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Appliancist is an online magazine about the latest Home Appliances & Home Appliance Trends. Covering High-End Luxury Kitchen & Bathroom Appliances.

Insider Interviews

Introducing TepanDine

Despite many of these specific products being featured here before, TepanDine has a very different story to tell. Appliancist had a chance to talk with Tim Frost, TepanDine Commercial Manager based in Bangkok, regarding the company philosophy and unique position in the global marketplace of innovative high end cooking appliances.

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TepanDine has the distribution and branding rights for all Asian and MENA markets. The corporate headquarters are located in Thailand and our products are selling through the biggest and highest-quality kitchen agents in the region who have large market share. The focus is on the built-in cooktop products for use by the owners of condominiums and private homes, and the company has had the leading kitchen brands in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand selling the cooktops in 2010. In 2011 TepanDine products will be launched aggressively in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

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Posted November 15, 2010 10:10 AM

Panasonic expands home appliance range in the UK

Building on the existing range with introduction of new side-by-side fridge-freezers and washing machines for the UK market, Panasonic Corporation announced the launch of a new range of fridge-freezers and washing machines for the UK market. The launch further expands Panasonic's product portfolio, building on the introduction of home appliances into Europe in 2009. Already the leader in the domestic Japanese market, Panasonic is bringing to the UK the innovative and energy-saving features on which it has built its reputation at home. The products blend high performance, innovation and ease of use with market-leading energy saving features, all wrapped up in a sleek, stylish design.

"Our products are aimed at the discerning, environmentally conscious European consumers who also appreciate good design" says Subodha Bhatt, Product Manager Major Domestic Appliances at Panasonic UK. "The Panasonic design philosophy is simple: put the consumer first, and develop innovative products with features that make a genuine difference - from prolonging the life of fresh fruit and vegetables with our unique Vitamin-Safe compartment, to tilting our washer drum by 10° to reduce water consumption. "Our deep-rooted commitment to the environment runs through the entire product range," continues Subodha Bhatt. "The energy-saving technologies we have incorporated have struck a particular chord with the UK's environmentally-conscious consumers."

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Panasonic is adding two new products to the cooling range, both being US style side by side fridge-freezers, the NR-B53V1 in Stainless Steel with Anti-Fingerprint Coating and the Arctic White NR-B54X1. Both products feature Panasonic's advanced technologies to deliver maximum performance and usability while protecting the environment. These new models are among the most energy-efficient in the industry, thanks to Panasonic's Inverter technology, U-Vacua vacuum insulation panel and Twin-Eco Cooling System. The Inverter technology for example, uses a system of sensors and microprocessors to select automatically from multiple possible power levels, allowing the product to run on minimal power overnight and at times of low usage, thereby conserving valuable energy.

Panasonic's U-Vacua vacuum insulation panel, included on the NR-B53V1, is an ultra-thin insulation sheet made from glass-fibre processed in a vacuum and with 20 times more insulation than traditional materials. In addition, the Twin-Eco Cooling System on both the NR-B53V1 and NR-B54X1 uses an EcoValve to close off the cooling circuit for the refrigerator when it is not needed, unlike traditional twin cooling systems, which always cool both the fridge and the freezer at the same time. The result is greater energy efficiency, a reduction in materials and more space for food storage. Together, these innovative technologies have earned the NR-B53V1 an 'A++' rating in the coveted EU energy efficiency standard, a world first in the plumbed-in US style side by side fridge-freezer category.

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Posted March 16, 2010 10:44 PM

Dual fuel ranges - five reasons to choose Bertazzoni

When dual fuel ranges first hit the market, many homeowners saw them as an option for serious cooks and chefs only. However, over the past few years dual fuel ranges have been popping up in homes from coast to coast. Many consumers may still be wondering what the big deal dual fuel is all about. Bertazzoni, a 250-year-old Italian manufacturer of kitchen lifestyle products, would love to share the benefits of this professional grade range cooker with our readers.

