You may be and not even know it! “Technicurean”, is a new term, cross pollinating tech enthusiasm with epicurean tendencies, creating the perfect pairing for modern entertaining at home. Signature Kitchen Suite, a brainchild of the tech minded folks at LG, is a new entry into the luxury home appliance market that brings technology in the kitchen to a whole new level. I have been intrigued by a sous vide feature that is a full top bay of a 48″ professionally styled range, with individual timers that will alert to your cell phone. If you are unaware of sous vide, it is a technique for keeping food at the perfect serving temperature for hours! I have been intrigued by the entire brand, really, that calls itself “true to food”, since the initial launch last year. My interest was further piqued by experiencing the timers of the Signature Kitchen Suite range at the CEDIA EXPO, a technology trade show, while participating in the Design Connection Tour, bringing together interior designers and technology companies and integrators. Who wouldn’t want tech to make the kitchen more convenient when entertaining and paying homage to your inner foodie? On a very exciting note, I have been invited to try out these appliances and experience the brand culture of Signature Kitchen Suite at their experience center in California this week. I will be in the fine company of designer, blogger and social media maven members of MODENUS Designhounds, while eating, drinking, cooking, touring vineyards, learning features and soaking up all the “true to food” technicurean culture I can! I am sure there will be much to report. Stay tuned!
I recently had the pleasure of visiting with Whirlpool Corporation’s training facility in Chicago. The trip was a wonderful experience. The facility is in a remodeled historic building, and the Whirlpool facility includes an amazing rooftop lounge where we ate several of our site prepared gourmet meals. Whirlpool, for those not so familiar, is also the parent company behind KitchenAid, Amana, Maytag, Gladiator garage systems and Jenn-Air luxury appliances. Jenn-Air may be known to some for the “down-draft” kitchen ventilation system invented in the 60s but the renewed commitment by the parent corporation to luxury cooking at home has brought with it many more innovations and conveniences. The color touch-screen operated wall oven is one I find particularly noteworthy. The straightforward and simple options had me smiling at first touch! Easier than an ATM and something an older, less tech savvy guest could easily navigate without the instruction book. OK, you say, it’s easy to use but how well does it cook. The meals we sampled, all made by a talented on site staff led by Culinary Training Chef Ann Nolan, were perfection. Crusty but moist bread, flaky pastry and wonderful roasted vegetables were a few that stick in my mind.
The line has an impressive induction cooktop, several models in gas, with or without down-draft, and also a series of modules to allow a “create-your-own” that can include a 15″ chrome griddle or an induction wok module. Ventilation options include wall models, island models and of course the down-draft that made them famous! Great options for creating slow simmer soups, crepes and all sorts of culinary masterpieces. Now on to the coffee system!
DeLonghi, of Italian coffee maker fame, actually partnered with Jenn-Air to create their built in coffee system. It is simple to operate, has minimal installation requirements (110V) and makes great coffee. Well thought out, it will also give ample warning for cleaning so there are no surprise shutdowns during dinner parties. The steam oven also operates on 110V and requires no in wall plumbing. The addition of convection allows for many cooking options from reheating to original temperature and texture to steam cooking to baking. Again, easy to navigate without a PHD or instruction book. The dishwashers in the line include drying and steam features but the depth needs to be considered when doing initial planning if inset cabinetry is being used. An under counter ice maker for those looking for “clear ice”, several tall and under counter refrigeration models, including wine storage, round out the kitchen suite offering.
Notable is the “Obsidian” refrigeration that makes your ingredients look like model food for a cooking show. Fun for the home culinary enthusiast! As a designer, I look forward to the new series of column refrigeration ideal for personalization and full integration due out early next year. I encourage those of you looking for appliances for your new kitchen to experience these gourmet appliances with simplicity and a great price point at your local showroom or appliance specialty store.
Thanks so much to Ellen Cheever-Giorgi and the entire Jenn-Air team!
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!
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.
Creating dream kitchens for single family palaces is a good portion of my work. Giving that expansive feel to a smaller footprint is a challenge I enjoy as well. To do that I really need to feel how you function. I want to feel how you live and interact. I want to create a space that has room for kids’ art, pet bowls, Costco runs, phone chargers, PTA calendars and still suits all your entertaining needs. I want to know who is cooking what and when so we have a tv for the morning news or easy access to the outdoor bar-b-q. I want to know if wine storage is important or if a built-in coffee system would really make your kitchen special and keep you from running out to Starbucks in your yellow fuzzy robe! Feeding our family and friends really feeds our soul and makes us happy. I want to help you outfit your kitchen to make the most of home celebrations and everyday living.
So, here I am with Ellen, talking about how we made her kitchen function for her specific needs.
My great appreciation for the work of Rick Spence and deepest thanks to the team at Houzz.com for featuring me in this promotional video.
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!
Working with this client was wonderful. She came to me through an architect friend to create her dream kitchen. My client has wonderful taste, preferring soft subtle hues and rich texture and detail. She wanted a pallette of soft greys with dark wood and white for contrast. An addition would give us the space we needed but marrying ceiling heights and choosing and locating windows to create something truly special was the challenge. I created a kitchen “L” as a work triangle, a large island and a window wall incorporating a table height counter and long glass cabinets to showcase the windows and frame the view to the yard. The creation of a contemporary “mantle hood” with sheetrock structure and stainless and tile detail give an up to date but unique feel. The glass backsplash and hood detail add that “subtle sparkle” that makes the room really special. Dream kitchen…….and dream client!
This remodel is of an old Westhampton house that has had many additions over the years. The kitchen had some character from original rustic beams at the entrance but the cabinets, formica counters and painted tile backsplash had a dated feel. The owner had a wish list of appliances including a 48″ commercial range, big refrigerator, ice maker, warming drawer, built in microwave and two dishwashers. We rearranged the floorplan to accomodate all of the appliances and also allow for a breakfast bar with 5 stools, a tv for the cook to watch “Food Network”, and a spot for the phone and a water cooler. A shade of buttermilk yellow with espresso glaze and beautiful Ayers Green granite give the room a unique updated feel. Owl glass pendants from tech lighting and a fun mosaic tile splash finish off the look.
Working for a couple that have quite different visions of their kitchen needs is always a challenge but can be a pleasure! In this case, a lovely women wanted a “pretty, country French feel” and her counterpart was looking for something “industrious and manly…..you know, for serious cooking”…(Oddly enough, they are both therapists and have a major impact in helping people make sense of their lives…Could I help them make sense of their kitchen?)…. Here, we have certainly accomplished all goals. The integration of a French patterned golden travertine floor, stunning Blue Bahia counters, stainless appliances (including a “real” commercial range), whimsical pendants and creamy wood tones create a warm, lovely environment that satisfies both “Him and Her”.
Updating a home can become very expensive, and the ability to make reasonable dreams come true within a reasonable budget is one of my best “Fairy Houzz Mother” tricks…..Dark cabinets don’t have to make the kitchen look smaller. This kitchen was a 1980’s white formica laminate with radius ends and a truly dated look. This alder wood cabinetry in a rich dark finish mixed with sunny golden tones creates warmth without giving the kitchen a “closed in” feel. Reworking the plan within the existing footprint created more storage and a better work flow without the expense of an addition….and so both the budget and the kitchen lived happily ever after……
Installation by Ross Portenoy,
Touch of Class Home Improvements, Long Island, NY