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2003 Gourmet Products Show. (Show Notes).

Though the current economic situation may have thinned the crowds compared with years past, the product introductions I were as strong as ever. Since you may have been one of the retailers left to man the store or reduced your travel this year, we scoured the aisles to provide you with the highlights from the 27th annual Gourmet Products Show in San Francisco.

Material World

Silicone is a cool material gaining hot reviews. Silicone products made their presence known at the show. For instance, iSi used the material on everything from trivets to basters to potholders.

The company extended its silicone line with the new Orka Pot Holder and Heat Resistant Sol Silicone Trivet. The potholder is heat resistant up to 500 degrees, even when wet. For use on either hand, just slip your thumb into the covered flap and curve your hand around the flexible potholder. Its ribbed design provides a slip-resistant, firm grip. The Sol trivet, whose design is reminiscent of the sun, is also heat resistant to 500 degrees. Its raised rays provide surfaces that offer protection from hot cookware and serving pieces.

An innovative use of silicone is iSi's new Silicone Standing Basters. The basters stand upright on flat-bottomed bulbs, which prevents them from being knocked over and spilling their contents. The upright design also facilitates the separation of fat from lean meat juices, as fat rises to the basting tube's top and may be discarded by simply squeezing the bulb. The Pro Silicone Standing Baster Set features a black silicone bulb with a stainless steel tube that has interchangeable accessories.

Kuhn Rikon also introduced heat-resistant tools for the kitchen made from heat-resistant nylon and silicone. The new 11.5-inch Silicone Spoon is flexible enough to clean the sides of pans, yet rigid enough for stirring, mixing, and even turning foods. William Bounds Ltd. introduced Sill, a stainless steel-and-silicone barbecue, roasting, or pastry brush that will become available next month.

Pedrini's new colorful line of silicone baking molds made a fun statement at the show. Made of 100-percent pure silicone, Le Lillotte silicone bakeware comes in 14 traditional fun shapes in 5 colors. Resistant to temperatures from -40[degrees]F to 482[degrees]F, Le Lillotte can go straight from the freezer to the oven.

SiliconeZone introduced a 14-inch round silicone Baking/Pizza Mat to its collection. Lifetime Hoar, also joined the silicone market with a full line of KitchenAid silicone bakeware. To help stabilize the 12-cup muffin, 24-cup mini muffin, and the 6-in-1 mini loaf pans, an innovative, patent-pending wire "sled" is used in conjunction with the pans so they may easily be transported from oven to kitchen countertop.

Harold Import Company also featured silicone products from Spanish manufacturer Lekue. The line features a variety of kitchen products, with a focus on bakeware. Harold offers more than 18 colorful SKUs in traditional American shapes and terra cotta for French-inspired bakeware. The main advantages afforded by purchasing Lekue are its quality and production levels, which allow for competitive pricing on a high-quality European brand. Also new was "The Mix & Measure," a pint-beer measuring glass made with equivalency measurements that allow home chefs to convert teaspoons to tablespoons, ounces to cups, and grams to milliliters. Additional features include a range of bar measurements for the perfect cocktail, as well as medical-grade calibration.

Cork is another great material gaining attention from importers. Two companies debuted Portuguese cork lines. Cork Pops showed off The Portugal Collection of handcrafted cork items from wine coolers/champagne buckets and coasters to cork briefcases and umbrellas. Gessner Products Co. also introduced Portuguese cork products to the U.S. market with a line of tablemats, trivets, and drawer liners.

Chef's Planet's Tefmat Bakeware liner series was expanded to include three new products--an 8-inch round cake pan liner, a 9-inch square cake pan liner, and a toaster oven liner. Tefmat is a line of extra-thick Teflon-coated bakeware liners and oven liners that make cleanup simple.

From Germany, saleen made its way to the show to showcase its wickerwork products made of a unique polypropylene-based material that mimics natural wicker. The silken smooth surface is hygienic and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The product range includes handled baskets, breadbaskets, gift baskets, bowls, and picnic baskets.

Finally, Duncan Industries showcased its new children's line with a three-piece Le Petit Jr. set that includes patented Duncan child-sized "Puppet Mitts," a bib apron, and a chef's toque. Kids can cook up their favorite treats from Kids Cooking Kits while dressed in their new duds. New selections from the child-oriented cookery line include Spooky Cookie Pops and the Caramel Apple Kit.

Plug In

Small appliance manufacturers are generating plenty of competition for each other. From additional Viking SKUs to all-new Jenn-Air introductions, this category was overcharged.

