Regular equipment maintenance matters: iCombi Classic cleaning cycles keep Grand Geneva Resort & Spa’s kitchens operating efficiently.
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa offers guests a variety of food and beverage options, from fine-dining restaurants to a casual bar and grill. As many as 12 kitchens support the all-seasons resort, which sits on 1,300 acres in Lake Geneva, Wis.
Every kitchen relies on the same set of RATIONAL iCombi Classic combi ovens (both 20-full size) located in the banquet kitchen and readily accessible via a service elevator.
“All of our concepts, from the Geneva ChopHouse to Ristorante Brissago to Grand Cafe, use the RATIONAL equipment. Banquets is maybe the one that gets the most use out of them,” says Executive Chef Dustin Urbanik. He joined the property in 2018 as the ChopHouse’s chef de cuisine and rose through the ranks.
Urbanik oversees the upkeep of the combi ovens, which were in place when he arrived at the resort. He says with regular care, such as running a self-cleaning cycle daily and deep cleaning weekly, they work well.
“Like a car, where you do oil changes on it to keep it running, you keep the combi oven clean every day,” Urbanik says. “They’re built to last, and they work like a charm so long as you’re cleaning them every day and not beating them up.”
One example of a repair Urbanik managed was when the combi oven’s self-cleaning function didn’t work. It gave an error message. “We called the engineering department and they came and looked at it and couldn’t figure it out, so we called RATIONAL and they gave us a few equipment maintenance options, a few self-remedies to look at,” he says. With help from RATIONAL, the resort’s team found calcified water had clogged some filters. The team thoroughly cleaned the filters and the combi oven was back online.
To ensure the combi ovens operate at peak performance, new hires at the resort get one-on-one training with an experienced chef on how to use and perform regular maintenance for the equipment. They learn how to handle the cleaning tablets, interpret the messages on the display screen and other steps.
Fast and Versatile
Looking ahead, Urbanik aims to add more RATIONAL combi ovens to the banquet kitchen as the 355-room resort continues to grow. He appreciates their high capacity, variety of cooking functions and space-saving feature.
“They’re big enough units that they can accommodate a lot of products, especially important for a busy resort like us, and they’re so versatile,” says Urbanik, explaining employees will, in a matter of a few hours, go from roasting chicken to steaming potatoes to switching back to roasting another menu item. “They save not only time, but space in the kitchen that you would need to do all those functions [with traditional equipment].”
Employees also value the quality of the product the iCombi ovens produce. At the ChopHouse, for example, they prefer to use the units for a mushroom side because they can get a really good roast on them at the right time and temperature versus braising or roasting them in the restaurant, Urbanik says.
Overall, he says, “They’re a really great piece of equipment to help solve a lot of problems.”
All photos by Allison Rezendes