Category Archives: White Efficiency


Ready for Christmas?

Ready for ChristmasIt’s begun. The countdown to Christmas starts today with the first window of advent calendars around the country opened and consumed.

Or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who have an advent calendar filled with expensive cosmetics from some of the more affluent stores, which is the current trend amongst the girls.

So it’s time to start thinking about food. It’s not just about buying an uber-sized turkey or getting the nut roast out of the freezer, there is so much more to prepare and cook for the week long traditional eating fest. Think of the vegetables: brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, carrots, cabbage and not forgetting those all-important roast potatoes. Then there’s the stuffing, sausages and pigs in blankets.

The bird or its equivalent for vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians takes pride of place then you have to think of the pudding. Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and dollops of custard, or trifle, profiteroles or anything else that makes you so uncomfortable that breathing becomes a chore.

It’s All in the Timing

Whatever amount of food you have, the planning and timing of the cooking process is vital. There isn’t a household in the country that hasn’t faced the nightmare of cold, overcooked or undercooked food at Christmas at some point. And that’s where a good oven comes into its own. For commercial caterers, pubs, restaurants and hotels, it is essential that the kitchen has a reputable and reliable oven, such as the range from Rational Ovens.

Here at AC Services (Southern) we recommend the Rational range for its reliability, reputation, performance and maintenance support network. Over the years and in thousands of locations, Rational ovens have proved their resilience and reliability, as well as their cost efficiency.

Rational ovens are one of the best professional kitchen cooking appliances on the market today. Rational ovens can be pre-programmed to perform almost any combination of cooking methods, including roasting, grilling, frying and broiling. What could be better for a Christmas banquet?

The manufacturer has a long-term relationship with AC Services as an approved partner, with numerous maintenance and service packages available to suit any budget across South West England and South Wales.

In addition, we supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven, from Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories.

So enjoy the countdown to the big day and if you have a Rational oven, make sure it is in working order and has been recently serviced. If it’s not been serviced recently, then call us now and we can talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222 to make sure the Christmas season goes ahead without drama.


Published Date: 1st December 2015
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational, White Efficiency
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Last Chances to Win your own Rational Oven

If you’re in the catering business and you want to find out what the very latest professional ovens can do, then get yourself along to one of Rational’s CookingLive® seminars. These two-hour sessions, led by Rational’s master chefs, are held monthly in 90 venues right across the country, including plenty in AC Services territory – the South, South West and South Wales.

Rational’s chefs will demonstrate their very latest combi ovens, aptly named – Self CookingCenter® whitefficiency®. Despite the big name, these ovens are actually quite small, considering what they can do. And they take up only a fraction of the space you would need for the equivalent conventional oven, boiler, steamer and grill, not to mention a sink full of pots and pans. They also use much less energy – hence the “whitefficiency”. This is the oven that is revolutionising cooking in professional kitchens up and down the country.

Win a Rational Oven

If you go along to a CookingLive seminar before November 30th, you’ll get a chance to win a Rational SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® of your very own. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Rational is giving away a six-grid model worth £8,000 – and the winner will be announced in December in time for Christmas. What a Christmas pressie!

At each seminar, the chefs will demonstrate what these ovens are capable of, providing lots of tips and answering questions in an informal, but highly informative session. And, of course they’ll be cooking up some tasty dishes along the way. They’ll show you just how easy it is to cook a complete meal at the press of a button. Just to give you some idea of what a Rational oven is capable of, it will cook 400 chicken legs in 45 minutes or 60 kg rosemary potatoes in 20 minutes. It can turn out 480 rolls in 18 minutes and even cook 160 steaks, with a grill pattern, in just 15 minutes.

