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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Fight Like a Viking

11873 1000_VIKING_PRAs a dealer we are invited to learn and cook on many manufacturer products. This week in my appliance adventures I flew into Georgia with healthy skepticism of the Viking product line.  Because I’m such an appliance geek, what I learned surprised and excited me. Viking keeps fighting…

Since being purchased in 2013 by Middleby Corporation, a leader in commercial kitchen technology, Viking has reinvented and revitalized their brand. Let me take you on a mini tour of how they’ve done that.

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Infrared broil technology in their electric ovens, and a carpet of broiling fire in their gas ovens, was really something to watch and use. The power of their induction elements and knob-controlled cooktops open up the market for those wanting more speed and/or have difficulty using electronic touch controls.

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Learning the various ways to use a warming drawer for slow cooking recipes will make this a must have piece in any kitchen. They also offer the only combi-steam-bake-convection microwave on the market. But by far the most impressive of their commercial technology is due out on the market this year with the introduction of the Turbochef oven to the residential market.

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Turbochef uses radiant heat, microwaves, and convection in a way that will take our fast pace cooking to a whole new level. It’s used daily in well known companies commercially to speed up cooking, crisping, and baking to minutes instead of hours. Baked potatoes, French fries, breads, meats, desserts, you name it…done in minutes. Imagine a whole meal cooked for a large crowd in 20 minutes. This is the future and the future is knocking hard and fast on our kitchen doors. Wait for it….

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Refrigeration in Viking has major changes (thankfully). The free-standing, counter-depth piece pictured above is the only piece made by another company….but since it was filled with Coke products….it deserved a picture here. Their built-in products have better hinges and the addition of their Ion Purification System called the “Plasmacluster System”. This type of purification is used in the medical field and the military to clean bacteria from the air and aid (in this situation) in food preservation. It doesn’t use a replacement filter because it’s not a filter. Their compressor design does not require cleaning because of the way it’s designed. They use metal shelving on the doors and tempered shelves on the interior. They offer a max cool in the freezer and refrigeration sections to bring quick cool to just packed refrigerators. The crisper drawers control and introduce humidity where it’s needed most. It’s worth checking out.VikingRef

They have taken the Blomberg dishwasher as their own and with it have combined some of the best features found in many leading dishwashers on the market today. They offer two dishwashers, one with a third rack. Their third rack machine doesn’t cover the entire top of the dishwasher. This helps to accommodate large stemware on the second shelf. All models offer a third wash arm in the top of the stainless steel tub. While not the quietest at 48 dBa, it does offer a final rinse cycle at 167 degrees and their longest cycle is about 2 hours. That high temp final rinse, along with the fan assist, will aid in condensation drying which has become an industry standard.VikingDishwasher

Viking has the ingenuity of design engineers from 67 commercial divisions of Middleby working to bring commercial cooking to a residential environment. Viking Pro offers 2 year warranty.

There is so much I can’t fit into this blog, but come in and let me tell you the story of any piece in their line. Viking is definitely a company worth watching closely to see what new ways our lives will change in the kitchen in months and years to come.

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Gaggenau….My Experience

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Gaggenau. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. Gaggenau is a super premium brand of appliances that I was invited to experience in California this week.

Gaggenau is a 333 year old German company that has manufactured and engineered everything from bridges that still stand in Germany and bicycles, to what is now an elite palette of appliances that will make you re-think and re-imagine how you view your kitchen and cook in it. Everything you think you know, throw it out. Whether this makes you feel brave and excited, or intimidated and nervous ,we need to talk. Soon.

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They have an entire family suite of kitchen pieces that perfectly complement each other and not just because they match. Every brand has its own unique look, feel, quality level, and functionality. Gaggenau’s sleek, sensual design with its glass over stainless is the answer to pairing professional, consistent, chef inspired results, with design elements that complement seamlessly with any style you can dream up. It’s style is classy and understated, beautiful with brains and brawn. 

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Gaggenau is sleek, sexy, soft, and artistic on the outside…bold, impressive, professional, chef-grade results on the inside. It’s the perfect combo of looks and power. It’s gorgeous AND serious about cooking.