An impressive statement was made by Capresso as it staged its largest Gourmet Products Show introduction to date--12 new items for retailers to peruse, not the least of which was the new Jura-Capresso line of fully automatic coffee and espresso centers. Four new machines were introduced, including the IMPRESSA S9, a bronze luxury edition that features a commercial conical burr grinder, a powerful pump system, and a unique pressure-brewing system with a two-stage brewing cycle. At the mere push of a button, the IMPRESSA S9 grinds beans, pressure-brews coffee or espresso, stops automatically, and even discards the grinds. Backed up by the IMPRESSA F9, S7, and S8, the four machines make the new Jura-Capresso line a high-end contender. The latter two IMPRESSAs both feature a Dual-Frother-PLUS frothing wand that allows you to steam or froth milk. No downtime or purging process occurs between frothing and brewing because the machines have separate heating systems for each function.

Back to Basics is whipping up its own beverage fare with its new line of Smoothie Pro 600 Makers in garnet red, denim blue, hunter green, and black. Back to Basics will also launch its new Ultimate Blender that features the conical shape of its traditional smoothie maker with a handle on the back and a removable valve cap.

In the meantime, VillaWare showed its own Smoothee Bar, a stainless steel smoothie machine with 700-watt pulse power. The new machine has simple on/off, hi, lo, and pulse blending controls and is offered with empire red, cobalt blue, and classic black accents. A Dual Station machine with 1400-watt pulse power is also being offered to make mixing at the same time two drinks--margaritas and daiquiris--a snap.

Bamix of Switzerland/Ocean Sales Ltd. appealed to retailers' sense of adventure with a contest for the trip of a lifetime. The contest, Mix It Up in Switzerland, will be held through May 5, 2004. One ballot will be drawn each month for the awarding of a Victorinox bamix knife. All entries will also be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing for a trip for two to Switzerland May 10, 2004, at the Gourmet Products Show.

An innovative approach to small electrics was the highlight at Jenn-Air as form and function came together to tell a well-designed story. Jenn-Air introduced Attrezzi--a luxury line of stylish mixers and blenders that double as food preparation tools and serveware. The 500-watt blender incorporates an artfully designed 72-ounce glass pitcher that can be used both to prepare and serve foods. The pitcher's shape that evokes classic Italian-designed glass is available in several distinctive finishes and colors. The 400-watt stand mixer centers around a colorful glass mixing bowl and features innovative touch-wheel controls on the mixer's top. Available in pearlescent white, pearlescent black, antique copper, satin platinum, or stainless steel, the stand is complemented by glass bowls offered in merlot red, cobalt blue, aqua beach, etched crystal, and a frosted pattern. A separate 5-quart stainless steel bowl is available. Both machines will be available in September.

At Viking, a new stand mixer (available with 800 or 1,000 watts of power) joined the new blender that was launched at the International Housewares Show in January. The new blender's 40-ounce glass jar has measurement markings and an easy-to-grip handle. The blender features a simple two-speed operation, as well as a pulse feature. The 390-watt motor crushes ice as easily as it liquefies and purees. Finishes include stainless gray, black, white, graphite gray, burgundy, and cobalt blue. The premium heavy-duty stand mixer features an easy-to-turn knob similar to those on larger Viking appliances and offers two rear-mounted wheels that make it easy to maneuver it across a countertop.

Each equipment piece included with the stand mixer is sturdy and ergonomically pleasing. The stainless steel bowl features a handle that makes it simple to lift a full bowl and lock, it into place. Standard attachments include a Viking-designed "V" beater, a stainless steel whip, and a dough hook. Optional attachments include a food grinder, a pasta maker, a shredder/slicer, a blender/ glass jar, a juice extractor, a 5-quart colander, a 7-quart colander, and a pouring shield.

FrancisFrancis! was stopping attendees in their tracks with the gorgeous new colors on their range of espresso makers. Starting with the top of the line, the X1 is now available in Titanium. In the X5 model, new colors include Fuschia and a Mocha Cream, and the X3 now comes in Fuschia and Schoolbus Yellow.

At the EdgeCraft booth, the Chef'sChoice Petite Cone Express M836 was a big hit with buyers who lined up to taste the filled mini cones. Able to bake and roll three party-sized fillable mini cones in less than 60 seconds, it has a nonstick baking surface and an overflow channel that insure easy cleanup. The unit comes equipped with a cone-rolling form for easy, uniform shaping.

Cuisinart introduced its first Citrus Juicer. Combining all the elements of fine design and top performance in one unit, the juicer has a brushed stainless finish on a compact, classic look. The Cuisinart Citrus Juicer has an auto-reversing reamer and a final fast-spin feature that offers greater efficiency by extracting up to 25 percent more juice from the pulp than do most other units on the market. Cuisinart also gave its classic 14-cup food processor a new stainless steel look.

