Last week Ken and I had the opportunity to fly out to California and were welcomed to the Gaggenau Ambassadors Program in the new BSH Experience and Design Center. We spent three days perfecting our culinary skills while elevating our product knowledge on all the latest technologies. As hard as it is for us to slip away from our business, we found the program to be exceptional. It absolutely motivated us to stock the live kitchens in our showrooms with all the accessories needed to provide a hands-on experience for our clients. It also inspired us to come home and cook on our own Gaggenau equipment! Below is an overview of the new appliances Ken and I used to create the magnificent dishes you see in the photos below. Sorry if I make you hungry reading this.
We quickly learned that a perfectly designed appliance for every cooking method made us look good. These appliances offer highly-efficient technology, as well as tailor-made solutions so you use the best appliance available for each situation. Below is what we used to take full advantage of all Gaggenau’s cooking options.
Combi-Steam Ovens: Steaming without pressure is one of the healthiest cooking methods of all. Vitamins, minerals, consistency, and color remain intact, and the food’s natural taste is enhanced without having to add anything. The oven combines humidity (with control levels at 0, 30, 60, 80, and 100 percent) with temperatures that range from 85 – 450 degrees. Both hot air and humidity are separately moderated by turning the control knobs. What’s more, a grill can also be activated, so now this oven can do everything: steaming, baking, roasting, braising, refreshing, grilling, and gratinéeing. There is really nothing you cannot cook in this oven, and YES I WANT ONE!
The 200 series Combi-steam ovens come in 24- and 30- inch models, quite versatile when pairing with a 24 or 30-inch 200 series single oven, coffee maker, or warming drawer combination. Note: The coffee makers will be available for 30″ models in 2013. Accessories available for the combi steam oven include perforated and unperforated stainless pans and trays that insert directly into the runners and are available in different sizes; you can order a stainless steel lid for the half trays, great for taking food in and out of the fridge. Also available is the non-stick aluminum cast iron roaster and a wire chromium plated rack with feet. You won’t even need extra pots and pans. These inserts are made of hygienic stainless steel, a standard in professional kitchens. Another great feature is that you can use the steam feature to refresh leftovers or revive bread. We tried this using our in-counter steamer at home. It was much better than microwaving and the food tastes exactly like when it was first cooked. You can also use your Combi-steam oven to hold food warm by keeping proper internal temperature until you’re ready to sit down and eat. Here’s what we made…
Single Convection Ovens: We used the 200 series single ovens that come in 24 or 30 inch sizes. Don’t let the 24 or 30 inch size ovens fool you into thinking they are small. These units are very deep and easily accommodate large trays when inserted front to back. The side-swing doors allow us to pull out the trays for easy access. With the oven’s universal heating system, there is no need to rotate food. If you love the way a recipe came out, you can go back and store those last settings in one of the oven’s six memory slots. Accessories you might opt for include fully extendable enameled baking/broiling trays, wire racks, and rotisserie spit. The versatile cast-iron roaster can be used on every oven level, and can easily be cleaned with the oven’s pyrolytic function. We used the roaster in the Single Oven, Combi Steam Oven and on the Induction Cooktops. The roaster’s lid can also serve as a separate casserole dish or as another piece of cookware. The baking stone (another optional accessory) is perfect for pizza.
What we made in the single oven:
Modular Cooktops: I have had these modular units in my own home for 20 years. I am tempted to swap out my deep fryer for the Teppan Yaki, but I do love to make Zeppoli and Italian Struffoli, so that is a tough decision. Maybe I’ll just cut in another hole in my counter! The “Design Your Own Cooktop” versatility of these units allows our designers to completely customize the cooking situation to a client’s needs. The Vario cooktops come in a 400 series (15-inch wide modules) or a 200 series (narrower and more compact 12-inch wide modules, great for smaller spaces). Today you can choose from a variety of appliances to create your own custom combination. Each features the most modern, professional-grade technology. They can be freely combined and coordinated with one another whether they’re gas, induction, or electric, a Teppan Yaki, induction wok, steamer, grill, or deep fryer right down to the matching ventilation elements. I have always used my steamer for fish and veggies, but I learned it can be used for much more–like cooking pasta, oatmeal, rice and rice pudding, custards, poached eggs, and you can reheat/revive leftovers or breads while retaining flavor.
