It has been almost ten years since we moved into our current offices located in the historic neighborhood of Buterchertown in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. When we signed the lease for space, it was a blank slate with a large area for production, order fulfillment, storage for our bourbon barrels, and there was an area perfect for our comfortable office space. Up until this time, we were just a modest startup, having most of our meetings at the neighborhood coffee shop and make shifting my garage into a fulfillment center for orders. My sales manager and I shared a computer and spent so much time at the coffee shop the managers joked they were starting to receive our mail. We had truly worked our way up to this massive space.
The space housed a large conference area with a huge window over looking the production room. Having executive meetings in a basic room, over looking workers just was not my style. The space itself had such potential, it is a rustic setting with impressive height, exposed beams, and brick. But I did not see rows of rolling chairs around a conference table; I saw something much greater. My immediate vision was a kitchen studio where we could test new products, teach cooking classes, entertain, and have business meetings in a more casual environment.
My vision was able to become a reality with the generous sponsorship of our local GE Appliance division. GE came to check out the kitchen plan, and they were able to see my vision too. They outfitted the entire kitchen studio with gorgeous state-of-the-art GE Monogram appliances. We were beyond thrilled and grateful. We also have custom furniture and cabinetry built out of real bourbon barrels, creating the full Bourbon Barrel Foods experience.
The tremendous sponsorship opened the door to so many opportunities and caught the eye of a local television show called Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs; they have been filing here ever since. We’ve hosted book signing parties for Chef Edward Lee, Sean Brock, Steven Satterfield, and Ashley Christensen. The Kitchen Studio had held meetings with government officials, fortune 500 companies, and product launches. The relationship between our Kitchen Studio has gained a lot of exposure for both brands, and it is a relationship we hold dear to our hearts and continue to nurture.
With the technology changing and the Kitchen Studio booming, I decided to reach back out to GE to see if they wanted to do an update. Once again they said YES! We are thrilled to announce a complete kitchen redesign happening this fall. As a part of the redesign, I was invited to tour the GE Monogram Experience in the downtown Chicago Merchandise Mart. GE Monogram hosted a lunch and had a full demonstration by Chef Jon. His presentation showcased GE Monogram’s latest developments such as their pizza oven and the induction cooktop using Bluetooth technology. GE has even developed a sous vide appliance that talks wirelessly to the stove top. We sampled tile, and finishes, working with some of the best interior designers in the region. The trip to Chicago, working again with GE is an amazing partnership and experience. I am beyond excited for the kitchen reno.
We will keep you updated during the renovations, be sure you follow me @mattjamie and @bourbonbarrelfoods on Instagram, I post will stories of the whole experience. Thank you once, a gain to GE Monogram!
Why choose Monogram? Sophisticated styling and exceptional craftsmanship set Monogram apart from all other premium appliance brands, and the beauty of Monogram appliances can be seen in every fine, hand-finished detail. But the difference does not stop there. Award-winning technology makes it possible to cook faster, clean easier and enjoy more time for the finer things, like relaxing with friends. And there’s nothing more appealing than that.
Here is a Q & A we found on PB Kitchen Design’s website. Chef John explains in detail about the GE Monogram’s Induction Cooktop.
Q – How does induction work?
A – An induction burner consists of a ceramic plate with an electromagnetic coil beneath it. When you turn on the burner, an electric current runs through the coil, which generates a magnetic field, yet no heat on the burner itself. However, when you set an iron or stainless steel pan on the burner – the magnetic field is activated. On an induction cooktop, the heat is coming not from the burner, but the pan itself. This becomes a much more efficient way of cooking because a pot of water will come to a boil on an induction stove in almost half the time of a standard gas stove. Also, once you remove the pan, an induction cooktop cools off faster than a conventional burner; because it was only hot from contact with the pan and the burner itself is only hot from the reflective heat of the pan.
Q – How do you clean it?
A – I use a multi-purpose cleaner for everyday messes and an Air Duster can for anything underneath the lip or around the cooktop. If I’m deep frying or have something really stick on the burner, I rub Cerama Bryte on the problem area and it comes right out. I’ve never had any issues with keeping our induction top clean which is why it’s so easy to fall in love with.
Q – Do you need special pots?
A – I wouldn’t say “special” since they are everywhere now, but as long as your cookware contains a ferrous metal, it will work on induction. The easiest way to explain to people is to ask them to stick a magnet to the sole of whatever pan they want to use, if it sticks, you’re good to go!
Q – If you’ve used gas your whole life, would it be an easy transition to induction?
A – Yes, learning to cook on induction is very easy. The one thing you have to overcome is the speed at which the pan preheats and liquids boil. There’s no time in induction cooking to dice an onion while the pan preheats! You will move through steps on a recipe at a much faster pace so you and the necessary ingredients must be ready.
Q – Is all induction the same brand for brand? What would make one better than another?
A – The idea seems to be the same, but there are definitely some differences between brands. A lot of brands only offer two zones of “high-boiling heat”, whereas, Monogram offers three. This seems minimal until you’re trying to boil a large pot of water while searing meat and sautéing vegetables all at the same time. I’m also a big fan of Sous Vide and Monogram’s Induction is the only cooktop that uses Bluetooth technology to precisely control the temperature I need. The attachment we use can fit any size pan, which is beneficial to me since I cook anywhere for two to twelve people in a day. Instead of limiting my cooking style, it enhances it- because I know it will always give me the results I’m looking for.
Q – The speed of cooking time is big advantage of induction, seems like it would be a great tool in restaurant kitchens. Are they commonplace in commercial kitchens?
A – Induction is commonly used in commercial kitchens at many different levels from food courts to Michelin star restaurants. Due to its speed and precision induction is a huge asset to any professional chef.