New Lunchboxes- Part 3: U Konserve

by Kitchenworks4. September 2016 11:47

Disposable plastic containers certainly have their place, but your lunchbox shouldn't be one of them!

Offering environmentally conscious storage and travel containers in quality stainless steel...

U Konserve

Concerned by the number of disposable lunch containers used in their children's midday meal, two powerhouse mothers joined forces in 2008 to create an environmentally-friendly alternative. 

The solution? 18/8 stainless steel containers paired with BPA and phthalate free recyclable plastic dividers and lids.

 

 

Options for every appetite, these versatile containers offer safe and sturdy travel solutions.

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Vendor Spotlight

New Lunchboxes- Part 2: Bentology

by Kitchenworks17. August 2016 14:54

Back to School is almost here and we're bursting with options to help you pack the perfect lunch!

Back by popular demand with newly redesigned Bento boxes...

Bentology

Founded in 2001, this California company features modular reusable packing components that can be customized to pack your perfect lunch. The Bento method of packing reinforces thoughtful food choices and helps with portion control.

All images belong to Bentology

 

Customize your daily setup to perfectly transport your midday meal. 

 

With dozens of combinations and customization options, the main question is 

How do you Bento?

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Vendor Spotlight

New Lunchboxes- Part 1: Wildkin

by Kitchenworks10. August 2016 11:45

August is here and we've TRIPLED our lunchbox offerings with some exciting new options!

First up, a Tennessee-based company crafting quality lunchboxes in thoughtfully designed layouts...

Wildkin

The perfectly sized classic lunchbox features a full-open zippered lid, front zip pocket, and inner stash pocket. Stretchy hook and loop bands secure a drink or ice pack and the slick interior is completely wipeable.

 

The larger flip-top bags easily handle bigger appetites with a no frills mentality. Perfect for older lunchers who are solely focused on the food! Wipeable interior with hook and loop closure.

 

 

Offering the most space and a shoulder carry strap, these cooler inspired bags are perfect for anyone with a full day. Plenty of room for a grownup-sized lunch or lunch plus a snack. Top-open zippered main compartment features a mesh stash pocket plus bonus exterior side pockets.

Stay tuned for other exciting options to help pack the perfect lunch!

 

 

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Vendor Spotlight

Le Souk Ceramique

by Kitchenworks26. June 2016 15:35

Handcrafted in the coastal town of Nabeul in north-eastern Tunisia, Le Souk Ceramique continues the time-honored Tunisian tradition of exquisite hand-painted pottery.

 

 

 

Employing local artisans at salaries well above industry standards, Le Souk Ceramique opened it's studio in 1997.

Each pattern contains over 33 different shapes including large serving platters, mugs, bowls, pitchers, plates, utensil crocks, and cookable Tagines.

Every pattern is fully hand-painted by a team of artists. No stencils, graphics, or decals- just skill and a steady hand.

 We have proudly sold Le Souk Ceramique's beautiful creations at our Chapel Hill location since 2002.

 

 

 

 

All photos property of Le Souk Ceramique.

 

 

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Staff Favorites | Vendor Spotlight

Haitian Art

by Gia3. November 2013 18:37

 Across the back wall of our store, we have a huge Haitian art display.

Each item is a unique, handcrafted, piece of art imported straight from Haiti. 

 

 Using recycled 55-gallon oil drums, the artist first removes both round ends of the drum and places these inside the cylinder along with dried banana or sugar cane leaves. He sets this on fire, to burn off any paint or residue. When cooled down, the artist then cuts the round drum from top to bottom. The flattening process is a sight to behold, as one of the artists’ helpers will climb inside the drum and using all his weight, push with feet, legs, arms and shoulders to open it up.  It is then pounded into a flattened "metal canvas" of approximately 3" x 6". With chalk, the design is drawn onto the metal sheet. Using hammer, chisel and various primitive tools, the shape is cut and the various decorative patterns are pounded into the metal. The finished design is signed by the artist and coated with a protective finish.

 

 

Haitian steel art began in the early 1950's with a simple blacksmith: Georges Liautaud. In his small shop, he made and repaired tools and created primitive metal crosses for the graves in the Croix-des-Bouquets cemetery. It was at the encouragement of an American teacher, DeWitt Peters, who in 1944 opened the Le Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, that Georges Liautaud expanded into the creation of decorative metal sculptures. A few talented men apprenticed under him, and this tradition has continued. 

