French Country Cottage

Courtney Allison is a freelance photographer and stylist for magazines and brands who recently finished her first book. Regarding her design aesthetic, she says, “I think if you walk into a room and see a room filled with treasures, memories, and things you love and they make you happy-  it’s perfect.” Her Instagram account has 156,000 followers (including all of us at Art Culinaire!) and she frequently features her Vert Silice Cluny Classique in her photography. Her amazing floral arrangements and penchant for a style that is a bit shabby / French country / cottage all beautifully mixed together make her online content absolutely stunning.

Courtney says, “I love that delightful mix of rustic and elegant in a room. The gilded French chair with a chipping table next to it. A burlap covered seat with an aubusson pillow. A chandelier in every room – even if it’s a closet or a hallway. Everyday elegance- setting a table with vintage china and fine stemware and an abundance of beautiful blooms is a favorite thing… And I have been known to drag an old weathered farm table out to the middle of the woods and light it with a chandelier hanging from branches of a tree. I love creating that ambiance and inviting the conversations and laughs to linger a bit longer.”

You can follow her on Instagram here. She also created a blog post specifically to answer questions about her Lacanche range, which you can view here.

We asked Courtney about her gorgeous Cluny, and this is what she had to say.

How did you choose your Lacanche range?

 Of course it is absolutely beautiful, but it was important for me to have a range that did a wonderful job while fitting in with the aesthetic of my kitchen.The simple elegant design of the Lacanche reminds me of a beautiful French lady who is the center of attention but does not shout to be noticed. 

She also says in her blog, “I love that it is French of course- and hello- it is gorgeous!! But my husband loved that it was all manual. Meaning-there are not electrical motherboards that decide to go out. Our previous range was a mid price highly recommended brand that had the motherboard go out 3x in just a couple of years. Which meant we were baking in a countertop convection oven for awhile. I think in some things- less computer technology and more simple construction is better.”

Where there any features that really attracted you? 

The beautiful aesthetic of the range- with the enamel and brass knobs is absolutely delightful. As well, I love being able to have two ovens side by side to be able to bake several things at one time.

After using it and cooking, baking with it – would you buy one again?

Absolutely- as I mentioned, my dream range I.need.a.bigger.kitchen is the Lacanche Sully.
I absolutely love using this range everyday and I love simply staring at this gorgeous girl in the kitchen everyday. She is timeless and classy and won’t ever go out of style and when investing in a second home- or maybe even out in the cottage – I will definitely be looking at bringing another Lacanche home.

I cook on it every day!

Do you have any tips or tricks you would share with new potential owners?

The hardest part of ordering- choosing the color!! Go with your gut instinct with the color- I. knew that the first time I saw the sample chip I instantly loved it – but wasn’t sure if it was right. But something that helped me was mixing up a sample of paint color matched and painting it on the wall in the kitchen to see it in that light- and also was knowing that I could order different panels in the future to change the look if I wanted to. Made the color commitment much easier! 

It is the shining star in the kitchen. Every time I share a photo or someone comes into the house- they fall in love and ask where they can get their own Lacanche. 

What do you think of the Lacanche range top?

We cook often on the range top and have found the various settings of the burners to be perfect for the different pans we use.

What has been your experience working with Art Culinaire/Lacanche US?

It has been a joy to work with Lacanche from the get-go. From questions about the range, to help in choosing the color, to the details about the features – and then shipping and delivery – they have been helpful with everything. When I met Elisa in NYC in the showroom- we were instant friends and I adore my Lacanche family!  

We sincerely thank Courtney for participating in our Voila Blog and for spreading the Lacanche love with her followers! If you would like to be featured in a future post, please email carrie@frenchranges.com.

A Well-Traveled Baker

Normally I would write an introduction to this blog post about yet another wonderful Lacanche owner who we are thrilled to have in our family, but Ellen Hall Saunders is a fantastic writer, and I just could not introduce her any better than she has done herself. For more of Ellen’s writing, please visit her blog here: http://www.ellenhallsaunders.com/

Originally from California, my family moved away when I was young to travel around Europe in a Volkswagon van and eventually settled in the south of Portugal. Life there in the 70’s moved at a slower pace, and there is no fast food, so I learned to cook from my mom, who is a great cook! After attending high school and college in the States I moved to Paris, and my love of food and cooking took off! My husband and I loved to walk through the market street near our apartment on our way home from work, picking up fresh food to cook for dinner. We explored the amazing restaurants there with lots of hungry expat friends. Eventually I left my job at an international organization and went to cooking school, doing a stint learning how to make pastry in the kitchen of my French friend’s aunt, and apprenticing with a chef at a “cooking club” that served three course lunches to local workmen in the neighborhood. It was heaven.