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They make all of their products with the exception of their under-counter wine preservation system. Their philosophy? If you want it done right, engineer and make it yourself. And it works. The quality and attention to detail from the patented porcelain on the outside of their ovens (for stability), their seemingly endless accessories (that easily move from one product to another), their modular pieces (teppan yaki, in counter steam, in counter fryer, in counter wok induction, etc) can create a cooking experience like no other. Healthy, easy, tasty, creative, and easy clean up….all come together to create a mind altering cooking experience. You’ll never look at cooking the same way again.

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They are the only brand that offers an induction wok cooking module. I’ve seen it in action using a Gaggenau wok (yet another optional accessory) and I am amazed. And since I’m back to accessories, one of my personal favorites is the Gastronorm roaster. It’s a non stick, cast aluminum pan with a lid that can be used in their wall ovens, steam ovens, and on their induction cooktops. You can sear right in it (in the base OR the lid), cook a whole recipe right in it, or bake a casserole (or whatever you can dream up), making it easy to do truly one pan cooking. Do it all right in one vessel!! They work hard to carry that mantra through their whole product line. 

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They’ve created their product line based on advice from chefs because they feel at-home chefs should have the same advantages and consistent results achieved by professional chefs in professional kitchens. We spent two days cooking on these products and the results added significantly to our waistlines and delighted our taste buds! 

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There is SO much we need to talk about and since we have a live Gaggenau kitchen in our showroom you must stop in so we can play and get creative in it. I’d love to pass on my new-found love and appreciation for an elite culinary experience and culture….Gaggenau. You’ll never look at cooking the same way again.

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Aggressively Cooking at the Gourmet Soiree

FHGourmetSoireeLogoImagine being in a room filled with 70 chefs, 700 people cooking amazing food, and Robert Irvine…….. 

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How fun was it for Aggressive Appliances to be involved in this years Gourmet Soiree held at the Rosen Shingle Creek?  It was incredible! This evening of fundraising, fun, and interactive dining hosted by Food Network’s Robert Irvine included live and silent auctions, and a healthy meal prepared by 70 local chefs with assistance of 10 guests at each table.  

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Our table chef was Cheryl Jaskot and our guests were from VCNA Prestige Concrete Products. Each person had a hand in creating an amazing dish to be submitted for judging….and they only had 30 minutes to prepare and plate a delicious, creative dish that would make the judges stop and take notice.   Ultimately, congrats went to Chef Laurent Hollaender with The Boheme Restaurant, but all the tables presented dishes that made it difficult to pick just one. All the guests were able to sit and dine together, enjoying the entrée they just created. Wonderful side dishes were provided by the resort. Our table guests had a great time and left with swag bags filled with goodies from Aggressive and our top vendors.

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The great food, chefs, and fun evening of cooking was just a backdrop to the real reason for the Gourmet Soiree….to raise funds for Florida Hospital and their Children’s Mission Fit Possible Program.  Fit is an educational program focused on promoting health and wellness and preventing childhood obesity among kids ages 2 -18.  The Culinary Community came together and raised over $250,000 and counting (!!!) making a significant investment in the health of our community’s children.gs2016-4

The perfect ending to this wonderful evening was an endless array of desserts from local vendors that filled the lobby with everything from Sprinkles cupcakes to yummy frozen yogurt complete with an abundance of toppings to choose from. 

We have to say thank you to the 2016 Chairperson Extraordinaire, Kendra Lott with Edible Orlando and the Talented Chef for the night and Vice Chairperson, Gary Appelsies with YMCA of Central Florida. Props also have to be given to Whole Foods for providing the freshest pantry items and to Sysco for supplying the protein.  Plus, it is always a good event when the lovely Emily Ellyn is there! She is an Honorary Committee Member and was a judge for the event. 

It goes without saying, that Aggressive Appliances was honored to be a part of the 2016 Gourmet Soiree, and we can’t wait for next year!

~Blog Content Written and Photos provided by Tina Wilson (pictured below on the left)

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Hi Ya, Papaya!

