island and wall spacers

One of the most important decisions in the process of a kitchen remodel is deciding where the oven is going to be placed. Unless you place your Lacanche on an island, you have two options for allowing the appropriate amount of distance between the wall and your range: a smooth, flat island spacer or our complimentary wall mounted back spacer, which is elevated about 6 inches above the top of the range, extending the body in height in just the back. Both create the same dimensions in depth.

Folks who plan to have decorative tile usually go for the island spacer, since the wall mounted back spacer will obstruct part of the design. On a recent visit to the San Francisco bay area to visit some Lacanche owners, I met with a Cluny 1400 owner, whose beautiful kitchen displayed a bold design behind her stove:

As you can see, the back of the range top is entirely flat, so you have a clear view of the design behind it.

Our in-house Cluny at Lacanche headquarters, on the other hand, has the wall mounted backspacer, and our painting of the countryside accomodates the extra 6 inches that extends up.

Whichever spacer you decide on will complement the range, but this is one of the important things to contemplate as your dream kitchen comes to life.

crostinis in the chagny

I had the opportunity to visit a client’s home in beautiful north Capitol Hill in Seattle recently. Working with clients to select the main attraction in the heart of the home has its own payoff, as conversations about food, family meals and holiday feasts arise. Getting to see the end result is truly a special treat.

Simple roman crostinis with proscuitto, mozzarella, and rosemary butter (recipe below) were on the menu for my afternoon cooking date, where I had the opportunity to try out the petite electric oven featured in the Chagny.

The lovely host told me that the Chagny’s petite electric oven was absolutely perfect for toasting bread and roasting vegetables. She even said it would be spacious and capable enough to bake a pie! So much use for such a small space.

She chose the color Mandarine with brushed stainless trim for her golden kitchen. The space exemplified the fact that bold colors need not be flashy nor over eccentric, but simply cheery and bright.

The Chagny lives in the center island of the kitchen, and in this brilliant set-up, the oven is not the focal point of the room, but allows the cook to have the perfect view of the kitchen, being able to face and interact with others in the room.

I learned from her that a standard cookie sheet WILL fit into the small compact oven featured on the Cluny and Chagny models!

The kitchen also featured artful glass lighting sculptures and a highly practical open shelving unit that stores and displays a large collection of platters and teapots.

Our afternoon snack was simple perfection. Here’s the link to the recipe from Food Network for you to try: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/crostini-alla-romana-recipe/index.html

the new cook

Even though I am 21 years of age, I have lived a rather privileged culinary life and not done much cooking on my own. This can mainly be credited to the many grueling hours my mother has spent in the kitchen and “delicious” meals I’ve enjoyed during my college years at the University of Washington.

As a new addition to the Art Culinaire team, I eagerly awaited a chance to cook with Showroom Manager, Abby, for our weekly staff “Lunch Bunch” meal. On the menu? Breakfast for Lunch. Perfect on a somewhat gloomy & windy Seattle afternoon.

We indulged ourselves in fluffy french toast featuring fresh sourdough bread and authentic maple syrup from Vermont. Secret ingredients in the batter? Nutmeg and of course extra splashes of aromatic vanilla. Also in the mix was a savory twist on a breakfast favorite, muffins. Abby & I prepared egg & bacon muffins, which got doused with spoonfuls of a gooey spinach & cheese florentine sauce. Today was my first time trying Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar. Honestly.. phenomenal.

All of the menu was prepared here in our Woodinville showroom on our standard matte black Cluny and I started to understand what all of the fuss over the ranges was about. The traditional French plate spread the heat evenly & allowed me to bring my florentine sauce to a nice simmer. While preparing the florentine sauce on the stovetop, the small but ever powerful Cluny baked our french toast & muffins simultaneously in dual gas and electric ovens. The entire experience with the Cluny was very efficient.. minus a few snafoos due to user error 🙂

Although I hadn’t really been able to get my hands “dirty” in the kitchen before my big “Lunch Bunch” debut, I am happy with the way everything turned out and am very grateful for the tips & tricks Abby provided me along the way. I certainly hope to cook again on the Cluny in the near future! Stay tuned!

