Cooktop concepts vs. Real tabletop cooking

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Coincidence. I came across some interesting cooktop concepts featured at YankoDesign earlier this week and last night I happen to go to Kaze, a ShabuShabu restaurant in Boston for dinner with a friend. For those who don’t know what ShabuShabu is, you can read more at Wikipedia, which states:

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese variant of hot pot. The dish uses thinly sliced meat and vegetables, and usually served with dipping sauces. It is considered a winter dish but is eaten year-round.


This communal way of eating is an experience on its own, similar to the better known Fondue experience. The Asian style of eating through a shared experience is one of variety and complementary flavors. Now, my question is, for such an elegant experience with a culture where visuals in food presentation and tableware are emphasized, why isn’t the center piece of this experience just as appealing?

Above concepts certainly bridge that gap and are able to connect the beauty of food with beauty of tabletop cookware. At the restaurant, the electric cooking surface is built into the table, almost hidden. The pot used is purely utilitarian. We spend a good deal of money on other kitchen accessories like blenders and mixers, that guests rarely see. Why can’t the centerpiece of a sharing, fondue-like experience really be emphasized and celebrated?

One Response to “Cooktop concepts vs. Real tabletop cooking”

  1. FondueLady says:

    I love Fondue and you are so right. The whole process of Fondue is beautiful, even the dishes used to make it. 🙂

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