Its fast, its healthy, its easy its Rational

Established in 1888, St Georges School is the only˜all-through girls' school in Edinburgh, catering for 800 pupils from 2 - 18 years. St Georges prides itself on delivering education and pastoral care expressly designed for girls. St Georges School is also committed to giving pupils healthy, freshly cooked food - morning, noon and night. It has won two NHS Scotland healthy living awards to prove it

Meals are packed with nutritious ingredients and cooking methods keep fat, salt, additives and sugar to a minimum. One way we have been able to produce such healthy food is by using Rational combi ovens in our kitchen, says James Ferguson, Foodservices Director. For example, these allow us to make home cooked potato wedges with a fraction of the fat of traditional methods. The Rational combi ovens are used for most of the cooking at St Georges as they can roast, poach, bake, toast, braise and pan fry“ and all at the touch of a button.

St Georges staff had read about about Rational ovens and then found out more through a CookingLive event at Martin Wisharts demo kitchen in Leith. Once we seen the Rationals in action we knew they were just what we needed in our kitchen,says Margaret Imlah, Facilities Director.We initially ordered one 20-grid model and followed the next year with another two. A Rational expert came to help get us going and pre-program in popular items. But really the combis are so easy to use.

Ingredients at St Georges are sourced locally, directly from producers and suppliers, with an emphasis on using seasonal vegetables and fruit. 14 full and part-time catering staff produce over 950 meals a day in the Rational combi ovens. The speed of cooking in the Rationals is phenomenal, says James. Lunch service runs from 11.30am through to 1.30pm. Now, with the Rationals, we can cook throughout the service time so the last to be served get the same consistency as the first. For example, battered fish only takes 12 minutes to cook so we can constantly replenish the serving dishes. On National Breakfast Day we fried eggs in the multi-baker tray - they only took two minutes and came out perfectly. Wed never have been able to do that before. Homemade beef steak or chicken pies are very popular as well, but before we had the Rationals we couldnt produce the quantity needed. Now its no problem.

The consistency of cooking is another aspect in which the Rationals score highly. The beauty of them is that cooking is so straightforward, says Margaret. In the summer theres just a skeleton staff in the kitchen. But we can still make decent meals, anyone can use them. Its very impressive. Building on the success in the main kitchen with the Rationals, St Georges invested in two smaller 10 grid models for the boarding house. Here breakfast and suppers are served for 56 boarders and 6 staff. We love them, says Margaret. We can cook pancakes on the flat griddle trays. Its so much easier, less labour intensive and more reliable than using a pan.

Healthy eating doesnt mean the exclusion of tasty, wholesome home-made puddings such as chocolate brownies and apple crumble and custard. These are also greatly enhanced by cooking in the Rationals. One of our specialities, shortbread, is now really simple to get just right. Weve programmed the settings into the memory so no matter who does the cooking we get perfect results, says Margaret.

These really are the Porsche of ovens,says James. Their reliability is second to none and they are extremely efficient. Another thing thats great for us is that they record everything thats cooked, temperature, times etc. We can transfer this onto a memory stick to produce printout for the Environmental Health Officers.And whats more they are self-cleaning, says Margaret. The staff love it and visitors say theyve never seen such clean ovens!

For information and brochures, or to arrange to come to a free SelfCookingCenter® 5 Senses Rational CookingLive seminar, contact your dealer, freephone Rational UK on 0800 389 2944 or see

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