Saeco spotlighted two models of their extensive espresso maker line. The Royal Professional offers bean to espresso and coffee in less than 45 seconds at the push of a button and the Rapid Steam feature means no waiting time for steamed milk. A digital display, an adjustable coffee grinder, a swivel base, a removable water tank, a bypass doser for preground coffee, and a steam wand for cappuccinos, lattes, or hot water production make it perfect for both office or commercial applications. The Royal Exclusive at a lower price point includes most of the features of the professional model except the Rapid Steam system, and is perfect for home, office, or light commercial use.

Make a Toast

Everything barware is still the rage. Manufacturers are capitalizing on the specialty drink craze with new mojito, martini, and margarita collections. Cork Pops introduced its Mojito Gift-Boxed Set containing four glasses and a recipe book. On the horizon is Cork Pops' Mojito Building Kit with muddler, shaker, and recipe book. Mojito glasses and a pitcher designed by musician Daniel Justin Chase are sold separately.

Scaindia/Arvind Group showed off its award-winning barware collection with out-of-this-world double-wall thermal globe-shaped ice bucket designs. The stainless steel buckets are complemented with a range of barware from cylindrical shakers to wine stands. Copco introduced its own barware collection from designer Karim Rashid. The new Triple Jigger, one item in a six-piece ensemble, is the perfect addition to the bar with its unique triangular shape that is equal on all sides, yet has alternate depths in each cup to allow for three individual liquid measurements. Karim Rashid also designed two new melamine tabletop designs--SKALA, a traditional style, and KASA, a contemporary one--for WOVO; both were launched at the show.

Pacific Merchants offered a new line of conversation starters called "Ice Breakers." Glass stem name tags for martini, margarita, and wine glasses, they have clever questions printed on the back. Utilizing original art from Jill Targer, the name tags coordinate with a series of Cocktail Napkins, Invitations, Napkin Ring Place Cards, and Bar Coasters.

OGGI introduced a pair of Rapid Wine Bottle Openers, each with a foil cutter and an extra corkscrew. The ABS model retails for $14.95 and the Zinc Alloy model for $19.95. Also new was an 18/8 satin stainless steel Airtight Coffee Canister with a coffee filter holder. The canister holds one pound of coffee beans and one pack of #4 filters.

Rosle introduced a full range of bar accessories in its Blue Hour Bar line starting with the Bar Butler, a set and stand that includes a bar strainer, a bar knife, a bar spoon, a bar measure, ice tongs, and a bottle opener. Also available open stock are the aforementioned, plus a corkscrew, a waiter's friend/captain's knife, an ice bucket, two ice cube scoops, a cocktail shaker, and a Caipirinha pestle/fruit muddle.

Wild Eye Designs added color to the barware scene with a lemon, orange, and lime barware collection made of glass and stainless steel. The pattern's subtle citrusy design carries across the line of coasters, ice buckets, and shakers.

Screwpull's new line of wine accessories and barware incorporates classic stainless steel in a contemporary design. New accessories include four- and six-glass drying stands, a decanter dryer, and a double-walled wine cooler. The collection also encompasses barware from cocktail shakers to bar tool sets.

Wine Things Unlimited showed its recently acquired line of wine charms from That Wine is Mine, Inc. with new wine charm concepts and more personalized wine accessories. They will also be adding new tropical stoppers this summer, including palm trees, a surfer, a wood-laden automobile, and a snorkeler, to their classic Pewter Stopper Collection.

CASAMODA, Lifetime Hoan's newest division, also showed off their colorful barware line. The line is constructed of an 18/8 stainless steel interior and trim with a durable, colorful, molded exterior, which gives it an iridescent effect. Initial pieces include a cocktail shaker, a wine cooler, an ice bucket, and a mini ice pail with stainless tongs. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use, all pieces have a cushioned, nonskid bottom and double-wall construction.

Tie One On introduced new cocktail picks, cocktail napkins, and wine bags to complement its funky collection of wineglass and stemware baubles. New styles include "Pool Party" and "Long Weekend" designs that range from "knock-out" bikinis to "the chef."

More interesting wine news emerged from Grapevine Trading Company. Its Blind Wine Tasting Kit is complete with the essentials for a wine-tasting party with six wines and eight guests.

Coffee and tea services are still in vogue and Alfi set the tone with new carafes by award-winning artist Ole Palsby. The round Shiny ball comes in four vibrant, transparent colors of red, blue, green, and silver. The flat-based. Combo also comes in four colors: Cobalt blue, ice blue, silver, and white. The designer carafes each have a twist-and-pour stopper, a .94-liter capacity, and a double-walled vacuum-sealed glass insert.

Trudeau launched its "Classic" Pitchers with professional-quality attributes and consumer-driven features. Available in two sizes--1 pint and 1 liter, the Classic Pitchers are vacuum insulated to keep cold drinks cold up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot up to 12 hours. They also feature a lid design that "locks" into place for a continuous pour.

