Friday, November 7, 2014

Traditional Home and Thermador " Great Kitchens" Getaway


 I have been waiting to share my trip to  Thermador and Traditional Home Magazine. 2nd Annual "Great Kitchens Event"   and now seems like the perfect time since the online magazine featuring the event went live this week.   I was joined by a fabulous team of designers and lifestyle bloggers from across the country; Dana Wolter, Nancy and Eric Dalton, Karen Williams, Lisa Mende, Beth Le Manach, Jennifer Markanich, Karin Edwards, Kelly Morriseau and Courtney Price.  To read the "Great Kitchens Event" on Traditional Home website, access the online magazine here .  You will learn more about our experience, see pics of us cooking together and find the fabulous recipes from the event.  Anyone entertaining during the holidays will want these recipes.  Everything we made was pretty, easy and so delish!    There are also many helpful cooking and entertaining pointers in the article as well.

While in California, our group were guests of the  Thermador Experience Showroom.   We learned valuable information about this leading luxury appliance brand, engaged in discussion about cutting edge kitchen appliance technology, and participated in interactive cooking sessions in the amazing Thermamdor Theater Kitchen.  We also had a competitive social media cooking contest!  I'll tell you who won that later.   Designers and bloggers from across the United States were invited to the event to learn more about Thermador and celebrate the Traditional Home Magazine's online issue of "Great Kitchens."  

(Left to Right) (Beatriz Sandoval, Beth Le Manach, Amy Churgin, Jennifer Markanich, Ali Cafferty, Karin Edwards, Julia Edelmann, Richard Hackett

The trip began with a fabulous welcome reception and dinner at Spark Woodfire Grill in Huntington Beach.  The Thermador executives, PR team and Traditional Home representatives welcomed us to a beautiful beachside sunset event.  

(Left to right) Kim Allen, Stephanie Moore, Amy Soule, Tim Anton, Debbie Ehrman, Vicki Hubbard and Kendall Hawkins

(Left to Right) Graham Sadtler, Kelly Moisseau, Amy Elbert, Courtney Price, Dana Walter, Amy Taylor, Eric and Nancy Dalton, Karen Williams and Zach Elkin

Zach Elkin, Director of Brand Marketing for Thermador kicked off the event with a toast. 

We were so excited to be there to celebrate the "Great Kitchens Event" with

My adorable friend and fellow designer, Courtney Price was on hand capturing the
event through the lens of her camera.  Her photographs were used in the online magazine.

 The following day, we were greeted at the Thermador Experience & Design Center by Zach Elkin, where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, tour of the showroom and learned about the array of Thermador luxury cooking and refrigeration appliances.  Here is my friend and fellow designer, Julia Buckingham as she is greeted by Zach. The highlight of the day an interactive cooking lunch, led by Thermador Chef Kyle Jakobi.

The two Amys, Amy Churgin and Amy Soules of Traditional Home with Zach Elkin. 

Our day in the showroom also started with delicious coffee made in the Thermador built in coffee machine.  We had a choice of coffee, cappuccino or espresso.  If you haven't experience this machine, it is easy to use and makes the most delicious coffee!  I felt totally pampered. I can't wait to have one of these in my own kitchen!

 Design + Experience = Thermador

I caught two of my favorite people at the event with my camera, when we arrive at Thermador! Julia Buckingham of Buckingham ID in Chicago and Lore McKenna, Public Relations Manager for BSH Home Appliances.  Lore was instrumental in planning the event. 

Yummy, these were so good!

Aren't these tiny little skillets the cutest things ever? 

Our delicious breakfast prepared by the Thermador chefs. 

OK, oink, oink, so I was a pig, I had to try one of everything!  

After breakfast, we toured the showroom and learned about the appliances from Graham Sadtler, who is a product designer for Thermador.   The showroom has several kitchens designed to show case the Thermador appliances in an active environment.  The kitchens range in design aesthetics from traditional to contemporary.   It is interesting to see how many ways their appliances can but designed to create custom options to suit any cooking style.  If you live in the Irvine area, you should make an appointment to visit or take clients who are considering Thermador appliances.  One trip to the Thermador showroom and they will be sold!  The showroom is 17,000 sq feet.  Anything and everything Thermador makes is here for all to experience.

