Bette’s Curated Appliances — A Refined Design for High Performance

During the renovation process, we commonly see appliances left as an afterthought in a flood of decisions rushed at the last moment.

When it comes to the quality of a renovation, a well-designed kitchen is instrumental, and the appliances we select to go with it are just as important.

This is not only for the longevity of the joinery but our enjoyment and health too!

Images: Martina Gemmola

Bette’s Kitchen
This post is accompanied by more yummy recipes from Organic Soul Food.
Scroll for Bette’s delicious Mighty Rainbow Bowl.

Instead of treating appliances as building inventory, start the thought process centred on lifestyle goals.

Premium and specialty appliances aren’t exclusively reserved for those serious about their flame, grill ‘n’ bake game - they can inspire all of us to create better, healthier lives.

The average person will purchase a suite of appliances once or twice in their lifetime, so why not get it right?

Think about your health goals over the next ten years, the food you want to share, and the people you want to share it with. The appliances you choose will influence these outcomes.

The next thing to consider is their role in the design process.

A confident appliance list early on allows us to invest our attention on refining usability. Cantilever’s approach to ‘making good kitchens’ is design-led, with customisation for client appliance selection a standard within our service model. This adaptability was essential to Bette (a seasoned cook and advocate of healthy organic living) achieving her culinary K2 Kitchen

We caught up with her to reflect on the process and importance of getting hands-on when it comes to high performance.


As a workspace, Bette’s kitchen is a master’s domain: the details disciplined; stations ordered; appliances regimented. For a full walk-through of this commercial-inspired K2 kitchen check out our first segment.

The knowledge she applies to her culinary skills is evident in her meticulous selection:

“I did a lot of research first. I love to cook. I know what I want to achieve. The process from there involved trekking through a lot of appliance stores and speaking with experts to narrow down a selection I was happy with... once they realise that you are quite serious, they’ll book you in for cooking demos and private trials.”

One of those was with Gaggenau.

For the central bench, she squared in on a quartet of cooktops from the Gaggenau Vario 200 range. Tailored for the serious home chef, the series is offered as a selection of modular, compact and specialised applications for one to curate the ultimate personal workstation.

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Bette's Kitchen

Cantilever Kitchen
K2 Kitchen System

Colin Hopkins

Brett Smyth

North Fitzroy


Martina Gemmola

 Bette’s selection was equal parts sentimental and exploratory with a mix of contemporary and traditional technology from induction, BBQ grill, wok and gas. Whilst designed to align flush, we love the deliberate spacing framed by a band of Carrara benchtop. Bette steps us through each item gestured with movements of a chef in action:

“I love flame. I grew up with flame…but the induction just brings water to boil so fast. I was hesitant at first, ‘will I like it?’ But it’s a game changer seeing them in action.”

 “The BBQ grill is great. The lava stone under the grill creates that flavour you can only get from - a grill! As a plant-based cook, method is really important when it comes to flavour.”

Overhead two cylindrical Qasair rangehoods impress upon the room. Manufactured locally in Melbourne, this staple Australian brand is trusted for powerful performance with low noise.

For the oven tower, she deliberated over including a steamer with the oven and warming drawer, “Was it worth the investment? In using it I found the steam just enriches the food unlike anything else. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s impressive. I reheat food in it regularly.”

The meal you cook is only as good as the fresh food it’s prepared with. Having experienced poor performance with refrigeration before, she was thoroughly impressed with the fine temperate control of the Liebherr fridge and freezer range. The reduction in food wastage is notable, “I used to have everything in individual tubs! These - just - work.”

There’s something truly satisfying about things that - just work - and it has a name:

The experience of how something looks, feels and performs is called ‘Joy of Use’ – Bette’s kitchen is exactly that. Enriched by her passion for healthy living, her thoughtful approach beckons us to think a little wisely about the technology we engage with and bring into our home.

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The Mighty Rainbow Bowl
Part 1 of 2

by Organic Soul Food

The Might Rainbow Bowl is the ‘United Nations of Food’. Taking on flavours from across the globe, this dish is not from one particular culture and has no set of rules.

For this segment we’ll focus on the first three: an Asian inspired zuchini noodle dish, crumbed tofu and wedges.

This dish is a series of ‘elements’ that can easily work as independent dishes this recipe offers itself as the perfect main or side to a healthy meal.

Try them out as a snack or addition to your next meal and stay tuned for the final instalment with Bette.

zoodle 32

Zucchini Noodle

Garlic Clove x 1
A drizzle of Rice Malt Syrup
Half Cup of Tamari
1 squeezed lime or lemon
Sesame Oil
Olive oil

With a mandolin slice raw zucchini into ribbons and place into a bowl. Prepare the Asian inspired dressing with ingredients to taste. Set aside and dress before serving.

Potato Wedges

Potatos (for colour try Vitelotte or Sweet Potato)
Cajun Spice Mix
Gluten free flour
Olive oil

This dish can be prepared early and stored in the fridge when ready for cooking.

To start, make sure potatoes are truly washed, then dried thoroughly.  Cut and dry again. Then cut into wedges. 

Flour the wedges in a bowl with Cajun spice mix, add oregano, garlic and salt to taste.

Place in oven at 200 degrees. A glass tray is excellent for crisping things beautifully. Ensure they are spaced well and not squished.  Add salt. Drizzle lightly with oil. Cook until crispy.

Crumbed Tofu

If tofu is not your thing, this mix is perfect on mushrooms, carrots and meats. You can prepare a batch of spice mix to have readily available in the kitchen.

Sesame Seeds
Salt & Pepper
Chinese Pepper
Szechuan Pepper
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Millet Flakes
Quinoa Flakes
Nutritional Yeast
Chickpea Juice
Soft Tofu

Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl to taste. Drain chickpea juice liquid into a separate bowl. Set aside chickpeas. 

Carefully toss tofu in the chickpea water, and then press each side into the crumb mixture. (Chickpea water has similar binding properties to eggs and is an excellent vegan readily available alternative!)

Place tofu on a tray with baking paper. Cook in oven at 180 degrees for around 30 minutes.

Bette Poulakos makes delicious, wholesome recipes for a living.