Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kitchen Couture

Our intern, Kristi, just returned from a trip to France, where she was lucky enough to spend a couple days in Paris. While there, she spent the good part of the day in the 7th arrondissement, checking out the kitchen design studios along Boulevard Saint Germain.

Her first stop was at the Gaggenau showroom, where she was wowed by the new wall-mounted lift oven. At the push of a button, the glass ceramic base of the oven moves down, allowing dishes or trays to be easily placed into the oven. Push the button again and it raises back up, ready to cook!

At the Miele showroom, she was impressed with their display kitchens and the two Elica star island hoods.

Further down Saint Germain, she made the requisite stop at Grange to examine the gorgeous bookshelf cabinetry.

Around the corner, at Boulevard Raspail and Rue de Luynes, is the newly remodeled Mark Wilkinson Showroom . Spending most of her time in the “New England” display kitchen, she was able to talk with one of their designers and saw lots of unique storage ideas.

After all this product research it was definitely time for lunch…lucky for her La Grande Épicerie, where the American supermarket meets French cuisine, was just at the end of the street!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Live From Our Kitchen......Chef Jasper Mirabile!

This Saturday (5/17/08), Portfolio Kitchen & Home hosted Jasper's weekly radio show on KCMO 710 AM. Each week, Jasper interviews a guest while preparing a signature dish or two for those in the live audience to enjoy.

This week, Jasper and Geri Higgins, owner of Portfolio, talked about Geri's recent trip to the Eurocucina 2008 International Design Show in Milan, Italy last month. Geri gave listeners a preview of what is in store for kitchen design in the coming year: "Color in kitchen cabinetry is emerging with the purples. There are black-cherry stained wood cabinets and also eggplant finishes. The colors are all very rich and classic looking."

During the show, Jasper also interviewed acclaimed cookbook author, Diane Morgan, on her new cookbook, "Grill Every Day". This is Diane's second cookbook on grilling; she says the goal was to write a book "not only for barbecue lovers, but also for practical people who want quick, simple, and flavorful grilled meals throughout the week."

Even more impressive, during both interviews Jasper prepared his Italian Sausage (available at Hen House Markets starting today). Jasper's authentic recipe is made with top-quality pork, with hints of fennel and red pepper flakes. The 1/4-lb. sausages are packaged four to a pack. Jasper also prepared Geri's favorite dish - homemade creamy polenta (recipe follows).

Polenta is made from coarsely ground cornmeal and is a staple of Northern Italy. It makes a wonderful serving base for osso-bucco, short ribs and Jasper's Italian Sausages sauteed with bell peppers and onions.

For more information on Geri's experience and what's new in design, listen to the podcast of "LIVE! From Jasper's Kitchen".

Jasper Mirabile's Creamy Polenta
The simplicity of this creamy polenta recipe belies its true wonderfulness. This polenta is so light, so fluffy, so creamy, it could almost be a dessert.

(4) cups water or chicken broth
Salt to taste
(1) cup instant polenta
(4) tablespoons butter
(1) cup shredded Mozzarella or Provolone cheese
(1/2) cup heavy cream

Heat water/broth lightly seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Quickly whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated. Lower the heat to a low simmer, 5-10 minutes. Add the butter and allow the polenta to cook, stirring occasionally, and finish by stirring in the cream, cheese & salt to taste.

Click here to read Jasper's blog and for the recipes featured on the show.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes!

It’s been an exciting week at Portfolio, as we have been busy reinventing our office space! With the help of our friends at TopMaster, we were able to reconfigure our work areas from the traditional computer workstations into a unique, free-form configuration that better suits the synergistic environment here at Portfolio.

Other than only having one phone line and working in one of our display areas in the showroom for a couple of days, everything went very smoothly and we were so excited to “get back to business” after the install was complete.

In keeping with our signature black and white colors, we chose Corian countertops in Rain Cloud and Earth.

Thank you to all our friends at Dupont and TopMaster for all their hard work—and our fabulous new office!

Friday, May 2, 2008

All that glitters...

This evening, Tivol and Portfolio partnered to host Penny Preville’s trunk show, where the jewelry designer’s latest creations were on display.

Penny Preville, the award-winning designer whose signature style is defined by “femininity, luxury and an eye for intricate detail”, was such a delight to meet and her newest baubles made the evening sparkle with sophistication. In staying with the kitchy theme, the models donned aprons and oven mitts, carrying trays of jewels, as if they’d just come out of the oven piping-hot!

Penny Preville’s styles have become synonymous with romantic taste and style, which is why we here at Portfolio love her—she lives well, and lives beautifully!

Steve Chick was also on hand, whipping up delicious food for everyone to enjoy in Portoflio’s kitchens.

Thanks again to Tivol and Penny for a fabulous evening!

Click here to learn more about Penny Preville.