How Italian Kitchen Brand Bertazzoni Created Appliances Inspired By Steam Trains
Founded in 1882 in Guastalla, a town in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Bertazzoni has made a name for itself with quality engineering and a passion for food, while being true to its Italian roots. Its singular goal is to help avid cooks everywhere craft dishes with precision, flair and flavour with its products. The firm is looking to acquaint home cooks in Asia with its new range of built-in appliances, which includes an induction cooktop with an integrated hood, appliance layouts for Asian-style cooking, and a line of kitchen hobs.
We speak to Nicola Bertazzoni, Bertazzoni’s vice-president of sales, on what makes the brand tick.
How did the brand get started?
Nicola Bertazzoni (NB) In 1882, father-and-son (duo) Francesco and Antonio set up a factory making weighing scales, which was situated right in front of a train station. They saw the first steam trains, which was a big innovation for the time. In homes then, there were mostly fireplaces, and they were used to heat the house and cook.
If you’ve managed an open fire, you’ll know how difficult it is to cook on it, and how much heat escapes through the chimney. So they came up with this idea of a wood-burning stove, which was the first integrated appliance. You could do surface cooking and oven cooking, and you could heat the home, because it was filled with liners inside which absorbed the heat and released it slowly. A water reserve produced and stored hot water. The ashes, the by-product of the burning wood, were mixed with water to create lye—which is the base ingredient of detergents even today—to wash clothes with.
It was a very successful product because it made the lives of homeowners so much easier. Sales were very good, and the company won several awards for it at the Milan Expo 1906.
Could you tell us more about your appliances?
NB We provide a full suite of aesthetically coordinated appliances for refrigeration, dishwashing and ventilation. We offer various cooking options, from gas induction to combi-steam ovens, full-steam ovens and combi-microwave ovens. We do know that every culture and market has its own cooking traditions; we have a deep knowledge of these techniques and we've adapted them for each market.
We have four series: Professional, Modern, Master and Heritage. They have been designed to fit perfectly into various ambiences around the world. More kitchens are becoming integrated with the living room; we need to provide appliances that not only perform well and help consumers achieve good results but also add to the decor of the kitchen.
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Could you highlight a key product from your appliance range?
NB Our 60cm full-size oven is not only an electric convection oven that is self-cleaning; it is an oven that you can use for multiple purposes, whether it is full steaming—which is very important in Asia—or a combination of convection and steam, which is much appreciated in Europe.
What motivates the brand?
NB It’s a bit philosophical, but our ultimate goal is to provide joy. Everyone wants to buy products that give them joy. If you have an appliance that helps you achieve good results in food preparation, without too much stress, and is guiding you and helping you, that is one way of providing joy. The other way is just by looking at your product when you enter your kitchen every morning; you feel good because it looks nice.
Bertazzoni is available at Capital Marketing, 9 Tagore Lane #02-32, 9@Tagore, Tel: 6288 9190
(Related: How Italian Furniture Brand Giorgetti Continues Its Woodworking Heritage)