Caterware has helped to modernise the kitchen at Woodlands Primary School in Formby, Liverpool.
The Blackpool-headquartered dealer redesigned the facility to include Rational’s iCombi Pro 10-1/1 combi oven and an iVario Pro 2-S multifunctional cooking appliance.
Sally Davies of Sefton Council’s catering services could see the benefits of new equipment to Woodlands’ catering, and head chef Holly Charnock: “Holly is a very creative cook, but she was being held back by the old kitchen. We wanted equipment that would help her supercharge her talents,” said Davies.
Charnock herself commented: “The old equipment was really showing its age, it was difficult to get consistent results and it was tougher and tougher to find spare parts when they broke down.
“I was already familiar with Rational – other schools in the area use Rational equipment but after watching videos on YouTube and taking part in one of the online Education Live webinars, it was obvious how much the iCombi Pro and iVario Pro would help the team here.”
The iCombi Pro and iVario Pro are the latest models of Rational’s multifunctional cooking systems. Each uses multiple intelligent functions that monitor and control every stage of the cooking process, which should make it able to deliver excellent results in a fraction of the time of traditional equipment.
“The amount of time Rational equipment saves is incredible,” said Charnock. “When I used to make Scouse, it would have to be put on at 8 in the morning and it would only just be ready at 11.30. The iVario can cook it in just 50 minutes, with the meat just melting in the mouth. Lovely!”
This speed is made possible by Rational’s technology. For example, the iVario Pro features iVarioBoost, which allows the unit to get up to working temperature swiftly. Similarly, the iCombi Pro provides control over the cooking process thanks to its intelligent systems.
Charnock added: “Rational has made our work here a lot easier. We’ve got all our meals programmed in, so at the touch of a button any member of staff can start something cooking and not have to worry about checking them and moving them about in the oven to make sure they’re all cooking evenly.
“What’s more, it’s a lot cooler in the kitchen now as we don’t have to have two big ranges, a convection oven and a steamer operating all the time, it’s a more pleasant environment to work in.”
The school also made the decision to upgrade to Rational’s ConnectedCooking, which allows for Rational cooking systems to be managed centrally, making it easy to update and add recipes as well as providing full operating data, including HACCP.
Charnock concluded: “I think we’re only just scratching the surface of what’s possible with the iCombi Pro and iVario Pro. When we changed over, I made the decision to keep a grill, deep fat fryers and one range because I wasn’t sure we’d be able to manage without them – but after three months of using Rational they haven’t even been turned on!”