Once back in the States, I chose to stay home to bring up our kids, and cooking as a professional didn’t fit into a family-friendly schedule. Instead I taught some classes, did a little catering, baked for a café for a bit… but mainly I cooked for my family and friends.

Now my children are in their twenties, and I am a writer and a natural health practitioner. Over the years we have lived in the SF Bay Area, New Jersey, Portland,Oregon and Boston. Two years ago we moved to the beach in Los Angeles, where I am lucky enough to get to spend time in the kitchen again with my 91 year old mom.

How did you choose your Lacanche range?

I have moved around a lot and was always happy to cook on whatever range I had. When we moved into a place that needed a kitchen remodel I suddenly had the opportunity to really think about what I would want in a dream kitchen. Since I went to cooking school in Paris when I was younger, the chance to have a real cook’s range was so exciting. I was looking at brands like Wolfe and Thermador but when my sister took me to see the tangerine Lacanche in her friend’s new kitchen, I fell in love. I looked online to learn more and found out that the sales office was about a mile from our new house… serendipity!

Were there any features that really attracted you?

Yes, I was looking for a range with a lot of options for different cooking needs: different size burners, griddle, warming oven, the option of gas and electric ovens, the French top… and I especially loved that it is all mechanical. No computer chips to mysteriously stop working! And naturally, I really love the old world enamel and brass look of the range. It is truly beautiful.

How often do you cook on the range?

I cook on it everyday. It is at the center of our daily lives. From the first kettle of boiling water for tea and coffee in the morning to weekly bread baking, dinner most nights, and feeding an endless stream of guests, it is the hardest working member of our family! We even named it – we call her Clothilde!

Do you have any tips or tricks you would share with new owners?

The burners are hot! I burned quite a few things in the beginning but now I love the powerful heat. The griddle was the biggest surprise: I hesitated about getting it at first but Victoria (our wonderful salesperson) assured me I would use it for everything and I do. Good for so much more than pancakes, I use it like a big cast iron pan for searing meats, frying eggs and making sourdough crumpets.

How do guests react to seeing Clothilde for the first time?

When we remodeled everyone heard about the amazing Lacanche range that was coming from France. The kitchen was really designed around it, so when people walk in the door they all ask to see it. They oooh and aaah and want to know all the features. They seem in awe of it. It is so much fun to have such a beautiful centerpiece in our kitchen. We moved here to Southern California from Boston two years ago and it turns out when you live in such a warm place lots of friends come to visit, so Clothilde has a steady stream of admirers!

Anything you would like to share about the purchasing of your range?

It was important to get educated by Victoria about all the different features when I was choosing which model and layout I wanted. I had to really think about how and what I cook. I was worried that the ovens would be too small, but they are actually wonderful. There is plenty of room without having to heat up a lot of empty space. The gas oven is great for roasting with moist heat, and the electric oven is drier and good for baking and things that need to be crispier. It is also remarkably easy to clean. Honestly my advice to anyone considering purchasing a Lacanche range is to make the leap! It is an absolute joy to cook on, look at and own.

I hear you’re rather good at baking bread…

I began baking bread a few months after our range arrived. I had always wanted to learn to bake bread and what better time than when I had just created a dream kitchen with a Lacanche Cluny 1400 with two ovens! I have trouble digesting anything made with commercial yeast so I bought a sourdough starter from King Arthur flour and learned how to feed it and keep it alive! I use organic flour from Montana Flour and Grains to make naturally leavened long fermented breads that are relatively easy to digest – and delicious too! Each batch comes out slightly differently and the two ovens bake differently, so it is always an adventure! Even the “failures” along the way are eagerly consumed by my family and friends so I have stopped worrying about creating the “perfect loaf.” It seems to me that cooking in general, and bread baking in particular, is such a fundamentally loving nurturing pastime. Our family has been through a lot in recent years and coming together in our kitchen to eat food prepared on our stove has been a tremendous source of comfort. The slow and magical process of baking is in itself therapeutic. A slice of freshly baked bread slathered in butter is a gift for both baker and eater. And for my gluten free friends, I plan to master gluten free sourdough soon!

I hear you make sourdough crumpets with your leftover starter.

I do! The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour and it’s a great way to use your started when you feed your sourdough. I cook them on the griddle plate, which works perfectly for this.