Grab a Snack

While the concentration on specialty kitchen and tableware was obvious, show aisles were also sprinkled with a taste of gourmet foods. A pleasant respite along the way, snacks like Babar Shortbread Cookies from Golden West Specialty Foods and Harry and David's new Moose Munch bars made searching out new product delightful.

Sometimes, snacks were even discovered tucked into the corner of a great glassware company. Stoelzle-Oberglas USA, Inc. managed to showcase both innovative new packaging for its Wineland Collection and a new line of foodstuffs from Italy. Specialty Italian products from the Lake Garda region include pastas, olive oils, pasta sauces, honey, and coffee. Packaged under the Mepra brand were Acacia honey, extra-virgin Mostolio olive oil, Rosata Rosewine Vinegar, and wheat germ pasta.

The Dean Jacob's line of gourmet goodies from Xcell is showing new and improved items, such as the 7-piece Dipping Set complete with olive oil, as well as a new Creme Brulee Set with a chef's torch and mixes. Lollipop Tree introduced a Pepper Jelly Trio--a towering trio of Original, Roasted Garlic Black Olive, and Vidalia Onion Cranberry packaged in a gift box with a handcrafted wooden spreader tied together with a ribbon. Stonewall Kitchen heated things up with a new range of salsas, including an eye-popping Pineapple-Chipotle Salsa.

Prairie Thyme spread its spicy joy with habanero-blended ambrosias in Peach and Raspberry flavors. New for the show was a Chocolate-Habanero Fudge Sauce, with just enough sweetness followed by a little kick. If the spice gets you there, sample Cote du Soleil, a really satisfyingly crisp sparkling grape juice made of California Chardonnay and Zinfandel blends. The juice has no alcohol, no sugar, and no preservatives and is offered by Creative Juices.

Pack up all those delicious discoveries into Picnic at Ascot's new Provencal Picnic Cooler for two. The Blue Toile pattern combines tradition with the convenient design of an adjustable, removable shoulder strap and a rigid wall cooler with an insulating thermal shield. A wooden cutting board and cheese knife complement service for two.

Messermeister unveiled its new Picnic Knife in red, blue, green, and purple jewel tones. The fun, convenient picnic knife is both handy and safe with its compact 3 1/2-inch stainless steel blade knife protected in a colorful locking sheath. The picnic knife comes in a countertop display box that holds 12 knives in assorted colors for easy merchandising.

And to take all those picnic goodies to the park or for a great lunchbox replacement, avantro offers their new Mega Vacuum Insulated Food Jars in 14- or 20-ounce sizes. The double-wall stainless steel vacuum insulation keeps food hot for up to six hours or cold for up to 10 hours. Plus, the wide mouth offers easy access and the jar includes two storage compartments, one in the lid and another in the base.

Just in time for picnic season is Mountaincow's home printing invitation kit available with barbecue and picnic stationery. New to the show, Mountaincow's Dinner Party Invitation Kits, Cocktail Party Invitation Kits, and Summer Entertaining Invitation Kits are great point-of-purchase add-ons. The self-contained kits come with a CD and stationery; the software makes addressing envelopes, creating placecards, and printing menus a snap.

Retro Routes

The adage "what's old is new again" still holds true in the gourmet industry. Manufacturers continue to feed the nostalgia trends with new launches and line extensions for the retro crowd.

Red and White Kitchen Company unveiled its new California tablecloth reminiscent of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The new California cloth joins the company's other 'recent tablecloth introductions--one with a Western States map and the other with a Hawaiian-themed motif. The tablecloths of 100-percent cotton with a full hem are printed with colorfast ink in vibrant '40s Americana colors.

De'Longhi's Retro Collection expanded to encompass five new products: the Retro Drip Coffee Maker, the Retro Contact Grill & Panini Maker, and three Retro Waffle Makers. Fashioned in metal and chrome finishes, the products round out the collection. Besides the Retro line additions, De'Longhi introduced two new Simac products that will be distributed in the U.S. under the De'Longhi name. A commercial-grade pasta maker and an ice cream machine are the first two introductions launched since De'Longhi acquired Simac in 1995.

John Boos & Co. unveiled a revolutionary concept for kitchen equipment with their Cucina Americana's FLEX-Series. The new series of food preparation stations can be ordered with your choice of surface types and sizes, optional cabinet and drawers, pot racks, wine racks, shelving, potholders and towel bars, and electrical outlets. Available in both commercial and residential models in six distinct color choices.

Rogar International has also been busy as evidenced by the addition of 48 new SKUs of pot racks to their Gourmet Collection. Styles include hanging racks, wall-mounted racks, a bookshelf pot rack, and a half dome. Four dramatic new colors were unveiled at the show, including Hammered Bronze, Hammered Copper, Desert Stone, and Rust.

