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Lifestyle : Bathrooms and Kitchens 2011
1HERSA1 C026 26 November 26- 27, 2011 smh.com.au The Sydney Morning Herald Induction a hot item Safer, energy-efficient cooktops are proving popular with parents, writes Carla Grossetti. Cool choice . . . induction cooktops look sleek and are eco-friendly. I n terms of product placement, it doesn’t get much better than being centre stage in the Junior MasterChef kitchen. During the first spinoff of the hit series last year, induction cooktops were installed on the show’s set to reduce the young contestants’ chances of being burnt. Tristan Lutze, the online community manager of the food, cookware and culinary bookstore, The Essential Ingredient, says there has been a steady increase in interest in induction cooktops in the past few years. ‘‘Safety should always come first in the kitchen, a fact the makers of Junior MasterChef are highly conscious of,’’ Lutze says. ‘‘Obviously, a saucepan and its contents on an induction stove are still very hot . . . but induction cookware is definitely considered safer than a naked flame or hot cooktop.’’ Unlike gas or electric cooktops, induction stoves do not generate heat. In fact, they remain cold to touch until activated by an electromagnetic field that causes the metal of the pot or pan itself to get hot. They appeal to parents who want to reduce the risk of their budding chefs being burnt. Other major benefits include speed and energy efficiency, Miele Australia product manager Thorsten Kissel says. An increasing number of eco- minded consumers are driving demand, he says. ‘‘Induction cooktops are more energy efficient than electric or gas cooktops because of the heat-up time and direct application of the energy,’’ Kissel says. ‘‘While gas is a primary energy source, a lot of its energy content is lost when converting it to heat by burning it. ‘‘Operating an induction cooktop with electricity created using solar or wind energy would make for the most energy-efficient solution and have the best greenhouse emissions balance. ‘‘Furthermore, induction cooktops do not heat up a room as much as a gas cooktop, thus minimising any airconditioning that might be required.’’ Also attractive to chefs is the fact the newer induction models have features built in that aren’t found in gas or electric stoves, such as automatic space detectors that ‘‘read’’ the size of cookware and adjust the heat source accordingly. SPECIAL REPORT A counter revolution Smooth . . . an Art of Kitchen installation with CaesarStone benchtops. THE kitchen is at the heart of most homes. It’s where families and friends come together to chat, cook, feast and linger. And whether your signature dish is sweet-potato tortellini or microwaved macaroni, it’s important those shared meals are prepared in a space designed with form and function in mind. Of course, not everybody has the square footage to create a Nigella- esque oasis of style and storage. But the director of Art of Kitchens, Liam Murphy, says benchtops can be custom-made to suit a range of tastes and budgets. The materials available are many and varied, including everything from quartz stone and solid surface materials such as Corian to marble, granite and stainless steel. ‘‘From a function point of view, it’s important a kitchen is designed according to the needs of the people using that space,’’ says Murphy, whose business won the 2011 Housing Industry Association NSW award for best mid-sized kitchen project and was a finalist for the 2011 Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia NSW kitchen design award. ‘‘We want the client to choose a material that best suits their needs,’’ he says. Murphy says a good benchtop goes beyond just looking attractive. Chopping, kneading, slicing and dicing must also be done on surfaces that are durable and easy to clean. Murphy says the material of the moment is quartz stone, which, as well as being waterproof, is tough and stain-resistant. But he says the pearlescent finishes of materials such as marble and granite are also popular. As for coming trends, Murphy believes mineral porcelain benchtops will be the next big thing. ‘‘At this year’s trade show in Milan, I learnt that porcelain benchtops are about to hit the market and I’m really excited about that because the product is totally natural and fully recyclable. It looks like it’s quite inexpensive, it’s very hard-wearing and the eco-friendly aspect is attractive, too,’’ he says. Carla Grossetti We have your new kitchen and bathroom Kitchen featured, $6989 (excludes appliances & accessories) Bathroom featured, $7589 (excludes tiles, décor & installation) Check out the displays and everything you need to D.I.Y. instore or at bunnings.com.au
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