The back of the showroom features a cooking theatre, where Thermador Chef Kyle Jakobi cooks on the Thermador appliances and educates consumers and designers visiting the center.  

It kinda feels like the set of a fancy cooking show.  The theatre features beautiful cabinetry, top notch Thermador appliances and ample space to allow a team of 11 designers to cook.

I felt like Barefoot Contessa while cooking in the Thermador Theatre only I
 had my shoes on!

Tim Tino who I referred to as "Mr. Thermador" when I wrote about my initial experience here, sharing his knowledge of the Thermador products with our group.

Thermador is known for it's 5 star technology.  To find out why this is important refer
 back to my original post here.  It's not only pretty, it makes cooking food so much faster
 and more evenly. 

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about specific Thermador appliances in this post, but  by clicking here you can find out my favorite Thermador appliances.

Rick Hackett got our attention when he began to pour premium single malt scotch on the rocks.

There were small demonstrations in each kitchen to educate us on features that set the Thermador products apart from their competition.  We really enjoyed this demonstration by 
Richard Hackett.  He asked who wanted to try premium scotch on the rocks.  Of course I raised my hand.  He had us all fooled.  As we slowly sipped, we discovered the scotch was ice tea!  The point of the exercise was to show how the Thermador ice cubes allow the liquid to circulate around the cubes, unlike other ice cubes which clump together as they melt.  This keeps your beverage cooler and prevents your drink from being watered down in taste.

Thermador pays attention to the smallest details when designing products.  Those details make the biggest difference in functionality.  Functionality makes a big difference in our lives.

Rick also explained the Thermador refrigeration options with us.  Thermador offers so many options when it comes to refrigeration.   Refrigerators come in columns, for completely customizable kitchen design.  We all loved the refrigerated wine columns too.  Talk about a fabulous product.  Click here to see it. 

Tim Anton demonstrated the attributes of the Thermador Steam oven by cooking a 14 lb turkey.  The steam oven looks small, but it held this big turkey like a champ!  They say seeing is believing, so after experiencing this, I am now a believer.  The turkey went in frozen, was defrosted, steamed and cooked on convection for a total of 90 minutes!  We were all amazed at how fast the Thermador Steam Oven cooked a frozen turkey this large.  I don't eat meat but those that tasted it, said it was cooked perfectly with a crispy, golden brown skin.  It smelled amazing while it was cooking, even to someone who doesn't eat meat.  We were all dreaming of owning a steam oven by Thanksgiving.  

Look at the yummy looking turkey cooked by the Thermador steam oven.  The beauty of this oven is how quickly it can cook and how moisture is held in the foods cooked in it.  Breads, meats and other items are cooked to perfection in a steam oven.  The the good news is the learning curve for cooking with a steam oven is quick and easy, so anyone can master it rather easily plus it takes up so little space in your kitchen.

 After our product demonstrations, we were turned over to Chef Kyle who talked to us about plating and presenting dishes.  He taught us how to cut a vegetables to get  a professional looking presentation for our plate.

Kyle says "we all eat first with our eyes" so it is important to think about how we want

Chef Kyle believes in using the highest quality and freshest foods available.  

He shops local farmers markets and grocery stores to insure he is getting the best quality and freshest foods to cook for groups who visit the Thermador experience.

"Feast your eyes on the feast we prepared" under the direction of Chef Kyle of Thermador!

Isn't this broccoli beautiful?  

During the cooking session, Thermador held a fun social media contest. We were divided into teams of two and assigned a dish to cook.  Each team was asked to uploaded photos of our plated dishes to twitter, Instagram and Facebook  to show-off our culinary talents. The winners were selected based on the number of likes, re-tweets and favorites from our fans across each platform. Can you guess who the winner was?

