La Nouvelle Cuisine

No, we haven't started serving guests a single shrimp garnished with two carrot slices and a sprig of chive. La nouvelle cuisine also means "the new kitchen," which is what we had built in France this

past winter while we were in California.

Here are some pictures of what it looked like before and after, which should make clear why we wanted to change -

Where we started...

What we have now...

The refrigerator has moved to the opposite wall, along with the new pantry.

A pull-out hood over the cooktop includes a light and extractor fan.

Now we have a dishwasher - and it's incredibly quiet!

The centerpiece of it all is the
induction cooktop.

So what's an induction cooktop (besides not very photogenic)? Unlike a conventional electric stove that heats a burner that in turn heats the pot, induction cooking uses a high-frequency magnetic field to heat the pot directly. It's extremely efficient, and the heat instantly adjusts higher or lower, on or off.

The principal down side is that you must use ferric (magnetic iron-based) cookware, which could be a problem for anyone with a big investment in all-aluminum or copper pans. Induction stoves also are more expensive, which is probably why induction cooking hasn't caught on yet in the US. We expect this will change with the increased interest in energy-saving.

For more information, there's an induction cooking web site, where you can learn more than most people want to know about the subject.

 7 May 2007