What has been your experience with the people at Art Culinaire?

Every interaction I have had with the company has been wonderful. Victoria especially has been incredible. She really helped me figure out what would work best for me and was great to work with. She came over after it arrived and taught me some tricks on how to use it. We continue to stay in touch and get together! I can’t remember all the names of other people I have been in contact with but each one has been just great. I had to have the thermostat on one of the ovens fixed and the service was totally hassle free. I definitely feel like a valued and well cared for part of the Lacanche family.

Follow Ellen on Instagram | Ellen’s Blog

Photos by Ellen Hall Saunders

The Cook’s Atelier Book Signing in NYC

The Cook’s Atelier is housed in a 17th Century building in the heart Beaune, France and is an amazing place for lovers of all things culinary and especially the aesthetically beautiful. People travel from all over to learn to cook from these two amazing chefs, who happen to be mother and daughter. Marjorie and Kendall are Americans who followed their dreams and moved their families to the idyllic Burgundy wine country, where they teach, cook, dine and share quaffable wines with locals and foreigners alike. Oh, and did we mention the cooking classes take place on a Lacanche Sully range?

For those who cherish the best of the best in cookware, knives and copper cookware, The Cooks Atelier is a wonderland. Everything is curated so beautifully, you will want to buy up the whole shop!

“It’s a shop for cooks created by cooks.”

The olive wood olive spoon is a favorite!

So, what to do if you can’t make the trip to Beaune to visit in person? Marjorie and Kendall recently released their first cookbook that is rich with recipes, stories and the lifestyle so many of us long for – slowing down and enjoying the seasons, fresh produce, sunflowers… the beauty around us.

Stunning full page photos of each dish accompanies these fantastic recipes.

A few weeks ago, Elisa and her East Coast Team were fortunate enough to have both Marjorie and Kendall in person in our New York City Showroom for a book signing. Many gathered to talk recipes, and just to enjoy the camaraderie.

Taking a petit break before the festivities, Elisa and Kristina Brodie peruse the recipes in the newly released book. (photo by Andrea Cantor)

“Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from our French Cooking School.”

You can follow the adventures of Marjorie and Kendall here. Purchase the Cook’s Atelier Cookbook here. Purchase antique cutting boards, copper cookware and much more here. To learn more about the classes in Beaune, click here.

Happy Cooking!

All photos by Carrie Alexander, unless otherwise noted.

Lacanche Burner Ignition

Owning a Lacanche range is exciting and rewarding, but we often find that new Lacanche owners need a little help making sure their burner caps are placed properly on their cooktop to ensure proper lighting of the flame.

Here are some helpful hints:

Rotate the top brass burner cap so that one of the burner ports is aligned with the tip of the spark igniter. This will give the spark a better opportunity to make direct contact with the fuel to ignite. See photo example below:

If the spark igniter height appears to be too low or too high (as in the photos below), adjust the height by simply following the video below – starting at minute 1:40:

https://www.frenchranges.com/resource/spark-igniter-replacement-adjustment/

Spark Ignitor Too Low (too far from burner cap)

Spark Ignitor Too High (too close to burner cap)

 

Igniting the burners:

Try depressing the knob and rotate to HIGH instead of IGN, as in this video.  https://www.frenchranges.com/resource/burner-ignition-procedure/ 

Heating the thermocouple:

All Lacanche ranges are equipped with thermocouple technology, a childproof safety feature. In fact, they are adult-proof, if the operation is not learned and practiced.

Only a heated thermocouple will allow your range to work safely and properly. To operate, turn knob counterclockwise past “IGN,” to “HIGH” and fully hold knob in to activate spark ignition system to ignite the burner. Keep the knob pushed in to give the flame enough time to heat the thermocouple on each burner in order to maintain the flame. Initially, this will take approximately 10–20 seconds for the safety thermocouple to heat up.

Once safety thermocouple is fully heated, rotate knob counterclockwise to desired temperature.

*Note: Never force the knob. When moving between “IGN” and to temperature, applying light rotational pressure to the knob while pressing in will help find the halfway point at which the knob will freely rotate. Once rotated to a temperature marking, the knob will not need to be pressed in to make adjustments.

Burner output:

The BTU output of these burners will always be the same.  However, you can lower the burner height by adjusting the screw after removing the knob.  We tuned each burner in house to go as low as possible without blowing out when rotated to low.  You can either adjust the burner height to make it lower, if you wish, or you can ignite the burner and rotate it slowly towards the OFF position until it is very low but not blowing out.  

