LG Electronics’ First Design Center For Professionals Showcases The Ultimate Food, Wine And Tech LifestyleAuthor:Annette Hanami
In a first-of-a-kind facility, LG Electronics has opened a new 23,000 square foot training center and showroom in Napa, CA for builders, architects, designers and luxury retailers who cater to the Technicurean™ clientele, passionate food and wine lovers with tech in their DNA.
At the Signature Kitchen Suite Experience & Design Center, product specialists and on-site chefs will bridge LG technology and culinary innovation with over 20 kitchen vignettes, sophisticated classrooms and a stunning demo kitchen showcasing their luxury Signature Kitchen Suite product line. Per GM Zach Elkin, the center is LG’s latest commitment to the U.S. with a $300 million factory in Tennessee and the new North American headquarters in New Jersey coming on line in the next year to increase their footprint.
A Mission And a Message
In a panel last week moderated by acclaimed food writer Mark Bittman, baker Ellen King, chef AJ Schaller and vintner Jean-Charles Boisset weighed-in on Signature Kitchen Suite’s philosophy of being “true to food” – respecting ingredients by preserving their essence in storage and preparation using Signature Kitchen Suite appliances such as the new 48” pro-style range with induction, gas and built-in sous vide all on the same cooktop. For Schaller of CREA, with sous vide cooking in a sealed pouch, there is no escape of flavor, so the home cook gets the most pure, natural taste of the ingredient. And because of the technique of low, slow cooking based on the core temperature of the ingredient, it’s difficult to over- or under-cook, minimizing waste. She also suggested preparing meal kits to freeze which can extend the shelf life of food as well as save time.
Technology Doesn’t Overwhelm The Humanity of Cooking
Artisan and heritage grain revivalist baker Ellen King of Chicago’s Hewn Bakery was skeptical at first since the range has more technology than used in baking, describing bakers as ‘neanderthals’ who just need fire, water, flour and a little bit of salt to make bread. Further, she said, “food is a relationship and in my case, a solitary endeavor” but she soon discovered working with the range that “technology doesn’t overwhelm the humanity of cooking, it enhances it.” The results she achieved she said, were on par with the bakery, with perfect color, texture and consistency of the bread, one of the key contributors being the integrated steam function in the oven, with variable settings.
The Signature Kitchen Suite also includes a sleek, built-in column refrigerator and wine cooler designed for the way we live today. The refrigerator has a knock-knock feature that illuminates the interior without opening, conserving energy and a taller water dispenser to accommodate water bottles. The wine cooler has variable temperature zones for white, red and sparkling wines, a triple layer of UV protection to minimize light and specially designed compressors to minimize vibration based on the number of bottles, all of which help preserve the expression of wine. For vintner Boisset for whom wine is always the expression of terroir, legacy and craft, being “true to food is being true to yourself.” Per Elkin, their coolers have 100% less vibration than their leading competitor, 200% times less than the major three.
Products Your Clients Always Wanted But Didn’t Know They Needed. Until Now.
Professionals will be inspired by the range of new LG home appliances at the design center that will become must-haves such as the CES® 2019 Innovation Award winner, the LG Styler, a compact, chic alternative to dry cleaning using proprietary steam technology that refreshes and sanitizes clothers without chemicals, and without the need for plumbing or ventilation. Also covetable is their new rollable LG OLED TV, the width of three credit cards which won multiple awards and recognitions from the latest Consumer Electronics Show.
With vignettes curated with design partners like Ann Sacks tile and Kohler and Waterworks fixtures, the design center showcases a modern lifestyle with integrated products that are consumer-driven in their style, convenience and aspiration, while the AI Lifestyle Zone helps builders and architects envision the larger smart home ecosystem using LG’s latest innovations and the industry’s broadest range of Wi-Fi-enabled products.
So far for 2019, 90 trade visits have been scheduled for 1,200 specialists in the Napa location. For a broad portfolio of products geared to the food, wine and tech lover, Napa was a natural location to host the trade. As Elkin said, “Establishing our base here gives us unmatched access to the best vintners, farmers, ranchers, fisherman and other craftspeople that are living out a mission every day that is true to food.”
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