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Samsung has gourmet appliance celebration

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By The Record (Hackensack, N.j.)
Saturday, July 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

In Manhattan's Meatpacking District, a group of Michelin star-rated chefs — the creme de la creme of cuisine — were whipping up gourmet appetizers for a crowd of more than 100 people, mostly members of the media.

Celebrity restaurateur-chef Daniel Boulud, for example, made Colorado Wagyu ribeye wine-braised short ribs. The culinary offerings from the other chefs included duck foie gras royale, accompanied by champagne. And all the cooking was done in a demonstration kitchen featuring Samsung's Chef Collection line.

Ridgefield Park, N.J.-based Samsung Electronics America Inc., the American unit of the Korean electronics giant, was the host of the evening party last month. The media got a close-up look at Samsung's latest line of home appliances. Samsung's Chefs premium kitchen collection was center stage at the festive showcase, which many of the company's top executives attended.

The home appliance debuts include new additions to the Chefs Collection — which incorporates suggestions from members of Samsung's Club des Chefs such as Boulud — and includes a four-door refrigerator with metal cooling plates to prevent temperature fluctuations, and a dishwasher with “Water Wall” technology, a sweeping spray of water that shoots up from the bottom of the appliance and moves back and forth, rather than conventional circular water jets, which can miss cleaning dishes in corners.

The party was serious business. Long an industry leader in TVs and later smartphones, Samsung has turned its attention big-time to white goods — refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and ranges. And it's making solid inroads against leaders such as General Electric, Whirlpool, Kenmore and others as it sets its sights on being No. 1 in that category as well.

Samsung is grabbing market share with a combination of technological innovation and stylish design in what the company claims had been a stagnant sector ripe for change. Part of the strategy is offering higher-end products that aren't as pricey as luxury brands such as Viking, “premium mass-market” appliances that are getting rave reviews and winning industry awards.

“Definitely, the Samsung brand has come a very long way in the past 10 years,” said Alan Wolf, a senior editor at TWICE magazine, a trade publication that covers the consumer electronics industry. “Samsung was very focused, very concentrated and very determined.”

This year, Samsung, which bills itself as America's fastest-growing appliance company, ratcheted up its product introductions, with its largest release to date. The company believes that its prominence in TVs and cellphones will have a halo effect on consumers for its home appliances.

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