The Kitchen

WORK SPACE / LABORATORY / FUNCTIONALITY / AESTHETIC

The kitchen is the work area where food is made, a laboratory where functionality, precision, ergonomics and durability all converge and take pride of place over aesthetics. The kitchen is present both in the home and in restaurants. It is the place where products are stored, and instruments, utensils, apparatus and recipients are ready for use in making food: pots and pans, cutlery and a range of equipment to handle, process, cook and, finally, serve food in dishes or on plates. In this space, reserved, in principle, for the cook, functionality is the supreme value. However, the emergence of new materials and the fact that the kitchen is acquiring an ever more important role in the home are factors that have resulted in a change in components and an improvement in aesthetics there.

Over the last fifty years, the universe of objects contained in the domestic kitchen has expanded, filling with instruments that seemed, until recently, to be reserved for professional settings. The evolution in culinary habits has generated new utensils that reflect new techniques and take into account, more than ever before, eco-design and energy efficiency, as well as aesthetic considerations.

The kitchen’s living space has also become larger, its area often joined to the dining- and sitting-room nowadays to create a single, mixed space. As a result, the kitchen is no longer a closed room, shut off due to its noise, smells and disorder; rather, it has become a room that is open to everyone’s view, in which everything must be beautiful as well as useful. And where domestic appliances and equipment also acquire symbolism.

On the subject of the kitchen we should also mention particularly a number of technical innovations, such spherification, foams, the teppan nitro and other techniques developed at elBulli, and which are now marketed by various companies, such as ICC (International Cooking Concepts) and Solegraells. Other outstanding inventions include the Gastrovac, used for cooking under vacuum, which was developed in cooperation with the Torres brothers Torres (Dos Cielos), and the Roner and the Rocook, an instrument for cooking at low temperature, created with the intervention of Joan Roca. Then there are rarities like the Oxymoron, a grille for heating and sealing brioches filled with ice cream, thereby combining both hot and cold, developed by Andreu Carulla for the Roca brothers’ Rocambolesc. Or the Fakircook, a grille with steel prongs invented by Jordi Herrera of the Manairó restaurant to cook foods in a really alternative way. Products developed by Lékué are aimed at revolutionising the domestic kitchen thanks to the versatility of platinum silicone, a resistant, innovative new material ideal for cooking and easy to clean. The exhibition also features a video that demonstrates how one of the first food printer machines, developed by GGlab and IAAC, works. The exhibition also pays tribute to the Minipimer hand blender, a Spanish invention that has triumphed around the world and which, sixty years after its first version was launched, still looks very much the same.