SelfCookingCenters help fire Brigade’s passion for food

Rational supports Beyond Food Foundation’s work with the homeless

Opening late 2011, Brigade in Tooley Street is a highly successful bar, bistro and cook school.  It’s also the trading arm of an inspiring initiative to help homeless and vulnerable people.  Chef Simon Boyle founded the Beyond Food Foundation with the aim to use his team's passion for food to inspire and enthuse young people who have dropped out of society.  At Brigade, these young adults get the chance to be apprentice chefs, working towards real jobs. 

Many organisations have supported the Foundation’s work, including equipment suppliers such as Rational.  In fact, Brigade has two new SelfCookingCenter®whitefficiency®combi steamers – and they were supplied on permanent loan, to help the charity’s work.  In return, Brigade offered to be a CookingLive site, where Rational could bring customers to try out the new SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency, whenever the restaurant was quiet.  “We use the Rationals for just about everything: proving and baking bread (we make 20 to 30 kilos a day), roasting meat, cooking fish.  When we had to do twenty steaks at once for a private party we used a Rational rather than the grill, and they were perfect,” says Brigade’s head chef, Alistair Dibbs. 

The kitchen at Brigade is open and circular, with customers seated round it.  The Rationals are centre stage.   “Customers can chat to chefs while we’re working,” says Alistair.  “The SelfCookingCenters look great – they’re ideal for theatre cooking.” 

It’s the results that are most important, however.  “We’re all about our craft – we want everything to be perfect.  That means accuracy is vital – the temperature, the cooking climate, the timing.  The Rationals provide absolute accuracy.  We recently baked a whole sea bass for a party of thirty.  We used the Rational’s temperature probe and it came out perfectly.  We’ll want the same accuracy with, for example, braised beef cheeks.  Accuracy gives perfect results. 

“The engineering behind the Rational is superb.  It cooks everything exactly how we want it.” 

One of the new technologies on the whitefficiency model is particularly important at Brigade.  “HiDensityControl means that the temperature and cooking climate are totally consistent throughout the combi, the back of the top shelf is exactly the same as the front of the bottom one,” says Alistair.  “When we bake bread the results are remarkable – absolutely even, all the way through.”

The Rational combi steamers deliver other benefits, too.  “They give a better yield, which saves on food costs.  We’re committed to sustainability and we source food locally and seasonally.  We want our equipment to be sustainable, too.  The Rationals’ efficiency and energy savings are important features for us.”    

Brigade doesn’t employ commi chefs, because the apprentices do the work.  “They’re here to learn to cook – and we’re very lucky to be able to teach them on high tech equipment like the Rationals.  The user-friendliness helps, they cook with a lot of the SelfCookingCenter processes every day.” 

With a 90 cover restaurant, 160 cover bar and 30 seats outside, not to mention private dining rooms upstairs, Brigade is very, very busy.  “The Rationals are in constant use, all day – so the fact that they are self cleaning is a huge bonus.  Run the programme at the end of the day and, in the morning, they look like new.”

The two Rational SelfCookingCenters at Brigade are 10 grid models (SCC101).  Available in gas and electric versions, they can hold up to ten 1x1 gastronorm trays.  As well as HiDensityControl, they have another new feature, Efficient LevelControl (“very exciting with a lot of potential,” according to Alistair), which makes it easy to cook different products in one combi at the same time.  Their CareControl feature not only looks after the cleaning but also descales the combi, with no need for a separate water treatment system.  Meanwhile the SelfCooking Controls ensure every dish is cooked perfectly. 

For information and brochures, or to arrange to come to a free SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® ‘Rational CookingLive’ seminar, contact your dealer, freephone Rational UK on 0800 389 2944 or see Visit the iPhone store for the Rational SCC Expert App.       

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Brigade Rational.docx – Apr-13

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About Us

Rational invented combi-steaming in 1976. Now the company’s new SelfCookingCenter® is the world’s first commercial oven that takes over the whole cooking process, allowing the chef to get on with more important things, like creativity, presentation and quality control. The chef simply tells the oven what the food is – the SelfCookingCenter® does the rest. The oven will cook the food exactly how chef wants it, even with ‘low temperature’ cooking overnight. And it cooks up to 15% faster than conventional combi-steamers, saving time and money.