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The Best of Jenn-Air: My Top 3 Picks

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks in my little “kitchen designer world”.  Earlier this month I made a quick trip to the World of Whirlpool in Chicago to learn, in depth,  about  their premium Jenn-Air line of appliances.  Jenn-Air has been around a long time but has recently been reinvented to compete with the luxury brands.  Overall the line is very impressive and I could go on and on but today I thought I’d share with you my top 3 favorites. Read more


Hot Trends Make a Big Splash at KBIS 2014

As many of you know, the Kitchen and Bath masses gathered in Las Vegas February 4-6 for their annual pilgrimage to KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. This year the event was part of Design & Construction Week, a new concept, merging KBIS with IBS, the International Builder’s Show. As a result, it was bigger and better than ever. Let’s hope that what happened there does NOT stay there ! Read more



A warm welcome by the folks at the Miele Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida

This past week I was given the opportunity, by the nice folks at Miele (rhymes with tequila), to mix business with pleasure.  I attended a Miele Table Artist Salon for an evening of culinary creativity.  I was not disappointed.

Chef Whyko in action on the Miele induction cooktop, steam ovens in the background

One of the stars of the evening, the Miele steam oven. Note the reservoir on the right.

Not only were we treated to an exceptional gourmet experience, courtesy of Chef David Whyko, but I also got to learn more about the two most promising and up and coming appliances in the industry. (Trivia:  Chef David was chef for Lenny Kravitz for ten years!)

Greeted at the door with a glass of bubbly set the tone.  This was followed by a sit down dinner for around 20 people. All food prepared by Chef David was cooked using a combination of induction, steam and speed cooking.

This was course number two, pan seared sea scallops atop cauliflower puree with grilled asparagus, 50 year old aged balsamic and a lemongrass buerre blanc, roasted beets and crispy leeks. YUM!

Course three was pulled pork marinated in Florida orange and grapefruit juice with toasted cumin and chili with grilled pineapple salsa served atop a black bean cake with cilantro cream. Oh and yes, that’s corn on the cob!

The finishing touch, housemade ginger snap sandwiches with vanilla bean gelato and warm chocolate sauce. Yes, I ate it all!

Miele, based in Germany, is a family owned business started over 100 years ago.  Their guiding principle is to provide “Better Living” with products designed to make one’s life easier.  All appliances are tested to last a minimum of 20 years.

Miele Induction cooktop. Although Miele appliances are integrated, this cooktop has just enough of a lip to contain up to a quart of spilled liquid! They thought of everything.

We’ve been hearing the buzz about induction cooking and, as I have written before, it is a safer, faster and more efficient way to cook.  You will certainly be seeing the induction cooktop become a major player very soon.  The second star of the show was Miele’s steam oven.  Steam cooking is gaining in popularity as more people become aware of the capabilities it offers.  For example, you can do anything in a steam oven that you can do in a microwave.  Not gonna lie, there are two exceptions to that rule which are popcorn and reheating your morning cup of joe.  Here’s how it works.  Fill the reservoir with water, set your temperature and in about ten minutes average you should be done.  Steam cooking retains flavor and nutrients to a greater degree than with other modes..  A big thanks to the Miele Gallery in Boca Raton for an informative and delish event.  The Gallery offers prospective customers a hands on experience so you can see how their products add a little “better living” to your life.




Where's Waldo? Ok, it's an easy one.

So where were we?  Ah yes, day 2 of my latest great adventure.  Friday, after an impressive little breakfast spread, we settled in for a guided tour of the new BSH Experience and Design Center and yes it WAS quite an experience.  We were outfitted in our very own custom and official looking lab coats (my first).  A camera crew toured with our group so someday I expect a film or two to make its appearance.

Walls of substance, engineering and quality.

Our first stop was THE WALLS (excellent use of hallway space, I might add).  These walls illustrate through shadow boxes, the details of materials, engineering and quality control that go into a Bosch appliance.  Each appliance undergoes not 25, not 250 but 2500 checks before being sent out into the world.  Yes, your new dishwasher may have a couple water spots and that’s why.  The Bosch design philosophy is inspired by German industrial designer Dieter Ram’s 10 principles of design .  They are in good company.    Apple Inc. is also one of the few companies designing products according to his principles.


Next on the hit parade was Designed for Life-an Interactive Design Workshop.  My group worked with a member of the industrial design team to design a range.  We looked at things like how it could work for people that have limited mobility, are visually impaired (just had to remove my spectacles) or victims of advanced pregnancy.

Nick from Cupboards online in a state of advanced pregnancy. He tested loading the dishwasher.

It was a real eye opener and I actually did come up with some ideas.  Here are my notes.  From sketches and notes the design team takes it to 3D imaging on the computer where they will tweak until its ready for the prototype stage.


From vision to hearing, the next experience was all about my favorite Bosch product, the quintessential dishwasher.  Bosch makes the quietest dishwasher in the industry rated at 39 decibels.  I know this to be a fact from personal experience.  I’ve been squirted a time or two from opening the door when I wasn’t aware that it was running (probably didn’t have my glasses on).  They have solved that problem.  In new models a red laser dot shines on the floor when the dishwasher is running.  You can’t miss it, even sans glasses.  In addition to the silence these dishwashers are rated the most water and energy efficient.  They are quite proud to have placed in Consumer Reports latest top ten in five categories including number one in value.  Speaking of value, you will spend anywhere from $549-$1,999 for a Bosch dishwasher.  The nice thing is that whether you opt for high end or entry level you don’t have to sacrifice efficiency or silence.  The differences are in the interior bells and whistles.

What does this green gizmo look like? Yes, an automotive air filter! Bosch is also known for its high quality car parts so this is a cross over being utilized also in dishwashers! This is Stephanie Hutaff, Director of Product Marketing, Dishwashers.



Time for lunch and a great opportunity to test drive all the Bosch appliances and Blanco plumbing fixtures .  Under the guidance of company chef, Kyle Jacobi, we collectively prepared a feast including fish tacos, stuffe chili rellenos, bacon wrapped shrimp, Spanish rice and more!

Cheryl Kees Clendenon of InDetail Interiors and I prepare tortillas for fish tacos!


After lunch it was time to learn about induction cooking and convection ovens.  If you’re not cooking on induction now, you will be in about ten years.  I’m not kidding.  Even the glass top electric range will go the way of those coil burner types we used to use.  Remember those?  The cool thing is you cannot burn yourself.  The heat only happens when the burner comes in contract with the bottom of the pan.  It uses a lot less power too!

If you had half a skillet and an induction cooktop this is how it would cook an egg. Coming soon, induction ranges too.

Convection ovens have been around a long time but I learned a couple of things about them too.  True convection, as featured in Bosch ovens, has its own separate heating element.  Then there is something called “Speed Convect”.  What that means is no preheating.  Zero to 350 in no time at all!  We finished the BSH Experience in some really comfy chairs learning about the Forces that Drive Innovation presented by Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing at Blanco America.  I loved that he expressed that there is an emotional as well as technical component to kitchen design.  I have always held that belief.


The final event of this two day adventure was dinner at The Cannery in Newport Beach.  Here I got another glimpse of the water but for the first time the sky turned gray. (Guess it was sad we were leaving).

View from The Cannery, Newport Beach

That’s it!  I have a lot more to share about new products at Blanco along with my random musings on stuff.  I hope you enjoyed your personal virtual tour.  I’ll be loading lots more photos to the On the Road with Kitchens for Living Flickr album.  I’ll let you know when they’re up.  Ciao for now!



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