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Interior trendsetters seeking a kitchen remodel that blends technology, functionality and elegance should look no further than a dual fuel range. With up to six gas burners, an integrated griddle and an electric convection oven featuring eight different cooking functions, self-cleaning 30", 36" and 48" ranges are perfect for consumers seeking a smart-buy improvement that starts in the heart of the home - the kitchen.

Why dual fuel, you ask? Easy, here are the top five reasons:
- professional performance gas burners allow for greater control, quick reaction and visual proof of flames and heat
- gas burners are sealed, for fast and easy cleaning
- electric European convection ovens are ideal for baking, offering precision temperature settings and balanced air-flow for even heating that prevents flavor crossover
- electric convection ovens are self-cleaning
- serious cooks and ambitious hosts alike will enjoy the best of both cooking worlds with this stylish, versatile combination

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Posted September 14, 2009 10:00 AM

Interview with Fulgor

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Website: www.fulgorusa.com

Founded in 1949 by Piero Puricelli and headquartered 20 miles north of Milan, Fulgor is a cooking specialist with 60 years of experience crafting unique and groundbreaking cooking appliances. Under the general management of Piero’s youngest son, Maurizio Puricelli, Fulgor has expanded globally into a dozen countries, with nine sales offices. True to its Italian heritage, Fulgor has always approached the design of our products in a fiercely innovative way. With an incredible attention to detail, Fulgor’s products not only perform beautifully, but become thoughtfully streamlined pieces of art. This unique approach to creating a high-performance kitchen allows Fulgor to satisfy the changing needs of its customers in unique, intuitive ways. The interview was given by Mr. Jason Foster of Fulgor USA, to provide our readers with insights on the company, brand and products.

Why consumers need to strongly consider Fulgor brand when making an appliance purchase?
When considering brands, the first thing consumer should look at is the quality of the appliance they are selecting, and the value it brings. With nearly sixty years of experience hand-crafting premium cooking appliances, Fulgor’s appliances have exacting performance that helps home chefs bring culinary masterwork to their kitchen tables. The second thing consumers should consider is the identity of the brand they’re buying into: who are they and what do they stand for? Fulgor is a strong Italian company with true Italian heritage. When it comes to all things culinary, no one does it better than Italy. Our brand is built on that success, and consumers will see that in every facet of our business, from website and brochures, to packaging and service.

One of the interesting aspects of your brand identity is "the Italian way of life". Please elaborate.
For all of its faults, Italy is known around the world for its quality of life. Life in Italy moves a little slower than the US, and allows people to enjoy the ordinary things we so often miss here. From mid-day siestas to evening walks after dinner; the Italian way of life is something we can all appreciate and aspire to in our own lives. At Fulgor, we try to reflect the kindness, joy, and appreciation for life and food that is inherent in all Italians.

To get the idea where Fulgor products fit in, tell us what other appliance brands do you compete with?
We compete with other premium brands in the industry. We have a range of product families that fall in different places on the price scale; but our capstone Leonardo Classico line will truly be a unique and differentiated product platform. With ultra-premium features, and jaw-dropping aesthetics, it competes strongly with the best and brightest available.

You have a brand story unlike any other - uniquely hand-crafted Italian appliances. Does any other appliance manufacturer offer hand-crafted appliances?
It’s very difficult for high volume manufacturers to preserve this type of production facility. At Fulgor, we’ve maintained our boutique approach to manufacturing, and have resisted the temptation of "volume selling" our brand. We believe strongly in this hand-crafted approach. It allows us to inspect every appliance that leaves our factory, and tells a strong message about the quality of our craftsmanship. Additionally, Fulgor is still, and will forever be, a family owned company. Although his youngest son is now running the company, our 90 year old founder, Piero Puricelli, still makes his way to the factory every day to build a lasting legacy of passion and commitment to excellence in all Fulgor employees. This commitment is etched into the fabric of Fulgor’s identity, and it’s evidenced in everything we do.

These cute and unique rectangular knobs that are found on many Fulgor appliances, are they part of the branding strategy? No one else that we know of have them.
The knobs you’re referring to are proprietary tooling we have developed to create a seamless family design to different products in the kitchen. Our industrial designers are located just outside of Milan, and the progressive design industry there has a huge impact on the approach we take to designing our appliances. Our branding strategy in the US is a reflection of our company’s unique Italian heritage, and the design of our appliances is definitely a part of that strategy.

