The Kitchen Beyond the Kitchen

A small home vegetable garden to delight the palate, the spirit and the environment.

The Serious About Food Kitchen LAB has challenged the creativity of nine international designers, asking them to work only with a vision, without spatial limitations or restrictions on style, but asking them to focus on one goal: satisfy the irrepressible desire to do of the chefs next door, KitchenAid's passionate makers.

So, this innovation workshop created nine marvellous facets of the same seriousessence, each with its own character. Capsule Végétale by Matali Crasset is the project that most boldly interprets the need to go beyond convention, suggesting a kitchen that goes beyond the kitchen, and even surpasses conceptual boundaries.

We like to think it was the scent of Provençal herbs that tickled the creativity of this French designer, or the vegetation of the northern countryside where she spent her childhood. I wonder whether it was there that this glass capsule that encloses a pulsating heart was conceived. 

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This kitchen becomes a home, offering refreshment, welcoming guests in an unusual and relaxing environment, and celebrating the life cycle. The Capsule is spread over two levels: one expands towards the light, welcoming guests in a green and lush environment, the other is underneath, and this is where the magic takes place. Indeed, just like behind the scenes of a show, this is where the good stuff happens. They share the spotlight and feed each other. A KitchenAid professional lab, and the compost collection point, giving life to the entire production cycle. The driving force is at the centre of the level below, enclosed by a quadrilateral of worktops fitted with the best small and large appliances. 

On the four sides, there are multifunctional ovens, induction plates, the new five-baking technique module, Chef Sign, and then fridge, freezers, the Chef Touch column with the temperature cutter and the small helpers to whisk, knead and process. This equipment allows a more fluid management of the whole food preparation process, and it feels like being assisted by a true technological sous chef. The Capsule uses a lab that facilitates the production processes concealed behind the architecture of a gourmet dish. The further benefit is that there are no scraps. The less noble parts of any ingredient, or that are superfluous while cooking, are collected in the composting centre that will still feed the entire cycle, fertilising the greenhouse plants and re-emerging in the form of new fruits.

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Capsule Végétale is a sustainable kitchen where nature and technology combine to grow, cook and store foods. It is also a paradise for a chef, who can proudly control the entire process, starting from the production of selected and ad hoc ingredients. Every stage of the cycle seeks genuineness and excellence, key ingredients in building a serious dish that nourishes body and spirit. Because a kitchen that is serious about food meets a palate's desires, as well as nutritional requirements and care for the environment; Because everything goes in its place, just as it does in Matali's Capsule.

This holistic approach is the basis for new trends in cooking, both as a diet and as a design space. The trend of indoor greenhouses using hydroponic systems for the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic herbs and vegetables, among the walls of the home, is becoming more and more urgent. The market offers hyper-technological solutions, governed by simple smartphone apps, to recreate small home vegetable gardens that can do without sunlight and bring botany to a 2.0 concept.

Even before they got into our homes, these revised ancient peasant practices arrived in the most health-conscious companies. Considering the interpersonal and healthy benefits associated with taking care of a green corner, a multinational in Tokyo has devoted four thousand square metres of its offices to a vertical vegetable garden that produces more than 200 plant species. Employees can devote themselves to taking care of the plants and harvesting fruit to share with their colleagues and family members. The greenery creates a pleasant and relaxing environment and requires care, causing employees to take virtuous breaks to water or dig through the plants. Vegetation lowers stress levels and also improves nutrition, resulting in a double positive effect on health. And the environment will thank you! Home gardens, in fact, respond to another challenge we must face as soon as possible, namely the overpopulation of urban areas and the consequent decline in cultivable land.

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Matali and KitchenAid go further still. They give us the dream of a happy oasis where courgettes, grown with so much love, become appetising green spaghetti with the Stand Mixer, and cherry tomatoes become more appetising with a quick processing in the Twelix Artisan oven.

Now we can really say, it's ready in the greenhouse!

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