29 Nov2010

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This was probably the culinary equivalent of test driving a Porsche Boxster. Viking and Wolf ranges might be high-end Mercedes’ and BMWs, but I suspect La Cornue would rate a notch above that… And the La Cornue family of stoves range from entry level Porsches to bona fide Bentleys, with the largest and most doodady La Cornue’s reaching well over $100,000 if you want a custom designed island filled with La Cornue stove love. And that isn’t even the most expensive stove in the world, this one is, at $4 million when ordered in gold — now THAT is ridiculous! :) The entry point for La Cornue is their Cornufé line that starts at say $7,000 more or less, just a little more than the larger Vikings, so they are definitely trying to broaden their market. Their bigger stoves are significantly higher in the $35,000-50,000 range. While I love cars as well, I think a great stove is far better value over the long term… :) If I win the Lotto55 this evening I would design a house, around a kitchen, around a spectacular island with a stove to die for. Then I could probably be cremated in it if it had enough BTU’s…

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Now, let me just say that allowing an “outsider” to use one’s kitchen and tools is a potentially touchy subject. I certainly don’t like others touching my knives if they don’t know how to cook… So it was either a sign of true friendship or an act of desperation that our friends, R and D, invited me to cook a meal one evening during our short stay in San Francisco. I was most happy to oblige… the prospect was indeed as exciting as the time a niece-in-law once arranged for me to test drive a BMW 7 series on my birthday, shortly after the cars were put up for sale in the local market. I loved the center burner of the La Cornue, and you could fire it up to 17,500 BTU’s, but I didn’t need that much heat that evening. I particularly liked this heat lamp that came in handy for softening butter quickly but also for keeping food warm while you finished other dishes.

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For dinner we had two main courses, a Pork Milanese of sorts served over a bed of arugula and surrounded by the treviso leaves and lots of lemon wedges…

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And an entire side of salmon, completely encased in soft butter with lots of chopped basil mixed in. Nothing fancy, all done in less than an hour, but I have to admit, I make a terrible mess in the kitchen, though I am certainly willing to clean up… :) We also had a large platter of heirloom tomatoes, a salad of young artichokes with parmesan shavings (post up next), bread, and a dessert platter of peaches and assorted berries… Many thanks to R & D for letting me cook in their kitchen, it was wonderful!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Anything Under the Sun says:

    wow…. when will you post something that does not look tempting, I wonder. I am jealous of everything on this picture.

    Nov 29, 2010 | 6:36 pm

     
  2. cusinera says:

    amazing stove….that’s why I love marketmanila (MM), it shows me things I’ve never encountered before…you’re like my national geographic magazine but in the foodie side=)

    Nov 29, 2010 | 6:57 pm

     
  3. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, very interesting and informative post.

    Nov 29, 2010 | 8:26 pm

     
  4. chinky says:

    Agree with cusinera….i know of the Viking line, but not this one. Thanks, MM for enlightening us. A $4 million stove is mind-boggling.

    Nov 29, 2010 | 8:29 pm

     
  5. millet says:

    santa, are you listening? i’ve been exceptionally good this year! ;-)

    Nov 29, 2010 | 8:33 pm

     
  6. anita li says:

    I love La Cornue. It is indeed a class above Viking and Wolf.

    I would definitely want one of those in my kitchen which would probably take a whole wing of my dream home … if I win the grand lotto that is :D

    Nov 29, 2010 | 8:56 pm

     
  7. marilen says:

    Cusinera, you speak for a great number of us – how nice to be informed and surprised every day from the boundless curiosity of MM.

    Nov 29, 2010 | 10:04 pm

     
  8. Junb says:

    yes my dream is a kitchen with a house. meaning the center of attraction is the kitchen :

    Nov 29, 2010 | 10:15 pm

     
  9. EbbaBlue says:

    MM, I smiled reading this topic, for I told my husband who was doodling/designing our “future house” to start his drawing with a kitchen in mind, the house built around it. I said I wanted my own utensils closet, away from what everybody uses everyday. I volunteer at a Food Pantry at our church and I cook for the workers. I brought my own knives and cooking equipment and placed them in an”aparador”. I found later that at days I am not present, some people often use my stuff for they look good/shiny/sharp. Ohh….that makes me frown. I then decided to buy some cheaper tools for them to use. and put a simple lock on the aparador. I also put there my other mix/ingredients, electrical cookware including pots & pans. I was a litle comfortable doing that but could you call me selfish?