Here are some of the yummy dishes we created in the Thermador Kitchen...

This was the dish my team prepared.  Shaved Watermelon Salad featuring heirloom tomatoes with yellow and red watermelon stars.  Find the recipe here. 

carrot ginger puree in the foreground.

The Cherry Clafouti shown here baked in "Thermador Star Shaped" ramekins.  This dessert is so delicious and pretty.  Perfect for holiday entertaining because it can be made ahead.

Our creations were so pretty once placed on the buffet, I thought I would share a few closeups of our dishes.

Isn't this beautiful?  I loved the vegetables served on a slab of slate.  

It is amazing how professional our dishes looked after our cooking class!

 Once we finished preparing our food, it was time to taste our creations!  We gathered in the dining area for our meal followed by a discussion of which products we enjoyed using while cooking.

Of course the meal couldn't begin without a proper toast!

 Courtney Price with Zach Elkin 

We were all happy and smiling after such a fun experience.

Photo by Courtney Price
 Julia Buckingham, Kendall Hawkins, and Beatriz Sandoval with moi.

The event concluded with a lovely farewell dinner at Pacific Edge Hotel's private Bungalows.   We dined on delicious fare while overlooking the ocean in beautiful Laguna Beach.  

What a lovely evening on the water. 

It is amazing how good food, good people and a beautiful place can create a magical experience.  We were feeling well educated and well fed at this point of the trip!  Our meal came to a sweet ending with a special chocolate cake featuring the Thermador Logo.

  There is an old saying, " what happens twice, happens three times".  Here's hoping I can return for another Great Kitchens Event next year, but then I don't want to be a pig!  Every designer should have the opportunity to experience this event.  When you team up two great brands like Thermador and Traditional Home there is a guarantee of fabulousity!

Thank you to Thermador , Traditional Home Magazine, BSH Group and Finn Partners for including me once again for a wonderful "Great Kitchens" experience.  I learned so much!  

If you have not seen the current Traditional Home GREAT KITCHENS ISSUE, it is A FEAST FOR THE EYES!!! and full of incredible kitchen design, Entertaining tips and Recipes MAKE SURE TO CHECK IT OUT HERE!!!!!  Amy Ebert did a beautiful job of writing the article. Courtney Price and the Thermador photographers captured the event so perfectly on film.

Bon appetite!

To find out more about Thermador appliances Click Here!

If you are a designer sign up to become a Star Partner with Thermador here!
Also consider entering the Kitchen Design Challenge Here!

Disclosure: "My trip was sponsored by Traditional Home Magazine and Thermador but all opinions are my own.  I believe in the quality of Thermador appliances and high recommend them to my readers,clients, friends and family."
Pin It!


  1. Lisa what a treat to enjoy this experience with you and to see all of these yummy dishes you all prepared!
    Thermador is a first class company that does everything right!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. Yes they are Karena, I love them! Happy Saturday! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Such a great post Lisa, I felt like I was right there (and I wish I was ; )
    x Maria

    1. Thank you friend! How are you this bright and cheery saturday!

  3. What! No clump ice cubes!!!??? You have no idea...I can't even drink out of a glass without a straw because the ice cubes clump together, then they break apart, then the drink comes poring down my shirt!

    1. No clumps, it fab! oxox happy sat. to you my buddy

  4. I wish I had been able to go!! I'm all about that STAR- and the drink. Haha! ❌⭕️, K

    1. you def should get to go next year! you are in the hood after all! LOL!

  5. Great event & training! I've heard great things but have never been. Definately a feast for all the senses. Way to be Traditional Home poster gal, too! Great photos.

    1. You need to go Rhonda! With all the kitchens you do!

  6. What a great recap- well done, Lisa, feel like I just relived that awesome trip- fun fun fun!!! xo

  7. Looks like you all had a great time. Fabulous E-zine!

    1. It was fun Ann! Miss you! Hope you are doing well?


I appreciate your kind comments! I enjoy your feedback! No spam, link backs or commercial advertisements please! They will be removed!