Make sure you book yourself a slot at one of the seminars now,

Bristol FC Ashton Gate Stadium 18/10/13 10.30
20/11/13 10.30
Space Catering, Barnwood Road Gloucester 13/11/13 10.30
Taunton Rugby Club Hyde Lane  14/10/13 9.30
 18/11/13 9.30
 Liberty Stadium Swansea  16/11/13 10.00
 Millenium Stadium Cardiff  10/10/13 10.00
 13/11/13 10.00
 Worcester Rugby Club Sixways  20/11/13 10.30


just head to this link to book –


Rational’s amazing ovens use a range of proprietary technologies like HiDensityControl®, which ensures uniformity of cooking regardless of position; SelfCookingControl® that monitors food 60 times a minutes and is programmed with the cooking experience gathered by hundreds of chefs over decades; Efficient LevelControl® which means you can cook different foods at the same time without flavour transfer and our favourite, CareControl®. After a busy service, you can literally leave the oven to clean itself overnight knowing that it will be sparkling clean and ready for another day’s work in the morning.

In the 40 years since the very first Rational oven shipped from a small factory in Landsberg am Lech, Germany, more than 550,000 Rational ovens have been installed in 85 countries and they account for almost half of all the combi ovens sold in the world.

Pretty remarkable statistics that go with a remarkable oven. And we’re proud to say that quite a few of those have been installed by AC Services.


Published Date: 8th October 2013
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational, White Efficiency



Don’t Cut Costs on Rational Oven Installing & Risk Your Reputation

It always surprises us how many pubs, restaurants and catering businesses, who care passionately about the food they serve, and go to great lengths to source the very best ingredients they can, will take the most surprising shortcuts when investing in new equipment. Take Rational ovens, for example. Probably the best professional oven a chef could buy – and certainly a major capital investment which requires kitchen owners to plan ahead when making this major purchase.

And it’s not just a matter of safety. A Rational oven, indeed any professional oven that has not been installed correctly, could bring your kitchen to a halt at any time.

Installing a professional oven is not just a matter of checking to see if it fits and shoe-horning it in as you would a home cooker. Rational ovens, for example, are designed to meet very exacting national and international energy, water and safety standards and many of these are conditional upon the installation being carried out to the manufacturer’s specification.

If you are thinking of investing in a Rational oven, your first step should be to attend one of Rational’s CookingLive demonstrations – these are held regularly throughout the country and you will get to see exactly what one of Rational’s latest SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® ovens can do in the hands of one of Rational’s Master chefs.

There’s another good reason for attending. Rational is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and is giving away a SelfCookingCenter® worth £8,000 to one lucky person who attends CookingLive demonstrations before November 30th. Click the Rational’s CookingLive demonstrations link to find the one nearest you.

If you’ve decided to invest, then the Rational Development Chef will put you in contact with a Rational dealer who will arrange for your nearest Rational Service Partner (AC Services if you are based in the South, South West England or South Wales) to carry out a site survey.

We will not only look at where the oven can be fitted but also check the access to make sure you can get it there in the first place. We will review electricity, gas and water and waste as well as the optimum space requirements for the oven – bearing in mind that it has to be accessible for maintenance. Ventilation is also vitally important and just as tightly controlled by regulations.

Once the survey is complete, we will liaise with you and your supplier to co-ordinate the delivery and installation and, once it’s all up and running, we’ll even take you through a product familiarisation session so you can start using your new Rational oven straight away.


Published Date: 21st August 2013
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, White Efficiency



A Rational solution to school dinners

What a month it’s been for school dinners! It all started off with a focus on healthy eating as National Childhood Obesity Week got under way on the first of July.

Then a couple of days later, the school dinner ladies were serving lunch to MPs in the House of Commons to launch National School Meals Week, which will run from November 4th to 8th. Schools hope the government will help to fund a day of free school meals for every pupil in England and Wales in an attempt to lay the ghost of old school dinners that still haunt so many parents.

Then, last week, school dinners were top of the menu again as the School Food Plan, an independent report commissioned by the Government said that packed lunches should be banned.

Energy Efficient

What’s sparked off our sudden interest in turkey twizzlers? Well, apart from the fact that some of our best customers are school kitchens, our partner, Rational, was exhibiting at the Local Authority Catering Association’s (LACA) annual bash in Birmingham last week. They are finding that more and more school kitchens are specifying Rational ovens so that they can deliver the quality and consistency that parents, politicians (and celebrity chefs) demand. An added bonus for them is that Rational ovens are just about the most energy efficient way to prepare cooked meals.

