This week we feature the art and craft of kitchen designer Kingsley Budleigh-Salterton and his Company KBS Kitchens: Budleigh-Salterton was born in 1969 (His mother, the potter, Christine Budleigh-Bennet was listening to "Lucy in the Sky" whilst giving birth to Kingsley. His father, Billy Bennet, was in India at the time.) Educated at Dartington Hall, he studied art & design at Watchester School of Art where he designed his first kitchen appliance - the BS Tong Set. Three years ago he set up KBS Design Studios at the Acorn Rural Industrial Estate in Wymsey. His work has featured in Living Kitchens, Right Back When, on the BBC program "The Crockpot" and in the "Your Grandmother Would Know" exhibition at the England Now! Centre.
"My first major design was the KBS Cooker of which I feel justifiably proud, it is deceptively simple in appearance which belies some pretty nifty technology. I decided from the outset that this would be a limited edition of one hundred cookers. So far we have produced 78 and after we have produced number 100 we will break the moulds." Asked about the possible of counterfeiting, Budleigh-Salterton explained that certain trace elements had been added to the cast iron which makes detecting a forgery simple. Each cooker has an individually signed and numbered back plate which involves modifying the back plate moulding for each order.
The outer casing is traditional cast iron whilst the oven and top burner surfaces are high quality stainless steel. Dual powering, for gas or electricity, is provided. Temperature and cooking cycle is under full microprocessor control using the KitchenSlave® technology from ESI Computing and, naturally, comes with infra red remote control. What is less usual is the fact that the KBS2000 is also USB compliment (Plug and Cook) which means that it can be controlled from any computer running Windows 98 and the appliance comes bundled with MSWinKook99. The cooker has a built in waste disposal unit - the central feature at the bottom front - which takes care of cooking errors. "I call this the Recycle Bin." Budleigh-Salterton told us.
The KBS2000 is not a cooker for your average family coming in as it does at around £22,000 ($35,000) but this does include delivery and connection, a three hour video, "Mastering the KBS2000", five year warranty, free telephone support for one year, a 250 page users' manual and a 300 page recipe book, two CDs and a web site for those of you with access to the internet.
We asked top cookery writer and girl about town, Sally Grimstone-Thorpe to test drive the KBS2000: "It installed like a dream, under USB Windows 98 just took over and we sat back - all we had to do was insert the CD when it asked for the drivers. The default temperature mode is Centigrade so we changed that and then we were away. We did have a little problem when the remote control kept switching the toaster on but that was cured by installing a new toaster driver which was already in the Windows drivers folder. Both KitchenSlave and MSWinCook98 recognise each other and register mutual instructions."
"I simply love this cooker - it reeks of power and authority," Sally told us. But, we wanted to know, how does it cook? "Cook? to be honest I think that with a product like this the main thing is how it looks to the eye and feels to the touch - it's presence. Having said that, I was not at all surprised to find that it made a passably good lamb hotpot."