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A Boston Homeowner’s Guide to Selecting Luxury Kitchen Appliances to Fit Your Lifestyle

Designing a luxury kitchen is a very personal journey. Yet whether you are an accomplished baker, a busy, nutrition-focused mom, the consummate entertainer, or an aspiring home chef, design professionals say that kitchen remodels are most successful when you select appliances first. 

Many of today’s appliances offer technology that save time, better preserve wholesome food, and make culinary success almost foolproof. If you do your appliance research in advance, you’ll save both time and money down the road by avoiding a situation where you have to alter your plans to accommodate one of those new must-have appliances that you didn’t know about before.   

Recently, we visited Clarke, New England’s Official Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove Showroom and Test Kitchen in Boston’s Seaport to explore the newest cooking technology. We toured Clarke with Showroom Manager Jeremy McCulla, who took us on a deep dive into everything from induction cooking to wine storage and convection steam ovens. Here are some of the appliances that really intrigued us. 

First: What to Expect During Your Showroom Visit

Clarke is one-of-a-kind. Their only mission is to teach people how to match high-end appliances to the results they’re imagining. The showroom doesn’t sell anything, so there’s no pressure to buy. If you do discover appliances you would like to purchase, however, a Clarke Showroom Consultant will help you find a trusted retail dealer near you. Plus, if you’re looking for an architect or designer, they can refer you to some of the region’s finest. If this sounds too good to be true, it’s not: It’s just a unique and enjoyable way to shop for appliances. Think appliance playground, not appliance store.

If you know what you’re looking for, McCulla will share (and in some cases have Clarke’s chef demonstrate) that appliance. If you’re in the discovery phase, just trying to figure out what’s available, Jeremy or another member of the staff will guide you through all your options, explaining the pros and cons of each appliance based on your specific lifestyle.

Everybody’s Talking About Induction Cooking

According to McCulla, the top questions are about induction cooking. Wolf leads the industry with both a sleek induction cooktop and a stunning induction range, which combines the induction cooktop with a Dual Verticross™ convection oven with Gourmet Mode, delivering fool-proof results. McCulla tells us it’s the most intuitive cooking appliance available today. 

McCulla explains that induction uses a magnetic field under the scratch-resistant glass surface, which induces heat directly in the pan rather than on the surrounding surface. “So, it’s turning your pan into the heat source, and not the cooktop,” he says, explaining that even if the burner is on high, you can take the pan off the surface, touch the cooktop, and not get burned. This is a great benefit for families with children and those who feel they or a loved one may be at risk of leaving the burners on. 

The precision of the induction cooktop can help experienced cooks perfect intense highs for sears and extreme lows for delicate sauces. As a demonstration, McCulla shows that water boils on the induction cooktop in just a minute, then you can remove it from the heat, and it stops boiling immediately (and instantly begins boiling again upon contact). So, for all the avid chefs, when you need to take your consommé or béarnaise off the heat to preserve the consistency you want, you simply lift the pan, and it’s like the sauce is suspended in time. “The precision of this is so amazing,” McCulla says. All that’s left to do is wipe down the cooktop, which you can do with regular glass cleaner—no more removing heavy burner tops—and it’s ready for your next culinary endeavor.

The Dual Verticross™ oven reduces hot and cold spots and enables consistent multi-rack cooking. The Gourmet Mode presets automatically adjust the oven to the ideal cooking environment for nearly 50 dishes, making cooking easier than ever.

Seven out of 10 Clarke Visitors Add This Oven to Their Plan

McCulla sees homeowners with a wide range of cooking experience. Some are passionate about cooking, while others want beautiful appliances that will give them as much help as possible when they’re making an occasional dinner or brunch. Still, others are candid about the fact that they eat out most nights, but still need an oven. 

Despite the variety of use cases, there is one Wolf oven that gets the attention of every visitor: the Wolf Convection Steam Oven. By combining convection and heat, it brings restaurant leftovers back to their original taste and texture for those who don’t like to cook, and it provides specific settings for those who want to bake artisanal quality breads, make succulent roasts or perfectly poach eggs.

At 100 degrees, McCulla says, the steam oven can perfectly defrost anything from raw chicken to a frozen meal. Plus, the convection-steam technology (as opposed to only dry convection heat) makes food taste fresh and perfectly cooked without over-moistening. “I’m not adding any moisture to it, but I’m keeping the existing moisture in,” he explains, highlighting that lasagna and mac and cheese are especially delicious in steam-convection mode. 

The oven can be used in regular convection mode, or in steam mode for vegetables, fish, and rice, for example. Those who are intrigued after their showroom tour often sign up for Clarke’s Wolf Convection Steam Oven demonstrations.