Prize Draw

Rational was demonstrating its amazing ovens to the thousands of local authority catering staff who attended LACA’s Main Event in Birmingham last week and, to mark its 40th Anniversary, it even gave delegates the chance to win one of its latest SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® models, worth £8,000. In fact, anyone attending any of the Rational CookingLive seminar between June and November 2013 have the opportunity to enter the free prize draw. If a school wins the prize but wants a larger unit, it can put the value towards an upgraded model, at a discounted price.

If all school kitchens start to turn out the quality of food we have seen at the school kitchens we visit, then I think we will finally lay the ghost of school dinners past.


Published Date: 22nd July 2013
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Rational, White Efficiency



Rational Ovens star at Caffè Culture Show

Caffe Culture reportRational ovens are starting to pop up in the most surprising places. Of course you’ll find them in professional kitchens serving up everything from pie and mash to perfectly cooked asparagus and peppered steaks – medium rare. But in a café bar? Lined up along the back wall with the Gaggias and the milk shake machines? Hardly the place for a full-on, fully automatic cooking centre. You’d think.

But if you took a trip down to London’s Olympia last week you’d have found that one of the busiest stands at the UK’s leading café bar trade show, Caffè Culture 2013, was the Rational oven stand. And the centre of attraction was Rational’s exciting SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® which has some vital statistics that make it a café natural.

Limp paninis

Running a successful café these days involves a lot more than just grinding beans and getting a good crema. Café success is as much about adding value to your coffee as it is about the bean itself; hence the growth of milkshakes, exotic teas, cakes and pastries. Oh yes, and those awful limp paninis.

This is where a Rational oven comes into its own, giving bar owners a powerful tool to add fast, high quality hot meals and snacks alongside their skinny lattes.

To start with, Rational ovens are compact and versatile, capable of turning their hand to a wide range of tasks in a small space. They can be programmed for set dishes while all other functions are removed from the display; and even if the oven is cooking multiple orders, it will adjust the cooking time for each shelf and even compensate every time the door is opened. In an industry where staff turnover can be high, features like these can reduce operator error dramatically.

Incredible technology

Then there’s the quality of the results. By using a combination of heat and super-heated steam where it’s needed, some incredible technology that weighs the food and adjusts the cooking conditions for each shelf independently, a Rational oven can produce Michelin Star quality food and do it consistently. They are fast too and will cook a full breakfast, including bacon, toast, eggs, sausages, hash browns, tomatoes and mushrooms, in just six minutes.

So, the next time you drop in to your local coffee shop – check out the hot food. If they’ve got a Rational oven lurking next to the Gaggia, you can be sure your paninis will be perfect.


Published Date: 20th May 2013
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, White Efficiency



Rational Ovens Star at Farm Shop & Deli Show

In a couple of weeks’ time Rational ovens will be featured at one of the most exciting events in the specialist food retail calendar in the UK – the Farm Shop and Deli Show at the NEC, Birmingham, which opens for three days on April 14th.

Now in its third year, the show attracts trade buyers from across Europe and is one of the focal points for showcasing the very best of UK produce. Over 150 food and drink producers and suppliers will be taking part, representing an industry with over 4,000 farm shop outlets and worth over £1.5 billion.

The Rational ovens on show will be from the state-of-the-art Self Cooking Center® whitefficiency® range. These amazing ovens, which are revolutionising kitchens across the world, can produce large quantities of perfectly cooked food, whether it’s pan-fried, baked, steamed, braised or roasted, consistently, every single time; making them perfect for the production of pre-cooked food for the chilled or frozen food market. Rational will be holding free seminars at the show where visitors can “test-drive” one of the new Rational ovens and watch real meals being produced.

The Dragon’s Pantry

AC Services Southern been installing and maintaining Rational ovens for the last 20 years or so, and we know how good they are. But these latest whitefficiency® ovens are just stunning. They are going to grab a lot of attention at the show.

The Farm Shop and Deli Show this year is also featuring special areas dedicated to each of the main regions in the UK and also sees the return of a special feature, The Dragon’s Pantry, where entrepreneurial food producers and trade suppliers can pitch their business ideas to a panel of industry experts.

I sometimes wonder what the real Dragon’s Den would have made of the very first Rational oven invented by the founder, Siegfried Meister all those years ago.


