Chicago Marriott Schaumburg. Schaumburg, IL, USA.

Serving up comfort, innovation and heritage with the VarioCookingCenter.

Changing the dynamic in the kitchen.

The VarioCookingCenter® has transformed the kitchen at the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg, located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The property has 400 hotel rooms, banquet space that accommodates about 600 guests, and an additional banquet room and outdoor tent area that holds several hundred more. The hotel’s dining area, Great Room, is open all day serving breakfast, lunch and dinner until ­10 p.m., and there's also a robust room service business. William Delby is executive chef for the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg; he created a dining experience with a healthy focus based on comfort, innovation and heritage. Using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients whenever possible, Delby keeps a watchful eye on minimizing environmental impact and the hotel kitchen’s carbon footprint. He buys cheese from a nearby Wisconsin dairy and uses it in multiple applications, helping to cut down on transport and packaging while supporting the local community and providing a freshness that clients notice.

In the spring of 2019, Delby and the Chicago Marriott Schaumburg had a VarioCookingCenter® installed, and the piece of equipment dramatically changed the dynamic in the kitchen. “Having the VarioCookingCenter® has allowed us to be much more ­innovative with our menu planning approach,” he said. “It allows us to be able to offer guests things that in the past would not have been possible.” From confit to beignets, from carne asada to quinoa, Delby’s menus capitalize on the cooking speed, consistency and versatility of the VarioCookingCenter®. He and his kitchen staff use it for almost everything: overnight braising, bain-marie, sautéing, searing, pasta baskets, baking, frying and pressure cooking, to name a few.

“The RATIONAL VarioCookingCenter® allows you to be calm and think about what you are doing. It takes away the stress and allows you to make better decisions.”

William Delby, Executive Chef, Chicago Marriott Schaumburg.

Greater versatility and innovation.

“For banquet prep, we can get twice as much done with the VarioCookingCenter®,” Delby said. “It heats faster, recovers faster, and has two separate braising pans so you can multitask, utilizing your time in the best way possible.” He can also walk away, setting a unique ringtone on the VarioCookingCenter® to alert him when it’s time to return.

They use the ConnectedCooking app for overnight cooking, programming the start time so when they return in the morning the food is ready and waiting. They set the pasta basket to drop at a certain time, sending an alert when cooking is complete so they can return to sauce it up and serve.

He estimates the VarioCookingCenter® consumes roughly 30 percent less energy than traditional kitchen equipment: it replaces multiple appliances, powers down or goes into waiting mode while not in use, and uses less water than a steamer. He also praises the ease of cleaning that takes away the time, effort and caustic chemicals required in the past. “Any time you are wasting less and putting more product on the plate that can be sold, it’s going to bring back a better ROI for our ownership, and the VarioCookingCenter® is one tool that allows you to do that,” he said.

Customer benefit:
  • VarioCookingControl® cooking intelligence eliminates time-consuming tasks like setting, checking and adjusting the temperature.
  • VarioBoost® heating system brings water to a boil in record time and continues boiling even when cold food is loaded.
  • AutoLift lets you cook up to 300 portions of pasta al dente in 30 minutes, monitoring and draining the food at precisely the right time.
  • Pressure cooking reduces cooking times by up to 30%.