In the Kitchen

Celebrity fare was served up in large doses as celebrity chefs announced new collaborative efforts and new products at the show. The biggest celebrity announcement came from T-FAL with its new line of stainless steel cookware designed by British cooking sensation Jamie Oliver.

The Jamie Oliver Professional Series by T-FAL will be available in October. The collection features 18/10 polished stainless steel, a heavy-gauge aluminum core, stay-cool riveted handles with a soft silicone insert, and a flared lip for drip-free pouring. A choice of interiors is also offered for fry pans and saute pans--long-lasting stainless satin finish or ultra-durable Pro-Metal five-layer nonstick coating over stainless steel with a Thermo-Spot heat indicator.

Emeril Lagasse continued his partnership with All-Clad. New Emerilware introductions include the Tailgate Set complete with a carrying case, two barbecue sauces, a stockpot, and tongs. A new Roaster Set was also introduced that pairs Emerilware with Wusthof-Trident's Emeril Carving Set.

Daniel Boulud Kitchen (DBK) from The Excel Group had plenty of new introductions, including a dramatic new cast-enamel cookware set and a Sabatier cutlery collection. The cutlery collection comes with its own knife block and features eight double-bolstered knife shapes. The Sabatier/DBK stamped knives come in a patented steel with ceramic honing in a block. Excel is now also representing Legnoart North America a full range of wood-accented kitchen products from kitchen trolleys to cheese boards.

Gourmet Standard was excited about the launch of their new Visao line of cookware. The nine-piece line combining a stainless steel interior with a porcelain-enamel exterior features straight-lined super-capsulated stainless steel bottoms that conceal pure aluminum discs. The set includes a 1.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 2.5-quart saucepan with lid, a 5.5-quart Dutch oven with lid, an 8-inch omelet pan, and a 10-inch saute pan with lid.

Besides celebrating their 20-year anniversary this year, Swissmar had plenty to show in San Francisco. In addition to new products in their Peugeot Mills line and Borner Slicers and Graters, they presented an extended range of Mauviel products, including the Cuprinox'Style line of copper cookware with stainless steel handles and two lines of bakeware. The over 35-piece Mauviel Silverston Bakeware line that offers professional black steel and a nonstick coating both inside and outside is suitable for oven, microwave, refrigerator, or freezer.

SCANPAN was receiving lots of attention for their new SCANPAN STEEL line made of 18/10 stainless steel polished to a mirror finish. The line includes an exclusive honeycomb base pattern and is guaranteed not to warp. Thick sidewalls--1.2mm--are designed to stand up to the roughest treatment and its patented solid-cast ergonomic handle design offers easy control. Two gift sets and 13 open-stock items comprise the line.

At the Lodge booth, the seasoned, ready-to-use Pro*logic cast-iron cookware line was generating lots of reorders from retailers. The company also offered a new Festival Corn Bread Kit that includes a seasoned square skillet, a handle mitt, and a 40-page book of winning cornbread recipes.

New products to make life easier in the kitchen--or at least more fun--abounded at the show. From Silvermark came a new Salad Dryer Bag and Herb Snips, the perfect complements to their Toss & Chop. The Salad Dryer Bag keeps lettuce and produce fresh and crisp. Silvermark wraps it all up in a Deluxe Salad Kit complete with of course, a Toss & Chop, herb snips, a recipe book, a bonus dressing jar, 18/10 serving utensils, and a 14-inch stainless steel Silvermark bowl.

Serve up that freshly prepared salad in great new Vietnamese rubberwood bowls with a satin cherry finish. The bowls from H.A. Mack & Co. are available in a wide range of sizes from 7- to 14-inch diameters. Their wonderfully designed Indonesian mortar & pestle made of rose marble may be the best tool for grinding up those spices for your salad, but it doesn't have to be a simple utilitarian tool. Throw a dash of pepper on the salad with Cole & Mason's Buzz--an electronic, battery-operated mill with a diamond-sharp ceramic mechanism.

You could also whisk those ingredients together with new tools from Le Creuset, Kuhn Rikon, and Chantal. Le Creuset's The Whisk features a patented process that makes the tool hygienic. Its silicone-coated wire won't scratch ceramic, metal, or nonstick surfaces, and the whisk withstands heat up to 800 degrees.

The Kuhn Rikon Galaxy Spring Whisk is quite versatile--it enables the user to blend, whip, or froth. The whisk's wires are wound in a global shape that bounces up and down when used, efficiently squeezing ingredients through its spirals. Three additional whisks--the Heart Spring Whisk, the Palm Springs Whisk, and the Easy-Store Whisk--feature efficient and innovative design with an artistic flair.

