Gourmet Chef Oven by Grundig

Amidst all the faces on cookies, cheese making robots and world champion pizza chefs packed into a Las Vegas casino ballroom last Tuesday evening for the inaugural FoodTech Live @ CES , a new smart wall oven from one of Europe’s largest appliance makers made its US debut.

Called the Gourmet Chef Oven by Grundig, the new built in connected wall oven unveiled by Turkish appliance giant Arcelik (Beko is the US brand for Arcelik) has some interesting features, with one in particular that had the crowd at FoodTech Live buzzing with interest.

As can be seen above, the Gourmet Chef not only comes with many of the capabilities you’d expect from a smart oven such as food recognition and guided cooking, but also has a unique self-cleaning feature that includes an internal water spray and special detergent dispenser.

“It cleans, it washes, it dries,” said Sazi Bugay, Product Director for Beko US. “Every time you use it, it gives you a clean interior.”

Admittedly, watching water splash around the inside an oven is a bit discombobulating at first, making one half-wonder for a moment if this is a dishwasher or a cooking box. It also made me ask myself how frequently one would need to wash their oven (raise your hand if you clean your oven pretty much never). That said, self-cleaning features may become a necessity in the age of smart ovens in order to ensure those internal cameras that identify food and enables cook-session monitoring stay relatively clean.

In the end, the self-cleaning feature plus some other nice-to-haves like a dehydration capability, steam oven and baking plate for pizzas make the Gourmet Chef an interesting and differentiated addition to the smart oven space. The Gourmet Chef (as well as Whirlpool’s new offerings which debuted at CES) also underscores the acceleration of a trend I highlighted in my 2019 outlook: the entry of big appliance makers into the smart oven market with built-in offerings that help move the segment beyond just the countertop.

According to Bugay, Arcelik’s new oven will be rolled out in Europe by the end of 2019 and should enter the US market in 2020 under the Beko brand. Pricing has not been disclosed.

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