Click here to check out our Haitian Art! 

History and info courtesy of http://www.haitimetalart.com/

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Products | Vendor Spotlight

The Evolution of the Cuisinart Food Processor

by Gia30. August 2013 13:43

 

 

My personal philosophy when it comes to cooking is to remember that, at the base level, cooking is just regulating the amount of heat and moisture applied/maintained in food over time (flavoring is a whole other ballgame, but that's for another post). It is for this reason that I often tell new Kitchenworks staff members, when considering the relative quality of comparable products, to imagine the kitchen as a tropical jungle. A quality product is the one that is able to perform well through wide variances in heat and humidity. 

 

What does this have to do with Food Processors?

We don't carry many electronic kitchen appliances at our Chapel Hill location. This is for two reasons: we have a very small retail space and humidity wreaks havoc on electronic parts, including motors, circuit boards, and computer chips (which have become as ubiquitous in kitchen appliances as they have in cars)  It is for this reason that most kitchen appliances only have a 3 year warranty which, in our opinion, is just not worth the price.

Cuisinart Food Processors have always been the exception to this rule, which is why they are one of the few electronic appliances we carry.

 

What makes Cuisinart Food Processors different?

The most significant design aspect of a Cuisinart Food Processor is that it is simple to operate. Their Pro Classic line (ie: their consistent models, not the special editions), have only three settings: on, off and pulse. The absence of a computer chip makes the machine much less susceptible to changes in heat and humidity (not to mention user error). 

Cuisinart Buttons

The most significant engineering aspect is that the motors are self-contained. Other than the fans used to cool them, the motor parts are contained within a water tight plastic shell. This prevents the parts from rusting or accumulating debris, which degrades the lubrication needed to keep everything moving. 

Fun fact: Steve Jobs used the Cuisinart Food Processor design as inspiration for his 1977 Apple II computer.

 

James Beard Cuisinart CookbookBut are they still that good?

Yes...and no...

Like any longstanding multinational brand, the Cuisinart company has gone through myriad changes in the 40+ years since Carl Sontheimer hacked his Robot Coupe and Julia Child convinced Americans to try it out. And, as has been the fate of many American-owned companies, the quality of their products took a significant dive around 1992 when they moved manufacturing to China (machines had previously been manufactured in France and Japan).

Consumers across the world lament the post-1992 Cuisinart Food Processors as weaker than their predecessors, which is a true and valid critique. The motors are lighter, which means the parts are moving more and creating more friction. Friction = heat. The faster a machine produces heat, the harder it has to work to continue to perform at that intensity. Therefore, the new models must perform at a lower intensity than the older models in order to prevent overheating.

Vintage Cuisinart Food Processor

However, many home cooks are still using French and Japanese built motors and Cuisinart is still manufacturing replacement parts for those machines (which we'll cover in another post). You can purchase functioning, used, pre-1992 motors online (Ebay has tons) and, if you're willing to do a little searching (ahem...not too far), refurbish your own machine for about the same price as a new one. Customers call us daily wondering if its really worth it to replace their parts or if they should just buy a whole new machine. The answer comes down to the frequency of use - if your Cuisinart is an essential tool in your kitchen arsenal, then its worth it to keep the old motor and replace the parts. You will notice the difference in quality.

 

So if they're not the best, why do you still sell them?

Though we love working with professional chefs and restauranteurs, our primary mission is to provide quality tools for the home cook. That includes carrying products that the average American can afford. Cuisinart Food Processors are still the best bang for your buck. Most home cooks only use their processor for large meals and events, so it may not make sense for them to pay over $400 for an appliance they only intend to use a few times a year. For the price range ($50 - $250), Cuisinart Food Processors are still the highest quality food processor brand on the market today. 

 

Have questions about parts for your Cuisinart Food Processor?

Start here: How to Identify your Cuisinart Food Processor Model. You'll see links there to info and parts pages for almost every model of Cuisinart Food Processor.

 

Still stumped?

Email us at info@kitchenworksinc.com or call us at (800) 967-9755 and we'll be happy to help you identify which parts you need to get your processor back up and running.

