Whatever your level of expertise in the kitchen - whizz, aspiring chef or enthusiastic novice - it’s important to get the right advice before investing in an appliance.
With some of the best chefs in the world and excellent local produce, it’s no surprise that Irish people love to cook – and at Arnotts they have access to an enormous range of “white goods”, which homeware buyer Paula McCoy describes as “everything to do with cooking and freezing and eating”. And McCoy should know; she heads a department of experts who are fully trained to give you the lowdown on brands from Miele, Smeg and Whirlpool to Neff, Bosch, Siemens, Rangemaster, Hotpoint, Fisher & Paykel, De Longhi and Nespresso.
“Our customers have great trust because our staff are incredibly knowledgeable,” says McCoy, explaining that the day of entering a department store and asking for “an oven” are long gone. “If customers are buying big-ticket items,” she says - from the likes of Miele, Bosch and Neff – “we’d spend a lot of time making sure they end up with the best item for them. It gives people more confidence in what they’re buying,” says McCoy.“For someone who’s interested in baking, we’d invite them into a baking demo. They can see how it works and even taste the food made.”
The fridge may have been the 20th century’s biggest kitchen appliance story, but technology is finally getting to grips with the kitchen, and the Miele 6000 range, which is launching exclusively at Arnotts on May 13th, is a prime example. “They’re touchscreen and they remember your preferences,” says McCoy. “Soon, instead of having inanimate appliances in your kitchen that you activate, they’ll be activating you, telling you what to do and how.”
It’s obvious that today’s customer is very interested in food, and baking in particular, something that McCoy attributes to where our food education is coming from. “We have a generation that hasn’t necessarily learned to bake from their mothers, but from television,” she says.
For that customer, Arnotts recommends a five-step starter kit of appliances worth stocking your kitchen with. “I’d start with a food mixer such as a Kenwood Chef which is fantastic for mixing, beating and whisking. I’d also have a hand blender that can do everything from whisking up milkshakes and purees to crushing ice. A good coffee machine is a must and a mini chopper for preparing for herbs and vegetables, a favourite of mine is a Magimix. A good fast boil kettle is important for the perfect cup of tea.“
Of course, even the most creative in the kitchen need inspiration from time to time, which is where Arnotts’ Cook Month comes in. From May 13th to June 8th, Arnotts will be running a month of activity including – a first for Ireland – live cooking windows in association with Arnotts’ brand partner Expert.
Chefs such as Neven Maguire, Oliver Dunne, Domini Kemp and Clodagh McKenna (whose cooking can be sampled in Arnotts’ own café and restaurant) will hold live demonstrations in Arnotts’ windows on Henry St, with speakers allowing passersby to listen in from the street.
Arnotts will also be exclusively launching the Nostalgia Chef, a modern iteration of Kenwood’s famous 1950s model, and, to celebrate, looking for Ireland’s oldest Kenwood Chef. “People can send us the serial number on their Kenwood Chef,” says McCoy. The oldest will win the new Nostalgia Kenwood Chef. Enter in-store or through the Rick O’Shea show on RTÉ 2fm from May 21st with the winner announced on June 7th live from Arnotts’ Henry Street window.
Cook Month at Arnotts from May 13th to June 8th will have in-store activity, savings and offers across all electrical brands.