Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is home to six RATIONAL units and serves as a training site for the customer-centric organization. TCC’s Executive Chef, Chris Olson, was instrumental in bringing these units into the club.
Club + Resort Chef (C+RC): What pieces of Rational equipment do you have at TCC?
Chris Olson (CO): We have four CombiMaster® Plus Combi Ovens, two iCombi Pro 10-Pan Natural Gas Half-Size Combi Ovens and one iCombi Pro full-size Combi Oven.
C+RC: How long have you had those pieces?
CO: When I started at TCC in 2013, we had two older stacked CombiMaster® Plus Combi Ovens that the club purchased in 2009. In 2016, I replaced a set of stacking convection ovens with the iCombi Pro full-size Combi Oven.
In 2017, I needed to replace a steamer on the a la carte line. So I replaced it with not one, but two iCombi Pro 10-Pan Natural Gas Half-Size Combi Ovens. I made room for the second one on the back production line.
C+RC: Why RATIONAL?
CO: Years ago, I connected with one of RATIONAL’s local chefs, Justin Hoehn, [at an expo] in Los Angeles. We spoke at length about the RATIONAL ovens. As a result of that connection, I began learning and researching.
I was impressed by their engineering and attention to detail. The ovens are built and assembled by one person and can be easily tracked if issues arise. Customer service is very responsive and always available.
Now, TCC has six ovens and has become a training sales site where [Hoehn] can educate new RATIONAL owners on how to utilize their ovens most effectively.
Because TCC has six ovens on-site, prospective buyers can also see four types of RATIONAL ovens at work.
C+RC: What value do they bring to your operation?
CO: Everything we cook in them saves us time and money.
The RATIONAL ovens are capable of many applications—searing, sous vide, slow/overnight cooking, smoking and dehydrating. The results are precise without the need to monitor often.
In terms of cleaning, they are priceless. In the past, we would spend up to two hours cleaning ovens. The
RATIONALs are washed daily with the push of a button.
C+RC: What problems do these pieces of equipment help you solve?CO: The way they help TCC save on labor can’t be understated. With RATIONAL, two cooks can plate a party for 60-100 by assembling the entrées ahead of time using a plated banquet setting. It will bring everything up to the correct service temperature. All we have to do is remove the lids, sauce the plate and serve.
We no longer have to stand over the grill or flat top when it comes to searing meat.
We can set our finished cooking temperature on proteins and slow-cook to a specific temperature. We no longer overcook filets. They are medium-rare, end-to-end.
C+RC: What would you tell a chef considering the purchase of a RATIONAL?
CO: Whether you’re cooking for 20 or 2,000, these ovens will make your operation much more efficient. Attend a demo sales event to see for yourself. RATIONAL ovens represent the future of cooking.