Vendor Spotlight: Brushtech

by Gia7. July 2013 19:33

 

Brushtech is one of those companies that makes products you never knew you always needed (until you discover them in your local kitchen/hardware store, let out a very audible yelp, and find excuses to bring it up in conversation for weeks). If you garner any kind of satisfaction from getting your kitchen tools really clean, then you're about to be just as obsessed with them as we are.

Brushtech makes highly durable, insanely specific, kitchen and tool cleaning brushes. If you've ever attempted to wedge your sponge/dish brush into a bottle, straw, tea kettle spout, decanter, percolator, etc. (I could go on for the whole post) and still couldn't get that bit of caked on grime out of there, you need a Brushtech brush. All of their brushes are made in Plattsburg, NY (since 1976) by the Gujian family. 

Here are some reasons we love Brushtech brushes:

They go where other brushes can't.
Finally get between the holes in your strainer's mesh screen, or inside your reusable drinking straws (your drink will taste much better), percolator (no more bitter coffee), muffin tins (improves heat distribution) and hummingbird feeder (those things can get grimy). Even save yourself a call to the plumber with a hair catching drain brush.

They won't scratch delicate glass and crystal.
Reinforced foam brushes won't scratch glass or crystal and don't absorb water and bacteria, so they'll last much longer than conventional sponges. You also won't get your hand stuck when you create a vacuum attempting to reach the sponge to the bottom of your drinking glasses (maybe that's just me...).

They are super durable and super affordable
The bristles on a Brushtech brush are woven through the wire, not glued into a plastic head like most cheap cleaning brushes. This makes them more durable because there is no glue (which degrades over time). Also, the brushes are engineered to withstand the repetitive motions of everyday cleaning (they also manufacture industrial cleaning brushes), which means that your brushes won't end up flat and misshapen. If that wasn't enough, they're all less than $10, so you can show them to all your friends!

I have used my little V-shaped grill brush through three summers and it is still truckin! None of the bristles are bent or worn, it gets between (not just on top of) the grates, and it even works when the grill is cold. Plus, its made of brass, so it won't scratch the enamel coating on my cast iron grill top.

Check out our whole collection of Brushtech brushes:

Visit them them on youtube for informational videos and more brushes you never knew you always needed!

See a Brushtech brush you wish we carried? Shoot us an email at orders@kitchenworksinc.com and we'll put in a special order for you.

 

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Made in America | Products | Vendor Spotlight

Vendor Spotlight: Lodge Cast Iron

by Gia3. July 2013 10:35

 

When considering a company to kick off our July Made in America sale, Lodge was the obvious choice. While cast iron cookware has been used worldwide for hundreds of years, we still think of the cast iron skillet as an American icon - as versatile, hardworking, and durable as the Americans that have used them.

Founded in 1896, Lodge Cookware Company is still based in South Pittsburg, TN and led by two descendants of the original founder, Joseph Lodge. A commitment to innovation, employee support and environmental responsibility has allowed Lodge to prosper through two World Wars and the Great Depression. 

 Here are some things we love about Lodge Cast Iron:

Their Lodge Logic line is pre-seasoned. If you've ever accidentally filled your home with smoke while attempting to season a brand new cast iron pan, you realize the sheer genius of this.

Because of their commitment to quality and the environment, you know you're getting a pure Cast Iron pan. What does that mean?

  • The pan will heat up at a consistent temperature and maintain that high, constant, heat throughout the cooking process. This makes cast iron the ideal medium for frying, searing, and creating perfectly crispy cornbread.
  • You can put the pan on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, or directly into a campfire. No need to worry about whether impurities in the metal will leach into your foods at certain temperatures.
  • The cast iron is so durable that it will last for generations. Seriously - some of our customers have century old cast iron pans that they still use every day.
  • Once you season it, it is naturally nonstick. No PTFEs to worry about, no nagging your kids to use non-metal spatulas, no dousing the pan in globs of butter just to fry some eggs.
  • Cooking in a cast iron skillet is a great way for vegetarians (or anyone, really) to increase their iron intake without having to take nasty supplements (yes this has been scientifically proven).

Check out our Lodge Cast Iron Cookware - 15% off for the entire month of July!

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