KBB Innovation Awards: A closer look at the winners
By Linda Parker
After the distractions of lock-down, working from home and the lure of the great outdoors, we’re going back a couple of months to take a closer look at the winners and some of the finalists of KBB Innovation Awards, sponsored by Blum…
The Natufia growing system won the People’s Choice award; it’s a kitchen-to-table method of growing produce at home, using non-GMO and organic seeds. The system starts off with a nursery tray providing the optimum light and temperature conditions. Seedlings are transferred from the tray to ceramic cups or microgreen plates, which are then automatically watered and supplied with nutrients. It’s all completely automated, and of course, it looks stunning too. Perhaps a tad science fiction, but undeniably beautiful and ecologically sound. The concept is to provide plants that taste as they should, without the influence or pollution of pesticides or herbicides. Seedpods available include six types of basil, dill, various types of lettuce, marjoram or there are also selection packs such as Herbal Infusions and Leafy Greens.
The simplest way of explaining the system, which ideally needs a Wi-Fi connection to allow remote control and monitoring of the unit is that is needs a water and electricity supply, all controlled by the on-board computer system.
It’s definitely been added to my shopping wish-list, perhaps alongside a new kitchen to show it off!
The Judge’s Winner was the Wirquin Neo Zero Leak trap … perhaps not quite as glamorous or photogenic as the Natufia system, but an extremely worthy winner!
The system guarantees absolutely no leaks within a system, with the Wirquin Neo Air option replacing traditional air admittance valves.
The Miele Generation 7000 VitroLine Dialog Oven system made the final list too. The oven, developed over the last seven years offers enthusiastic and serious cooks a new way to cook. Each Dialog Oven has MChef Technology using two antennas that transfer and receive energy across RF frequencies. The antennas determine how much energy has been absorbed, enabling different items to cook at different temperatures and intensities. For example, vegetables do not require as much energy as a piece of meat to cook thoroughly, so the Dialog oven will transfer less energy to the vegetables throughout the cooking process and constantly adjust the energy transference as needed. The speed with which energy is delivered is controlled via the intensity levels – slow, gentle or fast depending on what is being cooked. The energy distributed via the antennas penetrates the entire body of the food, and therefore rather than cooking food from the outside-in, like conventional ovens, it instead cooks the food in its entirety – Miele calls this volumetric cooking. Sounds amazing – keep an eye out for any opportunities to attend a Miele cooking demonstration!
The Novy Hob + Hood Panorama 88cm in black, model 1821 is a sleek glass four-zone induction hob with an integrated downdraft extractor. The extractor tower descends behind the cooking area of the hob and is concealed when not in use. It rises to variable height levels – up to 30cm max. The cooking/work flow is optimised as the four 200mm x 240mm zones are laid out in a panoramic manner for ease of use. The minimum noise level for the extractor is 37dB and it has a maximum level of 57dB. The PANORAMA PRO has an auto-function – place a pan in position and the power activates, touch AUTO and the extractor raises up 20cm and then adjusts automatically to the extraction level required as it detects odours and vapours.
One of the major advantages of such a pairing is the design flexibility it creates – there is no need to accommodate a separate overhead or wall-hung extraction system. Space loss is kept to a minimum as drawers of up to 40cm depth can still be specified to sit in front of the system, and ducted ventilation can be directed to an outdoor area or fitted in a recirculation mode – often chosen for super-energy-efficient buildings.
The unique Spazio hood by Falmec is a very good looking object indeed, designed to make the most of, and use the space around the working appliance in a logical and intelligent way. The additional options, as well as the extractor itself, include frosted glass shelves for storage and display, a channel with hanging hooks for tools and utensils, and an integral LED lighting system to illuminate the work surface and provide convenient task lighting.
The system has USB sockets to power and charge devices such as tablets and/or phones, enabling the chef to select recipes and info online – ideal for trying out new recipes! Available in Black or Steel, and utilising Falmec’s Circle.Tech system for efficient odour removal and noise reduction.
Lastly, we’re taking a closer look at the Cube system from Rotpunkt. The cubes provide planning options for appliances, as the height of each cube can be adapted to specific appliances, allowing Rotpunk to ensure a perfect fit with made-to-measure appearance. The Cubes can include standard shelves, internal drawers, and positions for small appliances too. There are three variants; Floating Cubes are wall-hung and can be used to make a focal point feature on an otherwise bare wall; Deck Mounted Cubes can become ‘part of the furniture’ and installed as part of the furniture or on a work surface; Interposed Cubes can fit between other items of furniture, such as tall units.
Cubes come in Black XT or Snow XT (where XT means Extreme Matt) finishes, as well as an innovative glass finish in Black or Snow. The XT Matt finish is anti-fingerprint, highly chemical and UV resistant. Cubes come in single, double and triple configurations so can be used to create a bank of appliances.