There's good news for all cooks who fantasize about making those exciting, tantalizing culinary creations that they see demonstrated at cookshops, on television and in department stores. Manufacturers of small electrical appliances have finally been able to shake off the slump that has plagued their industry for the last few years and are now offering specialty machines that will meet almost every cooking need. Major breakthroughs in design, function and quality promise more value for the money spent on coffee makers, mixers, blenders, food processors, toasters, grills and waffle irons.
Specialization is the key word, with an eye on multiple functions within the scope of some appliances. Leading the way is a small but dynamic contingent of European manufacturers. Braun and Krups have been in the forefront with sleek, high-tech looks in coffee makers, food processors, blenders and mixers. A new entry this year is Vivalp, which has exploded upon the marketplace with clean-lined toasters, grills, mini-choppers and an electric sauce maker. Their functional flair brings a modern look to a kitchen and tends to update the cook's skills as well.
Color is another element that has been influenced by the European invasion. The ubiquitous harvest gold and the popular almond finish found on most familiar appliances is being replaced with red or white; black and chrome are coming on strong, especially in espresso/ cappuccino makers. Art in the kitchen is a bonus that you get from this year's battalion of helpers.