The kitchen is the centre of the home and so is never far from the news. Here is a round-up of the latest and most interesting kitchen related news:
Great British Bake Off interiors inspiration to give you and your kitchen a lift
The new series of the Great British Bake Off started last month, so there’s never been a better time to think about baking yourself a new look in the kitchen and find your inner ‘Nadiya’, last year’s popular winner.
Cool and quirky home accessories can give your kitchen a ‘Bake Off’ inspired lift and it needn’t cost a lot of dough (sorry!).
Treat yourself to something new for the kitchen that would really impress Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, even if your baking might not.
New baking style
Yes, your baking accessories can be as traditional, stylish or funky as your cakes, biccies and bread.
You can go traditional and very ‘Mother Earth’, using wood, earthenware and ceramics.
Lift the baking style stakes with a marble and metallics combination – very posh and totally gorgeous.
Bright colours mixed with classically designed kitchen accessories bring a funkier flavour to the kitchen countertop, as this kitchen lifestyle picture from HomeSense illustrates.
New kitchen additions
There are some lovely and practical additions to the kitchen that once you start using them you might wonder how you lived without them.
A very apt Bake Off egg store means no more dropped eggs and somewhere to store this vital baking ingredient.
Surely you deserve a new set of kitchen tins, including a one for all your baking recipes. There’s something very satisfying about having a whole set that matches, and this retro set ticks the popular vintage interior design look.
New ways to decorate
Options to decorate your baking creations continues to expand, a bit like a Victoria Sponge really.
Cute is the key design word here, who wouldn’t be captivated with owl-topped fairy cakes.
Almost too good to eat, the jungle decor is almost as amazing as the cake itself.
New ways to display
If you’ve spent time baking it, then it deserves the best possible ‘shop window’ product to display it – it’s almost as important as the baking itself!
Every little princess, whatever their age will be mesmerised with this Cinderella carriage display which can be used again and again.
New ways to wear
If you are taking your baking seriously then you need to look the part as well, so why not treat yourself to a new apron.
This Brilliantly British apron features iconic ‘British’ images such as the Queen on a stamp, ice cream vans, and cricket, rowing and tennis, is a great way to celebrate the success of Team GB at the Rio2016 Olympics.
Maybe one day baking might become an Olympic sport?
Mix the loves in your life, baking and dogs, with a hand printed apron, like this cute Dachshund pinnie. Other dogs such as Jack Russell and Labrador. Maybe bake your four legged friend some yummy dog biscuits?
New people to help
It’s never to young to learn the basics of baking and who knows, maybe one of the children in the family might make it onto the Great British Bake Off series in 2030, especially if they begin with this cool kids set.
New ways to make an impact
Cute, cute, cute, this GBBO inspired design features mini baking triumphs such fairy cakes, biscuits and ring doughnuts.
Now this really is celebrating the return of Great British Bake Off in sweet style. Yummy.
Now THAT’s a Grand Design! Couple who bought derelict row of garages for £400k and turned them into award-winning TV home put it on sale for £3.8M
Tim and Jo Lucas, of Kew, London, bought the plot in 2010 for £400,000 and are now looking to sell it
The build took two years and the couple moved in with their daughters Rosalind, 9, and Alex, 8 in 2014
The property was featured in an episode of Grand Designs: House of the Year on Channel 4
It was nominated for the RIBA house of the year award 2015 and has won many awards since
The family’s large kitchen diner also has a breakfast bar and lots of storage space to hide away utensils, pots and pans and crockery. Low hanging lights add to the modern feel of the rest of the house.
If you are an avid viewer of Channel 4’s Grand Designs you may remember the Lucas family home rebuild. The scrumptious kitchen and the slide for the children to get down floors were popular features.
A house that was bought for £400,000 six years ago is set to sell for £3.8 million after undergoing a major refurbishment.
Tim and Jo Lucas, of Kew, London, were looking for a family home in London for under £500,000 when they stumbled upon a plot of seven derelict garages in the Kew Green Conservation area.
They bought the plot in 2010 for £400,000 and worked with their friend and renowned architect, Stuart Piercy, to come up with the design, which features a slide from the ground floor to the basement, and get planning permission.
Building started in 2012 and the family, with daughters Rosalind, 9, and Alex, 8, moved into their dream home in 2014.
The unusual design and quality of build prompted Channel 4’s Grand Designs to feature the house in their programme.
The house was also shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA house of the year award in 2015 and has since won nine architectural and design awards, including the RIBA national award and the RIBA London award.
Mr Lucas, 42, who is a structural engineer, said: “We are very proud of the house. It’s great to get recognition for something that we put so much time and effort in to.
“I worked very closely with the architect and had a hands on role throughout.
7 Robots That Could Replace Humans in the Kitchen
From China’s robotic waiters to the world’s first robotic lettuce farm, robots are only becoming more advanced. And robots are not only waiting tables and manning farms, but making food in the kitchen too.They might even take over chef and food service jobs in the future.
Here are seven of the most sophisticated robots that can make meals, including burgers, sushi, and pizza.
The Foxbot slices perfect noodles faster than humans.
The Foxbot, a robot created by the engineers at Foxconn Technology Group, can slice noodles from dough quicker than a human. In a windshield wiper-like motion, the robotic scissor hand cuts noodles that are the same size every time.
