Category: Technology

Make Restaurant-Worthy Pizza at Home with Monogram

Those looking for pizzeria-quality performance in an oven specially handcrafted for the home can achieve the perfect slice with the 30″ Monogram® Pizza Oven.

Now available in two striking styles, this indoor electric oven makes a bold statement with its dimensional design and lower vent system, or it can blend seamlessly into the lines of surrounding cabinetry for those who favor a subtle façade.

Introduced in 2016, the Monogram Pizza Oven combines the crisping performance of traditional coal- and wood-burning ovens with the precision and elegance of a sophisticated stainless-steel appliance. From touch LCD controls preset for multiple cooking options (including flatbreads) to perfectly placed electric heating zones, every aspect of this elegant pie maker is expressly designed to meet or exceed the capabilities of the best restaurant pizza ovens.

“From a simple four-cheese crowd-pleaser to a gourmet Neapolitan masterpiece, if you can imagine it, you can make it in your own kitchen with Monogram,” said Greg Delmonico, Monogram product merchandising manager. “And now, thanks to our top engineers and craftsmen, we are proud to offer two ultra-sleek designs that can add appeal to any design aesthetic.”

This innovative pizza oven is just another way Monogram is helping home chefs Elevate Everything™ in the kitchen, from its classic look to its ability to turn out perfectly crispy, bubbly, tasty crust. Developed through FirstBuild™, GE Appliances’ model microfactory of inspired appliance ideas, the Monogram Pizza Oven boasts other notable features, including:

  • Simple Installation

Fits a standard 30-inch wide cabinet cutout and requires no additional ductwork or ventilation.

  • Connected Capabilities

WiFi-enabled for use with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Drop. Additionally, timers and mode changes can be made in an instant using the mobile app.

  • Matchless Quality

Each component is handcrafted by true masters of their art down to the last detail.

“From its brushed stainless exterior to its intuitive controls, there’s a higher level of refinement that’s evident in our indoor pizza oven,” Delmonico said. “Monogram aims to impress with every detail, and we’re confident owners will agree we’ve delivered beyond expectations.”

Sneak Peek: Monogram Kitchen Island

Written by Courtney Kruer, Commercial Development Program – Monogram

Need another reason to believe that Monogram is Elevating Everything in the kitchen? We have it for you. Meet the exclusive Monogram Kitchen Island that was debuted at KBIS this January.

Monogram transformed a typical meeting room into a retro, speakeasy-styled, VIP lounge with the lit up Kitchen Island as the focal point of the dimly lit space. The brand went all out with Flapper girls, signature cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and of course, a cop to break up the “prohibited” speakeasy party at the end of each exclusive session.

So what exactly is the Monogram Kitchen Island? Brought to the KBIS show as a concept piece to get feedback on how we can perfect this luxury item before the launch, it’s a multi-functional 3.6’ x 7.87’ sheet of the finest black glass-ceramic that is much more than just your standard kitchen island. The elegant Monogram Kitchen Island includes fully integrated induction cooking technology. Therefore, the entire surface is seamless, but has the Monogram five burner induction cooktop with glide-touch controls built right into part of the sheet of glass. This means you can also utilize the WiFi capabilities of our exclusive First Build induction cooking probe for sous vide cooking to achieve perfect cooking results every time you cook. The Kitchen Island also includes a warming zone built into the island that’s perfect for entertaining your guests, whether it’s warming appetizers or keeping your chocolate at the perfect temperature for fondue.

Since all of this technology is seamless, when you’re not cooking, the entire surface acts as your island countertop, workspace, or favorite spot for poker night with friends. However, it doesn’t just have induction cooking technology built-in. The 6 mm thick glass ceramic also has wireless charging capabilities in spots throughout it. So not only can you charge your phone by laying it on the wireless port, but it can also effortlessly power your cordless countertop appliances that are becoming more and more common in everyday consumer’s homes. Talk about wowing your guests in so many ways with something that none of them have.

While this debut of our Monogram Kitchen Island was a concept, we plan on launching the luxury appliance by 2019 due to the overwhelmingly positive response we got at KBIS from designers, dealers, builders and more. Stay tuned for the final launch details on exactly how big it will be, what color options will be available, what shapes it may come in, and what other exciting capabilities could get added to the centerpiece that could Elevate Everything in the kitchens of tomorrow.

Learn about Universal Design

Curious about Universal Design? Listen to this Dave Fox podcast to learn how Universal Design and Monogram’s WiFi Connected Smart Appliances help you think about designing your new kitchen – for you, older members in your family, and children with needs.

