No one reimagines a kitchen like Gaggenau.
There hasn’t been a tool the Germans haven’t perfected in manufacturing. German vehi-cles, watches, audio equipment, dinnerware and appliances all come with an unspoken but widely acknowledged reliability. But be-ing dependable isn’t the same thing as being predictable. And Gaggenau, a company that specialises in one of the most down-to-earth industries of all — the kitchen — proves just that with its long history of innovation.
Gaggenau’s story began over 300 years ago in 1683, when it manufactured agricul-tural machinery and consumer durables. By the 19th century, it was producing bicycles, advertising signs and stoves, and had become an enamelling specialist. It wasn’t until 1956, when Georg Blanquet took over — and was himself taken hold by a passion for cook-ing — that it started to become a pioneer in custom-designed fitted kitchens and easy-to-use appliances.
Many of the kitchen staples we recognise today are the result of Gaggenau’s influence on the domestic kitchen scene. It was at the forefront of the development of the built-in oven, the glass ceramic cooktop and the com-bi-steam oven. In 1990, inspired by American freestanding fridge-freezers, it introduced the side-by-side refrigerator IK 900 with double-wing doors, four climate zones, hu-midity controls and a clear ice dispenser.
In 2011, the company launched the full-surface induction cooktop CX 480, which converts the entire surface of the unit into one large cooking area that can detect where pots and pans are and displays the controls on a colour touch display at the bottom. Most recently, in 2015, Gaggenau presented a world first: a fully automatic cleaning system for its 400 series combi-ovens with fixed inlet and outlet water connection.
The current product range now also in-cludes vacuuming and warming drawers, mi-crowaves, espresso machines, wine cabinets, cooktops and dishwashers, all of them pre-dominantly built by hand. Unsurprisingly, Gaggenau is no stranger to awards from Red Dot and iF Design, thanks to products that look as good as they work.
But perhaps the best demonstration of Gaggenau’s philosophy of “traditional avant-garde” can be given by its most iconic appliance, which turned 30 last year.
ROAST OF THE TOWN
The EB 300 was the first 90cm-wide oven to hit the European market in 1986. With a generous net volume of 87L, it comfortably accommodates up to four roasts at a time. It brought the professional cooking experi-ence into the home, and was loved by both top chefs and amateur cooks alike. Its con-cept has remained relatively untouched for the last three decades, but to celebrate Gag-genau’s 333rd anniversary last year, a remod-elled version named the EB 333 was unveiled at EuroCucina in Milan that same year.
Unlike previous models, the EB 333 fea-tures a front door panel crafted from a sin-gle piece of 3mm thick stainless steel. This sophisticated facade is augmented by new technology that enables soft opening and closing, because no detail is overlooked in the user experience.
The EB 333 boasts a new control module with a TFT touch display (which is what modern mobile phones use) for improved functionality, as well as the option of new black rotary knobs in place of the standard stainless steel variant.
The EB 333’s tweaks are mostly cosmetic, because its build hardly requires any improvement.
The quadruple glazed, partially thermally coated oven doors and insulated panes ensure much of the heat is reflected back inside. This way, the outer panes never exceed a temperature of 75 deg C even when it’s 485 deg C inside, all thanks to a careful selection of materials and perfect workmanship.
The surface of the oven and the supporting frame are protected by enamel, courtesy of a secret recipe from the company’s early years. The protruding tab at the lower edge of the door base ensures that grease splatters that hit the interior pane during roasting will flow back into the oven, making cleanup significantly less trying.
Thanks to three centuries in the making, Gaggenau has managed to anticipate and address the needs of the culinarily-inclined.