    Nov 29, 2010 | 10:58 pm

     
  10. tonceq says:

    “I certainly don’t like others touching my knives if they don’t know how to cook… So it was either a sign of true friendship or an act of desperation that our friends, R and D, invited me to cook a meal one evening during our short stay in San Francisco.”

    well, you certainly do know how to cook MM! Amazing kitchen equipment your allowed to work with over there! as with the others, thank you very much for sharing this with us! :)

    Nov 29, 2010 | 11:00 pm

     
  11. fried-neurons says:

    I remember seeing one at a store some years ago. I think it was at the Williams-Sonoma flagship store, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it was about the same size (in terms of width and number of burners) as a 48-inch Wolf, but if I remember correctly the price tag was over $40,000!!! It was definitely a looker, with unbelievably gorgeous detailing. Your friends’ range looks even nicer than the one I saw on display.

    Anyway, a burner that does 17,500 BTU is about right for high-end stoves. Viking ranges usually have 15K BTU burners + 1 burner at 18,500 BTU, while Wolf ranges have all burners at 16K BTU. This is with natural gas as fuel; propane (aka “gasul”) fuel produces lower BTU.

    Nov 29, 2010 | 11:23 pm

     
  12. Lannie says:

    MM, same dream… a house built around the kitchen!

    Nov 30, 2010 | 4:23 am

     
  13. Angela says:

    When I was in college (a long, long time ago) I dreamed of owning a fabulous house with a huge La Cornue stove in my kitchen and a Bentley in the garage. . .Today, I’m still dreaming about it ;)

    Maybe one day. . .

    Nov 30, 2010 | 5:25 am

     
  14. GayeN says:

    Once again, I learned something new just reading your posts MM! I’ve never even heard of read of La Cornue before. I also dream of a house built around a fabulous kitchen, now I have to include La Cornue in that dream. hehe

    Nov 30, 2010 | 10:16 am

     
  15. stef says:

    for those who can afford more than “just” a Viking or a Wolf, but can’t afford a La Cornue, an alternative is the beautiful Lacanche. Check out their largest model, the Sully 2200. http://www.frenchranges.com/col_sully2200.shtml…. Or, if you like, the pricier Delaubrac: http://delaubracranges.com/ranges.php?r=range6 — still cheaper than La C. for those who would rather go for function than form, and specifically “wokkers”, there’s also the BlueStar, which offers the highest BTU burner available for residential ranges (among other things, including salamanders, etc.): http://www.bluestarcooking.com/bluestar-product-category-free-standing-ranges.html. Not as pretty (though it can be custom-colored) as the French ranges, but still in a class by itself. Enjoy :)

    Nov 30, 2010 | 11:33 am

     
  16. corianderie says:

    My mom’s an extremely great cook of Chinese dishes, specially the high heat, quick-cooking stir fries. When she was equipping our home abroad, she would lament that the Vikings et al didn’t have a high enough BTU. She searched and found a 25,000BTU gas burner from Dynasty. She was so happy that she eventually bought another for our Manila home!

    Nov 30, 2010 | 7:52 pm

     
  17. joyce says:

    that there is a gorgeous stove! like a gorgeous woman, you can’t take your eyes off her although i bet the stove’s beauty will last longer. hehe

    Nov 30, 2010 | 8:08 pm

     
  18. Fards says:

    ayayay! what a beautiful stove. It will certainly accommodate a lechon de leche. I certainly agree with all the above. Dream on.:)

    Nov 30, 2010 | 10:29 pm

     
  19. fried-neurons says:

    I have an aunt who’s an avid “wokker”. When she was remodeling her kitchen she toyed with the idea of getting a BlueStar because of that 22,000 BTU burner. However, a good friend of hers who services high-end stoves for a living told her that if she got one, he would be at her house quite often for service calls. Basically he said if she wanted heat at all costs, get a BlueStar. But if she wanted a better balance between heat and reliability, get something else. So she got a Viking with the 18,500 BTU burner, which she calls her happy medium. lol

    Nov 30, 2010 | 11:26 pm

     
  20. Libia says:

    Gold kitchen, that would really be decadent. But if you won the 700M lotto maybe but then again you did not.

    Dec 1, 2010 | 6:21 am

     
  21. Isa Garchitorena says:

    Doodady is a GREAT word!

    Dec 1, 2010 | 10:02 am

     
  22. Nadia says:

    I must say…for $4million, that gold Huraxdax stove looked quite ugly!

    Dec 3, 2010 | 6:09 pm

     
  23. Raine Ramirez says:

    Just had our kitchen finished, after a looong 16 years wait. I wanted all high end toys to go with it, naturally. My husband and I were browsing about in Wm & Sonoma and saw this monstrosity of a range. WOW!! was all we can say. It was exquisite beyond words. Do you know that they (from France) will come to your house and measure with specifications before they sell it to you? Needles to say, I think “my high-end” kitchen was duly downgraded. It was a nice try, though.

    Jan 7, 2011 | 7:17 am

     
 

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