Chantal's ergonomically designed stainless steel kitchen tools include three new whisks--a small standard, saucepan, and twirl, all with contoured handles that fit into the curve of your hand.

And, if anything needs to be sliced, minced, or diced, you could do so on any of the multitude of beautiful hardwood cutting boards from McGowan Manufacturing Company. The boards are available in round, rectangular, and mini sizes.

Speaking of slicing, Frieling USA, Inc. unveiled its new range of EURO-CUT knives and accessories. The 15-piece assortment made in Germany by Friedr. Dick is specifically targeted to the home chef. NSF approved, the line is made of high-carbon stainless steel with a nonslip grip handle.

And for hand-free stirring, look no further than Stirchef's cordless saucepan stirrer, perfect for stirring sauces, soups, puddings, risotto, or any dish that demands continuous or occasional stovetop stirring. And to make sure your customers measure everything correctly, Leifheit premiered new colors for their range of Soehnle digital kitchen scales, including a vibrant, bold red in the Vera model to go along with the white and black/ brushed stainless models. The company also announced the availability to the U.S. market of the Triple model, a futuristic kitchen scale with a glass top that perfectly complements any home decor.

Other great intros include Chantal's Fall Harvest Pumpkin promotion of its fun cookware and serveware with new ramekins, bake pans, plates, salsa bowl, and soup bowl. Component Design Northwest showed its Two Timer--a new 2-in-1 digital timer that allows home chefs to view hour/minute or minute/second displays. The patent-pending timer has a large LCD display, sure-grip sides, and a 5-year warranty. Ironwood Gourmet featured its new wall-mounted knife block. A great addition to any wood-accented kitchens, the block provides scratchless storage for knives. You can store your Chef Revival knives on that beautiful acacia wood--two new knife introductions are fully forged Salmon and Santuko models.

Old Dutch debuted new versions of their Baker's Rack in a variety of finishes, including Hammered Copper, Pewter, and Forest. Also new were two sets of four canisters in brushed steel and satin copper. Soon, the company will introduce a full line of wire trivets in different finishes.

Liss introduced "The Penguin," a cream whipper with a stainless steel base that may be filled to the top. The push-button top looks very similar to the bird for which it's named.

Ethnically inspired cookware had a noticeable focus. Le Creuset introduced its new blue tagine to complement the red one already in its line. BIA Cordon Bleu checked retailers' pulses with a line of Spanish cazuelas.

Home entertainment is the focus of many manufacturers from BLOMUS to BonJour as tabletop services for buffets were exhibited throughout the halls. BonJour showed its Le Grande Buffet Tabletop Burner with Stand. The new tableside burner is the ideal tool for impressing guests with dramatic flambe. It features a portable stove styled in gleaming chrome topped with a generously sized chrome stand.

Trudeau featured a four-quart chafing dish with a satin and mirror finish.

All-Clad showed home entertainment pieces garnered from its acquisition of Spring Cookware. Two statement pieces from the collection are a freestanding buffet and a coffee urn.

At Tramontina, buffet service was also in vogue with chafing dishes in 3- and 4-quart rounds, as well as a 9-quart buffet with interchangeable inserts for one or two pans. BLOMUS showed its stainless steel Warmers Collection of square, rectangular, oval, and round warmers that work with tea lights.

HWI Metro Marketing introduced a number of new items in its three cookware lines: Gourmet Edition, Arcosteel, and Metro. Under the Metro label, the company added a series of wire storage baskets, a salad spinner, a set of mixing bowls, and a dish drainer, while the Arcosteel line was supplemented with a dish rack-and-drainer combination and a series of cheeseboards and accessories.

Ruffoni showed its new hammered, hand-tinned copper line of cookware that's perfect for entertaining friends. It also debuted two specialty entertainment pieces--a tabletop cooker with a hammered copper base and a stainless steel cooking area, as well as a stainless steel tray filled with diothermic oil that keeps it cold or hot for hours with no cords.

With all that stainless steel smiling at your guests, you'll need Caldrea's new Stainless Steel Spray. The first-ever nonpetroleum cleaner in an 11.8-ounce bottle uses olive oil to bring the shine out on all stainless surfaces. You can wipe it off with Pacific Dry Goods' new Super Sponge.

And after the cooking is done and the meal is finished, your customers can stack the washed dishes in Cuisipro's new Dish Rack and Draining Tray. Sold separately, the Dish Rack has an oversized capacity that can hold 19 plates, 20 stemware glasses, and 18 saucers, and the two-piece Draining Tray made of polypropylene has high sides that prevent overspills.

