Luxury Cooking Products Heat Up The Architectural Digest Show



Major appliances made a strong showing at last month’s 11th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show (ADHDS), one of the country’s largest exhibits of luxury home products.

A contingent of premium majap manufacturers including Jenn-Air, Sub-Zero/Wolf and U-Line, and distributors Almo and Eastern Marketing, joined a list of 400 exhibitors at Manhattan’s Pier 94 show space, which was expected to draw some 40,000 consumers, designers, architects and majap dealers.

Many within the white-goods brigade said the event serves as a high-end adjunct – or even an alternative – to the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS), which has diminished as a primary platform for white-goods introductions.

Frank Sorrentino, New York sales and marketing VP for Sub-Zero Wolf East, the manufacturer’s East Coast distribution arm, said the company has exhibited at ADHDS for the past three years in lieu of K/BIS, but is having an expanded presence at both shows this season now that the economy is recovering.

“It’s a premier show,” he said of ADHDS, “and gives us great exposure.” Sub-Zero/Wolf used the opportunity to showcase a new steam convection oven; its black glass E series 30-inch double and single wall ovens; its outdoor refrigeration, cooking and icemaker line; and a built-in French door fridge with internal ice and water dispenser in 42- and 48-inch widths.

Brian Maynard, brand marketing director for premium Whirlpool brand Jenn-Air, said ADHDS has become the nation’s largest appliance show by default. Attendance by the trade has also made it a key venue for Jenn-Air, which is two years into a repositioning campaign to revive its brand awareness as a luxury nameplate.

For this year’s show Jenn-Air doubled the size of its exhibit space and launched a first-of-its-kind iPhone app that lets users see how its products will look in their kitchens. The effort paid off with a Best In Show award from the American Society of Interior Designers within the kitchen category.

U-Line, the 50-year-old undercounter refrigeration resource, used the show to introduce new additions to its Modular 3000 Series of solid- and glass-door refrigerators, wine coolers and beverage centers. New products include 24-inch models to accommodate like-sized cabinets, and an 18-inch clear ice maker.

“Today’s kitchens are being used in much more versatile ways,” president Jennifer Uihlein said in a statement. “The traditional ‘working triangle’ kitchen is becoming a thing of the past.”

At Almo’s booth, the distributor’s specialty appliance division showcased a 30-inch bottom mount fully integrated refrigerator from Liebherr; a new dual-fuel option for Capital Cooking’s Connoisseurian series ranges and a new 10-color palette for its Precision range and Maestro wall oven lines; laundry products by Asko; ventilation products from Faber; and Sharp’s extensive Insight Pro microwave oven line, which Almo has been selected to distribute exclusively in the U.S. outside the Southeast and Hawaii.

Drawing crowds at the Eastern Marketing display was the new home oven line from Wood Stone. Typically found in commercial applications including the Cosi and California Pizza Kitchen chains, and in the kitchens of celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Wolfgang Puck and the offices of Steven Spielberg, the residential version can reach a temperature of 1,200 degrees F and a retail range of $15,000 to $20,000, Eastern Marketing president Marty Friedman reported.

Also debuting at the distributor’s booth was an electric version of Aga’s ultra-premium – and traditionally gas-fueled – cast iron oven line from England. The electric “total control” model, developed for warmer climes where owners prefer a shorter cool-down time, will carry a $5,000 premium over its $10,000 (with installation) predecessor, which chief executive William McGrath said is a favorite of the Royal Family, Prime Minister David Cameron and other notable Brits, including Sir Paul McCartney, actors Kate Winslet, Colin Firth and Elizabeth Hurley, and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Elsewhere at the show, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet introduced an assortment of 12 hybrid fire grills that combine the convenience of a gas grill, the superior heat characteristics of a charcoal grill and the flavor of a wood grill or smoker, the company said. Available in four sizes, suggested retails range from $9,995 to $26,195.


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