Hi-tech tables on which you can both cook and dine, entirely transparent glass kitchens, domestic 3D pancake printers: the kitchen of the future is already here, a mix of innovation and design that leaves users astonished. While those with small kitchens are loving the new trend of sleek and compact countertops with built-in features, others are appreciating the convenience of being able to lower their fridge temperature on their way home, to avoid increasing the temperature while they’re putting away their groceries. But this nod to modernity in kitchen design isn’t just about making life more convenient and beautiful; it’s also about making it more delicious, with better breakfasts, endless coffee and easy entertaining being the result. Here are some of the most cutting-edge tools and kitchen fittings a foodie should have on his or her wish list.
Hi-tech tables have been hot for a couple years ¬– think built-in teppanyaki grills and round charcoal barbecues in the middle of your six-seater that make for flame-kissed dinner parties – but now tables have gone a step further. They can transition from fast-heating induction grills to room temperature instantaneously, making them safe to set down plates or dishes. Expandable units offer extra prep space that can be removed to add seating area once your roast is in the oven (or braising on the stovetop directly in front of you). Kitchen islands have evolved into sleek combination stovetop, fridge, storage and dining room table units. Smart screens offer Internet access or music and built-in fridges beneath the tabletop itself hide contents that are viewable at the click of a button but invisible when company’s coming. What does all this innovation mean for the modern fine dining lover? Whether you're missing a fork, forgot the butter in the fridge or need to stir the sauce on the stove, everything will be at arm's reach, so the moment you sit down, you can start relaxing and enjoying your meal.
3D printing food may be old news, but it’s never been so gourmet. Now companies are allowing gastronomes to make brunch more beautiful by drawing elaborate pancake designs onto a custom hotplate. And whereas the 3D printers of the past limited the customer to pre-packaged ingredients in food capsules and Willy Wonka-style spun sugar designs, these days the variety of foods you can print is endless. Dream outside the box with:
- artisanal crackers
- homemade ravioli and
- burgers that take just a few minutes to appear in front of you.
For the modern chocolatier, more elaborate chocolate decorations will take about 20 minutes, but still much less time than when done by hand. Plus, customers can fill empty food capsules with whatever ingredients they want, meaning you can use fresher and more gourmet items, like that fair-trade chocolate you love, line-caught albacore or that hand-milled organic flour. The best part is that you’ll never again spend hours hand-shaping gnocchi and rolling truffles again!
All-glass kitchens might seem like a purely design-focused trend, but they can also make food sexier and kitchen owners less wasteful. With see-through cupboards, you’ll never forget that you should eat that loaf of sourdough. And you’ll probably keep your spice cupboard more organized when you see your ground cinnamon and cumin seed containers every morning. Plus, guests will be able to admire your perfectly organized pantry from the table when you invite them for dinner.
Smart appliances are taking kitchen design a step further with Internet-linked fridges that take pictures of their contents every time the door closes, so you can access them via an app the next time you’re at work or at the grocery store (or in bed) wondering if you have eggs. Ovens come with built-in recipes where you weigh ingredients and it controls the temperature and time – the idea being that you’ll never burn your Peking duck again. Built-in countertop coffee spouts connect with a smartphone or Apple Watch to produce everything from shots of espresso, cups of hot chocolate, macchiatos, juice, iced cappuccinos, hot water for tea to sparkling water at the press of a touchscreen button. You can even adjust your desired amount of milk foam and number of shots. And new robotic countertop bar units can prevent you from ever mixing a bad drink again; a click of a button will have you sipping an Old Fashioned or one of more than 300 made-to-order drinks in seconds.
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