Susan Cozzi, Monogram Designer Engagement Leader—East Region, and Nicole Bursh, GE Appliances Area Sales Manager, joined Gary Demos, President of Dave Fox Design-Build Remodelers in Columbus, Ohio, to talk about how you can create the most modern of kitchens or the most traditional using Universal Design principles, all while ensuring that your kitchen will be as functional as possible by as many people as possible, regardless of their ability—the true hub of your home.

Over 17,000 listeners heard the podcast when it aired on iHeartRADIO. Now it’s your chance to learn how a Monogram Smart Kitchen with voice activation using Amazon Echo and Google Home, and an app on your smartphone, can elevate everything in your kitchen.

 

Hotel Room of the Future Winners Announced

Earlier this year two rule-breaking Louisville-based companies and Monogram partners, 21c Museum Hotels and FirstBuild, joined forces to transform the hotel guest experience through The Hotel Room of the Future Challenge. They asked designers, makers, engineers, artists and more to submit their inventive, functional designs to create the ultimate hotel stay. After receiving dozens of submissions and spending countless hours evaluating each and every idea, the judges (with the help of community voting) have come to a conclusion.

Curious about the winners? Visit the FirstBuild blog to learn about the winners and their exciting concepts.

 

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Connect with your kitchen

In today’s world, we are all connected in one way or another to everything around us, so why not be connected in your kitchen as well.  Thanks to Monogram’s WiFi Connect, you can talk to your appliances from anywhere – giving you the ability to monitor and control your appliances with your smartphone.

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How will Monogram’s connected appliances help you? So many ways!

Ovens:

  • Preheat your oven, no matter where you are
  • Set timer alerts when you are baking or roasting
  • Change the oven temperature from anywhere

Dishwashers:

  • See cycle time remaining
  • Lock and unlock door
  • Track pods and rinse aid
  • Get alerts if something is preventing you from the best wash

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Learn more and share your thoughts on the NKBA Connect blog today.

The Smart Kitchen Evolution

Written by Molly Ford, Monogram Experience Center intern

We have all seen the home become increasingly “smarter,” or more device-central, but large kitchen appliances have not kept up at the rate that smaller technologies have developed. The heart of the home is finally seeing some long-anticipated upgrades that bring the kitchen up to speed with the rest of the house. The idea of connecting intuitive technologies with powerful appliances creates an impressive duo- with relatively untapped potential.

The Amazon Echo has been on the scene for about a year, and has rapidly grown from a novelty gadget to a hub for home-automation. The Echo is a voice-enabled wireless speaker – think of a stand-alone Siri with a longer list of skills. Here at the Monogram Experience Center, we wanted to see how we could use the Echo in our day-to-day work and personal lives. We have made “Alexa,” the Echo’s trigger name, our assistant chef, secretary, entertainer, and more.

Alexa will provide us with meal ideas, food storage information, beer and wine pairings, measurement calculations, create a synced grocery list, among a constantly growing list of skills. These are fun to play with, and legitimately helpful, but the real “smart kitchen” came when we connected the Echo with our wall ovens.  We can control these ovens with our voice saying something like,

“Alexa, turn on the upper oven to 350 degrees and set the timer for 45 minutes.”

Alexa will confirm and immediately start the oven. Similarly, we can control the range hood and lights, and the team is constantly collaborating with developers to add kitchen elements to blend appliances with devices.

Voice-enabled appliances are a just a peek at how technology could change the way we cook and spend time in the kitchen, and we are eager to see the next convenience we can offer our customers.  The program is still in it’s infancy, but we expect to see everything but the kitchen sink connected to our Echo soon – and who knows, they might throw that in too!

The Amazon Echo and our Monogram wall oven in the Monogram Experience Center.

The Amazon Echo and our Monogram wall oven in the Monogram Experience Center.

Lou’s views: observations from a retiring Design Director

Written by Lou Lenzi, retired GE Appliances Director of Design

This will be my last “Save Room” blog entry. After 36 years in the Design profession, it’s time to down-shift and pursue my hobbies and interests on a full-time basis. Like most designers, this will involve trying to create something of beauty, only on my time this time. I’m delighted that my successor, Marc Hottenroth, a 24 year veteran of the GE Appliances Design team, will assume the role of Design Director by the time you read this.

Before signing off, I’d humbly like to share some observations on the state-of-our-art, along with some predictions.

Technology: a Healthy Dialog

While connected appliances are in full bloom in the kitchen and laundry room, connectivity itself is still in its infancy. Yes, we’re providing new levels of convenience and performance through our WiFi enabled products, but the next meaningful wave has yet to hit the shore. That will come when we fully integrate kitchen design, rich information services, and connected appliances. What’s the “killer app”, to use an old phrase? I believe it will come in the form of quick and convenient healthy meal planning and preparation. Let’s face it, reducing the cost of health care in the US begins with our diet, and as key influencers in the kitchen, it’s time we all step-up and play a role here.

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The interactive multimedia induction cooktop makes healthy meal prep easy

 

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The interactive multimedia induction cooktop makes healthy meal prep easy

 

We will also begin talking to our appliances. And unlike adolescent children, they will dutifully listen and respond. The cost of voice recognition technology is coming down and accuracy is improving, helping to ease access to those amazing technologies and features we’ve been incorporating into our products. Why press a bunch of buttons or dive into a multi-layered menu system when you can simply say “heat the upper oven to 350 degrees” or tell the water heater you’ll need more hot water for the guests coming to visit this weekend. For those nay-sayers convinced we’ll never talk to machines, it wasn’t too long ago that people said we’d never read our favorite authors on a piece of glass because it wasn’t as cozy or inviting as the printed page.

The disappearing kitchen

Just as the kitchen became the focal point of our home, so too will it look less like a kitchen. Certain appliances will begin to “disappear” – first through finishes and user interfaces that blend into the surrounding cabinetry, followed by appliances that become the cabinetry. Small form-factor housing and alternative living patterns – think multi-generational households – will also contribute to us rethinking the industrial design of our products, transitioning from a machine-art to a furniture aesthetic.

Where's the kitchen?

Where’s the kitchen?

The mobile home, built by a robot?

Today’s mobile workforce, coupled with our desire to sample a variety of living environments means we’ll delay owning a home and being tethered to a mortgage. That’s not to say we won’t seek out well thought-out, intellectually stimulating and comfortable communities, we’ll just rent a home in that community, then simply move on to the next experience whenever we’re ready for a change.

Home construction building methods and techniques will dramatically change. The skilled-trade workforce that home builders have historically relied upon has dramatically shrunk since the great recession and they are not likely to return to the levels necessary to support traditional stick-built style home construction. Modular and automated factory-based manufacturing processes will finally take root after many false starts, followed by the emergence of large, on-site 3D printing techniques. After 200 years, the stick-built home, along with its associated material waste and inefficiencies, may be a thing of the past.

I hope these thoughts will stimulate further discussion among the Monogram design community. It’s been an absolute joy to chat with you.

 

 

Coffee Time

Written by Wilberto Badilla, FirstBuild Digital Storyteller

Every year, especially in the warmer months, coffee drinkers look towards the colder counterpart of their usual cup of joe: iced coffee. In many cases, iced coffee is just older coffee that is poured over ice. In recent years, a challenger to the cold coffee throne has emerged and its name is “cold brew.” Cold brew has gained popularity exponentially in the last four years, and a simple trend analysis shows that it has no signs of slowing down.

So what is cold brew? Cold brew is coffee that is brewed for extended periods of time using room-temperature water. The result is a more balanced, less acidic, and in general, different flavored beverage to both hot coffee and iced coffee.

As mentioned, the traditional process is an extended one, often taking 24+ hours to brew a batch of cold brew coffee. This presents a problem for those out there who want their coffee “now” – as we’ve grown accustomed to – as well as for coffee shops who essentially have to estimate the next day’s demand for the cool beverage.

Enter FirstBuild and the Prisma Cold Brew Coffee Maker. Prisma makes cold brew coffee in 10 minutes, a drastically shortened timeframe to the more traditional 24 hour brew time. FirstBuild engineers have developed a vacuum pump system inside Prisma’s base that degasifies the water within the brewing chamber and increases the solubility of coffee compounds.

To this point, being able to brew a batch of cold brew right when you want it has been impossible. Although Prisma is still a prototype, it does function and produces great-tasting cold brew coffee. In fact, Prisma took home 2nd place in the “Best New Product” category at CoffeeFest, two months ago.

Prisma was released via crowdfunding on Indiegogo in August, which allows interested individual to get in early in exchange for a lower price than the eventual $299 retail price.

To learn more about Prisma or to sign-up for future updates, visit our website!

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