Owner of Britain’s oldest Rational in commercial use is revealed

Alan Curtis, regional development chef at Rational, presents a Rational combi oven to Francesco Obinu, owner of Sardis Restaurant, Darlington

The owners of Sardis Restaurant, Darlington, have been presented with a new generation Rational combi oven this week, after winning the competition to find the oldest Rational in use within the UK and Ireland.  

Rational launched the competition earlier this year to mark its UK subsidiary’s 25th anniversary. Francesco Obinu, owner of the Sardis Restaurant bought his Rational in 1987, the same year that he purchased the restaurant.

Delivering the combi oven to the restaurant’s kitchen situated on the first floor turned out to be a challenge for Ray Clark and Andy Gaffney from Neasham Refrigeration and Catering Equipment. The kitchen window was removed and the unit then lifted into the kitchen by a JCB lifter.

Alan Curtis, Rational regional development chef, presented the new generation SelfCookingCenter 61 model to Obinu, who said: “When I was informed that we had won the competition of the oldest Rational still in commercial use in the UK and Ireland and that we would be the recipients of a new SelfCookingCenter we were thrilled. Although a little apprehensive about new technology, we are looking forward to using the new SelfCookingCenter when we re-open on Tuesday 18 October, in fact we have a full restaurant booked for this day – including a party of 50 guests.”

Sardis Restaurant opened in North Road, Darlington in 1987. Owned and run by Sardinian brothers, Salvatore and Francesco Obinu, the restaurant specialises in classic Italian cuisine but also offers dishes with Mediterranean and European influences.

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