Written By Joan Lerch
Photography By Diane Anderson
If you didn’t think an oven could make you swoon, then you really should visit St. Louis’s new Gaggenau showroom and see the superb capabilities of the Gaggenau combi-steam oven. Once you witness this brainchild of German engineering produce French bread with a bakery-perfect crust (the secret is a dedicated water line that mists the surface during baking), you’ll know you’ve found “the one.”
And while the high-performance capabilities of Gaggenau will please the most demanding home gourmet, the luxury appliance line is also crafted to enhance the design aesthetic of a custom kitchen. Kelly Johnson, owner of Kelly Johnson Design, explains. “The function of kitchen appliances is still paramount—especially in today’s ‘gourmet at home’ culture. People want to have all the tools in their own home to have a gourmet experience, and they want their kitchens to be beautiful as well as chef-worthy. Gaggenau appliances are simply gorgeous.”
Newly introduced in brick and mortar spaces in the St. Louis bi-state area, Gaggenau is available exclusively at AUTCOhome Appliances, and showroom manager Kim Zimmer says it has already generated a buzz. “People really like the combi-steam oven because it works like an oven you would find in a commercial kitchen—with a dedicated water line and drain line.” The vacuuming drawer, enabling quick sealing of fish, meat, vegetables and fruit, for sous-vide cooking, is also a favorite, she adds.
For Johnson, who has included Gaggenau in clients’ projects for many years, the availability of the line is St. Louis is particularly welcome. With AUTCO’s new Gaggenau kitchen, she and her clients can experience the appliances in person. “It’s fabulous! Life is so much easier when it’s local.”
Many of the gourmet tools in the Gaggenau line can be integrated into a kitchen within very specific parameters. “They offer the homeowner the opportunity to customize a package based on their individual preferences,” Johnson says. “Do you want to deep-fry? Do you want to integrate a wok? You can even determine the exact space you need for a cooktop or refrigeration, for example, and then you build the components to work together.”
Chef Dana Liljequist, Owner of Lily Pad Catering, was trained by Gaggenau in the new AUTCOhome kitchen, and he’s an enthusiastic fan. “What I love about Gaggenau is that it takes all the different cooking methods [bake, broil, braise, steam, etc.] and enhances them. It also allows you to use multiple methods at one time. You can bake a piece of fish, while adding 60% steam, and cook it perfectly in half the time.”
While Gaggenau appliances are engineered to provide better results with less effort, what should the cook do with those precious extra minutes? Perhaps a custom-blended cappuccino from the company’s fully automated coffee machine? This stainless steel and glass marvel, seamlessly integrated into the wall, will instantly fill your favorite mug with a variety of hot drinks. Create your perfect-strength brew from eight different choices, get the milk/coffee ratio just the way you want it, and even adjust the volume to match the capacity of that favorite mug. Save preferences for up to eight customized beverages, and your daily coffee–house run just got a little shorter, and a lot more personal.
While the new Gaggenau showroom has only been open for a few months, Zimmer says the coffee machine wows everyone. “Oh, that coffee machine gets people going every time!” The machine features aroma-brewing technology for a full sensory experience. Watching a demonstration, one customer closed her eyes and sighed, “Oh, even the water smells good!”
A longtime favorite source for St. Louis architects, builders and designers, the AUTCOhome showroom is also open to the public, and has an experienced sales team with decades of combined experience. “Having so many years in the industry helps us to serve our clients better,” Zimmer explains. The knowledgeable staff can offer a personalized experience throughout the purchasing procedure, whether it’s a single new oven or a major kitchen remodel, she adds.
There’s plenty for cooks and coffee lovers to crave in the new Gaggenau showroom, but what about the demanding oenophile? With Gaggenau’s fully integrated wine climate cabinets, a collection of cherished wines can be showcased in superb style, outfitted with dimmable lighting to highlight a collection without affecting the contents. Special glass doors protect the wine from UV damage, and an optional, no-handle “push-to-open” feature keeps things sleek. Independently controlled temperature zones allow part of a collection to be kept in cellar-like conditions, while those bottles ready to be enjoyed are kept at a perfect serving temperature.
When the science of fine engineering pairs with the artistry of a great cook, and the elegance of great design, how could it not be love at first sight?
*For more information, log onto autcohome.com.
Westport Showroom: 11610 Page Service Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146 314.372.2192
Fenton Showroom: 1694 Larkin Williams Road, Fenton, MO 63026 636.349.4946
O'Fallon Showroom: 1660 Bryan Road, O'Fallon, MO 63368 636.439.2425