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18 September 2013


A few years back, while preparing a marketing study for an Italian kitchen manufacturer looking to expand their presence in North America…I made a startling discovery…kitchens were not just for women.  The industry demographics were all wrong and misleading.  The popular myth that women were the driving point of all kitchen sales was an assumption.  It was believed that the prototypical kitchen consumer was female, married, 35 – 45 with one or more child.  And this was true on the whole…but what we discovered was that economics and age changed everything. 

Middle-class kitchens with children still at home were female driven and functional by nature.  Breakfast and dinner were prepared by Mom and homework was done at the kitchen table…all very “June Cleaver”, all very American.  But when it came to up-market, affluent kitchens…the tables were turned and the kitchen went from one of traditional design and functionality to one of clean and simple lines and cooking as entertainment.  And at the helm we discovered a 55 – 65 year old male, directing the design and purchase of this new playground.  Where the female, middle-class purchaser was focused on function, convenience and budget, the affluent male buyer is focused on aesthetics, technology and value. 

Once considered off limits to the American male, today’s modern kitchen has become the new workshop, a place of refuge that our fathers once spent hours locked away on weekends, tinkering, building, repairing and mostly escaping the pressures of everyday life, as well as the wife and kids. Clean modern lines, sleek glass and chrome surfaces and enough technology to launch a mission to mars…Today’s male has found a new venue for relaxation and self-expression.

In a recent UK study regarding the cooking habits of the British Male, some very startling statics have emerged to further challenge our perceptions and assumptions.   As women move in greater numbers into the workforce and in some cases taking the role of “bread-winner”, it appears that men have taken to their new domestic position with relish.
In the UK study:
  • 86% of males polled cook meals regularly
  • The average male surveyed spends up to 11 ½ hours weekly preparing and cooking meals.
  • Those interviewed said they can prepare 4 meals a week from a repertoire of 11 recipes from scratch
  • 2/3rds of those polled say they cook far more than their father’s simple weekend efforts on the barbeque.
  • 63% prepare weekday meals
  • 37% prepare kids meals and packed lunches.
  • The average male surveyed has spent up to $700 a year on kitchen gadgets and equipment.
  • 44% would rather spend money on kitchen tools than the new tech gadget
  • 28% would give up their season tickets for a new kitchen appliance.
  • The top three kitchen wish-list items:
    • New Cookware (38%)
    • A new Oven or Range (36%)
    • Quality Knife Set (35%)
 With the proliferation of cooking shows, mostly with male chefs in the leading role, 7 out of 10 males polled felt more confident in the their role as home-chef and that most felt that they were far better cooks than their female domestic partners.

To the modern male, today’s kitchen is about lifestyle and it’s about living.  If stress and anxiety are the bi-products of the modern world, then nothing is more coveted by today’s male than relaxation and contentment. 

His kitchen can be defined by the details.  When designing for the male, it’s important to speak about the intangible aspects of the kitchen we must address happiness and comfort, taste and design, exclusivity and uniqueness.  The kitchen must be viewed as a reward for his hard work, a symbol of his accomplishments.

When it comes to the kitchen, he wants the best the industry has to offer.  To him, spending more for quality is worth it and it is expected.  He believes that value is more important than price and that “brand” means security and quality. 
The products he chooses for his kitchen must be manufactured by a well-known and trusted name and is prestigious as well as exclusive.

Socially driven and status aware, exclusivity and appearance is the key to his personality.  He looks for products that are unique and will enhance the way he is perceived by others.  Branding is at the heart of his decision making, as he believes; they are the traditional indicators of quality.   It’s about the pleasure of owning an original.  It’s about exclusivity.  And ultimately, it’s about self-expression. 

Up until recently, the kitchen was designed as a functional laboratory for a single participant, the “woman of the house”, the ‘little lady’, “mom”.  It was laid out with assembly line efficiency with a window centered on the sink so mom, in her frilly apron and pearls, could watch the little ones in the back yard at play.

