Early Insights: Trade Show Unveilings

Kuhn Rikon Fiveply Saucepans


Last Wednesday morning, at 7.30ish, we left Reigate, to wander round the M25 and up the M40 to that Mecca of all Meccas, the Associated Independent Stores, (“AIS”) showrooms in Solihull. I mentioned them last week, mainly with reference to the hotel we stayed in that evening, and the cake it served, cake being both an important feature of these newsletters and an important part of any discerning man’s diet. In fact, only the other day Martin Turner came in to show me Riedel’s latest creations and brought with him a lovely and very generous sized homemade, and moist chocolate cake… could have been made to order for me*.

We went, of course, in my beautiful 20 year old Red Touring E39, which if you’re not a petrol head, is a 2003 model BMW 5 series estate car registered in 2004 and kept in good mechanical condition by Richard and his characterful and rather eccentric team at Holmesdale Garage in Reigate. And kept clean by Berat’s team at H&L Hand Car Wash on Holmethorpe Ind. Estate, who do a remarkable job on it, every time I take it in.**

*actually, on occasion, I do drop the odd hint, and when asked what sort of cake I’d like, the answer usually has chocolate in the title and not too sweet as a subtitle…this one just fitted the bill beautifully and was made for me by Martin’s partner.

** and having driven the model that came after, E61 (too noisy) and the two models after that F11 & G31 (too big and wide) the narrower shorter E39 is still my preferred choice. 

AIS Show.
We made rather slow progress, for one reason or another, and didn’t get there much before 12.00pm, which meant we had to miss lunch, which I’m told was a bit of a shame, as apparently it’s very good…and free, let’s just hope we didn’t miss any worthwhile cake.

We came to the Beam stand (a UK distributer of small electricals) first and the ever charming and well informed Darren showed us round. There was a Soft Scoop Ice Cream Maker (a rather bitty, convoluted design…in my opinion), which Em and Jeanne got very excited about, for £199, an Electric Wine Cooler (ditto). But then we got to Electric Weighing Scales, that you charge (the battery) by winding up the handle (much quicker than searching your drawers for replacement batteries), which I though was rather natty. And a Water Boiler with a built-in filter.

KitchenAid have brought out an intermediate size of Stand Mixer that sits between the popular standard one and the inelegant, catering sized machine. This new model unlike its larger and ungainly brother, looks like it’s been designed, rather than botched, so a good addition to the range if you’re finding the bowl on yours a bit short on capacity at times. And Dualit have made a Hot  Chocolate  Maker in which you can use any type of chocolate. I tried it and if you’re a hot chocolate drinker (I’m not) then I think you may be surprised by just how silky smooth the drink is. £99. 

Kuhn Rikon.
Kuhn Rikon came next, and they have a very nice new range of stainless steel cookware that just feels good, with quite a bit of heft. It’s a 5ply construction, which, theoretically, is good and potentially a step up from the more common 3ply construction that manufacturers such as Le Cresuet and Meyer use in some of their pans. But so far, it’s not clear to me why 5ply is intrinsically superior, if the materials are the same. So, Kam our agent for Kuhn, is sending me a frying pan to play with. I shall report further, once play has taken place!

Joseph Joseph.
The Josephs have been busy revising some of their colours and there’s now a very neat pedal bin which is roughly triangular in footprint, roughly bathroom or loo sized and really rather attractive. 


Haus were showing, their De Buyer (pronounced De Bweeyeh) pastry and icing nozzles in stainless steel…very nice quality, along with their plating tongs/tweezers, and an absolutely fabulous Plancher of generous proportions and quite some weight (in steel) which I think was on offer at £99. 

We will also be stocking their heavy duty plain carbon steel frying pans, which like the Plancher are beautiful and will work very well, once seasoned.

Those whacky blokes (what is Australian for blokes, if it’s Sheila’s for girls then should it be Shane’s for boys?) on the other side of the world, have been putting their design minds to good use again and have come up with a really brilliantly, clever version of the  Apple Corer/Wedger, and a Fluicer, which is a very efficient juicer that folds flat….neat!

My chum Nick, at Dayes, has brought in 3 shapes of silicon liner for air fryers, which has filled a hole in the market, as these 3 will fit most air fryers on the market.  And some mini blowtorches (cheap as chips) and Kilner type Preserving jars, also at very good prices. Shame his taste in cars*** isn’t as good as his taste in women (sorry Laura) woman and bakeware.  

***poor fella drives a BMW X5, the engine of which is so weedy it needs a battery to supplement it… at least I think that’s what he told me!

Studio William.
Dan Flower, whom I’ve known since his days at WMF (German kitchen gadget manufacturer) in the late 90’s (I think) has been representing Studio William for a number of years and when we came upon him at the show, and I saw the current range, I just felt compelled to take some on, because the designs, rather like Robert Welch, are just mouthwatering. So, we have ordered four designs of cutlery in 24 and 42 piece boxes. This is really gorgeous stuff with admittedly, a price tag that reflects its heritage. William Welch the boss and designer, broke away from his father’s company (Robert Welch) about 20 year ago, to form Studio William and I hope he won’t be offended if I say that I see the influence of his father in his designs. I’ll let you know the moment that they arrive.


None of the above are yet in stock but as they arrive over the next few weeks, I will let you know.

The best thing since sliced bread.
Well, that’s it for this week. But just before I go, I feel I need to make a comment on Greg Foot’s BBC Podcast, “Sliced Bread” last week.  Jeanne had a customer in the Cobham shop a few days ago who mentioned this and I’m most grateful to him for doing so. The podcast is entitled Pots and Pans and has some very good information about what to look for when considering a new purchase. Unfortunately, it also has some completely misleading information in it as well.

If you’ve listened to it and are thinking of basing your decision on what to buy from what you’ve heard, it may be worth just waiting till I’ve listened to it again and corrected what’s incorrect. I’ll try to do this in time for next week’s email. It’s a shame, as there is a lot of good in a programme such as this. Just needs a little more time in checking the facts.

Ok that really is it and apropos of nothing at all, I shall leave the last words to this headline that I saw in the Wit and Wisdom column in the Week, (that came from a headline in The Guardian). 

“Skyscrapers are wrong on so many levels”.


I trust you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Warm regards,


Andrew Bluett-Duncan





Shop The Le Creuset Easter Collection


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.