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Felixstowe Care Home Wins £9,000 Rational SelfCooking Center

09 June 2010

Cotman House in Felixstowe is a care home for the elderly with 20 residents. In a few months time it will be transformed: owners Colin and Louise Bentley have bought adjoining land and are constructing a major new ‘extension’ that will accommodate an addit

Cotman House, formerly Coniston Garfield Road, is named after the architect (and brother of painter John Cotman) who built the original house in the early 20th century. It’s a very popular, owner-run home where the primary focus is on care in a safe, friendly, happy, ‘un-institutional’ environment. The new build will feature the very latest facilities, including a cinema.   To cope with the huge increase in catering it will also feature the very latest in cooking technology – a Rational SelfCooking Center combi steamer.   “Currently we have a very conventional kitchen,” admits Colin Bentley. “Our original plan was to install more of the same – the range, standard oven and so on. But when we talked to our supplier, Gratte Brothers, they recommended we look at a combi, saying it would be better able to meet our needs.”   “I was very sceptical initially,” says Louise Bentley. “I couldn’t see the need. But then Colin and I went to one of Rational’s TeamCooking Live (TCL) seminars and we were simply amazed. The SelfCooking Center blows the lid off conventional cooking equipment.”   David Sutton of Gratte Bros arranged for the Bentleys to attend the TCL at nearby Portman Road, home to Ipswich FC.   “One of the reasons we recommend Rational combis is that their support is terrific, for the whole life of the machine,” he comments.   The Bentleys were so impressed they placed an order there and then, at the TCL, for a 10 grid SelfCooking Center. However, they also entered a special prize draw for a six grid model – and a few weeks later found out they’d won. They’ve decided to put the smaller unit in the new home’s satellite kitchen, with the ten grid in the main one.   “It was the flexibility of the Rational that really sold us,” says Louise. “We need to cope with a variety of dietary requirements – gluten free, vegetarian, low fat and so on. The seminar showed that the SelfCooking Center will make it easier and quicker to get the food just right – and it will be healthier, with more nutrients, due to the way it’s cooked.”   One thing that really impressed the Bentleys at the seminar was the relaxed atmosphere. “The presentation was very professional but there was no hard sell,” says Louise. “Plus, the food was delicious! It’s worth pacing yourself, or you’ll find you’re too full at the end!”    Going to the TCL meant the Bentleys saw unexpected benefits – such as the ability to expand their menu. “For example, we don’t offer steak at the moment, because we need to be able to serve all 20 residents at the same time,” says Louise. “Getting it just so is difficult with conventional equipment. But getting 20 or even 60 steaks perfectly cooked, all at the same time, is really easy in the SelfCooking Center.”   If there’s one meal that’s more popular with residents of Cotman House than any other it’s a roast dinner. “The Rational will be just brilliant at them,” says Colin. “The meat is succulent and we’ll be able to cook overnight using the SelfCooking Center’s slow cook technology.”   Louise strongly recommends going to a TCL seminar. “Even if you talk to the sales people and read all the brochures, you really don't have any idea what the SelfCooking Center can do till you see it in action. At one point they cooked a salmon and first asked us, did we want it poached or pan fried? We thought, pan fried in an oven? Yeah, right. So they did it and it came out perfectly pan fried! It’s an amazing machine.”

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