I Have Seen the Future

June 8, 2011

Once upon a time, long long ago, just after Randy and I started dating, I fell in love with a stove.  We went to a party at one of his friends’ house and after walking in, my eyes jumped immediately to one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.  A Viking.  Not a tall Nordic man but a stainless steel stove.  It was a six-burner stunner with a gorgeous hand-painted tile backsplash.  I don’t know that I had ever seen a stainless steel appliance at that point in my life and I had certainly never seen anything so beautiful and so useful.

At the time, I was living in a tiny house with a tiny kitchen and a tiny stove with a tiny oven and I thought to myself, “Someday, I want a Viking.”  I told Randy as much, even though we were newly dating and it was probably the kind of thing you “shouldn’t” say to a guy you had been with for three weeks.  But I knew I was going to marry him. And, because it was early in our relationship, he probably did not yet know that when I want something badly enough, I will talk about it ad nauseum until somehow, some way, some day I get it.

Fast forward to 2006 and our purchase of a new-construction house.  Much of the home was done and many of the choices were made but we did get to do some of the fun stuff, like pick granite, backsplashes, paint colors, lighting, cabinet colors, etc.  Much to my HUGE delight, the appliances were ordered and they included a massive 48-inch Viking range and also a Viking refrigerator.  My range has six burners plus a grill spot and has one small and one very large oven.  I was ecstatic and could not wait to put that baby to the test.

Almost immediately, there were problems.  The small oven bakes 25 degrees cold and the large oven bakes 50 degrees hot, something we could not seems to fix despite numerous attempts to re-calibrate.  There is no timer and no self-cleaning feature.  Over time, the burners have gotten really finicky – sometimes they work and sometimes they just click endlessly.  Sometimes they light but another burner on another part of the stove clicks endlessly.  For something that is supposed to be a performance superstar, it was nothing close.  It is a beauty still, but beauty only takes you so far.

So, when Thermador asked if I would like to take a look at the exciting new Pro Grand Steam Range that they will unveil this August, I could not say yes fast enough.  Sure, a couple of days in Scottsdale with food bloggers from around the country sounded like a lot of fun – and it was – but I was really interested to see what the competition is doing.

It turns out that there is no competition.  What I saw in the spectacular Thermador showroom is not an appliance.  It is a dreamy, beautiful, innovative, no-holds-barred, no detail left out, rock star, race car of a range.  Yes, I am talking about a stove and no, I am not exaggerating.  As this beauty was unveiled to the 18 bloggers in attendance, there were sighs, there were moans, there were sharp intakes of breath, there was applause, there were lots of flashes going off, and there was lots of wondering – how can I get this beauty in my home?

So, what makes it so special?  Let’s start with the superficial.  It’s gorgeous.  Sleek, tricked out, and with the cool retro touch of an analog oven temperature setting, this baby would be at home in the most modern of kitchens.  But, unlike my Viking, this is not just a pretty face.  Every last detail has been thought out.  Big things like the patented star shaped burner (which distributes heat much more efficiently with more intensity and fewer cold spots than a circle) and their innovative steam oven (which uses a combination of steam and convection to bake food gently but efficiently) are there.  Or how about three oven racks that glide out smooth as silk unlike the fits and starts of my Viking.  Those racks have a special slot for your oven-mitt-covered hand so you can pull them out easily.  And both oven doors close with a soft touch so you can kick the door closed without a slam.

This range has six burners plus a grill and griddle (I had to choose either/or with my Viking) which are easily switched out.  That griddle has a titanium coating so it doesn’t rust or scratch and there is a small, easily removed repository where you can scrape pancake bits into after using that griddle, you know, the one that can go in the dishwasher.

The cooktop gives you burners with incredible power and also with a gentleness that can allow you to place a paper plate with chocolate chips on it for the length of an afternoon.  As we were learning about the stove, someone mentioned this fact which, I have to be honest, I did not believe.  But after the unveiling, we were invited into one of the incredible kitchens in the Thermador showroom to cook lunch and I witnessed it first hand.  That paper plate stayed on the stove the entire time we were there and never caught fire.  Amazing.  All in all, the Pro Grand Steam Range offers seven different ways to cook in one unit – steaming, convection baking, burner cooking, simmering, grilling, griddle cooking, and warming.

(Kathy and I manning the tofu station.)

My time at Thermador was incredibly interesting and a lot of fun.  We got to stay at a gorgeous resort and ate so much terrific food.  I met some lovely people with lovely blogs and my only regret is that I did not take enough pictures.  Some of my friends have written up terrific posts about our time together and I invite you to check them out for great photography and some more info about this amazing range.

Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen
Kathy from Happy Healthy Life
Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer
Anne from fANNEtastic food
Tessa from Handle the Heat
Maria and Josh from Two Peas & Their Pod

(Full disclosureThermador flew me to Scottsdale and paid my lodging, meals, and airport transfer.  There was no pressure to write a glowing review, or even to write anything at all, it was my pleasure to do so.)



17 Comments »

  1. It was sleek and gorgeous and I want one!

    Loved meeting you, too!

    Comment by Sandy @ RE — June 8, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  2. Totally droolworthy. We have a perfectly functional but not particularly inspiring cooktop and separate double oven.

    Comment by Kate @ Savour Fare — June 8, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  3. I really can’t wait for the day when I can purchase my own oven. Especially now that I know what I’ll be buying!

    Though I won’t mention it on a first or second date. I promise. Maybe.

    Comment by Joanne — June 8, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

  4. I’m going to start talking about it endlessly, and maybe, someday I’ll get one! Looks amazing! And thanks for introducing me to the other food bloggers who were there!

    Comment by Emily — June 8, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  5. Wow! I got to preview this too, but in NYC in a space in Soho with a famous chef there and great hors d’oevres. Loved the Thermador stuff too, on my wish list, along with a new bigger kitchen!

    No one flew me anywhere or paid for my tolls or parking into Manhattan, I guess you rank.
    xo

    Comment by stacey snacks — June 8, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  6. Thanks for the shout out! It was great meeting you and I totally want to come to one of your cooking classes :)

    Comment by Anne P — June 8, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  7. I have a weakness and total soft spot for industrial strength home kitchen appliances! xo.

    Comment by G. — June 8, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  8. I would like to get to know this star-shaped burner–or all six of them! Sounds amazing. I’m curious about the oven. Is it necessary to change temperatures or baking times given in recipes?

    Comment by lisaiscooking — June 8, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  9. We are looking for a new LP gas 30 inch wide stove. Alas, this one is 48 inches and out of our price range.

    Comment by Yafa — June 9, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  10. Dana.. once upon a time we built a brand new house and had a shiny new Thermador cooktop (with said star-shaped burners) and beautiful convection wall oven. Unfortunately, we discovered we are meant to be century home owners and further hated the beach town where we built the house (who knew?) So now I live in the right town and the right house, but late at night, I still think about that Thermador and how it made me the happiest cook on earth. I understand your passion my friend. Now don’t go feeling too sorry for me, b/c I do have a lovely Bertazzoni range that is pretty darn close, but it’s just not a Thermador. My husband has thought I’m crazy all these years talking about that Thermador oven, but I’m now feeling completely validated by your post :)

    Comment by catherine — June 9, 2011 @ 2:17 am

  11. [...] Dana from Dana’s Treat [...]

    Pingback by Chocolate Toffee Whole Grain Cookie Recipe & Thermador | Eat the Love — June 9, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  12. I live in Viking country, and have used one at work for 14 years. I would never own one. The oven has never baked properly and I was horrified when a James Beard award winning chef was broiling her bread for a class we were doing (trying to get the oven to 350) ….I bought a Dacor 36″ dual fuel and have never regretted it. Getting ready to sell my house and I know a lot of folks think Viking is the Porshe of the kitchen, but we know better.

    Comment by susie — June 9, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  13. Can I tell you how amazingly jealous I am that you got to gaze your eyes upon the range? I have wanted a Thermador range FOR EVER!!!! However I hear Santa is broke and he never leaves one under the tree for me :(

    Comment by leslie — June 9, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

  14. you have me really really wanting a Thermador!

    and, ps. you are so cute!! :)

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — June 10, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  15. So glad I got to meet you! I still can’t believe how worthless your Viking ended up being. All the more reason to go with Thermador ;)

    Comment by Tessa — June 11, 2011 @ 6:23 am

  16. I love your story about falling in love with the Viking range ~ it reminded me that when I was 13 I went to spend a summer with my aunt and uncle in Marin County, CA, and they had a red(!) Viking range. I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and have forever dreamed of having one just like it. Unfortunately, a lot of friends w/ Viking ranges have similar complaints to yours about its dependability, so I know there will be no red Viking in my future :(

    Comment by brooke — June 11, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  17. I am afraid of going to the Thermador website to check the price… (sigh)

    interestingly, a friend of mine just lost her Viking – problems that not even the company could repair, apparently some part is not manufactured any longer.

    I thought Viking was the greatest brand ever! Pretty disappointing…

    Comment by SallyBR — June 13, 2011 @ 6:50 pm



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