THE country’s gone food mad! A recent poll revealed that 7.2 million British adults now watch food and cookery TV
THE country’s gone food mad! A recent poll revealed that 7.2 million British adults now watch food and cookery TV programmes, with the ever popular MasterChef pulling in a record 5.2 million viewers for its series nine finale earlier this month, according to BARB data.
So what is driving this cookery revolution?
Jonathan Cranley, sales and marketing manager at Twyford-based property company, Millgate, puts it down to our hard economic times.
He said: “The seemingly endless recession is proving to be a challenge for many with austerity measures trickling from the top down through to everyday life.
“Eating out has become a luxury with more and more people looking to make their weekly shop go further as well as entertain on a budget at home.
“Preparing food and sitting around the kitchen table has always been at the heart of British family life and just as I grew up watching The Galloping Gourmet, today’s chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson have become celebrities in their own right, even winning BAFTAs.”
Health-scares such as the horsemeat scandal, where manufacturers have used the cheaper option in place of beef, has also led to a rise in the home preparation of foods. Home ware retailers such as Robert Dyas have seen increased sales of bread-makers, food processors and even sandwich boxes.
The home kitchen, it seems, has never been so important.
Taking into account the needs and desires of today’s modern families, Millgate places special focus on each and every kitchen in their luxury country homes including those at Victoria Mews in Wargrave.
Working with expert designers Alexander James Interiors, based in White Waltham, the Millgate team seamlessly blend practical requirements with attractive design to create the perfect kitchen.
At this end of the market, the fitted appliances are of particular important to buyers and wherever viable Millgate fit Sub-Zero and Wolf machines in their kitchens. Only available via John Lewis and Harrods, they really do stand out from the crowd. Sub-Zero fridge-freezers have compartments with a separate compressor, enabling food to stay fresher for longer, and humidity is variable between the fridge/freezer which eliminates that frost build-up that can be so tedious to eliminate.
They are also fitted with a NASA-patented antimicrobial air purification filter system which scrubs and refreshes the air within the fridge-freezer every 20 minutes, removing any bacteria, mould and viruses in the process.
One popular appliance is the Sub-Zero wine preserver which does exactly what it says on the tin — preserving wine to keep it in tip-top quaffable condition. Dual evaporators save bottle labels from getting wet — particularly important on high value wines — and UV-resistant, bronze-tinted glass shields wine from harmful rays to help with ageing.
Ovens in Millgate homes are made by American manufacturers The Wolf, a mark usually only available to caterers. They boast the biggest oven on the market — large enough to hold a 30kg roast, and presumably built with family Christmases in mind.
Oven temperature goes lower than an Aga, and with dual fans and 10 cooking modes up to 15 per cent can be cut off all cooking times. Extra features include a natty meat thermometer, a pizza function with dedicated cooking stone and for healthy cooks, a dehydrating mode to produce dried fruit.
With top brand kitchen equipment such as this, buyers may well feel as if they have stepped into Delia Smith’s or Gordon Ramsay’s home.
The Miele steam oven is the best in its class and this versatile piece of kit is a super healthy way to cook your food and retain nutritional value. And a kitchen fitted with two dishwashers is a dream come true as one can be cleaning whilst the other is being loaded.
Millgate kitchens are fitted with composite stone work surfaces which are elegant but tough. The highly polished finish is ideal for use as a heavy-use counter top and boasts many practical properties such as being heat resistant up to 146°C, as well as stain, scratch and water-resistant.
In addition to functionality Millgate kitchens are created with real living in mind.
Soft-close drawers and doors create peaceful living, a cosy seating area at the end of the work surface is perfect for friends popping over for coffee or for kids struggling with their homework whilst you are trying to cook dinner — not to mention the other half propping up the bar area with a glass of wine.
Sinks are often set in the central island directly behind the oven to minimise mess and remove the need to walk around the kitchen with dangerous pans of boiling water.
Tasteful lights hang down this central area providing necessary illumination but can be dimmed to alter the mood of the kitchen to perhaps match the mood of the chef if required.
Stacey Mitchell, sales manager for Millgate and a keen cook herself said: “We have been building homes for more than 25 years and one of the most important things to get absolutely right in our houses is a kitchen that works for families who love to cook.
“I believe that some designer kitchens have gone a step too far and have taken their eye off the ball on what really works for the cook.
“We have listened to our owners, adapting and working with suggestions to create sublime kitchens that are a joy to be in — and to cook in. Compliments like that really say it all.”
For more information contact Millgate on 0118 934 3344 or visit www.millgatehomes.co.uk.