Best of the Best: Kitchen Appliances

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2004
  • Samantha Brooks

Waldorf Island Cooking Suite
Bringing the commercial range home.


Over the past 30 years, Jade’s commercial appliances have been used in the kitchens of such acclaimed restaurants as Le Bernardin in New York, Emeril’s Atlanta, and Le Cirque in Las Vegas. Since its acquisition six years ago by Maytag, Jade has been quietly transferring the durability and longevity of commercial appliances into the residential arena. With the unveiling of the Waldorf Island Cooking Suite this February, Jade has moved the kitchen appliance into the realm of custom design.

The Waldorf brings complete freedom of design to a specific space as well as to each client. “There are no rules with the Waldorf. The extravagance is in the eye of the customer,” says Mark Russell, Jade’s director of sales and marketing. “We just completed a 9-by-7-foot model for a home in northern California that was built around a structural column in the kitchen. The chef designed the burner configuration so that he could maximize his interaction with his guests.” 

A typical Waldorf range costs from $50,000 to $89,000, depending on the options. These can include 6-foot-tall stainless steel pot racks, 20-by-30-inch griddles, a 20,000 Btu wok burner, double 15,000 Btu burners, a French top, and a 36-inch gas convection oven that can accommodate full-size commercial cookware sheets. And each piece is commercial grade, made of 1-inch-thick steel and fully welded along every seam, so that no amount of dripping will shorten its lifespan. 

“We take care of everything,” adds Russell. “If our client wants an integrated stainless steel Kohler sink with Moen faucetry, we’ll get it. This isn’t about creating the best collection of appliances; it’s about creating the best-designed work space.”

Jade understands that cooking involves a certain choreography, and customized appliances address that rhythm. “Restaurant kitchens have a carefully orchestrated design. They are by no means one-size-fits-all,” says Russell. “Hard-core chefs go through the same thing at home. This goes beyond customization to personalization.”

Building the perfect kitchen should never mean sacrificing style for function. With finishes available in stainless steel, brass, or copper, the Waldorf can take center stage. “Kitchens have become a space for entertaining,” says Russell. “We get clients who love to cook but don’t want to be isolated from their guests. The only problem is that sometimes people are more impressed with the range than they are with the food.”


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