Published Date: 2nd April 2013
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational, White Efficiency
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Mass Catering with Fine Dining Cooking Standards

Mass Catering OvenMass catering doesn’t automatically have to mean the type of cooking that many people associate with canteen style cuisine. Before we get tons of comments from disgruntled canteen chefs, we’d better elaborate that that’s not supposed to infer that canteens cook badly. But they do tend to get put under a lot of pressure to serve food in bulk quantities, and things like al dente pasta and vegetables, and the quality of presentation can, and often do, suffer.

Technology Marches On
We all remember the jokes we used to make about mass catering and school dinners in particular, (and we expect they’re still being made). But things have moved on big time in terms of kitchen equipment in the past 2 or 3 decades. Technology now exists that allows mass catering and fine dining to go hand in hand. So if your dream business is to serve top quality cooking to a discerning audience, such as a large group of wedding reception guests for example, you can compete for cooking quality with some of the top restaurants in the country. Continue reading


Published Date: 21st January 2013
Category: News, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, White Efficiency
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Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® – Top Choice for Schools, Colleges and Universities

The Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® epitomises modern catering. But it was only about 20 to 30 years ago that when you thought about food in the education sector, the horror of school dinners raised its ugly head. The food was so bad that most kids would rather take home-made sandwiches.

From a Pig’s Ear to a Silk Purse
The past couple of decades have seen a wholesale change in the quality of school meals. The the same goes for cooked meals in higher education establishments including colleges and universities. The reason? – Technology has marched on. The quality and performance of commercial ovens has come on by leaps and bounds – literally turning the pig’s ear into a silk purse. Take one of the top European oven manufacturers – Rational – based here in the UK, in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Automated Excellence
Rational produce the SelfCookingCenter®a range of ovens. They are so called because of their advanced automatic programming software. Also known under their trade name of whitefficiency® these ovens are capable of producing gourmet quality meals. Automation does not necessarily mean run of the mill, production line repetition. You may be surprised to know that some of the country’s best eating houses, like Raymond Blanc’s flagship restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons have Rational SelfCookingCenter® ovens in their kitchens.

So if you’re in the process of searching out the best commercial oven to buy for a school, college or university, Why choose Rational? What makes the Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® better than the competition?

Top Reasons for Choosing a Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter®

• Reliability. Rational ovens are one of the most reliable ovens on the market. When you’re catering for schools, colleges and universities, having a reliable oven that won’t let you down is key.

• 2 year guarantee. The new Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® ovens are sold with a no quibble 2 year guarantee. Also, if your establishment is based the South, the Southwest or in South Wales, you can appoint AC Services (Southern) to service and maintain your Rational oven thereafter. ACS are one of Rational’s top service partners with a customer service record that is the envy of the industry.

• Versatility. A new Rational SelfCookingCenter® is so versatile it’s difficult to believe. You can roast, boil, grill or steam any combination of dishes at the same time in the same oven. The range and flexibility of the programming is truly awesome.

• Health & Safety. A Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® makes complying with health and safety, and industry regulation as simple as a stroll in the park. One of the great things about Rational’s whitefficiency® range, is that they all come with a pre-programmed, fully functional HACCP software program installed. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is the food industry’s bespoke regulation. A SelfCookingCentre’s programming ensures that the operational and services aspects are all correctly documented and recorded.

• Fully Automated Self Cleaning. A Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® cleans itself. All you have to do is select the most appropriate program for how dirty the oven is. This will tell you the quantity of cleaning and care tablets that are required. Simply insert them into the correct places in the oven, and shut the door. The program will then run overnight, providing the most hygienic clean at the flick of a switch. AC Services (Southern) stock the necessary cleaning products. Another good reason for appointing them as your service partner.

The Time is Right
It’s that time of year again – when schools hold their open evenings – a time looked forward to by both pupils and parents alike. Well most of them anyway. It’s an opportune time to decide on the brand and model of that new oven. And with Christmas fast approaching, (the TV adverts are already priming us), what more could you wish for than a brand new Rational whitefficiency® SelfCookingCenter® in which to cook all that wonderful festive season food? Why not drop in on Rational’s website and find out more about whitefficiency®?


Published Date: 23rd October 2012
Category: News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, White Efficiency
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