For those who truly love to cook, or those who simply wish to make a statement and have the space, La Cornue’s equipment, crafted by hand in France, offers timeless beauty. (Plan ahead, since construction and delivery can take three to four months.) The company’s Grand Palais 180, probably its signature product, is 70 inches long and includes La Cornue’s unique vaulted, sealed ovens, one gas and one electric, and surface cooking that includes one or more plaques—cast-iron surfaces with the heat concentrated in the center. All of this, constructed by hand in a variety of colors and finishes, certainly provides a unique focal point for any cook.
No discussion of surface cooking would be complete without a consideration of the grill. The taunts of yesteryear— “My SUV is bigger than yours,” or “my car is faster”—have, for many homeowners, given way to “my grill is bigger, hotter, and better.” While there are many contenders for this honor, the Kalamazoo Gourmet Grills probably top the list. The company’s built-in Bread Breaker Dual-Fuel is its most popular, capable of up to 154,000 BTU’s when using gas, and adaptable for use with wood or charcoal as well. However, if you really want the highest BTU output, the gas- only version adds a searing burner to take it up to 176,000 BTU’s, and that should surely top the list for pure power.