What are some of the most innovative/advanced features that can be found on your appliances? Give a few examples, please.
Our products are jam packed with premium features. To list a few, we have a unique dual convection system we call DuoConvectTM in our 500 & 700 series ovens that allows air to circulate more evenly inside the oven cavity to allow for quicker, more even cooking. Those same ovens come with incredible door technology that allows us to beat UL’s surface temperature requirements by nearly 50%. We do this by putting four panes of glass on all oven doors and treating them with a special compound to reflect heat back into the oven. To name a few more, our gas cooktops were developed with a unique dual flame burner that is incorporated on all 36" gas cooktops. It allows for an incredible BTU range to provide gentle simmering and high-powered searing or boiling all from the same burner. All cooktops have a unique Italian Wing Design, which allows for greater surface area on the cooktop. Our dishwashers are equipped with an industry leading multi-blade hard food grinder and sensor wash system to ensure plates taken straight from the kitchen table to the dishwasher come out looking perfectly polished every time. We could go on all day, but I think that whets the appetite a bit!

For home-cooking enthusiasts, what are some unique convenient features/benefits that can be found on your appliances? Give a few examples.
Our tag line says it all: arte culinariaTM. We believe strongly in creating artistic, masterful meals in the kitchen, and our appliances are built to enable that. I mentioned our DuoConvectTM dual convection technology earlier, but the ovens also offer 11 preset cooking functions, including a proofing function that is perfectly sealed and can be adjusted from 80°F to 120°F. Back in the mid-1990’s, Fulgor was the first European appliance company to export self-cleaning, convection ovens to the USA, and we have carried on that legacy by offering the fastest and most versatile self clean mode in the industry. Our variable self clean mode allows users to establish a self clean cycle time that correlates to their needs. In short, our cooking appliances are built by experts with 60 years of experience and exacting performance in mind.

Tell us about your award winning designs.
As I mentioned earlier our corporate offices are located just outside Milan, and incorporating Euro-Italian design into our appliances is a critical component to our product development cycle. We only recently began entering products for award recognition in North America, and won two ADEX awards, ran by Design Journal Magazine, for design excellence in 2007. One was for our Leonardo Classico oven, and its unique three-dimensional door surface, and the second for the Italian Wing Design on our electric cooktops. We have several products nominated to various design awards right now, and expect a bright future for our brand to this regard.

How Eco-friendly are Fulgor appliances?
As European built appliances, they are very Eco-friendly. Our ovens & cooktops conform to all European energy guidelines, which are traditionally higher than those in the US, such as ROhS which prevents harmful or questionable materials from being used to produce goods. Additionally, our ovens & gas cooktops are made from over 90% recyclable material. All of our dishwashers meet Energy Star requirements, and our tall tub models comply with what Energy Star calls "Tier 2", meaning a higher degree of energy efficiency. In short, Fulgor believes strongly in the preservation of our natural resources and the craftsmanship of our appliances reflects that.

Where can Fulgor products be purchased in the US?
We are working very hard at expanding our distribution in the US & Canada right now. As a company, we are deeply committed to independent dealers and kitchen & bath specialists who can reflect our company’s message strongly - so the product will only be available from those locations. We only recently launched the new product line, and will be announcing several new additions to our distributor network in the coming weeks which will allow us to effectively cover nearly the entire expanse of both countries. Visit a distributor locator on our website to select by state and pull up their information.

What type of warranties is offered?
One of the bedrocks of our brand is quality & reliability. Since our inception nearly six decades ago, we have stood behind every product we’ve produced, and inspect every unit before it leaves our factory. To prove our commitment we offer the industry’s leading warranty for all major appliances. It offers a two year full parts and labor warranty, with a unique limited warranty in year three that helps defray the cost of service by providing monetary support in the amount of $50 to our customers, if a service call is needed. We call it the "2+1 Warranty", and you can read the fine print by downloading a full copy of the warranty.

