LLG Cooks: A Little Retro Love with Kenwood…

by Sasha Wilkins on February 5, 2013 · 25 comments

Kenwood Chef

I’ve written before about my love of the Kenwood mixer. I know there is some affection out there for the American candy-coloured Kitchen Aid, but I feel proudly and resolutely British in my love for the Kenwood. I learnt to cook with one as a child, and watched my mother bake her way through Delia’s Book of Cakes using it. They really do  things so perfectly: lump-free mashed potatoes using the patent ‘K’ beater, bread dough, light as air egg whites, whipped cream, perfect Victoria sponges… my list of things that this workhorse can do could just go on and on and on…

So imagine my glee when I hopped off to the Kenwood launch of their new mixer last week (the 70s inspired but with 21st tech) Chef Classic. Especially when I saw that there in the corner were three vintage machines, summing up the evolution of Kenwood. (Above is one from the 1950s.)

I just had to run the pictures here, as I remember so many comments last time from lovely LLG readers who also learnt to cook with a Kenwood, and who remembered both their mothers’ and their grandmothers’ Kenwoods. So here for you, is a Kenwood blast from the past! Which one do you remember?

Kenwood Chef A791
This one dates from the early 1960s.

Kenwood Chef

This one is from the last 60s – apart from the fact that it was white with a navy blue trim, this is the one that looks most like the one my mother had in the 1970s, and which she kept for thirty years. (That is the glory of the Kenwood – they never die!)

All that vintage glory leads up the the 21st century gleaming-ness of this:

Kenwood mixer

The one on the left is the one my mama upgraded to, and it’s excellent. The one on the right also heats as it mixes. I also never realised until last week that all attachments for the Kenwood are always manufactured to be interchangeable between models. In a world with so much built-in obsolescence, I find that enormously cheering.

The new Kenwood Chef Classic is an entry level machine with pretty retro styling, comes in white with jazzy orange, green or blue trim and is priced around £275.

I have no commercial affiliation whatsoever with Kenwood. I just think they are excellent products, and I like the fact they are a British company.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi February 5, 2013 at 06:02

My Mum must’ve had the same as your Mum’s. It was White and Navy, and she was still using it up until recently… but all the way over the other side of the world in Australia. Definitely a work horse in the kitchen, and it would have dated to around the late 60’s or early 70’s as well. I have many fond memories of licking the K beater in the kitchen after she had finished making meringue or a cake batter.

Reply

Rose February 5, 2013 at 08:59

we used to have the China in the top pic! still do I would think! love Kenwood too

Reply

Kate February 5, 2013 at 10:03

Love those old models! I grew up baking fairy cakes and friend’s birthday cakes on my mum’s Kenwood, and she only recently upgraded to a new one. I always thought the K beater was especially for me!

Reply

Sara February 5, 2013 at 10:03

I’d buy the yellow and black one today. Such a jazzy design! LLG, given the size of the mixer, do you think it’s worth investing in one? Most of us have small kitchens and I can usually get by with a handblender and a beater.

Reply

LLG February 6, 2013 at 00:56

@Sara: I guess it really depends on how much you bake and cook. They can’t be beat for bread dough, for mash and for super light cake batters, but of course there are other options for these too, and I would never encourage anyone to spend lots of money when they are already suitably provisioned.

I have to say that the new Chef – which I stupidly don’t seem to have a photo of, is pretty compact, and seems perfectly suited for a London kitchen. They are an investment – but as you can tell from the comments, one that will last for your lifetime – and your descendent’s too! LLGxx

Reply

Sara February 6, 2013 at 10:46

@LLG: Thanks LLG, I shall look out for it, if only to go and stroke it lovingly in the shop.

Reply

annie February 5, 2013 at 11:25

Oh my that orange one is the one I learnt to cook with! I really wish my mum hadn’t chuck it when my parents divorced and sold the house :(

Reply

mary February 5, 2013 at 11:59

I’ve never had a Kenwood but I remember those strangely sticky pink wafers!

Reply

Nailish Ramblings February 5, 2013 at 12:31

My granny had one like the 2nd one, and my mum has had two. It probably sounds weird but to me owning a kenwood chef is a real sign of being a grownup – so I don’t own one yet.

Reply

LLG February 6, 2013 at 00:53

@Nailish Ramblings: I don’t have one yet either! I know exactly what you mean…it’s a big step! LLGxx

Reply

lulu February 5, 2013 at 14:15

Love this post. Got a K Mix for Christmas and adore it. I have the same 70s memories as you…..blissful bowl licking

Reply

Janet February 5, 2013 at 14:34

My Mum still has the one from the early 60s. Although it doesn’t see the regular use it once did, Mum – now nearly 85 – still whizzes up a super-light Victoria sandwich in it. My kids (20 and 17) say that no-one can bake a cake quite like Nanny!

Reply

Erika February 5, 2013 at 21:44

@Janet:

Mum gifted me her Kenwood Chef when she found it was getting too heavy for her to move. So there’s one from the early 1960s still in use here in Australia. I’ve had it serviced once and it’s still going strong…..

Reply

Gina Gill February 5, 2013 at 14:34

I love Kenwood products, to date my kitchen contains their kettle, blender, hand mixer, food processor…The big mixer would be the ultimate product to complete my collection. I think my husband is a little weirded out by how much I lust after Kenwood kitchen appliances but I agree with you that they are just excellent products and so very perfect in a british kitchen…

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: