I had an eventful past couple of days, being immersed in GE Monogram appliances via invitation to GE Monogram's headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville (Loo-uh-vuhl or Loo-ee-vuhl or Loo-ee-vill) is a great place to visit! Home of the Louisville Slugger, really great old architecture, a mix of old/new food, arts, architecture, nestled alongside the Ohio River, if it had to be renamed, I'd rename it Pleasantville (or vuhl). I just love going to places I have not been to before. This is one sweet city, emphasis on sweet, as in charm.
The hotel we all stayed at was, simply, fantastic. The second day of training actually started at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. I had a few burning questions...do they have a gift shop, do they take Amex and do they ship? $400 later, the answers are yes. I love handmade crafts, and the prices at the gift shop were very good (shhh!)
The group was a mix of professional kitchen designers and a few remodelers and design professionals from architectural firms. Sure, it's immersion in a brand for nearly 2 days (3 full, including travel) and that's a good thing. I'm not a kool-aid drinker, although I do look for positive information and try to listen to my inner voice if details/issues crop up that I'm not in tune with. I can report that the product details that I learned about felt overall, solid to me. They will hear from me on one issue in particular that did not sit well with me, but no one is perfect.
I'm impressed, most of all, with GE Monogram's pro range. I've never been, believe it or not, a super fan of pro ranges of any ilk. The logical thought process about my view (one would THINK) might be that I pooh pooh them as being status symbols, which I'm sure they may be to some. However, my concerns have always been rooted toward the concern for those who are immediately seduced by several features...their size, power, brand name, not to mention being influenced by the sex appeal of the ads. In other words, I think a large number of homeowners just lose all logic when they see these cooking monsters in an appliance showroom. I've always thought that. Does the kitchen design follow the appliance package or vice versa? See what I mean?
Am I a total buzzkill??
So, my advice is to think of the feeling you want your kitchen to convey as you begin to design it, even before that process begins. A pro range, its large volume, has everything to do with the design message that your kitchen will send to those who enter it, in a positive or negative way, depending on what your vision is...if you are truly connected to it. But, that's also a bigger discussion for another day.
Let's assume you're on track, after careful consideration, to purchase a pro range. The GE Monogram pro range has been recently completely redesigned...from scratch...and was introduced just last year.
The design and the features are impressive, beginning with the installation...having four wheels and a power cord, it's an easy installation. And, if you care for your floors, you should care about these 4 wheels and an easy installation!
Here's a rundown of some cool features: Do you have a need for power? Maybe 72,000 btus over 4 burners should do it. Covers for the grill and griddle are included, full extension pull out racks, burner grates that turn upside down to accommodate a wok (see image), the grill grate that has a groove in it on one side to drain fat and a flat surface on the other side for fish/veggies, and a griddle that's adjustable in height are good places to start.
I love the grain on the stainless steel. It's very consistent in color and finish all around the range. The knobs are a nice, modern design and color. The range is beveled on the corners, which makes for another nice installation detail and each knob has an indicator light.
Another great product, which you can see in the cooking image (that's our group cooking-we were slaves and cooked 3 meals throughout this training...from scratch) is the induction cooktop. GE Monogram has one of the most powerful induction cooktops around. I cannot expand on this too much at this moment, but two things come to mind...power and instant response...ok, three, incredibly easy clean-up.
Gotta run...the GE Experience Center, as it's called was a good experience. Did you know GE has their own zip code? Yeesh! GE people, feel free to answer comments and questions.