|Kieffer’s Welcomes A New Director of Sales: Nick Sliner
What were you doing before you joined Kieffer’s? I was in commercial foodservice equipment and managed a national retailer’s flagship store and headquarters. I spent time in the contract/bid and design/build world, designing commercial kitchens and supervising their installation across the country. Prior to that, I sat down with Nick to find out a bit more about his background and how that has let him fit so effortlessly into the culture here at Kieffer’s. a lot of time in food service, sales and structural steel fabrication.
|It looks like you had quite a bit of experience with commercial kitchen projects. What does that experience bring to the consumer side?
The short answer is, many things. Product knowledge, construction standards, managing customer
expectations, logistics and sales, in both commercial and residential, have parallels. It’s a unique position to be in. I am learning to bridge the skills and experience between the two, daily. While residential appliances have more bells and whistles and a more refined marketing strategy they are, at their core, the same.
Do you think commercial cooking drives consumer innovation? How?
I love this question. Commercial cooking drives consumer innovation in the same way that professional sports innovate shoe styles, or musicians innovate clothing style and musical equipment. People want quality and brand assurance. We live in the age of the “rock star chef” and people want to cook on what their favorite chefs cook on. They want the quality that is associated with the volume and intensity that you find in commercial kitchens and they want the finished plated product and prestige that comes along with it. There are many differences that prevent complete transition in residential, but again the core pillars are there.
Then why not just use a commercial unit in the home?
Firstly, commercial ranges do not have the bells and whistles in the same price point as their residential counterparts. And more importantly, they are NOT insulated and run at much higher BTUs, so the range could not easily be built into a cabinetry run. It would require a change in homeowners insurance, alterations to cabinetry and a much stronger, commercial hood with air replacement and other code concerns. While on the surface the commercial range appears less expensive, by the time you add in all the necessary modifications, the final cost is usually more expensive. It is definitely not recommended.
What do you think might be the next big thing in home cooking?
Along with being in the age of the Rock-star chef, we are in the age of tech. We’ve seen all home appliances go “smart,” with wifi and Bluetooth and preset functionality. I would look for this to continue. Combining Sous Vide into range-tops with special pots, over a “stick,” similar to the way induction cooks. In the commercial world there is something called a combi therm oven. We see them at our fast casual places, they combine microwave, steam, convection, conduction and radiant heat. We are already part of the way there and I think it can be done in the silhouette of a microwave or free standing range.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I make fun of Dallas Cowboy fans. No, No… I hike with my family and dogs, road trip, work on my house, jam on the guitar or piano, and hang out with neighbors around a bonfire. I am a few years away from buying a rental property on the Outer Banks where I love to kayak and indulge in nature. Life can be depleting, as we all have been forced to realize in 2020, and nature is where I escape to rejuvenate.
|The Future of Kitchen Design Is Hands-Free and
Touchless technology, voice automation and app-controlled appliances are bringing kitchens into the digital age
|Eating may still be analog, but kitchens have
taken up residence in the digital age, as designers
and appliance makers increasingly rely on a host of technological innovations to update the traditional tasks of cooking, storing and cleaning up. Kitchen-
appliance categories haven’t changed much since the 1970s, when microwave ovens began appearing on ordinary counter tops. But cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence and newfangled materials are now turning those appliances into ultra-sophisticated hardware, while smart functions and connectivity are recasting the Cloud as the latest kitchen accessory.
Buyers of Miele’s new G7000 series dishwashers never have to worry about running out of detergent. When the machine runs low, a sensor prompts their smartphones to reorder the brand’s trademark detergent disk from the company’s online shop.
Meanwhile, Bosch, Miele’s competitor in the luxury dishwasher market, has introduced Zeolite, an alkaline mineral compound, in its new dishwasher series. Among other tasks, the compound helps plastic items dry more efficiently.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, cameras in refrigerators can be called up on smartphones, allowing you to look into your fridge from the grocery aisle to see what you need to buy.
As the pandemic draws new focus to the kitchen, with families forsaking frequent dinners out for daily home
-cooked meals, players in the industry are noticing an uptake in sales—accompanied by a greater interest in high-tech options. Even induction stovetops, which can be a hard sell for gas-loving Americans, have seen demand rise by 35% in the U.S.
Appliance sales declined in the early months of the pandemic, but now “U.S. demand has really come back strong,” says Axel Kniehl, the executive director of sales and marketing for Miele. “Consumers can’t spend money on other things, so they have started renovating their kitchens.”