The evolution of the Male Centric Kitchen has grown far from its primary function of food preparation, and nurturing to that of “social arena”, serving as living room, dinning room, home-office, entertainment and media center.   More democratic than “Moms” kitchen, everyone is welcomed, if not encouraged, to participate in the Male Centric Kitchen. 

Simple and clean, open and inviting, the exclusion of all things extraneous best describes the Male Centric Kitchen.  A kitchen without boundaries or barriers, a kitchen free from conventional thought and restrictions, a kitchen created to reflect the individual.

The Male Centric Kitchen, in its new domestic role, finds itself reflecting a family style based on the sharing of traditional roles and function.  The living area embraces the kitchen as a multifunctional arena, were food is prepared, people talk, guests are entertained and the last email of the day is read and responded too…a space where the day begins and the party always ends.

10 September 2013


With today's modern kitchen consuming as much as 40% of all household energy, energy conscious homeowners will truly appreciate the earth-friendly Renaissance 36" and 30" Induction Cooktops by DACORUsing 90% of the energy they generate for cooking, induction outperforms both standard electric and gas cooktops in both speed and energy conservation, thus making induction the fastest and most energy efficient form of cooking on the planet today.

The Renaissance Induction Cooktop is the perfect blend of sophisticated styling, advanced engineering and quality craftsmanship. The Renaissance Induction Cooktop uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate iron molecules in the cookware to heat the cooking vessel. Each induction element, hidden below the ceramic-glass surface, heats pots and pans quickly and consistently with precise control.

The SenseTech™ Induction Technology automatically detects the presence and size of your cookware and matches energy transference with no residual heat loss, keeping cookware handles and the kitchen cooler. Unlike traditional cooking surfaces that heat up and stay hot long after the meal has been prepared, the glass-ceramic surface quickly cools down once the pot or pan has been removed or turned off.

The Renaissance Induction Cooktop by DACOR is the perfect choice for the modern, energy efficient kitchen.  Designed and manufactured in California, the 36” Induction cooktop with 5 cooking zones and the 4 zone 30” model areavailable in black ceramic glass (as shown with optional Raised Ventilation).  The Renaissance Induction Cooktops are available through authorized Dacor retailers nationwide.

Founded in 1965, the California based DACOR, is a family owned and operated US manufacturer of luxury kitchen appliances.  Dedicated to quality, craftsmanship and innovation, DACOR has integrated fashion, function and technology to create unique kitchen products that are built to reflect the lifestyle and needs of the homeowner.  Never one to follow, Dacor continues to push the boundaries of cooking technology, challenging old norms, blazing new trails and setting new benchmarks.

07 July 2013

Dacor at Dwell on Design

Dwell on Design (DOD) 2013, the "uber" home and lifestyle show held each June at the Los Angeles Convention Center has come and gone.  Although I did not have the opportunity to attend this year, due to personal reasons, I had the honor and privilege to design and specify the booth for DACOR, the California based luxury appliance manufacturer.

The creative brief set out by DACOR was simple and to the point.  The 20 x 30 display area would be divided into two distinct kitchen environments representing the “yin and yang” of the DACOR production selection with a focus on their latest innovations and product offerings.

Innovation has been the foundation of Dacor since the early 60’s when founder, Stan Joseph, created the first self-contained ventilation system for the home kitchen.  This was followed by the revolutionary in-door barbeque, only to be topped by the first 30” wall oven, which now has become an industry standard.

Not one to rest on the laurels and triumphs of others, Steve Joseph, grandson of Stan and current President of DACOR, wanted to break with tradition and showcase DACOR’s new products in a kitchen setting so people could truly see the appliances in a real life setting.  Steve wanted a contemporary presentation that would reflect the DWELL on DESIGN theme of “Living in the Modern World”. 

The space was divided into two 15 x 20 spaces, one to feature the up-market, Discovery Collection and the other, the value-centric Distinctive Collection.  Instead of using kitchen cabinetry, we decided to create a kitchen landscape to use as a backdrop for the appliances.  The focus was to be on the appliances and not on the cabinetry itself.  So we created fronts only with no working doors or drawers.  For the Discovery side we selected a dark walnut Formica with a Formica Carrara marble counter.  For the Distinctive we selected the Formica Sol Yellow (3209) with a soft Wheat countertop.

