As a kid I was obsessed with magicians and magic tricks. Alacazam!! and the rabbit disappears in the hat…. Alacazoo!!!! and a bauble appears in what was an empty hand. I was amazed. As an adult, I am still obsessed with what I consider a certain magic although it can also be explained as technology. I consider appliances, especially ovens, to be magic boxes of a very special sort. Allacazam! I shout to my grandson as I put the gooey egg mixture in the oven. Alacazzoooom!!! I shout this time, 16 minutes later when a perfect cheese soufflé emerges from the magic box we commonly call the oven. “Wow, look what happened!” he says as I did back when I was a kid. Ovens were magic back then. Now, although totally explainable they are still magic to me, nonetheless. Todays’ breed of appliances is even more amazing with the introduction of steam as well as the convection I have come to love. Although I love the cooktop and wall oven arrangement above, my current favorite “magic box” is the Pro Grand Steam range from Thermador. This 48″ magic box includes seven cooking options. All of them are impressive and sure to thrill the home chef. I love this piece because everything is in easy reach for my “cooking station”. The built in warming drawer can warm my plates or allow my cauliflower gratin to stay moist and serving temperature while I’m searing steaks and my rosemary biscuits are magically rising in the conventional oven with convection option. The steam oven can be used to quickly make healthy meals from fresh wholesome ingredients without the need for added fats and oils. The steam oven can also be used for proofing. A nice feature for home bakers. The griddle option is perfect for that leisurely Sunday morning pancake breakfast, warming drawer so useful for warming plates or keeping the pancakes just perfect so everyone can eat together. All in all, I find the amount of cooking versatility built into 48″ to be a pretty magical thing. Cooking appliances are where I start when planning your magical dream kitchen. The rabbit and top hat are optional!
As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.
Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large” has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!
So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.
So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!
In the middle of a heat wave on a hot night in New York, I braved the 100 degrees to meet up with the American Range tour bus for a Bar-B-Q in the parking lot of my favorite appliance store.
The bus was impressive, a big, shiny, black mobile showroom, outfitted with all sorts of residential and commercial cooking equipment but the product and the driver, “Captain” Curt Saunders really made it worthwhile. American Range is a foodie’s dream. It doesn’t just look professional, it is the real deal. Modified for residential UL approval, each piece of world class cooking equipment is actually made with commercial parts in the same factory as the restaurant equipment. This means you are cooking your steak with the same Inconel broiler that is used in the famed Ruth’s Chris Steak House chain. The sealed burners, they are really sealed. While explaining the burner and top options, Captain Curt actually poured some water on the cooktop, mid sentence to show me. Several burner sizes, easy clean inserts, 22″ griddles, (perfect for making that All-American pancake breakfast), and easy clean infra-red grill give the home chef de cuisine all the options necessary to really enjoy the cooking and home entertaining experience. Other things that impressed me were the 36″ warming drawer that will fit a full sized catering pan and the French door wall oven that allows for easy reach and keeps you from burning your forearms while trying to get the cheesecake out of the top oven. Simple, brilliant solutions for world class cooking at home. When thinking about up leveling your kitchen to a real culinary haven, I highly recommend you check out the product line.
Thursday I had the pleasure of attending The Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier94 in the city. For me, center stage and the stars of the show, were the appliances. Among the items displayed by American Range was my favorite 60″ range with the 22″ gridlle perfect for making those big Sunday breakfasts I adore. Fhiaba takes refrigeration to a new level in my opinion, by allowing the user to change certain segments from refrigeration to freezer or vice versa in a matter of 2 hours–ordinary magic, indeed.
Then there was Thermador , whose design and price point make it my standard for discerning clients. The Thermador booth is picturedat 6:30 pm, wine flowing and people packing themselves in. On display, the new 48″ Pro Grand Range with built in steam oven and the versatile refrigeration columns displayed with wine storage and wood panelled faces that really show off the superior hinge design.
I love appliances!