The Teppan Yaki unit allows for high heat/low fat Japanese-style cooking on its smooth chromium surface. It is great for searing ahi tuna or steak, seafood, chicken strips, or pieces of fruit. The temperature range is 240 – 480 degrees, and its smooth surface allows no air pockets to form. Cleanup is a breeze when you wipe with a damp towel while still warm. If you add a little lemon juice, the unit will look new and beautiful for many years. You can use a drop of oil for quick browning, but it is not meant for shallow frying. Think “healthy cooking,” and do not use the top to chop or cut as it will scratch and you want to keep the surface smooth.
Induction Cooktop: This top transforms the entire surface into a large cooking zone. It also serves as extra counter space as you can see in our second photo below when we were serving. The 48 micro inductors beneath its glass ceramic surface allow you to arrange your cookware as you wish. You can place up to four different pots and pans anywhere on the top no matter their size and shape. When we moved the pans, the cooktop recognized the new position and made the appropriate adjustment. The heat is NOT transferred from the cooktop to the pot but is generated directly in the base of the pot by induction. (See this post: How Induction Cooking Works) The actual cooktop is cool to the touch; only the pan gets hot. Power levels are changed on the touch display.
The Coffee Machine and Warming Drawer: This unit in brushed stainless steel makes an elegant addition to your ensemble. Larry & Cyndi (National Product Specialists) made me the perfect cup of coffee at the press of a button AND whipped up some frothy milk because that’s the way I like mine (except I do it manually with a mini whisk). When I was sure they were thinking, “There’s always one in the crowd,” I realized it was no bother at all because it was a snap to do. YES I WANT THIS TOO!
The Classic Hood: The AI400 island hood is quiet and makes a beautiful design accent. Its rim extraction filter is extremely efficient and is available in 48″ as an air extraction or recirculation unit, with an internal or external blower as needed. It is available for free standing islands or as a wall mounted hood (AW400). The underside is also attractive; how often can you say that about a hood!
The “Pretty with a Purpose” Refrigeration System: You can combine your refrigeration system any way you like with modular refrigeration and freezer columns. Refrigerators, freezers, bottom freezers, and wine storage units can be suited to your needs. The stainless steel interiors are quite different; they’re hygienic and non porous, and they hold cold extremely well while eliminating odors in the air. The 6mm glass refrigerator shelves are frameless to maximize space, and you can adjust shelf height on the column and french door models with the push of a button. An interesting tidbit I learned is that the industry standard acceptable temperature differential from the door to the back of the refrigerator box is 10 degrees and Gaggenau holds 1 to 1-1/2 degrees… impressive!
The Dishwasher: The unit has a stainless steel interior, auto wash, crystal cycle, and power boost for quick 60 minute cycles. You can opt for stainless steel carafes to fit in the basket to wash sterling silver, which keeps the sterling isolated from interference with metals. It also comes with an additional third loading level for large pieces of cutlery or cooking utensils.The unit is so quiet there is a power light that shines down onto the floor to let you know when it is running.
As you can see in the photos below, these new, modern technology appliances look equally fabulous in kitchen designs that are traditional, transitional, or modern, thus ending the myth that modern appliances only look good in modern kitchens. Just look at this gorgeous Wood-Mode traditional kitchen featuring all Gaggenau “modern” appliances and refrigeration.
You can see these dream appliances with their professional-grade performance, timeless design, and outstanding quality at Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly showrooms in Williston Park and Sag Harbor.
Disclosure: Our invitation from BSH and Gaggenau included travel arrangements, amazing meals, and accommodations. Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly is a Gaggenau dealer, and all ideas and opinions in this post are based on our first-hand experience with Gaggenau products in our homes, in our showrooms, and in our 30+ years in the kitchen industry.
Posted by Grace Kelly in Kitchen Design, News, Appliances, Trends | Showroom: Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc., 26 Hillside Avenue, Williston Park, NY 516-746-3435