Month: February 2017

Monogram Designer Summit 2017

srfd_monogram_designsummit

It’s almost here! On Tuesday, February 28, Monogram will hold their second annual designer summit in Louisville, Kentucky, at the Speed Art Museum. We are bringing together more than 80 top home and kitchen designers from around the country to the Monogram Designer Summit 2017. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their insights and opinions with their colleagues and the Monogram product development team to influence the future of exceptional appliance design.

Follow along during the summit on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #monogramdesignersummit or #creatingempathy. Looking forward to a great learning experience for all!

#Empathy

Written by Paula Kennedy, CMKBD, with Timeless Kitchen Design This weekend I just finished being an extra for a few commercials with the Improv Alive group that I’ve been practicing with for the last three years. Whenever I tell people I’ve been taking Improv classes, they say, “Oh that must be fun!” But honestly it’s more about getting out of my…

KBIS Recap

Written by John Nichols, Monogram Marketing Manager

Each year I look forward to starting the year fresh, full of new ideas and excited about the possibilities in the year to come. There is one industry show that embodies everything I enjoy about starting a new year – the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The show continues to raise the bar each year. It was once again co-located with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show as part of Design and Construction Week. This year’s show was held in Orlando, Florida, and, as expected, it did not disappoint.

Of course, there are always plenty of new trends and technologies announced and launched as part of KBIS. This year two themes stood out as being incorporated in the exhibits, product offerings, and the general buzz with the trade community.

The first theme was home control. Home control includes the advancements in home automation or making homes “smarter.” Manufacturers continue to find ways to incorporate smart technology into more products, simplify controls, and find more cost-effective ways to integrate it into their products. The primary way automation is being integrated into the home is through products that operate by gestures and proximity sensors, and especially, products connected through WiFi to operating systems and other products in the home. Ultimately, the idea is that products can predict your needs before you have to dictate or manually act to utilize a product. Some of the best examples I saw at the show, include:

  • Pfister Auris – a voice-controlled faucet that offers filtered water and precise measurements of water at specific temperatures, which are perfect for cooking.

pfisterauris

  • U by Moen – creates a customized shower experience via your smartphone. You have the ability to start the shower, customize the temperature, and even get alerts when your shower is ready.

moenu

The second theme that continued throughout the show was kitchens moving toward cleaner designs that focus on efficient living. The clean designs focus on getting rid of clutter and competing lines, and hiding appliances with cabinet panels or cabinet configurations. These kitchens still infused life and fun into the kitchen design with use of color and combining finishes in cabinetry and countertops.

  • Wellborn Cabinet showcased their Best of KBIS kitchen entry. They also launched their new line of Aspire cabinetry that is full-access frameless product.
Wellborn Cabinet KBIS Display

Wellborn Cabinet KBIS Display

  • Häfele’s Tab collection of cabinetry hardware allows the clean lines of the cabinetry to be the kitchen showcase. The hardware can be top mounted on drawers and bottom or side mounted on swinging cabinets. With a variety of colors and finishes, some designs make the hardware almost invisible.
  • Poggenpohl showcased a new line of chrome-plated lacquers in 14 colors, including green, gray, and blue that offers a clean look with a splash of fun.
  • Masterbrand Cabinetry showcased their Omega brand of cabinetry that integrates different finishes into the kitchen.
MasterBrand Cabinets KBIS booth

MasterBrand Cabinets KBIS booth

Hopefully you enjoyed the show as much as I did. Maybe you got a few ideas or a new perspective. I might have come away with a new project – the show just about pushed me over the top on a kitchen remodel. I hope my wife doesn’t mind!

GE Cafe Black Slate appliances at KBIS

GE Cafe Black Slate appliances at KBIS

Chef Jon: Sausage-ologist

Written by Georgie Vetter, Product Specialist at the Monogram Design Center

Monogram Design Center’s Chef Jon was in the kitchen this week making Nuremberg sausage, a traditional German bratwurst, from scratch for a delicious big game party today. Having grown up hunting with his family in Northern Michigan, Jon is a pro in all things meat related. Making sausage always brings Jon back home. He typically makes different types of homemade sausage a couple of times a year. Luckily, the Chicago team was able to witness the process and we learned that homemade sausage is fairly easy to make. Not to mention, much better for you.

First things first: safety and sanitization. Jon’s number one rule for making sausage is to keep everything cold. If there is any down time during the process, whether you’re taking a break or whipping up another batch, keeping your meat in the refrigerator is going to prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Keeping the meat cold will also prevent the fats from rendering, which will be useful in the grinding process. He also recommends wearing gloves during preparation, this makes for a quicker process in general and not having to be concerned with having raw meat all over your hands.

Cuts of meat: Jon’s recipe calls for brisket, pork shoulder and belly.

Seasoning: Jon’s recipe calls for: salt, ground white pepper, ground mace (the aril that covers the nutmeg seed), ground nutmeg, and marjoram. Pretty simple!

Preparation:

Step 1: cube the meat into 1- inch pieces.

Step 2: Season your meat. Seasoning meat before grinding is important because during the grinding process, the different cuts of meat and seasoning will be combined more thoroughly if they have been mixed together once already before grinding.

Step 3: Grind your sausage using a meat grinder twice. Next, you are ready for casing!

Chef Jon hard at work making Nuremberg sausage at the Chicago Monogram Design Center.

Chef Jon hard at work making Nuremberg sausage at the Chicago Monogram Design Center.

Casing the sausage: Jon used natural casings sourced from a local Chicago market that were packed and cured in salt. Sausage casings can be tough to find in certain areas, so you can always order good quality casings online. Before stuffing, you must soak the cured casings in water for about 30 minutes. Jon uses a countertop tool made specifically for stuffing the casings. Alternatively, collagen casings are easily found online too.

photo2

What to do with Nuremberg Sausage: Chef Jon says the best way to prepare a Nuremberg sausage is to heat it up in a frying pan with some butter, whip up (or purchase!) some sauerkraut, and serve on a toasted bun.

 Yum. Something tells me tonight’s gathering at Chef Jon’s is unbeatable!