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

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