How the latest kitchen technology was incorporated into the Japara Aged Care refurbishment

Japara Aged Care, which is now operated by Calvary Health Care, owns 50 aged care homes nationally. Before the acquisition by Calvary in 2021, Japara refurbished their kitchens with the latest kitchen appliance technology. Comcater worked with the aged care provider and their chefs to help them make the most of the new technology in their kitchen.


How the latest kitchen technology was successfully incorporated into the Japara Aged Care refurbishment

Japara needed kitchen appliances in their renovation that were durable and could cater for all of the needs of the residents. Resident food focus groups, dieticians and nutritionists plan the menu. Cultural needs, likes and dislikes and special events, such as Lent and Anzac Day are also considered.

Japara decided on installing the RATIONAL iVario units into all of their new builds. The one unit replaces Bratt pans, kettles, fry pans and deep fryers, saving 30 percent in space.

That’s great because we don’t have a lot of space in our kitchens, and it’s one piece of equipment that we have to take care of instead of four,” says Liz Goldsmith, General Manager of hospitality services at the former Japara Aged Care.

The iVario is also easy to clean. As Japara prepares every meal for the residents from breakfast through to supper, being able to clean quickly between meals saves time and labour. The intelligent sensors stop food from boiling over or sticking to the pan, and the tilt mechanism also makes cleaning easy.

The equipment is all adjusted to the right heights. The tilt mechanism is fantastic for chefs. It just makes life easier than the old style of equipment,” says Doug Gillan, Regional Hospitality Manager at Japara.

The iVario can be divided into sections to cook different foods simultaneously. One section can boil pasta while the other section cooks bolognese sauce for the residents. The one pan can fry meatballs in one half and vegetables in the other, with the iVario monitoring each section.

The iVario is very easy to use,” says Liz.


The RATIONAL iCombi oven is in most of the Japara Aged Care kitchens. The oven bakes, fries, grills and poaches. Different foods can be independently cooked at the same time on separate trays.

It helps the food service operation because it gives the chefs flexibility but also speeds up the prep time,” says Doug.

The RATIONAL iCombi gives the chefs more time to plate up the food. With residents on different textured diets, making the food look appealing is essential.

The RATIONAL ovens are the biggest hit with the chefs,” he says.

The unit is self-cleaning and can be performed overnight, saving on labour and minimising downtime.


But, the biggest hit with the residents is the scones.

One of the benefits of the RATIONAL oven is you put a probe in one of the scones and they come up to perfection at the push of a button,” says Doug.

Comcater helped Japara use the RATIONAL equipment, tailored to their menu, residents and staff. After installation, Comcater helped them pre-program menu items, maintenance and service of their equipment nationwide.

Comcater provided a lot of support at our homes. The wonderful chefs at Comcater did their demo at our team meeting for all of our head chefs. They all watched live cooking at Comcater,” says Liz.

Doug says, “Comcater’s training is very supportive. They show our chefs techniques they probably haven’t learnt before. It’s fantastic for chefs, because they talk the chef’s language.”


RATIONAL iCombi and iVario units are ideal for aged care providers. Comcater can work with your staff, residents and dieticians to get the most out of your appliances. To find out how RATIONAL products can be incorporated into your aged care refurbishment, call Comcater 1300 309 262

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