Do you offer a complete-kitchen solution? If not is that in plans?
We are working towards a complete-kitchen solution. Our current product mix has multiple platforms of ovens, gas and electric cooktops, dishwashers and microwaves - all of the staple products except full-size refrigeration. In addition, we will be launching warming drawers and under-counter refrigeration in the first quarter of 2009. We want Fulgor to be the brand culinary aficionado’s can’t live without, and to do that we need to build the brand one category at a time, building loyal and dedicated followers along the way.

What are the product lines specifically designed for the US and Canadian consumers?
As much as possible, we try to develop all of our product lines specifically for North American consumers. To site a few examples, in 1994 we were the first European company of our kind to export European cooking appliances into these markets, and we’ve learned an incredible amount over the last 14 years. To that effect, our new 500 & 700 series oven platform boasts an oversized 4.34 cu. ft of capacity - on par with the largest ovens on the marketplace, save that our rack glides which are embossed into the oven cavity and take up a few tenths of a cubic foot. Additionally, most European dishwashers feature a filtration system that requires users to periodically remove a cup filled with food scraps, or deal with re-depositing old food on their clean dishes. Fulgor’s dishwashers prevent this nuisance by using our industry leading hard food grinder.

Tell us about Fulgor's signature Leonardo Classico family of products. Why are these appliances special?
Our Leonardo Classico family of products marries our most advanced features with high-style, unique designs. It is named after Leonardo da Vinci, the famed Italian painter, engineer and scientist whose great interests were only equaled by the masterwork of his inventions. Our Leonardo Classico family of products seeks to emulate his life by constantly breaking through the boundaries of thoughtful design & exacting performance in today’s kitchen. It is a special line of appliances that will impress even the most discerning home chefs.

Fulgor means 'To Shine' in Latin. How are you planning to shine on the US markets?
Great question. I think it’s a multi-faceted approach, but the key is being authentic to our roots as uniquely Italian cooking specialists. It’s no secret that the US is fascinated by all things Italian, and most notably its cuisine. As the poet Anna Akhmatova writes, "Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life". We are the only appliance manufacturer in the US who can speak from an authentically Italian voice because siamo Italiano - we are Italian! By never sacrificing quality, earning the respect of our customers every day, and living up to the expectations of a high-performance Italian brand, our Italian message we will break through, and we will shine.

What are 'Fulgor Illuminations'?
A play on the Latin meaning of 'Fulgor' - the Latin word for 'shining', Fulgor Illumination is the term we use for the hallmark features of every appliance we make; from cutting-edge performance, safety and environmental features to award-winning design and engineering. In most cases we are one of the few, if not the only manufacturer in the world to have these innovative features or designs. Our engineers are dedicated to pushing the envelope forward, and our Fulgor Illuminations reflect that. They are described in the key features area of the product pages on our website as well as in our catalog and other printed material.

Posted November 5, 2008 12:45 PM

Interview with Cook-N-Dine

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They are unusual and expensive. Many consumers are buying the Cook-N-Dine line of residential teppanyaki style cooktops and tables from Germany. Many are asking questions before deciding, so here are some answers about this unusually elegant and versatile appliances and Cook-N-Dine new approach to cooking and dining. Appliancist talked to Bea Gebhardt, Vice President and Director of Marketing of Cook-N-Dine International, Inc. in Miami, Florida.

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Cook-N-Dine flameless cooking table grill

Your products are quite unique in the US market. Please give us some company background and history. Do you have any competition in Europe?
It all started back in the seventies, when mechanical engineer, industrial designer and passionate hobby cook Paul Schacht III of Munich, Germany, came up with a sparkling idea that everyone can capitalize on. Paul was fed up with standing alone in the kitchen preparing dinner at night while the family members lingered around elsewhere waiting for the food.

It was a challenge for him to transform the Cook-N-Dine idea into reality, but not a real problem. His grandfather, Paul Schacht, who founded the family business in 1887 in Stendal, Germany, manufactured fancy horse carriages and later custom bodies for automobiles.

