More and more, the kitchen is becoming not just a place to prepare and serve food but also a place to socialize, be creative and just enjoy the “experience.” Technology and old-world craftsmanship are once again coming together to offer us many new choices for how we prepare food and how we present it.
It may be something as simple as a work surface for cutting and preparing. We are asked all the time, “What can I do different than granite?”
1 ASK A CHEF WHAT SURFACE IS BEST IN A KITCHEN AND THE ANSWER WILL MOST LIKELY BE ONE THAT’S BEEN AROUND FOREVER: WOOD.
Wood tops have always been the go-to for professionals when it comes to cutting surfaces. Sure, we’ve had our flirtations with plastics and glass, but when it comes down to it, wood is best. Studies have shown that wood is actually safer to use than plastic. Bacteria such as salmonella will thrive if not removed from plastic boards. With wood cutting boards, research has shown that bacteria die off within minutes. Researchers theorize that the porous surface of the wood deprives the bacteria of water, thus quickly eliminating them. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that all wood tops are created equal. End grain construction (think checkerboard) is the preferred chopping surface for chefs. Not only is it the kindest surface to knives that keeps them sharp, end grain also has a self-healing aspect to its construction. With a little bit of dish soap and water followed by a food-grade mineral oil wiping, end grain tops retain their beauty and function for a lifetime. For beauty and function with a little bit of old-world craftsmanship, check out wood tops by Grothouse Lumber at www.glumber.com.
2 TECHNOLOGY IS ALSO A FRIEND OF TODAY’S FOODIE.
Induction cooking surfaces are fast becoming the go-to cooking surface for professionals and novices alike. Induction is the first technology that has offered the benefits of gas without the negatives. It’s faster (energy is directly transferred within the pan’s metal), safer (no open flame or red-hot coil), cleaner (no grates to clean) and cooler (traditional gas and electric ranges usually waste at least half the heat they generate. The waste heats the kitchen instead of the food!). Technology offers all that plus the ability to control temperatures instantly and precisely, which was once an arena where only gas excelled.
3 DID SOMEONE SAY ENTERTAINING?
What foodie doesn’t like to entertain, and what goes better with food and entertainment than wine? Score number two for technology: the Discovery WineStation by Dacor, the first automated, temperature-controlled, four-bottle wine dispensing and preservation system for the home. As Dacor says, “The connoisseur can choose the right wine and just the right amount with the touch of a finger.” Did we mention that your wine will hold its flavor and aroma for up to 60 days once opened? (A function that’s not that likely to be needed in our house, but…)
So, whether you aspire to be the next Gordon Ramsay, Anthony Bourdain or Julia Child or maybe you’re just trying to keep from burning the spaghetti, take advantage of today’s options and enjoy the journey.