Pair This Smart Wall Oven With Your Gas or Induction Cooktop

For those looking to improve their cooking, or busy people who just need to depend on their oven to prepare daily meals perfectly (no fuss over finding cooking times and temperatures), McCulla highly recommends the Wolf M-Series Wall Oven, which can perfectly roast any food with pre-programmed settings. You can select, for example, prime rib, medium rare, and insert the built-in temperature probe into the meat so that the oven can track its temperature until it’s done.

The M-Series even changes temperature on its own: “It’s going to convection roast it at 450 for 30 minutes, get a nice sear on the outside, then it’s going to change modes and temperatures to regular roast it at 225,” McCulla says. The temperature probe is set to 135 (medium-rare), so when it reaches that temperature, the oven tells you to take the prime rib out. “Every single time, that prime rib is perfectly medium rare,” he says. Plus, it’s Wi-Fi connected, so you can multitask. “I could be outside playing with the dog, and it’ll let me know dinner’s ready.”

The Refrigerator That Pays for Itself

Sub-Zero is synonymous with luxury kitchens and unparalleled food preservation. In fact, real estate experts say that a home listing that mentions a Sub-Zero actually sells faster and for more money. Clarke is the only place in New England where you can actually see every model Sub-Zero makes.  

“Sub-Zero just came out with the first-to-market 48-inch French Door refrigerator, which has become super popular,”  says McCulla. It has two large doors, which open like a wardrobe, and a single freezer drawer underneath. McCulla says its capacity is equal to a large full-length fridge and freezer, enough space for your biggest grocery hauls.

But the main feature that has kept fresh food enthusiasts coming back to Sub-Zero for decades is the air purification. “Sub-Zero borrowed a little bit of technology from NASA a while back,” McCulla says. “So, we’re now filtering the air inside the refrigerator—every 20 minutes—removing odors, viruses, bacteria, most importantly, ethylene gas.” Ethylene gas is what ripens and, ultimately, spoils your produce. Without it, food stays fresher.

Additionally, McCulla explains, Sub-Zero refrigerators have dual refrigeration. This keeps cool, moist air in the refrigerator and cool, dry air in the freezer. Where most refrigerators have to borrow cold air from the freezer, which dries out produce, Sub-Zero maintains the right humidity and temperature, mitigating frost and food spoilage. In most refrigerators, lettuce goes bad in a week. In a Sub-Zero, according to McCulla, it can last three whole weeks. 

Plus, a study by the Natural Resource Defense Council found that the average American family of four ends up tossing the equivalent of $2,275 of food in the trash annually. Sub-Zero builds their refrigerators to last for 20 years or more. That math says you can save more than $45,000 in food with your Sub-Zero. 

You’ll Want to Consider These Two Unique Appliances For Entertaining

Clarke will open your eyes to dozens of full-scale designer kitchens that will inspire you to think about your kitchen appliances differently. For homeowners who want to optimize entertaining, McCulla recommends the five-foot Galley Workstation. The Galley is customizable and shapeshifting to fit different phases of your event.

 “I could cover it up and just have more counter space, or uncover it, and now I have my workstation,” McCulla says. For example, say you’re planning a self-serve chicken Caesar salad for your dinner party’s main course. Your prep may involve cooking chicken, washing and chopping lettuce, mixing the dressing, and shaving parmesan. With the Workstation uncovered, from left to right, you have: a knife-safe counter space for mixing dressing, shaving parmesan, and chopping lettuce; a marine-grade stainless steel sink for washing lettuce; another sink to place your used knife and cheese grater; and an additional surface for chopping your chicken. 

Just before your guests arrive and it’s time to lay out the meal, you can transform The Galley into a countertop. With your prep materials hiding in the sink below, you’re free to present your meal on the open countertop. You can even turn the faucets away from the sinks. “If we’re turning it into a serving station, turn them around and get them out of the way,” McCulla says.

Those keen on delicious food and drink also need reliable wine storage. McCulla shares that Sub-Zero does true wine storage, meaning it won’t just chill wine, it will store it at the precise, ideal temperature. “It’s a cave-like setting,” he says. “It keeps the humidity consistent, there’s no UV light because of the argon gas in the door, it keeps a consistent temperature, and they rubberized all the motors, so there’s no vibrations harming your fine wines.” Your wine will be in good hands, right up until it’s in your guests’ hands.


You can learn everything you need to know about luxury appliances at Clarke. You’ll find this amazing resource right here in Boston, with two other showrooms in Milford, Massachusetts right off Route 495, and in South Norwalk, Connecticut.