© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd


© 2009-2011 Quality Eating and Drinking London Ltd

Articles in Equipment category

Coming soon?


One of the quintessential Proustian food-memories for lots of us: the very smell of brown. But now ...

Oxo Wharf.

Oh, we think of the Oxo Tower, of the brightness in the leisure-era riverbank building (probably conflating memories with Butler's Wharf, especially regarding the eating potential), but behind the new lies the Bargehouse, an old warehouse which has been conserved/contrived as an artily distressed gallery space. This week, I visited Made in Brunel at the Bargehouse. It's an annual outing to showcase what's going on in the fertile minds of students in the School of Engineering and Design at Brunel University. So what does this have to do with food?

Well, there's the possible future of the kitchen sieve for one thing. It has springs to help you realign the mesh and clear out these sticky bits that always seem to remain.

Or the kettle that need not boil: just dial the temperature you need. And at the other end of the temperature spectrum, building a better lunchbox. To keep your better mousetrap cheese at the right temperature, perhaps? Not only that, just to keep your lunch as if it was in the fridge at home.

How well do you know your fridge contents? Why not let your mobile phone tell you when food is reaching the sunset of its life with the Waste Doctor app? Or use your computer to improve your cupcake life?

As Mr Thring of the Guardian might say, consider the Atlantic salmon. What do we throw away from that monarch of north-west Highland gastronomy? The skin. But it has, literally, bags of use in it. I had a salmon wallet once, in the days when we treated Keflavik as our answer to Birmingham New Street (different smells, same connectivity). And very good it was too. But this student has developed a sustainable, non-chrome-based leathering process, and Mulberry have created a sample reticule.

It's not all food, of course: there are scores of bright ideas, from drying ballet shoes to kayaking with a shoulder support and far, far beyond. If you are very quick, you might catch the end of the 2011 show. But QED is already waiting for what's coming up in 2012.

The future of design: think about it. The next cohort of students are doing so already.

Declaration of interest: two QED directors are nourished each month by payment from Brunel, in exchange for toil. But the more important declaration of interest is surely to declare how much of interest is going on, and is made public each year, by these, our now-and-future designers.

Enjoying food or drink: does the plate or glass matter?

That question is raised this week as we review a Duvel glass, which claims to give a better drinking experience (when drinking Duvel, of course). And until we can disprove the materials-science part of it, there are plausible lines of enquiry which might underpin the commercial claims.

But this raises similar questions about other pieces of equipment: is there a shape,and/or material for a plate which is optimal for the serving of a steak, or of a fish? There are all sorts of real or imagined factors here: differential heat conductivity, liquid runoff, etc., even before we approach the psychology of it all. Much discussion is aired on getting the tone of a restaurant right (whether that's deciding on the folds of the napery or the vividness of Ronald McDonald's trousers), and the aesthetic design of crockery, cutlery and the like is (sometimes) a subject for analysis, but form-follows-function tableware?

Answers, please, via the comment box (select View comments below).


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