Celebrity Chef and TV host, Brian Malarkey performed at a special presentation for members of the press and the A+D community.  So for the Discovery side we created the feel of a large, affluent kitchen with island.  The island would act as center stage for Brian to perform his culinary magic, so we included a live, 36” Renaissance Induction cCooktop.  The island included a 30” Renaissance Warming Drawer and 30” Discovery Micro-wave Drawer.  On the back wall to the right, we included the new Discovery IQ wall-oven with integrated Android tablet operating system that can be operated remotely from a smart-phone or tablet.  To the left we showcased the Discovery 48” French Door Refrigerator, as well as a built-in Discovery WineStation with under-counter wine storage.  The center-piece was a 48” Discovery Dual-Fuel Range with 48” Discovery Decorative Hood.

On the Distinctive side we created a loft-style kitchen with island.  This presentation featured the new Renaissance Induction Range with touch-controls and flush handle, giving the range a clean and contemporary look and feel.  To the left we displayed the 36” Renaissance French Door, Stainless Steel Refrigerator with Ice + Water in the Door.  On the right we included a stacked combination of Microwave, Single Oven and Warming Drawer.  On the Island we selected the Renaissance 30” Induction Cooktop with integrated Renaissance Raised-Vent element.

From all reports and feedback, it appears that DACOR at Dwell on Design was a huge success and that the product and presentation was well received by all.  To experience Dacor at Dwell, please visit the DACOR Face book page for additional photos and videos or check out regarding the all the products mentioned above

02 April 2013


Imagine a range without boundaries or barriers, an environment free from conventional thought and restrictions, a range created to reflect the needs and lifestyle of today’s modern homeowner.   Dacor, the luxury appliance manufacturer, based in Southern California, has broken all the rules with the introduction of the Renaissance 30” Induction Range, which brings design and high technology together in a seamless ballet of form and function.  

Only Dacor could combine a state-of-the-art induction cooking surface, the fastest, safest and most efficient form of cooking, with the epicurean experience of a Four-Part Pure Convection™ Oven, add a glass touch-control panel with your choice of handles and you have a stainless steel range that will reflect your style and taste.

The Renaissance 30” Induction Range is the perfect blend of sophisticated styling, advanced engineering and quality craftsmanship.  The Induction Range uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate iron molecules to heat the cooking vessel itself.  Unlike traditional cooking surfaces that heat up and stay hot long after the meal has been prepared, the glass-ceramic surface of the Induction element stays cool to the touch as it is unaffected by the magnetic field.  Each induction element, hidden below the ceramic-glass surface, heats pots and pans quickly and consistently with precise control.

In addition, the induction range comes standard with Dacor’s exclusive Four-Part Pure Convection™ System.  The convection element, baffle, fan, and filter allow home chefs to cook with hot-air for even and consistent cooking without hotspots while allowing you to cook multiple dishes without flavor transfer.

If all of the above wasn't enough, Dacor allows you to personalize your range by selecting one of two handle options, the professional Epicure® stainless steel handle, or the proprietary Flush (as shown) stainless steel handle, which gives the range a clean contemporary look.

For almost 50 years, Dacor, three generations, family owned and operated, has been  responsible for many of the innovations that have changed the way we live and cook in the modern kitchen, 

10 January 2013

Dacor's Discovery IQ, the future as it should be!

“Good morning Kevin” comes a disembodied voice, sounding very much like HAL, the self-aware computer from Stanley Kubrick’s, 2001, A Space Odyssey. “You're up early today…did you sleep well?” “Just fine Kitchen” I respond, “I have an early meeting at the office…so I’m in a hurry”. “Coffee or Cappuccino?” comes the voice…”Coffee please” says I…”Cereal or eggs?” asks the Kitchen.  “Just toast this morning” I answer…”CNN or Sponge Bob” as the screen on the Discovery IQ Smart-Oven by DACOR comes to life…and so my day begins.  Science Fiction?  No, just a glimpse of things to come.