The only real way to alter the temperature of an open flame is to place a thermal barrier like a diffuser disk between the flame and the pot/pan to absorb and spread out the energy over a wider surface area and cut down the open flame temperature. We have a couple of options available for purchase, but you can also use your traditional plate center disc and wok ring as a diffuser.

Top burner flame height adjustment video:

https://www.frenchranges.com/resource/top-burner-flame-adjustment/

If you have questions about lighting your burners, we would be happy to speak with you over the phone while you are in front of your range.  Our main service line is 888-222-2930, or you can email us at support@frenchranges.com

Amy Anton’s Cooking Classes in Houston

Amy Anton is the embodiment of our motto here at Art Culinaire, “Bringing the Family Back to the Table.” From a very young age, Amy would sit on the kitchen counter and watch her mom cook. As a teenager, she would host dinner parties for her high school friends, which she continued through college. Amy now has 3 boys and cooks constantly from her home in Houston where she hosts cooking classes twice a week on her Stainless Steel Lacanche Sully range.

Amy shares intimate, hands-on cooking and culinary experiences with writers, local artisans and chefs. These classes expand to include home cooks in unique locations around Texas. If you are a Lacanche owner in Texas, new or old, be sure to check out Amy’s classes for some helpful hints on using your range!

Kitchen Underground is Amy’s website where they are proudly obsessed with food and cooking. She says, “We’ve built lives around the perfect recipe. We started cooking as soon as we could pull a stool up to the stove. We learned family recipes from our mothers, fathers, and grandparents before we could read. We keep our knives sharp and our pantries stocked. We’ve got stories to tell, recipes to share, and a place at the table for you.”

Amy is passionate about local food, and is a founding board member of Recipe for Success Foundation and the founder of aaCooks, a Houston-based cooking forum. She was kind enough to share a fabulous spring recipe with us, which you can view here.

Here is our interview with Amy Anton:

Why Lacanche?

I was attracted to the Lacanche for its beauty and functionality. First, I think is a sexy stove…seems odd to say, but the knobs are refined and the design is simple yet beautiful…I also found many other stoves to seem heavy and masculine. I was also attracted to the functionality of the stove itself- there is nothing electronic that can break- it is simple mechanically, yet operates at a high level. 

What do you like best about the range?

I like using all the different size burners for different things like boiling water in a snap or slowly simmering soups- you can do it all- plus. I have enjoyed the plancha. It is great for pancakes and grilled cheeses and heating up lots of different foods at once, and it is the easiest thing to clean (or you can just put the lid down which is also a gift of convenience!)

How often do you use it?

I cook breakfast for myself, husband and 3 boys every day, and dinner at least 5 nights a week, then I use the stove during the day to teach cooking classes, so it is practically always on!

It sounds like you really love your Sully!

I was so excited when I ordered my Lacanche, and loved that it it took a slow boat to America before being transferred down to Texas. I tell my husband when I am a little old lady to just put me in it and bury me with the stove. Is that too weird?

Of course not! Tell us more about your cooking school.

My cooking lessons are very low key, and you don’t have to be a great cook to come. I always talk about basic ideas as we always need a refresh. I like to cook fresh, seasonal food that is easy to throw together without a lot of fuss. My over arching goal is just to get people in their kitchens, cooking more and enjoying it. Cooking should not be a chore, it should be a joyful experience that brings satisfaction to you, your friends, and family.

We couldn’t agree more! Many thanks to Amy Anton for taking the time to answer our questions. Find her on Instagram. If you are interested in sharing your love for your Lacanche, please email care@frenchranges.com.

Happy Cooking!

Dinner with Padma Lakshmi

“I came to associate food not only with femininity, but also with purity and divinity.”

– Padma Lakshmi

Join us as we spend an evening in Padma’s kitchen preparing Zucchini Pudding and Roasted Cauliflower on her British Racing Green Sully Classique.

Using the Wok Ring for Heat Diffusion

Lacanche ranges feature powerful BTU gas burners, which makes cooking quite enjoyable! There are times when your recipe calls for a very low simmer. In those cases, we recommend using different implements to control heat diffusion and distribution. If you have the Traditional plate option, you can use the removable center plug as a diffuser, as it is solid cast iron. Additionally it can be coupled with the Wok Ring for added diffusion or when smaller pots are being used. Please see the photos below for reference. 

Traditional plate.

Removing the center disk to use as a diffuser on another burner.

Place the center disk over your wok ring for even more heat diffusion.