Three of the robots work at Dazzling Noodles, an open-kitchen restaurant chain in North China’s Shanxi province.
This robot can make 400 burgers in an hour.
Momentum Machines/The University of Pennsylvania
San Francisco-based Momentum Machines has developed a robot that can slice toppings, grill a patty, and assemble and bag a burger by itself.
The 24-square-foot machine features a stamper that grinds and shapes the meat, and then transfers it to its an oven. It can reportedly crank out 400 burgers in an hour.
The startup plans to open an actual restaurant featuring the machines in San Francisco.
This robot can compile sushi in a matter of seconds.
Developed by the Japanese robotics manufacturer Kawasaki, this robot can assemble nigiri in under a minute.
One robotic arm — on the right in the GIF above — clinches the sides of the pressed bundles of rice and moves completed nigiri pieces to a wooden block. The arm on the left picks up tubes of wasabi and squeezes a little bit onto the rice. It also picks up a small vacuum, which it then uses to lift up the fish and place it on the rice.
Zume’s robots can help prepare pizza pies for delivery.
San Francisco-based startup Zume worked with Swiss robot manufacturer ABB to design a robotic system that can semi-autonomously make pizzas. Two bots currently prepare the food inside Zume’s 8,000-square-foot warehouse in Mountain View, California.
Zume’s first robot douses and spreads tomato sauce on pizza dough as it moves down a conveyor belt. The second robot has arms with a tray that slide it into the 850-degree oven. Human workers still apply the toppings and make the doughy crust.
The pizzas are available for delivery here.
The Pancake Bot can 3D print a gourmet pancake in any design.
The Pancake Bot can print pancakes in just a few minutes. Controlled by smartphone, the user chooses a pancake design, and the bot’s canister applies a few layers of dough to make it a reality. Once the design is complete, it cooks the dough on the platform to produce the finished pancake.
In 2015, the New York City-based startup raised over $460,000 on Kickstarter to bring its vision to life. Anyone can now order one for $300.
A Moley Robotics bot makes nearly 2,000 different types of meals.
YouTube/IB Times UK
Unveiled in April 2015 at a trade fair in Germany, this robotic prototype knows how to cook nearly 2,000 different meals, including crab bisque, risotto, sushi, and orange chicken. It uses two robotic arms with 129 sensors and a 3D camera to see what’s in front of it, according toTime.
Users select a recipe from the bot’s connected app and place the ingredients in front of the bot. Then the machine will do the rest: Right now, it can stir, adjust the flames on a stovetop, and pick up and pour ingredients into a pot on a burner.
Developed by Moley Robotics, a new version will be released in 2017.
The Makr Shakr bot mixes cocktails like a professional bartender.
While this robotic bartender, called Makr Shakr, doesn’t cook anything, it can make a mean martini.
To tell it what drink you want, you first need to download the app, where you can pick one of the pre-set options or create your own cocktail. After you submit your order, the robot uses its three arms to find the correct bottles and mix the drink. It slides it over to you along the bar’s carved track.
Royal Caribbean has partnered with the company behind the robot, Carlo Ratti Associati, for its cruise ship, called the Quantum of Seas, which features the bionic bartender, bumper cars, a skating rink, and a skydiving simulator.
Le Creuset no longer a preserve of middle-class kitchens as it targets the masses with QVC show
The popularity of Le Creuset pots and pans has been slowly bubbling away in the kitchens of middle-class homes for decades.
But now the high-end French brand appears to be going mass-market, as the company has given permission for its range to be sold on a discount by QVC, the shopping channel.
Department stores including Debenhams have also reduced prices of signature pieces as they face fresh competition from a string of Le Creuset boutiques popping up on high streets across Britain.
The news may delight home cooks on a budget but retail experts warned that by slashing the price of items and making them more accessible to the masses, Le Creuset risked “polluting” its brand.
Clive Black, head of research at Shore Capital, said: “Le Creuset stands for a comforting long-shelf life, quality product, but it has got to be careful not to pollute its core brand by discounting too heavily.”
He added that a recent surge in cheaper supermarket copycat Le Creuset cookware could also damage the brand’s middle-class image, saying: “If people can get 80pc of Le Creuset for 30pc of the price, that is clearly a threat.”
Le Creuset made its QVC debut last Monday on a late-night show selling a range of items, with some at knocked down prices. For example it sold a 29cm Cast Iron Roaster for £99.96, down from £110.00.
Debenhams has reduced the price of some Le Creuset items even further, for example its signature 23cm oval casserole dish is now selling for £99.99, 26pc less than its 90-day average of £134.50.
Meanwhile John Lewis said sales of Le Creuset bakeware had boomed this year with in increase of 178pc on last year, while sales of breakfast items, such as egg cups, mugs and teapots had also seen a healthy uptick in sales of 40pc.
In an apparent bid to grow its business Le Creuset has also launched a wide range of these “small ticket” items for under £20 which come in a wide spectrum of colours to appeal to a range of tastes.
Nicola Hattersley, cookshop buyer, John Lewis, said: “Le Creuset continues to be a firm favourite with our customers who are not only searching for functionality but also quality design in their kitchenware. We believe the popularity of breakfast items is due to a number of styles and colours, making it easy for customers to make a statement and inject a bit of fun into their kitchen.”
Le Creuset declined to comment.