 

classique vs. traditional

One of the most popular questions the sales team addresses is the difference between the Classique and Traditional stove top configuration.

On the Classique stove top, the large 18,000 BTU burner will sit below a standard cast iron grate, similar in style to each of the other smaller burners.

This style is similar to any standard gas top oven, although the big classique burner has more power than your normal range. The large burner will bring water to a boil and ingredients in a pot to high temperature with extreme quickness.

On the Traditional stove top, the large 18,000 BTU burner sits below an enclosed cast iron simmer plate, with the option to take the center ring out for direct pan-to-flame contact.

The entire surface of the plate heats evenly, allowing for the perfect simmer of soups and sauces. The traditional top is the more versatile option, allowing a seasoned chef access to a unique method of preparation.

The middle of the traditional French plate does get extremely warm! We recommend turning the burner off once the plate is heated to maintain a consistant simmer. Large, thick pots work best here.

table spread

New York is full of beautiful displays of decadent pastries everywhere you turn!

The only challenge for arranging our party table display was deciding which sweet treats to serve amongst the endless bounty of desserts available in the big city. Cupcakes are my personal pick for prettiest go-to ornament, but anything sweet can make the perfect table decoration. We decided that our main displays for our recent celebration would be cakes from the French Ceci-Cela Bakery and cheese from Murray’s.

I also included classic New York black and white cookies in the arrangement; they looked elegant on silver 3 tiered trays. The cupcakes sat pretty on vases flipped over covering a bed of rocks. Cheese always looks best on a thick cutting board arranged with purple grapes; nuts, crackers and jam make the perfect addition.

Stacking and creating different levels for food is key in creating a beautiful table arrangement. A pretty cutting board and multi-tiered trays are always useful to have. When in doubt, consider displaying food on a cake plate.

For some truly inspiring arrangements and ideas, check out the artists at Hostess Blog!

travels

Our sales team has had a busy couple of weeks in the month of May!
We attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas and celebrated the grand opening of our petite showroom in New York City.

We’ve experienced a whirlwind of networking, seminars, and the extravagant display marketing efforts of our industry peers. We also lay the groundwork for our new presence on the east coast. From the strip to the subway, we’ve had a productive spring and along the way, took the opportunity to share many beautiful meals together envisioning the future of Lacanche USA.

Showroom opening pictures to come!

dinner party workshop

A good dinner party is a true art, a process that highlights the host’s unique talents in cooking a great meal, creating a warm atmosphere, and celebrating the comforts of home.

The key to providing the ceremony of a meal amongst friends and family is an organized host. The host needs not to be the most versatile chef, they simply need a plan to make a scrumptious meal that they can prepare and share with ease.
Art Culinaire’s dinner party workshop showed participants how to create an epic, simple meal in just an hour and a half.

Yvonne Snyder, food goddess and occasional caterer, showed us how she works her magic. With simple, fresh ingredients, a passion for natural and organic food, and a process cultivated from her years of foodie passion, she exemplifies the fact that you don’t need professional training to always incite a chorus of ‘yum!’ from your guests.

Bacon, the ultimate carnivore crowd pleaser and special ingredient that makes most everything more appealing, was the addition to her gorgonzola and pine nut stuffed mushroom appetizers.

A simple salad and spicy curry based soup with lime followed. Yvonne is a proprietor of mixing ethnic foods for different courses, and I agree. You’ll never know if two things will go great together unless you try!

A full chicken was roasted for the main course. She picked this classic comfort to show folks how easy it is, since the timeless tradition of a roasted chicken is considered intimidating to most people. However, just a simple blend of herbs and citrus are what it takes to get this beauty out of your oven:

Dessert was bananas sauteed in brown sugar, cinnamon and citrus juice with store bought ice cream. The feast was paired with a sample of a white and many reds from Woodinville Wine Cellars.

