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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Food and Fun with Thermador

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Thermador’s gallery kitchens in Scottsdale, AZ. Thermador is a luxury kitchen appliance maker that has been around for years and years and years. Julia Child had Thermador appliances, which automatically makes me want them more. Last week Thermador announced their new steam convection oven to a group of 20 bloggers at their gallery kitchens, instead of in front of traditional media in NYC. I was so happy to be included in that group of bloggers and had a great time getting to know the folks at Thermador, learning about their products, and spending time with some pretty amazing bloggers. Oh…and eating…and eating…and eating some more!

I could write pages and pages about the trip and the food we ate, so I’m going to try to keep things as short as possible. And while Thermador did pay for my trip, rest assured everything I am writing in this post is completely sincere. And might I suggest you check out the White on Rice Couple’s beautiful summary of the trip…their photos are fan-freaking-tastic, which is not surprising because they are fan-freaking-awesome. But I digress.

Let’s start with the gallery kitchens. They were BEA-U-TI-FUL. And humongous. Like, I could fit my entire apartment in one of these bad boy kitchens. When am I making my million bucks? I’m ready.

How fun would it be to work at this place every day? Especially with super nice and talented gourmet chefs cooking food all the time.

When we arrived bright and early in the morning, we toured the kitchens and then were treated to an amazing breakfast prepared by the Thermador chefs. We gathered some pretty amazing recipes that day, both from lunch and breakfast. Once I make some of the recipes at home, I will be sure to share them with you. Promise.

After breakfast, several of the Thermador products were demo’d for us. People, I’m sold. All I need is a house and a budget for a luxury kitchen and I’m so there. And, can I also say, I think I would choose their electric or their induction stovetops over the gas range? I know, this sounds like crazy talk. Everyone loves gas more than anything, right? Thermador’s gas ranges are pretty sweet…but, so is their electric stovetop, which has all kinds of fanciness. And the induction stovetop? Downright high tech fancy schmanciness. Chef Kyle says it’s his favorite. I believe anything Chef Kyle tells me.

See that little blue thing next to the pot? It senses the temperature of the pot and stuff. It’s smarter than a person and cooks rice perfectly. No joke.

We then had the chance to help cook our lunch. Poor Kristen here ended up making the beurre blanc sauce for the salmon wellington. She stood there at that big old frying pan forEVER stirring and stirring and stirring. Plus she got to feel all uncomfortable while everyone took pictures of her. Total blast for Kristen, I’m sure. She assured us she had fun. The sauce came out beautifully, by the way.

How cute is that crème brûlée? Food tastes better when it’s cute, right?

Look at that backsplash thingy suck up the steam like a Dyson vacuum. Whoosh!

And that full sheet of roasted vegetables fit in the giant oven no problemo. Did I mention my whole kitchen could fit in that oven? Again, not exaggerating here. Okay, maybe a little. But not much.

Here’s the salmon wellington.

And the beef tenderloin? Cooked to perfection…which brings me to my final point and the whole reason we all went on this fabulous, food-filled trip…

The Steam Convection Oven.

Photo courtesy of Thermador. All my shots came out FUZZY.

It was soooo cool. And since it’s only $3000 and has to be installed in a wall I don’t have, I’ll be getting one in no time. {Insert sarcastic smirk.} Seriously, though, this oven is great. You can cook with steam only, steam-convection combination, or true convection. You can do pretty much anything in there, and reheating food is also nicely done using this technology. I’m excited about the prospect of baking artisan bread in one of these puppies and potentially having it replace the microwave. Like I mentioned, there is no stand-alone version and it is kind of small…but it would meet most cooking and baking needs nicely.

Phew. I’m done. Like I said, there will be some fun recipes for me to feature as a result of this fabulous trip. Oh wait! I’m not done! A few pictures of the group! (Tina listed out all the blogs in attendance here, definitely worth checking them out!)

