How technology simplifies cooking tasks

Paul Milione of RATIONAL USA shares how technology can make the job of consistently delivering high-quality product easier for operators.


From robots that sauce pizza to plumbing sensors that detect leaks, the foodservice equipment and supplies industry continues to lean on technology to boost efficiencies in the kitchen. RATIONAL USA now features four products—the iVario Pro, iCombi Pro, iCombi Classic, and iHexagon (coming soon)—that showcase the future of technology. Here, Paul Milione, director project management, RATIONAL USA, explains how these advancements make kitchen life easier.


Q: For those who are unfamiliar with the iVario, could you share how it uses technology and the benefits?

A: We call the iVario ‘the game changer’ for a reason. It takes the traditional tilt skillet to a whole new level. The ceramic tile heating plates under the pan base provide even heat distribution from corner to corner. Operators don’t have to manage hot and cold spots and product doesn’t stick to the pan. It uses the same menu interface as our iCombi, ensuring operators can simply select the recipe item to access the guided cooking path and follow the prompts. The fast recovery time also helps; it goes from ambient temperature to 400°F degrees within 90 seconds.


Q: How do RATIONAL combi ovens help operators and what sets them apart from competitors’ models?

The iCombi Pro is the epitome of easy-to-use technology. Operators can select their product’s desired end result, load the product and that’s it. The unit will detect the load size and the product size while automatically adjusting the temperature, time and humidity as the unit sees fit for the perfect result. Ease of use meets innovative technology, this is what sets RATIONAL apart and always has. We also have a new cleaning system called the iCareSystem AutoDose. The unit can run autonomous cleanings without anybody being in the building.

“Ease of use meets innovative technology, this is what sets RATIONAL apart and always has.”
Paul Milione, director project management, RATIONAL USA


Q: What are some advantages of RATIONAL’s latest innovation, the iHexagon?

A: The iHexagon, which will soon roll out to all operators, is like our iCombi Pro but with an additional energy source: microwave technology. Imagine being able to perfectly balance convection hot air, humidity and microwave energy with the push of a button; you don’t have to because we have done it. The iHexagon intelligently coordinates the six variables of steam, hot air, microwave, fan wheel, time and product. It does this throughout all six levels of the cooking cabinet, on every rack. The iHexagon delivers the highest quality food in the shortest time possible. Ideal applications include areas where operators have high demand but limited capacity.


Q: What are you looking forward to as far as the future of technology in the industry?

A: It’s no secret that the new buzzwords are ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘sustainability.’ I think these topics are sticking around a bit and we are no stranger to these. What excites me most is how these topics are infiltrating the back of the house operations more and more. There are so many things I see now that I say, ‘If only that was around when I was a chef in operations.’ It’s simply amazing to see the developments take place.


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