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Built-in round cooktop

Paul Schacht III gained fame introducing several groundbreaking innovations to the automobile industry. Quite a number of CDS or Creativ Design Schacht products are part of today's standard equipment of Mercedes Benz and BMW automobiles.

Cook-N-Dine is on the market in Europe for more than 15 years now and was introduced to the trade in the US in 2004. Sure, there is competition like with any other product. However, a Teppanyaki style cooking device with these properties in a sleek, elegant design for residential use is absolutely unique.

How are three different temperature sections achieved with Cook-N-Dine? How is a concave pit formed from what we understand is one steel piece?
The worldwide patented Cook-N-Dine product concept is based on the reaction of specially pressed 304 food-grade German stainless steel to the direct contact with a new, high-tech heating element. When on, it causes the center of the unit to gently bow downward, thus containing all the fine food juices in the middle of the cooking center.

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Concave pit when is ready for cooking

This heating element, combined with the physical properties of true 304 stainless steel and the way it was pressed also results in a 2-3 inch wide area around the cooking center, where the temperature reaches about 50% of the set temperature. This warming zone allows to keep ready-to-serve food warm while other ingredients of the meal are cooked in the center.

Cook-N-Dine cooktops emulate the cooking principle of a very flat wok. Stainless steel tables also feature a third zone, the so-called "dining area". This area stays absolutely cold and offers enough room to accommodate plates, silverware, glasses, napkins etc.

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Smoke, shrimp, red wine

All models have one important thing in common - when switched off the surface reverts back to completely flat as if nothing ever happened.

When it comes to buying, can consumers buy direct? Are there distribution centers?
Cook-N-Dine is distributed nationwide, as well as in Canada, The Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand. It can be found at appliance dealers, kitchen + bath showrooms, specialty outdoor/grill/patio stores, or ordered through designers, architects or countertop and cabinets dealerships.

When it comes to repairing your products which likely never needed but still, what are the consumer options?
We maintain a group of highly skilled technicians who are available nationwide on request. The default rate is under 0.5% in over 5 years in the US. Should however a unit fail to perform under the warranty, the unit would be simply replaced.

How fast does it warm up and is ready to go?
The warm-up time to 250° F or 120° C is just 1.25 minutes. From there to the highest 450° F contact temperature setting it takes only 1.45 minutes.

How do you clean the cooking surface?
Contrary to the common perception, stainless steel is super-easy to clean. All you need to do is warm up the unit and cook off all remains with a little plain water. Wipe clean and polish with food-safe mineral oil or a quick spritz of no-stick cooking spray.

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Ultra-slim built-in cooktop

Can some of your outdoor units be installed and used on boats or RV’s? What about salt water – will it cause any damage to ANY parts?
All Cook-N-Dine models are approved for outdoor use, even on a yacht. The electrical and electronic components are sealed in to withstand the elements. Simply wipe the exterior clean on a regular basis to prevent small particles from sticking to the stainless steel surface.

If a consumer wants a custom layout, will CND make it?
That’s the beauty. A Cook-N-Dine can be custom-made to the customer’s specifications. We have made halfmoon-shaped built-in’s, full-size kitchen island countertops and even a complete bar-top cover which really cooks, thanks to the ultra-slim heating elements.

What new products, if any, are coming to the market and when?
This year’s big introduction will be the "MarinYaki" yacht table. On May 22, 2008, it will be launched at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

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MarineYaki Table

In the US the "MarinYaki" will be presented to yachting enthusiasts at the International Ft. Lauderdale Boat-Show, held October 30 to November 3rd of this year. The fiberglass table models feature a centered, built-in 20" x 15" CND cooktop unit.

We are very proud about the successful introduction of the CND-Joko Teppanyaki grill cart earlier this year, a great collaboration of clean Italian design and craftsmanship, paired with German engineering. This model is an exclusive for the American market.

Currently we are working on a larger size, more powerful CND Portable Unit - 27-9/16" diameter versus 23-1/2", which is scheduled to be released in August/September 2008. For more information see Cook-N-Dine.

Posted May 15, 2008 1:56 PM

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