posted by: Heather Blue Harkovich
I was at a business conference last week which was held at the Thermador showroom in California. We had the opportunity to get a tour of the showroom and learn about many of their products. I picked up some interesting tips,took some ‘kitchen’ inspiration photos and thought you might enjoy learning more about it all!
We started our tour in the “Ideal Kitchen”, named as such primarily for the layout, which is most conducive to cooking. I found it interesting when our tour guide told us that a refrigerator is used 7 times more frequently than a freezer, and this is growing due to the move to eat fresher foods and less processed items.
This next kitchen, they termed the ‘Aspen kitchen’, with the intent to demonstrate a vacation or second home kitchen. This kitchen features a small professional range.
Thermador cooking products are known for their star burners, for even temperature distribution, and low simmer feature which can maintain 100 degree heat by intermittently turning itself off and on (this avoids burning foods on simmer and the need for a double boiler).
If you look to the far left of the photo, you may notice that the fridge is fully flush with the cabinets. Usually even a ‘counter depth’ fridge sticks out a bit. Not with Thermador; they also include stainless trim pieces in case your existing cabinetry doesn’t fit the fridge exactly. You don’t even notice how seamless it is!
One nice feature I liked was their dishwasher which can be customized to hold up to 18 tall wineglasses and can do a quick 20 minute cycle. Everything comes with options to fit your lifestyle!
Our next stop was the ‘Martha’s Vineyard kitchen’ (for the light, washed oak and beachy look). From a terminology point of view, a “Range Top” is what you see below, with the controls on the front, whereas a “Cook-top” has the controls on top (you will see a picture of this later). Many people often confuse the two.
Another nifty feature shown in this kitchen was the concealed warming drawer underneath the Range Top. It has a cabinet front so you don’t even know it is there. This warming drawer comes with a timer to turn itself off so you don’t accidentally forget and leave it on (this would be a great feature for me; I always get a little OCD thinking I left the warming drawer on in my kitchen).
We spent most of our time learning about the cook-top in the island which included a downdraft (so you don’t have to have a massive vent hood). This cook-top came in a ‘mirror finish’ which takes on the hue of the counter top around it.
This downdraft is quite high, but that makes it more effective as most vapors rise quickly. Downdrafts can be vented outside or recirculated in the home (and meet strict government air quality standard) depending on what your kitchen is able to structurally accommodate.
One of my favorite products was the induction cook-top which physically does not get hot. The iron pan gets hot, but nothing else. One Thermador employee said when he makes bacon, he covers the cook-top with paper towels, puts the iron pan on top, then just throws away the grease splattered paper towels when he is done. Talk about easy clean up!
The chefs in the group (I have to admit to not being one!) were most excited about the Thermador Steam Oven. This product combines steam with convection to cook faster, preserve nutrients, defrost food without cooking the edges, restore leftovers, and provide multi level cooking for different foods without transferring flavors. Basically the product of a foodies’ dreams. It all sounded very impressive.
On a final note, circulating back to the comment at the beginning about refrigeration versus freezers, Thermador calls their cooling systems “Freedom”, whereby they encourage you to take the freedom to do what you want with refrigeration and freezing. You don’t even have to put them near each other.
My favorite cabinet area was the 90” long wall of refrigeration (which you can not ‘see’); they called the “New American Home”. It includes double the refrigeration, a small freezer and a wine unit with the option to set 2 temperatures inside the unit. They designed this area to reflect how many American homeowners really use the kitchen today; for fresh foods and limited freezing (and obviously a decent amount of wine consumption!).
They also spoke about how Thermador designs their appliances to cabinet or furniture specifications, as opposed to average appliance specs, which better meets the needs of a high end kitchen design.
It was truly an informative experience, now I just need to translate that into some motivation to be a better cook! Hope you find some inspiration in these photos and concepts and if you are thinking about new appliances I encourage you to research Thermador as you look. They are excited about celebrating the company’s 100th birthday next year, and a company in business for 100 years has to be doing quite a few things right!