Thursday, June 9, 2011


For some time now, I was looking to replace my 30-years old Kenwood Chef. It was a great mixer (still is) but it got old and noisy and there was no food processor matching this old model. I looked into the separate mixer (like KitchenAid) and food processor configuration, but since I keep the mixer on the counter-top, the all-in-one idea makes a lot more sense to me. So naturally, when I saw the new Kenwood Chef models in the importer's glitzy showroom, they felt familiar and reliable, just like my battle-proven model and I decided to buy one. Got a good price and took a unit from the importer (same place I bought the previous one 30 years ago) the same day.

When chefs use food processors on cooking shows, it seems so easy and convenient. You place the food in the bowl, close the lid and rotate a dial to turn on the machine and set its operating speed. It looked as even a person with two left hands like me can use a food processor with no difficulty. Although  I'm a novice user of the new machine, I assumed that all Kenwood products are easy to use like my old mixer, so I made a brave move and planned the Shavuoth meal for 8 (invited some friends over) around the new food processor attachment. This decision is actually in line with my risk-taking cooking policy of using my friends as guinea pigs for new dishes I prepare.

So I over-chopped some onions (common beginners' mistake), as I don't yet have the right correlation between processing time and food granularity. I also used the food processor for mixing and learned it would have been better to just chop the onions and use the K-beater for mixing. But these are minor issues. Apart from being too small, the major problem of this attachment is that it can be mounted on the mixer body only in a certain hard-to-achieve position. Also, it is over-engineered for safety: the lid cannot be open while the attachment is installed on the mixer, even when the power is off and there is no risk it'll chop your fingers. If you need to taste what's inside and add ingredients accordingly, you have to remove and install the attachment for each tasting. Obviously, the Kenwood engineers haven't heard of usability tests.

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