the call with the unveiling of the new SelfCookingCentre XS.
The SelfCookingCenter XS, which offers full Rational power and intelligence in a unit measuring only 55.5 cm deep, 65.5 cm wide and 56.7 cm high, still has all the bells and whistles of its larger siblings. Features include an integrated fresh steam generator, iCookingControl, intelligent support for the chef; iLevelControl, an assistant for optional mixed loading; HiDensityControl, which guarantees top food quality through maximum performance and precise regulation of cooking cabinet conditions, as well as Efficient CareControl — the automatic cleaning and descaling system. “The XS offers true professional quality in a small format,” said Audette.
The smaller SelfCookingCentre and the 61 model are the first members of Rational’s new XS series. “You’ve probably been waiting for us to bring a smaller unit into the market, a small device that doesn’t compromise on cooking performance, efficiency or simplicity,” said Jim Lund, Design & Consultant Resource manager at Rational USA. “To do that, we had to reinvent the combi-steamer technology completely. In the past few years, the demand for smaller appliances that take up less space, use less power and have lower capacities has increased considerably across Canada and this is what prompted us to develop the XS family of products.”
The triple glazing — with cutting-edge heat reflective coating — on the new XS series significantly reduces energy losses through the door and further reduces overall energy consumption, compared to the previous model, by up to 10 per cent. The units also cook 50 per cent faster than previous models.
The Rational team put the new XS combis to the test in front of the room full of consultants, dealers and customers as Kevin Pelissier, national corporate chef at Rational Canada, prepared perfectly grilled steaks, crispy breaded chicken breasts, jumbo prawns, croissants and cookies in two XS units.
Cooking multiple dishes at one time perfectly demonstrated how the start screen, which has also been modified, and the faster CPU, make the new generation SelfCookingCenter units even more convenient to operate. Rack signaling — a blinking LED light signals which rack needs to be loaded or unloaded and when — in iLevelControl mode is another new feature providing even more support for inexperienced kitchen staff, thereby reducing errors and food waste.
The new SelfCookingCenter XS — available as an electric model — is priced at $14,500 and includes 11 complementary performance-enhancing accessories. The price points for the remainder of Rational’s lines — including the SelfCookingCenter models 61 and 62 (electric or gas models) — will remain unchanged.
At the event, Kevin Breton, Marketing manager at Rational, also took the opportunity to introduce the company’s new branding initiative, which included a redesigned logo that now appears on all Rational collateral, websites and trade show signage.