The Future of Asian Kitchens Seminar in Partnership with Rational

Following on from the success of The Future of Asian Kitchens Seminar Rational will replay the event at 11am and 11.45pm on 29th July. Created in association with The Chefs’ Forum, the seminar was first run on 21st July with Asian restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, kitchen planners and designers getting together to discuss the industry, topics and challenges which were affecting them.

Hosted by The Chefs Forum’s Director of Education, Neil Rippington, the Seminar explored current topics affecting all elements of the Asian culinary sector:

Celebrity Chef Dipna Anand (Brilliant Restaurant) and Lead Panellist Rehan Uddin (Bombay Express) opened the Seminar by talking the delegates through the heavily publicised Natasha’s law which comes into effect this October, specifically for the grab and go and ready meal market.  They explained the need to prepare now and get to grips with correctly labelling readymade food.  They also discussed Owen’s Law, which is currently the subject of a government petition which calls for restaurants to put all information about allergens in their food on the face of their menu, so customers have full visibility on what they’re ordering.

Dipna said

“We make sure that allergens are visible on our menus in the restaurants – We always have done.  They are also listed on the packaging of our ready meals and our spice ranges.  We also use an app, which allows customers to set their allergens and diet preferences within it.  The dishes match those that are highlighted – This is really helpful in helping us safely navigate allergens.”

The guests then got to see first-hand the connected cooking technology offered by Rational to help them cook their menus quickly and efficiently, lessening the need for a labour-intensive kitchen in the grips of a global chef shortage as industry recovers from being closed due to the pandemic.

Raymond Chu of Grand Village Imperial showcased how he uses cutting-edge technology in his kitchen to cook time-honoured Chinese classics such as Peking duck and braised dishes that would have traditionally been made in a large pot on the stove.

All agreed that Asian cuisine has many healthy menu options and are quite heavily plant-based, therefore bang on trend with current market requirements.

The chefs swapped tips on stock rotation of fresh vegetables, using seasonal varieties and making sure that food waste is kept to a minimum.

Will Bowlby, Head Chef and co-founder of London restaurant Kricket has been shortlisted for Young British Foodies ‘Chef of the Year’ category for two years in a row.  After falling in love with Indian food whilst working in Mumbai, he returned to the UK to open his modern Indian restaurant with plenty of British twists, he said

“Sustainability? We shouldn’t event be talking about becoming more sustainable, rather, it should be second nature.  The less food miles on produce and energy used, the better it is for the environment.”

Will already has Rational technology in all three of his restaurants and is looking to open a fourth site in Bristol shortly with Deliveroo Editions, which connects growing businesses with hungry customers in brand new areas.

This modern ‘Cloud Kitchen’ phenomenon offered by home delivery giant Deliveroo, allows partners like Kricket to prepare amazing food for their customers – Deliveroo are enabling the most popular foodie brands the opportunity to set up in a new location, with minimal set-up costs.  Deliveroo provide the premises, bespoke kitchen, marketing support and growth manager dedicated to help businesses be a successful as possible.

This is the future of Asian Kitchens and a fantastic way of growing a brand in an organic way, without huge set-up costs – Very clever indeed!

The Chefs’ Forum is all about bridging the gap between education and industry, so it was fantastic to hear from the panellists on how they treat their kitchen teams as family, with respect to make them want to stay for the long haul.

Munayum, Chef Patron of Raja Monkey in Birmingham said

“I say to all my chefs that if they treat my business with the level of care as if it were there one, then I will treat them as my family.”

Roux Scholarship finalist and progressive Indian Cuisine chef Arbinder Duggal echoed this sentiment and stressed the importance of ensuring that abuse or bullying is never tolerated in the professional kitchen.

Staffing is a huge problem at the moment, so the delegates were delighted to learn that they could introduce technology into their kitchens that could be managed remotely via an app on their mobile phones to keep an eye on their cooking processes when not at the restaurant.

The next generation and training British chefs to cook Asian food was overwhelmingly emphasised as being of critical importance.

Neil Rippington said:

“The Chefs Forum’s Future of Asian Kitchens Seminar examined all issues listed in the points above, alongside others, in a wide-ranging analysis of the Asian restaurant sector and the challenges it faces.

“Today we all agreed that here must be a new way of thinking in terms of waste reduction, sustainability and technology, at the same time as respecting time-honoured recipes and cooking styles.  I am delighted with the insight gleaned from today’s event and look forward to staging a follow-up event for the Asian restaurant sector very soon.”

This was the third in a series of sector specific seminars in association with The Chefs’ Forum to gain valuable market insight to fine-tune Rational’s approach to servicing stakeholders, tailor-made to their individual requirements.

Adam Knights, Marketing Director, Rational UK concluded,

Rational is the Chef’s company and as such we strive to understand the many modern challenges facing hospitality, to provide efficient solutions via our cooking systems, training, and support. We partnered with Rehan Uddin, founder of the Asian Restaurant Owners Network to produce our first Expert Chef online webinar showcasing how Rational cooking systems have supported Rehan in achieving his progressive kitchen goals. Our hope is that the Future of Asian Kitchens seminar inspired all participants today, providing new ideas to the challenges everyone is currently facing.”

Rehan was delighted to be support Rational and The Chefs’ Forum as lead panellist in this event to bring together progressive Asian chefs and current ambassadors of modern Asian cuisine.

He said:

At my restaurant, Bombay Express in Torquay, it’s all about reducing the need for manual labour intensity and increasing speed, consistency and output. Having adopted the latest iKitchen technology from Rational in my restaurant, I can wholeheartedly say that it delivers top-end precision cooking in record time. This has reduced the need for a large kitchen team and that has helped me overcome the current staff shortage.”

If you missed it…

Rational will replay this Seminar on the 29th July at 11am-1pm or 11.45pm-1.45am – To receive the link and register your interest, please email