Earlier this year, at the height of the pandemic, La Cornue introduced the Château Suprême, an Art Deco-inspired upgrade on its traditional design. The unit allows homeowners to mix and match induction and gas burners with a teppanyaki plate and a walnut cutting board. Prices run as high as $165,000.
Thermador offers an extra-low simmering feature that, the company says, lets you melt chocolate on a paper plate. Thermador users can hook up all its appliances categories to the same app, which will alert you that the fridge door is open, let your preheat your oven, or adjust the temperature of your wine cabinet to accommodate an unusual varietal. On its high-tech to-do list: finding ways to digitalize its luxury gas stoves.
Miele has recently introduced a whole new kind of oven, called the Dialog Oven, which uses electromagnetic waves to cook closely placed foods with differing energy levels. The company likes to show off the technology by cooking a fish in a block of ice. The oven can cook a roast in an hour, while a nearby pan of vegetables stays al dente.
Up-to-date kitchen appliances are key in the latest home-sales market, says Michael Harper, an agent with Boston’s of MGS Group Real Estate. He says a suite of new Sub-Zero Wolf kitchen appliances is a star selling point for a single-family Back Bay townhouse that dates to the 1890s.
The four-bedroom, seven-bathroom home, which just underwent a gut renovation, has an asking price of $9.995 million. “Luxury buyers want what they want, and they want it now,” he says, of the turnkey kitchen, which has an island covered in Italian Paonazzo marble, with a honed finish meant to resist stains.
While the pandemic is boosting current sales, kitchen companies are looking to the future. Bosch is researching induction surfaces that may one day do away with stovetops entirely, letting you turn select surfaces into potential burners. Agrilution, a Miele subsidiary, is now marketing small vertical farm units, called Plantcubes, for growing herbs and greens.
Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Appeared in the November 20, 2020, print edition of The Wall Street Journal as ‘What’s Cooking In High-Tech Homes.’ And has been editing to fit this format.
Dacor Transitions To A New Style
August 2020, Dacor, the leading American luxury home appliance brand, announced the debut of its new Transitional style of cooking appliances, a combination of core design elements from the existing Contemporary and Professional products. The introduction of Transitional marks the third distinct style for the Dacor brand, incorporating hand-made craftsmanship and a touch of integrated technology with all appliances being Wi-Fi enabled and connected through SmartThings, while boasting the high-quality functionality and performance Dacor is best known for. With this additional line, Dacor now offers three different looks, satisfying the needs of both consumers and designers.
Over the course of Dacor’s 55-year legacy, the brand has remained an essential counterpart to designers throughout the country with careful consideration for both design and innovation. The debut of the Transitional style compliments the Contemporary and Professional appliances and further exemplifies the brand’s distinguished portfolio of products, while showcasing a breadth of versatility that consumers and designers can confidently identify with based on the needs of their individual kitchens. Notably, research has shown that these three styles of kitchens will be the most popular designed in the industry moving forward.
“The debut of our Transitional Style is a significant addition to Dacor’s existing portfolio,” says
Randy Warner, Vice President of Sales for Dacor. “We introduced this style to specifically cater to our consumers and designers’ needs and further create more diverse options to meet the changing needs within the kitchen marketplace. We value the individual cooking needs of our customers, as well as the thoughtful integration of technology and know the importance of producing collections that accommodate everyone – both cooking and design enthusiasts alike.”
36” Gas Range – The Transitional 36” Gas Range features a unique combination of performance, convenience and craftsmanship. The range features a Wi-Fi enabled 2.25” OLED touch control panel allowing SmartThings integration for communication between appliances as well as monitoring remotely. The product promotes professional cooking results with a single burner max output of 22K BTU using solid brass dual-stack burners. A 5.9 cuft extra-large capacity oven allows for multiple dishes to be cooked at once, while Dual Four-Part Pure Convection distributes heat evenly allowing for zero flavor transfer.
36” Induction Cooktop – The 36” Induction Cooktop allows for the utmost flexibility, power, and safety for at-home cooks. Through smart technology, the product automatically connects to the hood and touch control allows easy access to cooktop function including power boost. Featuring a FlexZone, the cooktop includes a large open area with five individual cooking zones for greater versatility when making multiple dishes at once, while easily accommodating various cookware sizes. Safety features include the Dacor iQ Kitchen app enabling touch-free monitoring and control from outside the kitchen as well as a child safety lock, VirtualFlame, and residual heat reminder.
