Douglas Gilman put a new designer kitchen in his Manhattan apartment last year with entertaining in mind. He placed the sleek marble-accented Dada kitchen, from Italy’s Molteni&C, at the center of the airy 2,800-square-foot home that he created from combining two adjacent units in a former West Village printing house. He figured it would give him easier access to his guests.
But the arrival of Covid-19 restrictions has meant much more cooking, and next to no entertaining, and it’s his high-tech German appliances that have come to the rescue, including an induction cooktop that can sense where he places a pan, and a speed oven that combines convection and microwave technology.
“My ovens are almost more advanced than my computer,” says the 39-year-old financial-services professional of his $30,000 set of appliances from Gaggenau, Miele, and the U.S. brand Sub-Zero.
Eating may still be analog, but kitchens have taken up residence in the digital age, as designers and appliance makers increasingly rely on a host of technological innovations to update the traditional tasks of cooking, storing and cleaning up. Kitchen-appliance categories haven’t changed much since the 1970s, when microwave ovens began appearing on ordinary countertops. But cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence and newfangled materials are now turning those appliances into ultrasophisticated hardware, while smart functions and connectivity are recasting the Cloud as the latest kitchen accessory.
Buyers of Miele’s new G7000 series dishwashers never have to worry about running out of detergent. When the machine runs low, a sensor prompts their smartphones to reorder the brand’s trademark detergent disk from the company’s online shop.