K+BB - November 2008 - (Page 20)

T rends The Heat Is On Ranges get cooking with versatility and style Despite the parade of restaurant-style, stainless-steel ranges on popular cooking shows, some things don’t change when it comes to picking the right model for your client. “When I look for a range for a client, my first consideration is its dimensions,” said Susan Serra, CKD, president and founder of Susan Serra Associates Inc. “The ‘fit’ is a critical issue in regard to proportion and balance in the design of the kitchen. Secondly, I look for performance, then comes style, and all else follows from there.” However, reflecting the growing economic distress in the United States, both consumer demand and retailer offerings are slowly shifting away from what Paolo Bertazzoni, president and CEO of Bertazzoni, describes as “super luxury” to “accessible luxury.” And “The winners in this category are those brands that can offer emotion, coupled with better value,” he noted. Echoing this trend, purchases of larger ranges have slowed, with sales shifting to smaller, 24-in. and 30-in. units, which provide consumers with a more budget-friendly option when remodeling their kitchens. One rapidly emerging movement is the demand for energy efficiency, which has contributed to the rising popularity of induction cooktops, noted Downing. Offering faster cooking times than traditional gas cooktops, induction cooktops are more energy-efficient because they use a magnetic field to heat the pan directly. While the unfamiliarity of the technology may have been an obstacle in the past, “Consumers want a product that allows them to cook faster and more efficiently and safely,” Downing said. Professional chefs have also embraced induction cooking. Consequently, Downing predicts that it “will be integrated into more cooking products.” PROFESSIONAL STYLE But the biggest trend in ranges, even in lower- to mid-priced brands, relates to style, noted Serra. Consumers are looking for ranges with edgy new designs, a sleek, chiseled profile and a state-of-the-art control panel that radiates a feeling of luxury and enhances the appearance of the kitchen as a culinary retreat. Angled edges and heavy-duty stainlesssteel knobs are also popular features. Considered by many to be a standard finish (and not a fad), stainless steel remains a classic choice in ranges. But just as laundry pairs and other appliances have taken on bolder hues, colorful ranges, said Downing, will also find a place in homes as consumers become more adventurous and self-expressive. “Colored appliances are no longer intimidating,” added Serra. “Color is being used much more freely as homeowners enjoy a significant increase in confidence in making every selection in the kitchen, including appliances with color.” s —Matthew Marin RANGE OF PERFORMANCE For cooking enthusiasts, a hot topic continues to be versatility. The best burners, noted Frank Downing, director of product design for Electrolux, offer a wide range of temperature settings for the ideal sear or sauté. Gas ranges well-suited to at-home chefs are those that can go as high as 16,000 Btu for fast boiling yet maintain a simmer at 500 Btu. For preparing large meals, ranges equipped with an oven as roomy as 5.8 cu. ft. and several cooking modes ensure savory results. Another key factor to take into consideration is the amount of space available on the cooking surface to accommodate oversized pots and pans. 20 + K BB November July 2004 2008 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of K+BB - November 2008

K+BB - November 2008
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Feedback
Products
Trends
Special Green Section
Editorial/Green Intro
California Greenin'
Buying Green
Serious About Green
Natural Selection
Q&A
Control Issues
Green on a Budget
Airing Out
Earthly Wonder
Under the Influence
Cover Story: Under the Influence: An Asian-Inspired Kitchen with Green Appeal
Green Products
Ad Index
Editorial Index
Favorites

K+BB - November 2008

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