30” Combination Wall Oven – The 30” Combination Wall Oven is considered one of the most versatile culinary tools in the kitchen. Its multi-functional speed in the upper oven combines the power of a microwave and convection technology to enable searing, broiling and air frying. The Steam-Assist oven allows for meats that are juice on the inside yet crispy on the outside. For faster cooking times and even distribution of heat, the convection speed oven uses a combination of microwave, convection and heating element with advanced cooking modes such as fry and Sense Cook to achieve the perfect outcome. The combination oven also allows multiple dishes to be cooked at once, knowing there will be zero flavor transfer while promoting precise distribution of heat using dual Four-Part Pure Convection.
|30” Single Wall Oven – The 30” Single Wall Oven is the perfect combination of Professional and Contemporary styling. The oven features a Dual Four-Part Convection for reduced cooking time and superior consistency with zero flavor transfer. A Wi-Fi enabled 7” LCD touch control panel and LED illuminated knobs provide convenience and the ability to use SmartThings integration for communication between appliances as well as remote monitoring and operation. The oven also features glide racks, which allows users to easily slide the oven racks in and out with ball bearing slides.|
|The induction cooktops, ranges and ovens launched in September. The new product unveilings follow a series of new initiatives for Dacor as it continues to expand its business to both consumers and the trade community. In March 2020, Dacor celebrated its southern California roots with the opening of the brand’s flagship showroom in Irvine, CA, marking the third showroom opening for the brand following openings in New York and Chicago in 2019.|
Chef Brenda’s Beef Barley Soup
What do you think about eating when it’s cold outside? SOUP, of course. This soup is easy, hearty and freezes beautifully, since there are no potatoes (barley as the starch instead), so make plenty. Many people think making soup is just throwing everything into the pot-this is especially true with crock pot cooking-but good soup takes a bit of time. By cooking in stages, you are layering flavors to add depth to the soup.
Try it. Trust me, your soup will be better for it. Add a salad and warm loaf of bread for a quick, healthy work night meal.
Chef Brenda’s Beef Barley Recipe
· 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
· 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
· 1 pound meaty beef bones (such as beef shank bones)
· 3 celery stalks, chopped
· 4 cups water
· 2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth ( unsalted if you can find it)
· 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
· 1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
· 2 small bay leaves
· 2 teaspoons garlic powder
· 11/2 cups frozen peas
· 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce 1 large onion, chopped
· 1/4 cup pearl barley
· Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
· Add stew meat and bones; sauté until beef is dark brown, about 8 minutes.
· Transfer beef and bones to plate.
· Add celery, onion, and barley to pot. Sauté until onion is golden, about 15 minutes.
· Add 4 cups water, beef broth, tomatoes with juices, corn, bay leaves, and garlic powder.
· Return beef and bones to pot and bring to boil.
· Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until beef is almost tender, about 1 hour.
· Add peas and 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce to soup.
· Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 30 minutes longer. Remove bones.
· Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and more hot pepper sauce, if desired.
With soup like this you will welcome cold weather!
A Modern Look
At Modern-Aire Ventilating, Inc.
Ventilation is the workhorse of the kitchen. Keeps the smells and grease
in the kitchen and the fire alarms quiet. And it’s usually one of the last major items selected in the kitchen process. Perhaps it’s because many think it’s a loud necessity but adds nothing to the look and feel of the kitchen. But take a look at Modern-Aire. You may change your mind.
Modern-Aire Ventilating, Inc. specializes in building custom range hood canopies that exhibit artisan quality craftsmanship while being quietly effective. For the professional or the everyday gourmet, Modern-Aire Ventilating, Inc. provides exceptional ventilation to meet your specific needs. With today’s technically advanced cooking equipment, ventilation is more important than ever.
From a complete line of standard sized range hoods to virtually any custom designed range hood a client can imagine, Modern-Aire creates focal points in any kitchen. Working with a selection of 19 raw metal and hand finishes, metallics, custom colors and specialty finishes, Modern-Aire crafts some of the most beautiful and effective hoods in the market. A designers’ dream with chef functionality.
And if a liner is needed, Modern-Aires Professional Series Liners incorporates all the same high quality features as their exposed rangehoods.
So Make A Statement. Be Bold. Be Creative. Modern-Aire can make it happen.