A recent visit by John-Paul, our sales and commercial manager, to the Steel Cucine factory in Carpi, located in the Province of Modena in north Italy, proved to be a very pleasant and worthwhile use of his valuable time, and strengthens our impression of this brand as one of the most impressive domestic cooker manufacturers in the world. In this article he gives you a taste of the experience…
The drive from the airport to the factory through Emilia-Romagna is a long but scenic one, passing through some of the most famous food production territory, known for cheeses, balsamic vinegars, hams and all manner of Italian delicacies. The factory itself is smaller than expected, and it doesn’t take long to begin to understand the relevance of this to the end product. Every member of the factory staff is not only highly trained and skilled, but is passionate about what they do, and about ensuring the customer gets a product which is the best as it could possibly be. The Po family have been doing this for the best part of a century now, and the two brothers who run things are constantly working to make things better, ensuring that the immaculate factory has an industrious intimacy that breeds positivity and harmony in the work force, and produces range cookers their founding ancestor Angelo Po would be proud of.
The factory tour over, a presentation and a look around the impressive showroom underlines the quality and desirability of the product range, and the forward-thinking nature of the company as a whole. Improvements are being made all the time, and the visitors are shown examples of new extraction hoods using clever plasma technology to purify recycled air, rather than carbon filters - something very new to the domestic market. These plasma hoods are due to launch in 2016.
On display are examples of the newly upgraded Genesi and Ascot collections, with their new brass burners, alongside the lower priced Derby and Sintesi models and the superb complimentary bespoke kitchen units, fridges, ovens and accessories which make up Steel’s highly impressive product range. Glistening stainless steel is offset by the new Le Creuset colours, which are much in evidence, and they do look superb.
Steel has recently invested heavily in their new Combi-steam oven technology. When cooking in a conventional fanned oven, the air is hot and dry - this dry atmosphere draws the moisture out of your food. When using the steam function, the oven is humid, so the moisture is not draw out the food - keeping your cooking full of flavour, nutrients and vitamins. Combi-steam gives you the best possible cooking experience - you get to use standard fanned or conventional settings with the option to have steam function on or off.
The Steel Combi-ovens have a stainless steel interiors and look great. The steam generator is located at the bottom of the cavity and provides up to 3 hours of steam cooking.
After the showroom, we were off to the hotel and a local restaurant to experience true Italian cuisine. The following day we explored the local area. The area around Carpi is famous, too, for the richness of its engineering and manufacturing culture, with brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati just round the corner.
Taking full advantage of this, we are driven past the Ferrari factory to find the Museo Ferrari tucked around the corner. The museum is full of the iconic Ferrari sports cars from every decade, along with trophies, photographs and other historical objects relating to the Italian motor racing industry. An amazing and memorable place even for those not into motorsports.
Following the museum tour we headed into Modena for some fresh stone-baked pizza, got to visit the Cathedral with its famous tower of Ghirlandina, and walked through the cobbled streets of the ancient town before heading off.
Factory tours are always a fascinating insight into the culture of a manufacturer, and the concentrated passion the Steel Cucine brand is much in evidence in this small and very industrious building in northern Italy. We at Rangecookers.co.uk have always endorsed the quality and pedigree of the Steel brand, and this special visit has further strengthened our resolve to see it find its way into the homes of customers who may not currently be aware of it but who will quickly learn to appreciate and share the passion of owning and using one of their exceptionally good cooking appliances.