Today’s home chefs are smart and sophisticated. They want the latest tools to simplify their lives and make their culinary dreams a reality. This year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, North America’s premier industry event, highlighted the top kitchen design innovations, including smart technology that helps the modern home chef achieve professional-level results in their own kitchen. Other top themes included sustainability and ways integrated technology can improve food and drink preservation, plus overall wellness.
Here’s what we learned:
1) Smarter appliances offer restaurant-worthy results
All that practice and preparation won’t get the best results without professional-grade appliances offering the ultimate in culinary precision. Today’s home chefs want what professional kitchens provide, from multiple ovens to stovetop griddles and more. There’s also a rise in progressive home chefs called “Technicureans” who are socially conscious consumers who are passionate about cooking as well as technological innovation. One of the luxury kitchen appliance brands that caters to these individuals, Signature Kitchen Suite, offers an industry-first 48-inch dual fuel pro range with built-in “sous vide” modality right on the cooktop, along with gas and induction. Its multiple cooking modalities and innovative technology earned the prestigious “Best of KBIS 2019” Gold Award.
The sous-vide cooking technique has been the go-to method of the world’s best chefs for years. In sous-vide cooking, food is vacuum-sealed and submerged in water, then slow-cooked at a precise temperature to achieve perfect doneness, every time.
“Sous-vide was the exclusive domain of top chefs for a long time,” said Mark Bittman, food author, educator and host of the True to Food film series. “Now, there’s sous-vide in a pro range for the home.”
2) The next generation of wine storage
Wine connoisseurs and home chefs alike recognize the importance of proper wine storage. At this year’s KBIS, new 18- and 24-inch integrated column wine refrigerators captured another top award from the show — the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s inaugural “30s Choice Award.” Based on new “Wine Cave” technology these new wine refrigerators from Signature Kitchen Suite are designed to significantly reduce vibration — a major factor that can cause chemical imbalances affecting wine quality, flavor, aroma and texture — in addition to minimizing temperature fluctuations, limiting light exposure and locking in humidity.
The refrigerators feature the True Sommelier app, powered by Wine Ring, helping wine collectors manage their personal cellars in a truly modern way.
“There are a million wines in the world, so which ones should be in your wine cellar and which should accompany your dinner with friends tonight?” asked Pam Dillon, CEO and co-founder of Wine Ring. “Wine Ring makes recommendations based on your personal ratings, using its patented software — the first of its kind in cellar technology.”
3) Integrated technology can improve overall wellness
“We’re continuing to see a convergence of technologies and design trends come together in the kitchen,” said Brian Pagel, senior vice president, Emerald Expositions/National Kitchen and Bath Association, producers of the annual KBIS show. “High-end cooking is of growing interest to consumers, and that will only continue.”
In fact, leading appliance manufacturers now offer a variety of smart cooking platform integrations, including Innit, SideChef, Tovala and Drop, illustrating an emphasis on effortless meal preparation — whether it’s step-by-step guided cooking or automated precision cooking programs proposing better nutrition.
“Home chefs can now customize meals that fit their lifestyles and dietary preferences, all at their fingertips,” said Kevin Brown, CEO and co-founder of Innit. “Paired with the culinary precision of their appliances, we work to elevate the at-home meal prep and cooking experience.”
In today's kitchens, luxury and intuitive smart technology merge to produce new capabilities that were once limited to the pros, proving that better cooking is possible through better thinking.