Tabletop Fare

Kamenstein held a soft launch of their new Kathy Ireland Home tabletop and kitchen accessories collection of Essentials and Gallery. Initial launch included three ceramic tableware patterns in bold colors with contrasting insides. The oven-to-table serveware coordinates with flatware and glassware and the full line to be unveiled at the 2004 International Home & Housewares Show will include 350 SKUs of sets of dinnerware, glassware, flatware, serveware, pantryware, and textile sets. UNIKAT pottery is handmade and hand-decorated at a small factory in Boleslawiec, Poland. The name, which means unique, fits the line. Offered by Polish Pottery, the floral designs are variations of blues, greens, and yellows on white. As exquisite and intricate as these patterns are, it's hard to imagine that they're oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe, too.

The Signature Collection from The Zanger Company also brings authentic Boleslawiec stoneware to the table complete with gourmet bakeware accessories ranging from oval bakers to classic cassoulets. The color range is in the traditional blues, greens, and yellows on white--with the added dimension of red in some patterns. Each piece is handcrafted, hand-painted, and hand-signed.

Besides offering new serving platters in two sizes and an authentic classic Creme Brulee dish, Emile Henry announced the new dual-glazed Artisan Collection designed after the classic Emile Henry French pottery pieces that were the original shapes from the 1800s. The seven pieces in the line are offered in two colors. Also new was a Flame-top Fondue pot that may be used directly on the stovetop without cracking or breaking.

From Cuenca, Ecuador, comes Margaritas, a colorful Latin-inspired design reminiscent of sunrise, turquoise waters, and flowers. The design from Artesa N.A. is set on the sunrise with borders of daisy-inspired flowers on a background of washed blue. Decorative accessories, coffee sets, and a trivet complement the full dinnerware range.

HawaiianaWare, created by Lynn Krantz Dishbooks and manufactured by Homer Laughlin China Company, is a lush dinnerware pattern available in four-piece place settings and accessory pieces. A new special-edition disc pitcher and a 12 1/4-inch plate that commemorates the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's 75th birthday have a unique pink shade reminiscent of the "Pink Palace."

Newcomer bambu brings traditional Vietnamese kitchen tools and lacquerware to new heights. Working with a manufacturer who can provide Pantone color ranges, the bambu homeware collection is designed for food preparation and presentation and entertaining. The line is comprised of solid laminate cutting boards, trays, plates, and bowls. The lacquerware, cutlery, and utensils are all hand-produced from a range of innovative bamboo materials.

Closer to home is Santa Barbara Ceramic Design, which introduced 18 brand-new collections at the show. Great new gift sets include 8-ounce Italian glass oil bottles with a porcelain dipping dish and a recipe booklet. A young collection called "The Girls" features 24 different girls on mugs in a whimsical, smart design.

Lindt-Stymeist introduced new colors to the show with a gorgeous range of Moss, Blueberry, and Honey on coupe shapes with a frost finish. The trademark Lindt-Stymeist sheen is a step below high gloss and a pinch above semigloss, the result being a breathtaking statement of timeless color.

Another colorful collection with a perfect gift-giving range is from Our Name is Mud. The young line was designed to create an emotional response in consumers with slogans like "Complimentary Cereal Bowl" and "Big Bowl of Self-Esteem."

Another great gift-giving collection comes from BIA Cordon Bleu, which continues to build its dessert and salad plate sets into a business all its own. Each set comes packaged in its own hat box-styled gift box and has a range of decoration, including new designs with beer labels and coordinating pint glasses. Pub Grub, a set of four 8-inch plates featuring Shepherd's Pie, Cottage Pie, Fish & Chips, and Bangers & Mash, complements the collection.

If you're looking for something to tap your beer into, check out Haier's BrewMaster beer dispenser line. The line includes stainless steel and black versions with freestanding designs, including everything you need exclusive of beer and C[O.sub.2]. So in a few simple steps, you can have draft beer at home.

Reston Lloyd showed off its Calypso pattern of wild, striped retro designs. The range includes teakettles, patio sets, a three-piece place setting, and trays. A fun accessory is its four-section Lunch Box with a patterned lid. Reston Lloyd also introduced new accessories in the Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet line--a covered bowl set, a five-quart colander, a burner cover set, a whistling teakettle, and a personal teakettle.

Now Designs, a familiar face in the linen category, is testing the waters in tabletop with a range of porcelain and ceramic dinnerware to complement its table linens selection. The new designs range from two porcelain whiteware collections to colorful ceramics called Patina from Portugal.

Mepra also stretched out its tabletop offerings with its Uno Collection of multifunctional tabletop and decorative home accessories designed to go from kitchen to table to living room. Each shape complements another with squares and rounds nesting one within the next. The range is a mixture of porcelain, glass, wood, and stainless steel.

A full range of ideas comes from Ambiance Collections, which debuted its new lifestyle themes for the season. Whether your customers are in search of romance, opulence, or the Italian countryside, you can find everything they might dream of at Ambiance from decorative wall art and shadow boxes to wicker-encased Italian bottles and fine glass stemware.

