The luxury kitchen – the new heart of the home
Where the Hong Kong kitchen was once a separate room used for food preparation, inspired by celebrity chefs as role models, changes in social and lifestyle activities and increasing health awareness, along with the impact of technological advances have helped to elevate the kitchen to a new status.
From state-of-the-art ovens, high-end appliances, custom-made cabinets and temperature controlled wine cellars; sophisticated luxury kitchens have become the hub of many luxury homes, according to Janie Lee, head of Marketing at Kitchen Infinity which specialises in kitchen design as well as supplying cabinets and leading European brand kitchen appliances from German company Gaggenau and Italian firm Smeg.
‘’As people become more health conscious and enjoy entertaining at home they are looking to create premium kitchens that go beyond function,’’ Lee says. For instance, people are paying more attention to what they eat and how they prepare and cook the freshest ingredients. They are also choosing kitchen appliances that offer precise humidity settings and temperature controls. A good example, says Lee, is top-end European designed convection and steam ovens. ‘’They speed up cooking but the food tastes fresher and retains the healthy vitamins,’’ explains Lee. ‘’High-tech appliances have evolved to meet the changing trends for cooking and entertaining at home,’’ she adds.
There is also a trend towards the ‘’open kitchen’’ that frequently features wine cellars and top-of-the-range kitchen appliances matched with designer detailing that form part of the overall interior design look and feel. Lee says in larger homes it is not uncommon to find two kitchens, configured in a western and a Chinese-style arrangement.
Because the premier home kitchen now benefits from equipment that was once the sole preserve of the professional chef, the layout of a kitchen can be tailor-made to match designs that are traditional, transitional, or modern. The range of kitchen cabinet materials and choice of finishes is also increasing. ‘’In many homes the kitchen has become an important part of the ‘art-of-living’, where people are looking for design-orientated touch points that bring together the culinary and entertainment experience,’’ says Lee who cites the example of sophisticated coffee machines that can be preset with personal preferences to produce the perfect cup of coffee at the push of a button. However, Lee suggests when planning a new kitchen or remodelling an existing one, it is wise to talk to a specialist kitchen designer who can make recommendations based on design and function preferences.
For the gastronomic-minded who want to improve their cooking skills, Kitchen Infinity partners with HKT Premier to offer ‘’Cooking in Style’’ sessions at Kitchen Infinity’s culinary studio, where participants are able to gain hands-on experience using Gaggenau appliances. With growing interest in perfecting cooking methods and using high-end appliances, Lee says. Kitchen Infinity frequently collaborates with Michelin Star chefs and the World top 50 chef partners to offer cooking classes. At a recent ‘’Cooking in Style’’ event, participants were able to learn about the Italian cuisine while working along-side Ken Lau, managing director and awarding-winning chief chef at Palco Ristorante who previously a chef at Gaddi’s, Chesa and the Verandah at the Peninsula. ‘’Learning from accomplished chefs can help to improve participants cooking skills to a level where they are able to create their own haute cuisine gastronomic experiences at home,’’ says Lee.