Our guests shared their stories and slip-ups from the kitchen, along with favorite chefs ranging from parents to Bobby Flay. Getting the chance to hear the food and travel backgrounds of a variety of people incited unique
feedback and inspiration for each of us to bring back to the kitchen.

And for your inspiration, here’s that easy and delicious roast chicken recipe:

Roasted Chicken:
• 4 to 5 pound roasting chicken
• 1 tablespoon oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
• 1 lemon or 2 limes or an orange
• 6 large cloves garlic, peeled or 2” of sliced ginger
• Sprigs fresh herbs
• 1 cup homemade chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
• 1-1 1/2lbs baby potatoes
• 1 lb carrots
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:
1. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. In the center of a heavy-duty roasting pan, place onion slices in two rows, touching. Place the palm of your hand on top of lemon and, pressing down, roll lemon back and forth several times. This softens the lemon and allows the juice to flow more freely. Pierce entire surface of lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, herb sprigs, and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in pan, on onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie together.
3. Brush oil over entire surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, and roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about15 minutes per pound. When chicken seems done, insert a thermometer into the breast. The breast temperature should read 180 degrees.
4. About 30 minutes before chicken is done add potatoes and carrots to roasting pan.
5. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer veggies to pan or bowl to keep warm. Remove chicken from pan. Let chicken stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices settle. Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a shallow bowl or fat separator, and leave onions in the pan. Leave any brown baked-on bits in the bottom of the roasting pan, and remove and discard any blackened bits. Using a large spoon or fat separator, skim off and discard as much fat as possible. Pour the remaining drippings and the juices that have collected under the resting chicken back into the roasting pan. Place on the stove over medium-high heat to cook, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock, raise heat to high, and, using a wooden spoon, stir up and combine the brown bits with the stock until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Strain the gravy into a small bowl, pressing on onions to extract any liquid. Discard onions, and stir in the remaining tablespoon of cold butter until melted and incorporated. Untie the legs. Carve, and serve gravy on the side.

soups and sauces

Soups and Sauces

Ingredients

  • 2 28oz cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans of Tomato Paste
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1lb Ground Beef or Lamb
  • 1lb Ground Italian Sausage
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onion
  • 3-6 Cloves Minced Garlic

Directions

1
Step 1
Blend one 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with one 6 oz can of tomato paste and 3 cloves of garlic at a time. Add to sauce pot, cover, and cook on medium low heat for two hours stirring every 10 – 20 minutes. After the first two hours reduce heat to low. Remove lid two hours before serving to let excess moisture evaporate.
2
Step 2
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Form golf-ball-sized meatballs out of the mixture and place in a frying pan on medium heat. Brown the meatballs, rotating them frequently. Place meatballs in the marinara and allow at least two hours in the sauce on low heat for the meatballs to finish cooking.

We put our in-house Cluny to work for our Soups and Sauces event this Saturday. All 4 burners and the entire surface of the french plate was in full use, as we showcased the art of the long simmer with a hearty marinara and classic chicken noodle. Our regular burners provided the space for boiling water for pasta and the makings for a thick cream of broccoli.

I’m a comfort food enthusiast who loves to demonstrate how simple a good meal can be. However, during our soups and sauces event, the traditional french plate and the meatball marinara were the main focus.

Lacanche owners at the event were able to trade tips and tricks on how they care for their ranges at home. It was agreed that the unflatering way to make the most out of the simmer plate is to have a good, thick pot to cook on. To create fine art, you need the right tools! And in this case, to create a dish (or in this case, a pot) which gains flavor and the desired texture with time, you must have the patience and care to help the ingredients come together.

You can be sure that an Italian cook will never give away their precise method of sauce creation, but here is the recipe from our workshop, minus the secret ingredient: