Co-founder of Hub Kitchens, Daniele Brutto brings years of experience from the Italian furniture industry to inform a combined approach of aesthetics and technology. Today he discusses the latest technological advances, and the right way to use them…
How has the latest technology in manufacturing influenced the latest kitchen surface trends?
“The recent development of super realistic ceramic prints has increased the natural worktop trend even further. The latest faux marble and stone ceramic materials are incredible. For some, there will be no substitute for the real thing, but for others who want a more practical material in their kitchen, they are perfect.
Super matt finishes have also been popular over the years, taking over from high gloss in a big way. Now materials like Fenix have moved the game on, it offers a higher durability, fingerprint proof, flexible use material as an alternative to matt lacquer.
Continued improvements to faux timber laminates have made them very realistic. They can now be produced with a texture which makes them far closer to the real thing. Laminates are far more durable and are a better choice for family homes with children and pets. The laminates are easier to clean and less susceptible to damage than a real wood veneer.
The most exciting innovation is the integration of induction hobs into the surface of the worktop material. TPB is one manufacturer who has recently launched a ceramic worktop that contains this feature. It basically means the hob is invisible as the induction burners are manufactured into the material of the worktop. As we strive to hide all our appliances and conceal as much of the working kitchen as possible, this is the ultimate technology to indulge this desire.”
What do you recommend for keen cooks?
“Don’t underestimate the development of technologies within appliances. A common mistake is to think an oven is an oven or a gas hob is a gas hob, but the variations in both performance and features in all appliances are huge and need to be understood for a considered purchase.
Warming drawers are great for proving bread and Miele’s Souz Chef ESW6229 gives that extra height required for larger bakes. The Souz Chef heats to 85 degrees so can also be used for slow cooking making it a multifunctional appliance.
The next main trend will be for steam ovens to be paired with vacuum drawers which will allow users to cook sous vide style. This method of cooking sees food vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and then placed in a water bath or steam environment for longer than normal cooking times. For those who love baking bread, combination steam ovens are a superb choice as they can simultaneously brown the outside of bread while giving the perfect bake on the inside.”
What would your ‘money no object’ investment be?
“A tall column integrated wine cooler is a real indulgence and statement. They can be designed with glass framed doors to match the kitchen cabinets and can hold over 100 bottles.”
What will be the next big development in technology?
“I believe technology will inevitably play a key role in the future of kitchen design, for example TM Italia currently have a kitchen that is controlled via a desktop application, so the tap rises and falls on the click of a button, the sink lid opens and closes on demand and the fridge doors can be opened without even touching the door. I’m sure this type of software technology will be the future for kitchen designs to coincide with the evolution of modern lifestyles.”Hub Kitchens | hubkitchens.com