by Tanya Steel
I just flew in from the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago and boy, my arms are tired! Located at the McCormick Center, the largest convention center in North America, the show was crammed with hundreds of kitchen, tabletop, grooming, and cleaning companies, all showcasing their latest and greatest. Amid the hundreds of stalls, I noticed a few emerging trends, all of which will soon be appearing at a kitchen near you, no doubt:
In Living Color: It seems that almost every cooking equipment manufacturer has designed a line of pots and pans inspired by the Pantone wheel. Saturated color dotted every possible vessel, leaving one to wonder what a rainbow-colored kitchen will actually look like.
Drink It Up: Juicers and smoothie machines were ubiquitous, but that's not surprising as this category is exploding: Vitamix reports that more than 3.2 billion smoothies were made in homes throughout the U.S. in 2013, as compared to 2.8 billion in 2012. About a third were consumed on the go, so Vitamix created the S30, which has a blend-and-go cup built right into the machine. Despite hitting its 95th birthday, KitchenAid remains on the cutting edge with a blender that turns on via a unique magnetic drive system that powers the blades and secures the blender cup. KitchenAid also introduced two new juicers that provide either maximum extraction or one with three different pulp levels.
Getting Steamy: Looking like a toaster oven on steroids, the Cuisinart Combo Steam and Convection Oven provides fast moist heat, enabling you to proof bread, doughnuts, and bagels and bake them with the touch of a button; broil or roast a chicken in nearly half the time of a traditional oven; or steam rice, custards and veggies in half the time.
Feeling the Pressure: Your grandma's beloved gadget has recently been retooled so that its safe, fast, and convenient. Cooking with a pressure cooker keeps most of the food's nutrients, cuts cooking time by more than half, is easy to clean, and keeps kitchens cool. Two that make the grade: Fissler debuted its Vitavit Comfort Pressure Cooker and Tabletops Unlimited partnered with chef Anne Boiardi on a streamlined low-pressure cooker.
Playing the Mandoline: There were myriad food processors, but OXO's compact mandoline kit, with varying blade sizes all neatly tucked into a compact cutting box, is an ingenious design.
See more from Epicurious: