A lever for haute cuisine


Cooking is one of the trends of this time and to have the suitable instruments for preparing food in professional way at home is one of consumers’ requests. The Food Processor by Kitchen Aid makes use of a lever to slice with precision without replacing the blade group.

Silvia Fissore

1) THE idea
To propose a Food Processor with the compact casing, able to suit all food processing requirements. Its plus is represented by the new Exactslice system to slice with precision any raw or cooked food just adjusting the slice thickness and without replacing the blade group. This thanks to the use of a simple lever.
The idea at the base of the new Food Processor launched by KitchenAid is to offer consumers a practical user friendly appliance able to suit all food processing requirements, from the softest to the hardest aliments, exalting the quality of ingredients. The result is achieved thanks to the presence of two optimized speeds (low and high) to process either soft or hard foods with accuracy and the new ExactSlice system, a lever that allows adjusting the slice thickness without removing the blade group. A plus, this one, aimed at speeding up and simplifying the food preparation manoeuvres.

2) THE concept design
To rediscover the typical characteristics of the KitchenAid brand from the aesthetical and functional point of view, proposing at the same time something unique and innovative so that the product was immediately identifiable in the middle of the multitude of kitchen robots available on the market.
“The new Food Processor – explains Giorgio Baroffio, Senior Sales and Business Development Manager KitchenAid Europa, Inc – is not a product designed “ex novo”, but it comes from a long tradition of kitchen robots of which KitchenAid has always been leader from the performance point of view, in terms of sturdiness and aesthetical value”. This new appliance, then, continues the tradition of the brand towards this direction and, in designing it, the Design team had the task of assuring this “performance continuity”, but also of proposing something innovative and unique on the market, to be immediately identified in the “jungle” of other products “.
During the design development of the appliance the company team has worked on the two essential parts of the appliance: on one hand the upper zone, that’s to say the one deputed to contain foods in the processing phase, on the other hand the lower one, which besides housing the motor, had to guarantee the best stability to the Robot by acting as support base. “Concerning the upper part, designers’ research has not intervened with too evident modifications as it was necessary to follow pre-established shapes and sizes, final result of in-depth studies about the food processing performances ” explains Dario Grasselli, Microwave and Portables Design Leader of Global Consumer Design KitchenAid.
The lower part, in its turn, was requested to convey an idea of very strong stability, so that, despite the power and the speed of the motor, could not move by one millimetre. For this reason its shape has no decorations, recesses or protrusions. We have avoided the superfluous and any detail not precisely dedicated to its function has been simply removed ” goes on Grasselli. This work of labor limae has allowed obtaining smooth and clean volumes, “without solution of continuity between the massive “neck” of the transparent container and the footprint on the ground “. A minimalism studied also to permit “better cleaning ease and maintenance of the appliance. In particular we have eliminated holes or vents or any other trap for filth that might be difficult to be cleaned “. The final result is to make the user perceive the simplicity that each professional product is expected to have. Also “the user interface consequently complies with this principle – explains Grasselli -: it is perfectly integrated into the compact shape of the base, it is immediately accessible, intuitive, it has big buttons and then usable even if hands are engaged or dirty or wet “. The surface on which resides the control interface is inclined towards the user to favour even more the readability, while the button texture is of soft touch type to guarantee an excellent feeling during the use but also to avoid any reflection and consequently to increase safety even more during the use. The product physiognomy is completed by the non-slip base and the comfortable lateral ergonomic grip.  “All that provided with the unmistakable metal “badge” that identifies each KitchenAid, product  – adds Baroffio – and with the range of colours that make this robot ideal for each kitchen and environment, from the most conventional and professional to the youngest and most dynamic “.

One of the most complex aspects in the product engineering phase was the design of the upper transparent container. It had to guarantee, in fact, the best performances with any kind of food.
During the product development, “Certainly, the most difficult component to be interpreted from the design point of view was the upper transparent container ” explains Grasselli. “Performance” was the keyword during the whole project “and in this case performance meant not only to have the most powerful and indestructible motor but most of all performance of the product itself, which meant to guarantee exceptional results for each use – from the mayonnaise preparation to the slicing of marrows, up to the creation of sauces of any culinary tradition (such as the Italian pesto, French creams or the Scandinavian soups)” specifies Grasselli. To reach the excellence of results, then, the container “was expected to have a determinate and well precise section and curve, able to assure the food convergence towards the blade, not too quickly and neither too slowly “. The team has worked hard to reach a shape that was perfect just for any situation, in order to preserve also the final aesthetics of the household appliance.
Another essential function at which the design team has worked consisted in assuring the user the possibility of adjusting the blade height, and then the thickness of the cut slices, without opening the cover and dangerously touching the blade themselves. Actually, instead of replacing the blade group according to the type of food to be sliced or the thickness degree that you want to obtain, thanks to the system called ExactSlice, “the user intervenes on a simple lever positioned on the machine neck that acts on the pin of the blades/motor and with a simple slider from left to right increases or diminishes the height of the internal blade ” explains Grasselli.

Moulded plastics, stainless steel are the materials making up the product. With a particular attention to the parts getting in touch with foods.
The new kitchen Robot has a moulded plastic body. The transparent container and all the plastic parts getting in contact with foods (from the mini-cup to the food tube up to the cover with ultra-light seals ), are Bispenol-free.  “The appliance is an industrial product, whose materials are not machined manually but moulded or injected according to the standard industrial habits (injection for plastic, stock removal for solid metals, forming for sheet metal, etc…)” explains Grasselli.

On the market they have launched 4 colours able to match the most different environments: red, black, cream and silver. The two processing speeds and the Exactslice system are the distinguishing pluses of the finished product.
“Our process Consumer to Consumer (C2C 2.0), for the development of new products,  – explains Baroffio – provides for the production of numerous models to be used for different verifications, with consumers, too, before the final production and the launch on the market. The target is to guarantee that the product mirrors the excellent characteristics of the KitchenAid brand”. In short, the characteristics that are unique on the market are: “the exclusive external lever that allows regulating the slice thickness, the blades sharpened and purposely designed and the 2 speeds for delicate or hard foods. Finally the cover with ultra-tight seal, which prevents the leakage of liquids”. The appliance has been produced in four colours, Imperial Red, Onyx black, Cream and plated Silver to meet the market tastes: black and silver are adequate for a minimal and hi-tech context, while red and cream are undoubtedly shades recalling a vague retro style that can match both a classic and a modern and dynamic kitchen.
The final aesthetics in this appliance is a factor that “counts but it is not an end in itself, – explains Baroffio – but it becomes a link between the consumer and the company to transmit all the values in which the producer believes and intends to communicate. The external shell is undoubtedly fundamental to communicate that behind that product there is much more attention with which to stand out in comparison with what already proposed by competitors” ends Baroffio.


· Power: 300 W
· Voltage: 220-240 V
· Hertz: 50/60 Hz
· Sizes (H x L x W): 41.5 x 28 x 22.7 cm
· Body material: plastic
· Direct current motor
. Capacity: 3.1 Litres
· Available colours: Imperial Red, Onyx Black, Cream and plated Silver.

THE componentS OF THE success
Blades with two optimized speed (low and high) to slice with precision and to process soft and hard foods with accuracy.
Ultra wide food tube mouth 3 in 1, allows introducing foods with whatever size and processing them both horizontally and vertically
Cover with ultra-light seal and locking system to avoid the leakages of liquids.