Just imagine for a moment in the not so distant future when your “Wi-Fi” enabled home will permit your dishwasher to call you at work to let you know that it has sprang a leak…but not to worry, it has already informed the service company and they will be out between 9 and 12 on Tuesday. 

Or maybe you are caught in rush-hour traffic and you will be 30 minutes late for dinner…so you call your oven from your smart phone to recalibrate the cooking time on your roast to be ready at 8:30.  Even better your oven will be able to connect with the manufacturer to self-diagnose it-self as well as down-load new recipes and cooking instruction

With this new networking application your oven, via the refrigerator, will be able to take inventory and place an order for all pre-programmed items to be replenished automatically with an online grocery service.  It will also order a few additional items that will be needed for tonight’s dinner party.  It will even make a few wine-pairing suggestions for the evenings meal.

Networked appliances will be the next big thing to hit your kitchen…with smart phone  technology slowly creeping into all of our home electronics…it will be just a matter of time before the kitchen, once again becomes the central core of family life.

Dacor, the sixty year old, Southern California based luxury appliance manufacturer is no longer imagining the future as much as they are defining the future with the launch of their Discovery IQ smart-oven with Android OS based, integrated tablet controller. 
The Discovery IQ Controller with interactive cooking application and guide can also be accessed remotely by the chef throughout the home with the use of their own Wi-Fi enabled tablet or smart phone. The IQ eliminates the guesswork associated with preparing popular dishes and family recipes by way of a pre-programmed guide.  It enables users to prepare a wide range of dishes to perfection with the touch of a finger. Simply select the desired recipe from the display menu, insert the dish, initiate the program and relax as the oven takes care of the rest. Additionally, when the desired cook time has been reached, the oven will place the dish on warming mode, keeping food warm until ready to serve.

With Dacor’s proprietary IQ application, the kitchen takes on a life of its own. Once a dish is ready to serve, the IQ will notify the chef via text message or push notification. Should the wall oven encounter a problem or require maintenance, IQ will notify the owner with an error message and an automated report will be sent to Dacor for troubleshooting. To ensure optimal IQ and oven performance levels, automatic system updates and self-diagnostics will be downloaded directly to the IQ Controller via Wi-Fi from the Dacor server.

“The Discovery IQ is truly a revolutionary wall oven controller that has raised the bar for cooking convenience and performance, by combining oven technology with the insight of the IQ Controller and cooking application, Dacor is empowering the novice cook to perform at expert levels with a simple swipe of a finger. With control features such as Guided Cooking, Quick Start Guide, My Recipe Box, Slow Cook Mode, and Personal Recipe Storage, home chefs are almost guaranteed to cook all their favorite dishes to perfection.

The family calendar on the Discovery IQ smart-oven will update everyone’s calendar, from Mom’s computer at work to sis’s cell phone.  It will be able to download and update brother’s ipod with all of his favorites and Dad can check on the solar collectors on the roof as well as the energy consumption for the entire house…he will even be able to turn off lights from his tablet.  It will keep everyone informed with all of the days events and activities, including soccer practice and dental appointments…It will even remind Grandma to take her pills and Grandpa that he has a 7:30 Tee-Time. 

As for the other appliances…as they are connected to the internet…they will receive electronic up-grades and they can self diagnose problems and download cures. One day your kitchen will read your personal electro-magnetic field when you enter the kitchen and begin to brew your favorite beverage and up-date your portfolio, all while you wait for your bagel to be toasted. 

Eventually the kitchen itself will become one huge, connected appliance that reads your lifestyle patterns, anticipates your needs for food, lighting, entertainment, and cleanup, and performs functions automatically...all without an explicit human command.

Dacor believes that the modern kitchen will continue to be the heart, if not the hub, of the modern home, an essential element in our daily lives that touches and affects us both physically and emotionally, a place where we seek communion, rejuvenation, and sanctuary. Of all the items we will choose for our home, today’s kitchen will provide us with a unique outlet for creation and self-expression.

Dacor's Discovery IQ oven, available in both a double and single configuration, will be on the market by June 2013