Versatility for the table was the theme at Gessner Products Co., which offers a product line of compression and injection-molded plastic products that look and feel like their ceramic counterparts. The line includes a wide range of ramekins, a footed molcajete bowl, oval dishes, a gravy boat, crescent salad plates, and more.

Butter Bell from L. Tremain received some color with new Le Bistro Bell designs glazed in a creamy white color with an elegant band of cabernet or palm green trim around the edges and bottom.

Table mats comprise another popular decorative accessory. Several companies showcased their wares, from saleen to Pimpernel to Creative Tops. Richard Hull Sales introduced a photographic line comprised of hardboard mats, coasters, and tri-ply paper napkins created by Robert Charles with visions of fruits, vegetables, and florals.

Finally, finish off the table with the timeless elegance of Ulster Linens' Double Damask tablecloth. Created in the old Irish tradition, the tablecloth will complement any trend in tabletop design.

Fun Facts

There are always some fun new introductions at trade shows. Tucked away in between giant manufacturers or secured in a small back alley of an aisle, there are treasures to be discovered. The Gourmet Products Show provided the venue for several newcomers this year, from those showcasing pizza pie potholders to bowling pine spice mills.

The creative folks at Chef'n always present something new and they didn't disappoint in San Francisco. The dishwasher-safe Grapefruiter, a one-handed trigger-operated tool that works with any size grapefruit and larger oranges, it sections and removes wedges in seconds with no fuss or squirting juices. Also new was their Switchit Dual Ended Spatula available in two sizes. Made of pliable stain-resistant silicone over a stainless 18/10 steel core, both sizes have a large and a small end that may be switched over for flipping and scooping, while the other allows for more control and finesse. It's perfect for stirring sauces, mixing batter or cookie dough, or frosting and decorating cakes and cupcakes.

Inedible Art, manufacturer of fun and functional household textiles resembling food, introduced its PIZZArt line of potholders and hot pads at the show. You can order a slice (potholder) or a whole pie (hot pad) for your store in either Supreme or Veggie varieties. The textiles are even packaged in a pizza box lined with a slice of deli paper.

Screwball Shakers from Berryware are round ceramic balls with wild designs. These odd salt and pepper shakers "shake from the bottom" and fit snugly on colorful matching trays. Bidule peppered up spice mill design with an impressive collection of more than 60 models of wooden pepper and salt mills with unique designs, such as bowling pins, fish, snowmen, and Christmas trees--just to name a few.

More fish shapes came from The Original Fish, the designers of the fish and minnow corkscrew. Fun colors and fishy shapes make this wine key more than just a utilitarian tool.

Another fun tool came from NexTrend. The Garlic Twist is a crosscutting rotary garlic mincer the size of a hockey puck. This handy little tool that fits in the palm of your hand crushes, peels, and minces garlic.

If you've been looking for soy candles that stand on their own, look no further. Soy Environment by britelites offers freestanding (no glass jars) pillar candles with no scents in a wide range of colors perfect for the dining environment. Available in squares; three- and five-wick columns; 4-, 5-, 7-, and 9-wick bricks; and sticks, the candles come in subtle earth-toned colors.

Cake Pulls is an old-fashioned tradition of pulling charms out from under a cake to find out what special meaning your charm will bring you. The pulls from K.C. and Company are gift boxed in sets of six charms tied with colorful ribbons. The charm meanings are on the back of the box.

Measurement Specialties showed Dalla Piazza's Olive Oil Drizzler, a hand-blown glass dispenser that provides a fancier and fun way to dispense olive oil into those dipping dishes. After filling it with oil, you place your thumb over the small hole at the top and remove the glass drizzling straw. When you release your thumb, the oil slowly drizzles out.

If you want to avoid drizzling anything for a day, Meadowsweet Kitchens is making take-out easier with their new Takeout Menu/Restaurant Coupon Organizer. The spiral-bound notebook keeps restaurant menus and coupons all in one place for quick retrieval. With eight deep pockets and 10 sticker labels, menus can be kept organized according to their culinary category.

Once the take-out arrives, you can chill down those warm cans of soda with Revolutionary Cooling Systems' Cooper Cooler, a small Chill-On-Demand rapid beverage-chilling appliance that can chill a bottle of wine to 43 degrees in six minutes or heat a baby bottle evenly in three minutes.

Chef's Planet's Wood Moisturizing Creme was created to preserve cutting boards, salad bowls, and other wooden utensils. Different from other oils or cremes, Chef's Planet's product leaves a pleasant honey smell on wooden surfaces, while providing maximum moisture loss protection.
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Author:Moran, Michelle; Keighley, Michael
Publication:Gourmet Retailer
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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