I’m not sure who said ‘the heart of the home is its kitchen.
When I was younger, I spent school holidays at my uncle’s farm deep in the Oxfordshire countryside. The family spent most of the time in the large farmhouse kitchen, as the living room was off limits and only used on Sundays. At one end of the kitchen was a large wood-burning range. In the spring this was used to keep orphaned newborn lambs warm while being bottle-fed. On cold wet days it’s where you stood to dry out with a big mug of strong tea after a hard days work on the farm.
Here in France, and especially in Burgundy the kitchen and its range has always played an important role in a number of households. From the day labourers’ village cottages, the winemaker’s house, the farmer’s farmhouse or large château kitchen the range had many uses and was always kept stoked with wood-mostly this was the only form of heating in the home as well as place to cook your meals.
Before the first range or cookers, households would cook on an open fire, and many houses here in France would have their own bread oven.
While gutting my farmhouse, we discovered a large fireplace behind a wall. This had a small warming oven built into the two foot thick stone wall where the previous owner would have kept their beef bourguignon warm. We have come a long way from those days, cooking is a pleasure not a chore, with all our modern gadgets it’s a lot easier.
Today kitchen design plays a big part when designing the family home. Modern day cookers have become the must have, fashion accessory of the kitchen. They now come in all colours and sizes and offer the owner many options to become that perfect gourmet chef.
With food channels and cooking shows all over the TV, as well as websites and blogs dedicated to an array of cuisines to tempt us, there is no wonder we want the perfect kitchen. We all want to be as good as the contestants on MasterChef or Bake off.
Okay ladies! Today I have a treat for you I’m lucky enough to live near the village of Lacanche in the Cote d’ Or department of Burgundy, where serious cookers for serious cooks are made.
I was able to visit the showroom which is housed in an old foundry. This impressive building is built over a running stream and still houses the old steam boiler. The factory site dates back over 200 years. The impressive chimney stack towers over the building, and the village of Lacanche reminds me of a bygone era.
The original foundry was established at the end of the 18th century by Richard de Curtil. To exploit his iron ore-rich land and produced the first hand built cookers and woodburning stoves bearing the village name, under the supervision of Jacques -Etienne Caumartin, who eventually took over in 1896. It remained in his family until 1972.When it was taken over by the Valeo company, in 1981 the 228 workers found themselves without an employer when Valeo withdrew from Lacanche. A former employee, Andre Augagneur, decided to save the site as well as 40 jobs. Building commercial units, the production soon moved towards high-end stunning ranges for residential use.
The extraordinary heritage of this family run business, and the skilled craftsmen, is apparent in these world-class stoves. Each made by hand and assembled to order, these carefully crafted culinary works of art, can be customised to your personal preferences. If you choose your colour finish, hob layouts and oven configuration, and your very own range will be built to your exact specifications.
Burgundy is renowned for its cuisine and fine wines, so it’s understandable that some of the most famous chefs own a Lacanche as well as some familiar TV chefs like Jean Christophe Novelli, Raymond Blanc, Delia Smith and Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall.
The Lacanche show room-for anyone that have a dream of owning a Lacanche as I do-is a feast for the eyes. The foundry’s high ceilings and old boiler create the perfect setting for displaying these elegant colourful stoves. The history of the building and its display of antique Lacanche stoves really tell the story of Lacanche.
My visit to the show-room gave me the opportunity to decide which stove and options I would like for the farmhouse. So it’s been added to my wish list. Though I might change my mind regarding the colour, as I loved them all. What’s your favourite Lacanche and colour?
For more information regarding Lacanche stoves please contact websites below: