September 13, 2006

Cook-N-Dine Table

Cook-N-Dine TableThis one really has me scratching my head. Maybe I just don’t get something obvious, but regardless, I’m clearly outside the target market. What we have here is a table with a seamless, one piece surface, the middle portion of which heats up to become a grill, and in so doing, bows inward to prevent the juices from whatever you’re cooking from running all over the people seated at the table. Several different styles and sizes of the Cook-N-Dine are available.

Now, I can respect this from an engineering point of view, and even from an aesthetic point of view. I just can’t figure out how this makes practical sense, or who it makes sense for.

To my way of thinking, this is like a fondue set: Once in a long while, you’ll decide that it would be a cool thing to share a special meal with your friends that’s made right on the table. But would anyone seriously use something like this regularly?

Almost every meal I prepare has components that are made in a variety of ways—for example, one dish is boiled, another is baked, another is fried. Only very rarely would I make an entire meal where every single item is grilled. Moreover, with this table, I’d have to reach over (or around) plates and glasses to get to the work area: awkward and potentially messy.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like the idea of having a distinction between the cooking area and the eating area; I also like putting food on plates and taking it out to the table with a little bit of drama and mystery. But again, perhaps I’m just not seeing how this could change the way I cook and eat for the better.

3 Responses to “Cook-N-Dine Table”

  1. Duane said:

    Dear Geeky, I understand your pros and cons but let me ask you this. Would this be a type of dining experience you would go to a restaurant for? I have a B & B and am looking for some type of different swist in dining. This allows conversation and personal entertainment amongst friends,thus giving it a close personal touch but yet a “night out”. Give me some thoughts Thanks, Duane

  2. Joe Kissell said:

    Duane: I get what you’re asking, and I guess my personal answer is that I would not go to a restaurant for this type of experience. I’ve been to fondue restaurants a couple of times, and this would seem to be roughly analogous, as your guests would presumably be cooking their own food. But since this lacks the simplicity of fondue, I’m not sure it would be a big hit. On the other hand, if you’re sitting at the table cooking for them, maybe they wouldn’t get the privacy they’d have at a regular restaurant. Just my two cents.

  3. T Thompson said:

    I know this is a very old post, however I’ve experienced both fondue cooking and the cook n dine table; the table is much easier than the fondue cooking. When I cook fondue style, you loose the food in the broth or cheese and have to do a search and rescue. The table is fun and the food taste great, and it’s not messy. This may not be for everyone, but it is a lot of fun if you’re looking for a great interactive experience.