And…a picture of my dear friend Lindsey (formerly of Cafe Johnsonia, currently of Fresh Clean Start, who went on this trip for Design Mom). Lindsey was one of my very first “blogging friends” and has since become a “real” friend. She even wrote a guest post for me way back in the day and is the source of this amazing potato soup.  It was so fun to come together years later for such a great trip. Funny where life takes you.

For real. I’m done. Thank you, Thermador!


  1. You took some incredible pictures, Jane! How did you do that with that horrid lighting? That was my one and very only complaint…get better lighting for us photog freaks!

    Great post. Love your style!

  2. 2

    I am drooling at these appliances. The food too, but these ovens and stove tops look amazing. Oh the things I could do…

  3. 3
    Nicole Beckstrand

    I’m so jealous! I LOVE that oven and want to move into that kitchen! What a fun trip. Can’t wait to see all the recipes!

  4. 4

    Great recap! Had a blast with you, like always!

  5. 5

    This is such a good roundup – and ooh totally jealous of how fantastic your pics came out. The trip was a blast and it was great meeting you and all the other bloggers!

  6. Great post. I am sold!! Now I just need the catering biz to take off so that I can afford one of those puppies 🙂 I can’t wait for the recipes.

  7. 7

    You are sooo lucky.

  8. 8

    It looks amazing! I want to redo my kitchen and darned if I don’t want Thermador appliances now.

  9. 9

    Looks like a total blast! I’m so glad Lindsey is back.

  10. 10

    I had a steam convection oven in one of the bakeries that I worked in years and years ago… Oh, the amazing things you could turn out in that thing! The french bread was enough to bring you to tears of joy!

    My question on the cooktop, though… Does induction work with canning? Like 23 quart pressure canner full of cans and water?

    Thermador is pretty awesome, you gotta admit. Oh, for a home and kitchen of our own to put one of their kitchens in!!!

  11. You get to do so many fun things! And you got to hang out with Lindsey! I’d love to meet her.

  12. 12

    Dina – I emailed one of my contacts at Thermador with your question about canning. I think the induction heating itself is no problem, he just mentioned the size issue: “I observe no more that a 1″ in diameter overhang of the heating zone. The risk of extending the heating zone is that in the event the glass overheats, the element will shut down for safety.” does that answer your question, or are you specifically wondering about how the heating element works?


  13. 13

    Thanks Jane! I think it does. My 23 quart pressure canner would like be a big NO GO on this, then. Especially when you think about 90 minutes for a quart of canned beans with significant overhang on a typically sized eye. But, that’s okay. I like gas or electric, too. Not a big deal! I’ll just keep mentally planning my dream kitchen and keep this little snippet of useful information handy! 🙂

  14. 14

    HOWEVER…I didn’t think about this…the induction stovetop that we used has 5 burners, and the middle burner is HUGE. I would explore the site and see if you can find out the diameter on it…you actually might be able to! so…yes…when you build your dream kitchen, don’t count this one out.

    induction might actually be really cool to use for canning with the long cooking times – NO HEAT is transferred into the air – it goes straight from the cooktop into the pan/pot. so, if that middle burner is big enough, I think induction would probably be a cool way to go.

  15. Oh, wasn’t that a fun trip? Love you, Jane.

  16. 16

    Awesome! I’ll definitely go check it out! Can you imagine? No excess heat on the hottest days of summer while canning?! Amazing!

  17. 17

    yes, I can imagine, and I’m transported straight to heaven!!! 🙂

  18. Amazing to see you again and truly appreciate your time and feedback.

  19. Thermador, mmmmmmmmm, yes.

  20. 20

    I realize I am a little late in the game however, I will have to agree with all statements you made. My mother just remodeled her kitchen….(well come to think of it its still being remodeled, but hey its only been since May…) and she put in all Thermador appliances. I love peering into the eight foot tall refrigerator. Its just majestic.

  21. I am SO jealous of your mom, kristen!!!

  22. 22
    Anne J. M.

    what is an induction cook top?

  23. 23

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