Interview with Sascha Barby Rational AG

Interview with Sascha Barby, RATIONAL AG

During AAHAR 2015, we enjoyed the impressive presentation by RATIONAL AG, one of the largest manufacturers of professional food steamers and ovens in the world. It impressed us and we decide to take an interview with Sascha Barby the Head of Product management Application RATIONAL AG. Here is what he had to say:

We were happy to be a part of your presentation at AAHAR 2015, New Delhi. Are there any challenges in cooking traditional Indian food with Rational equipment?

Yes, especially when it comes to Tandoor-cooking and the unique flavor that is created with the fat dripping in the charcoal and the tempering of spices, but we have mastered these challenges. The  SelfCooking Center® 5 Senses is a perfect partner for the Tandoor, you can (pre-) produce Tandoori products in a safe and efficient way in there and if wanted finish them in the Tandoor to get the perfect taste. We have many customers producing traditional Indian dishes in our units and many pure vegetarian users. especially for them we have launched at AAHAR our vegetarian concept. This includes a special profile which can be downloaded and turns the unit into a pure vegetarian unit. Additionally to this we have developed a brand new vegetarian cookbook for our customers. It is important to know that we see us as a partner for Indian cuisine, we want to make kitchens more efficient and help to improve cooking, that’s it. My perfect picture is to see a SelfCooking Center® 5 Senses beside a Tandoor – a perfect couple!

Interview with Sascha Barby, RATIONAL AG

You have been representing Rational in the Indian subcontinent for over 3 years. How has you culinary Journey been in India?

My first visit was confusing, I didn’t understand what cooking in India is about and how it works. Our approach is to roll up the sleeves and learn it, talk to chefs, cook with them, talk about their work and culture. You cannot just focus on cooking, it is about the people, how they live and think. This way you slowly start to understand what Indian cooking is as well. This is the basis for turning this knowledge into our intelligent cooking paths, which are easy to use at a push of a button. This approach we do in all countries, especially in Asia and Latin America, because the cooking is so different. I love the way how spices are used in India, this is worldwide unique.  Every time I am in India I learn more and that’s good this way: it never gets boring.

What is your favourite kitchen equipment?

Of course our SelfCooking Center® 5 Senses, because you can do so much with it, it keeps you creative and offers always perfect results. If you ask for an Indian cooking equipment it is, of course, the Tandoor, that’s a brilliant way of cooking and offers so much flavor; it’s great to watch Chef’s work with it.  I have one at home and we use it a lot during summer, everyone goes crazy for a nice garlic naan and paneer tikka.

AAHAR 2015

Which Rational equipment would you recommend to a food startup as a first purchase?

That really depends on what you want to do in the business. We have a unique sales process where a customer sees the unit in action followed by a detailed consultancy which product is the right one for her or his operation. We make sure that the customers got the perfect fit and can start using the unit to 100%, which is especially for start-up’s important. Let’s say you open a restaurant with 60 seats and room for functions, then you would be perfectly equipped with a Combi Duo of a SelfCooking Center® 5 Senses 101 and 61. The right accessories and free RATIONAL training make the whole system perfect.

Has India enhanced your cooking experience with its complex flavours?

Oh yes, it did. It gave me a deeper understanding of how spices work together and how you can enhance and control the flavor. These experiences are now all part of the SelfCooking Center® 5 Senses. Germans love Indian food for the richness and aromas, it is so different from traditional German cooking. I do a lot of Indian cooking at RATIONAL and as well at home which I learned from our Corporate Chef Gaurav… even if I never will get to the point to cook like an Indian chef. And that’s good this way – and a reason to come back to India.

Which spice is your favourite?

Black Cardamom in combination with Cinnamon. I like the rustic and smoky flavor of the cardamom in braised dishes and biryanis and the sweetness the cinnamon offers.

With the rapid evolution of technology, how do you see the future of the food appliance industry. What innovations can we expect in near future?

We will continue to have a look at the cooking habits worldwide and develop solutions for our customers. There are so many ideas how we can make live in the kitchen better and enhance the quality of the food – of course I can’t go into detail!  I personally think that modern technology will even more blend in with traditional equipment and make work in kitchens easier and more efficient. The focus will be more on cooking, quality and efficiency and not that much anymore on routine tasks and all the things that keep us away from being creative and successful. RATIONAL will be in future as well a good partner regarding this.

Thank You for an amazing interview, Sascha!

For more information on Rational products in India, visit


Interview with Chef Sujit Bose

A few years ago, we took the interview of Chef Sujit Boss for the “Spice & Food” magazine. Here is the part of this interview:

Chef. Portrait in Hospitality / Food Industry

When and how did you decide that you want to be a chef, and what made you decide that you would choose being a kitchen professional?
A passion for eating and making people happy, serving them good food and tickling their taste buds made me decide to become a Chef. Also, the creativity and the science involved in using different ingredients and processing them gives me the utmost happiness and satisfaction.

How did the Institute of Hotel Management help you to improve your cooking skills?
Hotel management gave me the basic creativity and confidence to play with fire and change my outlook towards the job of a chef

Who made the biggest influence on your cooking style?
Reading and internet made the biggest influence on my cooking style.

One of your main specialization is the Chinese cuisine. Can you describe the main health benefits of Chinese cuisine?
Chinese food is very simple – steamed or stir-fried so the nutrients of each ingredient used are intact. Also, a minimal amount of saturated fats are used and absolutely no usage of butter/ghee.

What ingredients are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and more importantly when?
Soya – A basic ingredient is used very extensively in Chinese food. It is used in all forms like soya beancurd, soya sauce, soya bean preserved, soya noodles. Szechuan pepper is a spice used in Szechuan Cuisine.

How is Chinese cuisine different from other Asian cuisines?
Mode of stir-frying ad steaming is used in authentic Chinese food. What is your favorite food to eat and to cook? Fish in black bean sauce with Chinese vegetables. What do you prefer to make when you cook at home?

What do you prefer to make when you cook at home?
Dal and rice cooked together called Khichdi. Fried pakoras and masala omelette is my special food for a rainy day.

What is your favorite gadget in the kitchen?
Combi-oven as you can bake and steam in it.

Do you have any favorite sauce?
X.O. sauce – Made with dried scallops, shrimps, chilli and other ingredients.

In India, a lot of people are vegetarian, what is the best vegetarian dish from your point of view?
For breakfast – South Indian food is best. For the main course during lunch/dinner, north Indian combinations like paneer/dal/sabzi with roti/rice. For snacks, Delhi-chaat and Gujarati farsaan are popular.

Which spice or combination of spices is your favorite?
Five Spice, which is a Chinese spice combination. It includes: Szechuan Pepper, Star anise, Cloves, Cinnamon and Fennel. Sweet/Aromatic/Spicy combination. Modern people do not have time to cook because of their hectic lifestyles and end up eating lot of junk food every day.

What can you suggest to them to change the situation in a healthy way?
Eat lots of fresh fruits, unpolished grains and rice to have a healthy meal. Drink a lot of water.

Is there a crowd-pleaser that’s delicious, good for you and easy to cook?
Simple pan-fried noodles with different sauces and vegetables. One can use meat/seafood in it as well. You are the head of the big team, how do you make them listen to you? Before a team leader, I am a team player. So I play a role as much as a team leader and a team player.

Read the entire interview and get two delicious recipes by Chef Bose,  subscribe using the form below and download the magazine.