When I last wrote about my visit to the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville KY,  I shared my experience cooking on the GE Monogram Dual Fuel Professional Range. While I had a great time cooking on the pro range, nothing prepared me for what I was to come across on Day 2 of my visit – Advantium speedcook technology.  I had heard about speedcook technology in the past, but just assumed that it was a fancy name that the company gave to sell more appliances.  Boy, was I wrong.

The Advantium is four ovens in one: Speedcook, true European convection, microwave, and warming. Advantium speedcook technology combines halogen light and ceramic and radiant heating to rapidly cook the outside of foods, sealing in natural juices.  At the same time, microwave energy works to evenly cook the inside.  Depending on the oven (240V or 120V), the Advantium can cook  some foods up to 4 to 8 times faster than the conventional oven.  The best thing about it – no waiting around for the oven to preheat! Being the practical person that I am, anything that does double duty in the kitchen is a winner in my book.  Four in one is even better!

There once was a time when I used to spend half the day planning three course meals for my family and friends – on a week night!  Unfortunately, long gone are those days of planning for hours on end, but I still love to cook and entertain.  Because of my busy schedule, I don’t have the time that I used to, and as much as I loved to cook, it simply is not as enjoyable when at 6 pm, I have three mouths complaining that they are hungry, and I know that roasting an entire chicken will take at least an hour and a half, depending on its size.

The folks at Monogram must have a hidden camera in my kitchen and filmed all my 6 pm rants about what to cook every night, because not only did they design an oven that caters to my family’s hectic lifestyle, but one that does not compromise the taste or texture of the food and produces oven quality results.  On the Advantium 240, an entire chicken takes 25 minutes to roast to perfection – nicely browned and crisp on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside.  Compare that to the hour and a half it takes in a standard convection oven (and that doesn’t include preheat time!)

While in the Monogram “kitchen stadium”, each of the groups was given something to cook in the Advantium.  Our group was given seasoned chicken breasts.  We put our breasts in the oven, used the pre-programmed menu (it can also be adjusted to taste), and set the time.  We walked away and 9 minutes later, voilà – our chicken breasts were cooked to perfection!  Among the items cooked by other groups on the Advantium was a grilled cheese, which was the most delicious I have ever had – no kidding.  And I don’t even LIKE grilled cheese!  It was slightly crisp and toasted a nice golden brown on the outside, and on the inside, the bread was soft with a nice, gooey layer of cheese sandwiched in between.

The Advantium comes in either a European or Professional style and as a wall oven, under the counter, or above the cooktop.  Here are some pictures of some of the different variations and ideas on how they can be installed:

I did mention that I like to entertain, didn’t I?  Well this brings me to the 30″ wide Monogram fully integrated customizable refrigerators with convertible drawer.  When I entertain, I find that I usually have a shortage of refrigeration in the kitchen, as I have extra fruit, drinks, and dishes that take up more space than usual. The freezer doesn’t really come into play when entertaining, other than for ice. Again, the design department must have flipped on that hidden camera in my kitchen, because they realized how important refrigeration is when entertaining and came up with the brilliant idea of the convertible drawer.  The convertible drawer can be used as a freezer, refrigerator, or even wine storage, depending on your needs.

Below is a photo I took at the Dwell on Design trade show last June.  Pictured is the 30″side customizable European style refrigerator with convertible drawers, with the unit on the left using the wine reserve instead of standard refrigeration.

Just think – come Thanksgiving, the turkey can stay in its place in the bottom convertible drawer, and instead of moving everything out of the refrigerator to thaw the frozen turkey, all one would have to do is flip the switch from freezer to refrigeration, and the turkey stays in place until it is thawed and ready to roast.

Last but not least is another one of my favorites for entertaining, the beverage center or wine reserve. These two units are similar, except that one is designed specifically for wine and the other for beverages in general.  The interior can be lit to showcase the contents of the fridge or with a tap of a finger, the privacy glass can be engaged.  Innovative liquid-crystal technology goes from transparent to opaque and conceals the contents from view, and both the wine reserve and beverage center contain full-extension racks that make access easier.    Excuse my photography in this last photo, as the light was a little off and I had a bit of glare, but you get the idea.

My time visiting the Monogram Experience Center was truly an eye opening experience.  So much thought has gone into the design and execution of each product in the Monogram line and it shows, as they are keeping up with the demands of today’s family.  Form and function have come together to make every day life, as hectic as it can be, a lot more easier.

And here’s more from Day 2…

Dinner off-site
After hours at Proof
Abusing the poor sculpture at Proof
Group shot

Please note that my travel and expenses to the Monogram Experience Center were provided for by GE Monogram, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.