Papaya2June is a happening month. The kids are released from school and many people break out swim suits and BBQ grills all over the states (in Florida that’s called “all year”). Vacation plans are transitioning from dreams to reality and our glorious sun is shining longer and hotter. June also happens to be the national month for candy, seafood, dairy, fresh fruits/vegetables, papaya, iced tea, and turkey. Yep. All of those.

While I could spend the month of June sharing thoughts on my love for candy and coming up with seafood and fresh veggie dishes….I’m going to focus on papaya, my favorite powerhouse of health and deliciousness.

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Papaya is a fruit I pull out whenever stomach troubles strike. To eat papaya is to experience a spa for your tummy. The soothing properties of papaya to the digestive system have been scientifically proven by my family. And by scientific, I mean that we eat it, love it, and it works, so we keep eating it and passing it down generation to generation. After a papaya feast, I can actually feel my insides sighing a calm “Thank you!”

Here’s the thing….quick research will prove why this fruit should be part of your regular diet. It has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts immunity. It promotes colon health and fights colon cancer. It even protects against heart disease, macular degeneration, and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s packed full of vitamins and fiber so all of its miracle properties would make sense.

Eating the fruit plain has been my preference, but why not grill it to bring out the sweetness? Dice it and add it to any salad? Stuff meats or fish with it? Create a sauce or salsa? Add it to a smoothie? Depending on the ripeness….the possibilities could be endless.

Here’s the recipe I tried yesterday…..I’m kidding….there’s no recipe. I scooped out the seeds, cut off the skin, diced it into easy to pick up chunks and passed it around Aggressive. Delicious!!!

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Commercial Cooking and Cooling – Sort of

TrueA few of our brands got their start building products that were not intended for home use.  Products designed for restaurants and grocery stores tend to be larger, louder and less efficient, but more reliable than residential appliances.  While no one recommends commercial equipment for your house, we are able to recommend some commercial brands. 

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A large number of coolers and refrigerators in grocery and convenience stores carry the True logo.  True got their start in the 40’s building drink coolers.  Their first big contract was with 7-Up, building reach-in coolers for soda bottles.  They’ve grown to become the biggest supplier in the world for display coolers and restaurant refrigeration.  True Residential builds a complete line of under-counter refrigerators, wine coolers, freezers and ice machines for the home.  They have just added a 42” and 48” built-in side by side refrigerator that would look as much at home in a premium restaurant as it will in your kitchen.  These products have the super high quality components of commercial equipment, while meeting the stringent energy standards of the residential market. 

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The world’s largest restaurant company, Darden Restaurants, happens to be a local, Orlando based company.  Darden owns Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze and several other restaurant brands.  They demand equipment that will not let them down.  Behind any Darden bar you will see Perlick refrigerators chilling their beer and wine.  You can have that same commercial quality with a sleeker look right in your own home with their residential under-counter refrigerators that come in widths from 15” to 48″.  Perlick is also an industry leader in stadium, arena, and bar beer systems.  Keeping your beer cold, whether it comes in cans, bottles or kegs, is no struggle for Perlick.

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Many people assume that Viking’s restaurant style ranges originated in restaurant kitchens, however, that would be untrue.  Viking was designed to look like it came from a commercial kitchen, but have the features and safety of a home range.  Over three years ago Fred Carl, who founded Viking, sold the company to Middleby Corp.  VikingCktp3

Middleby, a restaurant and commercial equipment manufacturer, has brought features directly from their restaurant division to their Viking residential appliances.  Their French door wall oven uses the same hinge used on a Blodgett commercial oven.  Their 23,000 btu 7 Series range burners are based on the Southbend restaurant range. The CookTek inductors in Viking’s new induction cooktop will outcook any other appliance in our store. Their speed oven, Turbo Chef, will begin shipping in a few weeks. 

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There is no reason you can not cook and cool like the chefs in your favorite premium restaurant.  Well, not having the skills of your favorite chef might be a valid reason for not cooking like them, but at least you can have comparable equipment to practice on!