If you’re looking to create your own chef’s kitchen, a little professional advice can go a long way. We sat down with Andrew Abrahamse, Ontario regional sales manager at Thermador, to find out the smart way to get it right.
When it comes to planning a chef’s kitchen for the home, where should you start?
I think if you’re looking at it from a performance standpoint, for me it would be: Do I want to go with gas or do I want to go with induction? That choice will help delineate the direction you go in.
A lot of people like the ‘professional’ look and capabilities of gas. What should they look for when it comes to gas appliances?
Look for things like solid brass burners. Other brands use an aluminum burner—they may put some brass accents on to make it look good—but for Thermador it is about performance, and the brass burner gives a better performance, [especially] our star-shaped burner. The biggest problem people have with a gas product is they want this professional performance, so they get this big round burner with a very high BTU. But a lot of the heat goes around the pot and up the sides because the burner is so large. So the patented Thermador star-shaped burner pulls the flame into the center and concentrates it on the centre of the pot.
How does that compare to induction?
With induction, you’re going to get a cleaner look because you’re going with a glass top. Thermador has the patented Freedom Cooktop that has no delineated zones where you have to put your cooking vessel—you can put it anywhere. It has a set of continuous induction burners, kind of like a honeycomb, so you can light up any continuous pattern. Put a rectangular griddle on there, a huge cooking vessel or a small cooking vessel. It will automatically light up the area required. It has 48 induction elements and it gives you 63% more useful cooking surface. It’s faster then gas, it simmers very well and it’s very easy to clean—and that’s key.
In our showroom, where we host chefs that have come out of George Brown College, we’ve found that they come to us with a preference for gas, but it’s not long before they prefer the induction cooktop.
It seems like cooktops get all the glory—what about the rest of the kitchen?
In refrigeration, to complement the chef’s kitchen we came out with columns that allow you to customize your refrigeration solution. You can pick your freezer size and your refrigerator size. You can bolt them together or you can have them separated in the kitchen. You can put stainless panels on them or you can put custom panels on them, and they go in flush—and flush is a big deal when it comes to refrigeration. You want your pro range to be the hero of the kitchen and then you want to have your refrigeration flush and not stick out looking ungainly.
What about dishwashers?
In dishwashers, we’re always innovating. We’re offering things like a third cutlery rack in more models, we’re improving what it can hold, the flexibility and the washability. We’re also providing cycles for entertainers—with the energy requirements, dishwasher cycle is two-plus hours. So, if you are entertaining and you need to turn some wine glasses around we have models with special reservoirs for heated water. They have a 20-minute cycle so you can do several in a row to turn glasses around.
Is there a big difference between applications for the home and those for commercial spaces?
On a performance level, all of Thermador appliances meet or exceed what you would get on a commercial application. For us, it doesn’t matter whether you are looking for professional performance or not, you’re going to get it.
In fact, when it comes to residential applications, there a lot more safety requirements, because normally in a commercial requirement your ventilation is custom made and you have a lot more space. So, we meet or exceed CSA or CGA requirements for things like temperature requirements at the sides of the appliances, because you not putting it against stainless steel cabinets. And, you also know that it’s not just going to be an amateur/professional using it, it’s also possibly going to be their children. So, you have to make sure that the appliances are easy to use and they have safety in mind as well.