Et Voila! Heat diffusion.

Ackerman Heritage House

The absolutely stunning Ackerman Heritage House in the Napa Valley was built in 1888 in downtown Napa by famous Bay Area Architect Luther Turton. After a history of being owned and occupied by multiple families, this 130-year-old Victorian mansion was purchased by Lauren Ackerman, who also owns Ackerman Family Vineyards, in 2010. You can read more about the home’s history here.

As many of our clients have undergone a major remodel or renovation to produce their dream kitchen, our story begins here. Bringing the Heritage House back to its intended beauty, utilizing period-correct pieces, took five long years, but what she has created is a gorgeous place for the Napa community and visitors to the area to enjoy.

Lauren describes the lengthy process, and how her range became the center of the kitchen remodel, below.

Lauren’s experience in wine, food and hospitality makes the use of her Burgundy Red Sully 1800 Lacanche particularly interesting! The house is used for all sorts of events and several amazing chefs from the area have cooked in the kitchen – including, Ken Frank of La Toque, Victor Scargle of Bardessono, Sarah Scott, Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Mark Dommen of One Market, Private Chef Kelly Mac Donald (Exec. Sous Chef for two US Presidents), Tony Gemignani (author of The Pizza Bible), and many others. Coming up next: Chef Charlie Palmer!

I asked Lauren to answer a few questions about how she chose her Lacanche range and how it is being used today.

Q: How did you choose your Lacanche range?

LA: I purchased the Lacanche as the best alternative to the La Cornue brand, which I was very familiar with. In looking at what would best suit my project at Ackerman Heritage House, I felt the look, style, capabilities and access to service were better suited to my needs. Plus, the pricing was also more approachable for my budget!

Q: Where there any features that really attracted you?

LA: The feature that attracted me the most was the ability to have up to eight burners plus a built-in grill. Also, having two ovens along with the warming area was a big plus. Ease of keeping it clean was also a feature. And finally, the whole “old world” look of the range/stovetop was perfect for the look and feel of my 1888 Victorian kitchen restoration.

Q: How often do you cook on the range?

LA: We use the range several times weekly for various wine and food lunch and dinner events. It’s a really big hit with visitors who “oooh” and “ahhh” over it each time they are in for a tour of the house! We use it frequently for a variety of events and it is always commented on as to its size, beauty and capability by everyone who sees it. We’ve had over 6,000 visitors to the house since we opened in September of 2015 – the kitchen, and specifically the Lacanche range, is always a big hit! Everyone comments on how they would love to cook on it!

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

LA: The Lacanche range has been the heart and soul of this 5-year restoration process and is the centerpiece for the kitchen, the biggest renovation of all within the house. When I got the house, there were four rooms in the kitchen area: two dilapidated pantries, a kitchen area with only a built-in sink – no appliances or cabinets, and a step-down sunporch that was in such bad condition, we had to completely rebuild it. We took out all the walls and made one large kitchen area, reminiscent of the Victorian area, but a thoroughly modern and professional kitchen for today’s chefs. The Lacanche range is the star in this kitchen and one that everyone wishes they could cook on or own themselves. It has been the focus of numerous photos taken by visitors since our opening in 2015. It was also the reason Ackerman Heritage House was chosen to be the premiere property for the popular  “Kitchen in the Vineyards” tour in 2016 when over 800 people attended the property in one day just to see this kitchen! All in all, it has been a pleasure to own and use this remarkable piece of culinary equipment and I know it will serve us well for years to come. Even my family, most notably my 21-year-old son, has cooked on this range. He prefers to cook on it over our range back at our vineyard property!

If you find yourself in the Napa Valley, be sure to check out the Ackerman Heritage House. They provide a few different options for tasting appointments at “The Aviary” on the same property. More information here. And be sure to view Lauren’s Burgundy Red Sully 1800 while you are there!

Copper Cookware

Duparquet handcrafts heirloom-quality copper cookware that beautifully complements the handmade bespoke quality of the Lacanche Range. We have found these copper pans to be as gorgeous as they are exceptional in cooking performance. For an even and quick heat, nothing beats copper! For each piece, Duparquet spins the copper, rivets the handles, tins the cooking surface, and polishes each piece, preparing it for each cook in their kitchen.

At Art Culinaire, we are partnering with the folks at Duparquet to provide top-level copper cookware for Lacanche owners. For more information, please contact your sales representative.

We also offer handmade copper diffusers that will provide the heat distribution of copper to your favorite cookware. You may purchase them here.