Friday, 26 April 2013

Welcome to the Tefal Innovation Panel

A few weeks ago I applied to join the Tefal Innovation Panel which was being launched in partnership with the Mumsnet Bloggers Network assuming I'd never be chosen but crossing my fingers in the hope that I would be. Imagine my surprise when, during our visit to Kiddicare Aintree a few weeks ago, I got a message inviting me to join the panel with a rather exciting request to join them in Windsor for the day.

Tefal Innovation Panel Member
Last Thursday Little Miss and I got up very early to get the 7am train to London and on to Windsor to attend a meeting at the headquarters of Groupe SEB, the parent company of Tefal UK. We had the pleasure of travelling with Tina and lovely Syd from The Mother Geek who, as well as being excellent company, also helped me to have the confidence to navigate the London Underground with a pram!

On arrival we were welcomed by the team and introduced to the company with a very interesting presentation. Groupe SEB is the parent company for Tefal, Rowenta and Krups and has its global headquarters in France. The company has a long history dating back over a century and pioneered non-stick technology when Marc Grégoire a frustrated fisherman wanted to make sure his line didn't snag when reeling in a fish. His wife was intrigued by the reel coating he developed and wondered if it would work on her pans and non-stick cookware was born. They also took us on a trip down memory lane with a look at some of their old advertising campaigns, including the Scientists.

Following this introduction we were taken through to the amazing  kitchen where we were treated to four demonstrations of the Tefal range.

First was Linencare. Now, let's get something straight here. I don't iron. I can iron but I hate it so we tend to hang up a lot of things while they are damp in the hope that the creases drop out by themselves. I really thought nothing about an iron could get me excited. How wrong I was. The brand manager, Chetana Raj treated us to a demo of the steam generator irons and I was amazed! The irons do look rather space age but the steam that they generate cuts ironing time in half and makes ironing hassle free. I was sold as a few of my fellow bloggers (including other ironing deniers like myself) took to the board and made very short work of the sample garments available for us to try out.

Tefal Linencare Demonstration Steam Generator Iron Ironing Laundry GV8431

Next we were shown Tefal's range of cookware. This is probably the area I was most familiar with, I even own a couple of items already. Stefan Kaczmarczyk talked us through the range and showed us the unique Thermospot that was added to frying pans in 2000. Contrary to popular belief this doesn't glow when it reaches the ideal temperature of 190°C but instead the concentric lines vanish and the spot turns red. He also discussed the exacting standards of their partnership with Jamie Oliver and showed us a pan that the chef rejected fourteen times before agreeing on the fifteenth version. He uses Tefal ranges in his cookery programmes and won't put his name to anything that isn't right. Stefan cooked an egg without oil in one of their pans with excellent results. The non-stick technology really does live up to its name. We were also shown how easy it is to clean burned milk off the non-stick coating. Quite handy for me as I often burn things!

Tefal Cookware Demonstration Non Stick Pans

The Actifry demonstration was next. I was quite excited to see this as I've heard really great things about these appliances but was yet to see one in operation. I thought that the Actifry was, essentially, a replacement for deep fat fryer and just good for food that you would normally cook in these. André Silva was quick to explain that the Actifry is so much more than that. In addition to chips you can cook casseroles, stir fries, curries, desserts and more. The Actifry is the UK's number one small appliance and uses a unique paddle to stir the ingredients while cooking and ensure that everything cooks evenly. André explained that he uses his Actifry everyday and doesn't actually own an oven! Tefal have just launched the Actifry 2-in-1 which allows you to cook two different dishes at the same time - great for chicken and chips!

Tefal Actifry Demonstration Air Fryer

The final product shown was one I had investigated when I was reading up on Tefal prior to our day with them - the Fresh Express. Let me explain something, I hate grating cheese and I hate chopping onions. I do one or the other almost every day. Just imagine if there was a device which meant that I didn't have to do it? This is where the Fresh Express comes in. Maria Montero showed us the UK's number one food preparation product. It works brilliantly with different cones for grating, slicing and grinding. It can grate cheese or slice an onion in seconds! Seriously, every kitchen should have one.

Tefal Fresh Express Demonstration Food Preparation

Following the demos we were treated to a very healthy lunch featuring dishes that had been made using the appliances while we were being shown them. Just fantastic! The marinaded chicken and homemade coleslaw were terrific and showed the capabilities of the Actifry and Fresh Express really effectively.

Baby girl buffet food

Tefal have launched a new campaign called Fresh Week which is asking families to give up processed food for the week commencing 13th May. If you make your pledge on their website you will have the chance to win a Fresh Express and a Riverford Organic Fruit and Veg Box to help you achieve it. I've made my pledge and I'd love it if you would consider doing the same. I'll be posting about Fresh Week again nearer the time.
Tefal Fresh Week 2013
I'm delighted to say that I have received a Tefal Actifry, Steam Generator Iron and Fresh Express Max to try out at home and I will be sharing my thoughts on all of these very soon. We also brought home a 21cm Tefal Frying Pan and a One Egg Wonder, both of which have transformed the way I use a frying pan! The One Egg Wonder has me frying eggs which was previously just a job for Red Rose Daddy.

I'd like to thank Tefal for making us so very welcome in Windsor and I'm really looking forward to working with them over the next year.

Look out for the posts from my fellow panellists - The Mother Geek, Seasider in the City, Crazy with Twins,  Mum in the Madhouse, Boo, Roo and Tigger Too. Madame GourmandRecipe Junkie, Romanian Mum, Jacintaz3, Emmy's Mummy and Attachment Mummy

Disclaimer: We were invited to spend the day with Tefal and our expenses were covered. We received the Actifty, Iron and Goodie Bag as gifts. All opinions are honest and unbiased.