As far as breakthroughs go, Electrolux’s Grande Cuisine demonstrates one of the most significant for home cooking over the last 20 years. Driven by the huge surge of interest in the UK’s food industry over the last decade, London has redefined itself as one of the world’s finest gastronomic arenas. Whilst this has been, at times, a slow and arduous journey to the top, the British restaurant scene is now home to no less than 230 Michelin starred establishments and fortified by an increasingly discerning consumer base.
Electrolux’s Grande Cuisine has sought to harness this great demand, producing a range of appliances to satisfy even the most ardent ‘foodies’. Creating the first professional kitchen designed for the home, their system features intuitive interactive touch-screen technology partnered with a subtle, sleek façade that empowers the domestic chef to achieve world-class results from the comfort of their own kitchen.
The Swedish company is a seasoned manufacturer of professional kitchens whose products are already housed in over half of Europe’s Michelin starred restaurants. From Alain Ducasse to Matheus Dahlgren and Tom Aikens, much of the research and development process has been carried out via the very kitchens the range aims to replicate and their product remains the only one directly associated with professional kitchens.
The system comprises nine products, as well as the iconic French-style cooking stove Molten. Naturally, all are handcrafted using the finest materials in a timeless, contemporary design and available in an array of bespoke finishes. From self cleaning, temperature controlled ovens to sous-vide and blast chillers, we present a break down of the main contenders in this extraordinary range:
The Blast Chiller and Combination Oven work in tandem and enable the ‘cook and chill’ method allowing cooking well in advance of serving. They can be used to prepare any range of foods including meat and fish by cooking a dish to 90% readiness and then effectively freezing time by blast chilling the dish to keep it in perfect condition with colour, flavour and texture intact within minutes rather than hours. When ready to serve, the food is then cooked precisely and efficiently in the Combination Oven that automatically adjusts for optimum cooking and maximum accuracy. The beauty of this method is it allows the cook to freeze time in order to achieve world-class results with ease.
The Blast Chiller can also be used to set a dessert in minutes rather than hours and even take 10 bottles of champagne from room temperature to the optimum 8°C in a staggering 30 minutes.
The Precision Vacuum Sealer and Combination Oven brings to life the cooking technique called “sous-vide”, a French term that translates as “under vacuum.” With sous-vide cooking, food is cooked in a vacuum at low temperatures combined with water for long periods, so as to produce perfectly even cooking. This method retains all the meat and fish juices which in turn imparts more flavour into the dish. By using the Precision Vacuum Sealer to create a perfect airtight seal, the food is then slow cooked at a low temperature using steam and not the traditional water bath method in the Combination Oven.
This method allows home cooks to intensify flavours while preserving textures, a technique that has long been preserved for Michelin-starred chefs around the world. From marinades to stews and casseroles to sauces, the Electrolux Grand Cuisine system offers complete command of professional cooking techniques enabling the food to remain in perfect condition for days, weeks or months.
Celebrated chef, Tom Aikens comments: “being a chef for 23 years, I have been fortunate enough to use all kinds of amazing kitchen tools and experiment with different techniques, but I can honestly say the vacuum sealer and sous-vide is my favourite gadget and cooking method. The fact is once you’ve tried cooking sous-vide it will change the way you cook forever.”
The Precision Vacuum Sealer can also be used to extend the life of ingredients enabling home cooks to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables out of season, so strawberries picked at the height of the summer can be sealed fresh and enjoyed months later.
All components within the Electrolux Grand Cuisine system are easy to use with intuitive touch screens that are integral to the design. Using intelligent sensors, pre-set programmes are able to cook anything from chateaubriand steak to airy meringues with precise heat and humidity that ensure perfect results. For the more adventurous chefs, manual controls can be modified to your precise requirements.
There is little doubt that Electrolux’s latest product range will be viewed as a pivotal moment in the continued evolution of the 21st century kitchen. It’s transition from a back of house, service station to often the most expensive and admired areas of the home is testament to how different today’s lifestyle is comparison to that of our forebears.
For more information on the latest kitchen design trends and themes, check out our previous article ‘The Evolution of the 21st Century Kitchen’.
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