Sous Vide- a healthful method of cooking

sous vide steak
Photo Credit: Signature Kitchen Suite Sous Vide Steak

Over the years we have learned that Steam assist cooking is the healthiest way to cook. I now learned Sous vide is the most precise way to cook. But is Sous Vide also considered a healthful method of cooking like Steam?

Sous vide
Photo Credit: Signature Kitchen Suite debuts the swiss army knife of culinary innovations.

If you ever had the most tender leg of lamb or steak in a 5 star restaurant – ( back in the good ol’ days) most likely it was prepared by the Sous Vide method. It’s the kind of cooking that takes place in a precisely temperature-controlled water bath. This method of cooking offers unparalleled control over whatever you are trying to cook.

At the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS) I was first introduced to Sous Vide in 2019. At Signature Kitchen Suite they came out with the first 48” range that not only integrated sous vide but also had steam, induction and gas burners. We designers were all “ like whaaaa.” This is incredible. Yes! the Signature rep said, “it’s the swiss army knife of kitchen appliances, it has 5 options of cooking into 1 appliance.”

Check out this video of the 48″ Duel Fuel Pro range by Signature Kitchen suite:

So pivoting to today, I had the opportunity to cook with sous vide in my very own kitchen. Signature Kitchen suite sponsored an event with Modenus / Designhounds AT HOME and sent us designers our very own sous vide wand. I was able to make a sous vide Limoncello.

The process was 2 hours to make this heavenly cocktail, ( I had 2 -shush!) but it was worth it! I can now use what I have learned and make wonderful, healthy food for my family.

Signature Kitchen Suite  Chef Nick
Signature Kitchen Suite Chef Nick
Signature Kitchen Suite + Designhounds AT HOME event
Signature Kitchen Suite + Designhounds AT HOME event

On the zoom, I asked Chef Nick from Signature Kitchen, is Sous Vide a method as healthful as steam cooking? To my surprise, Chef Nick said even more so -Your food is cooking in its own marinade, absorbing all the good nutrients! The light bulb went off for me. OMG, there is no turning back. I may not have a 48” pro range with sous vide ( wishing) but I got my sous vide wand! Love it!

Sous Vide Limencello masterpeice



I do a weekly video on my Instagram called the Poetic MAD Minute, where we talk about what’s on the design pulse for today’s modern healthy home. I last spoke about where the principles of kitchen design is going.

Since the 1940’s we have been using the work triangle as a design principle to design kitchens. You know what I mean the refrigerator- sink- stove triangle where three functions in a kitchen (food storage, cooking & prep, and clean up) had to be within 4′-0″ – 9′-0″ of each other in order to result in the most efficient completion of cooking tasks.

Guess what? I think that work triangle is going away. The modern kitchen needs more touch points like a Homework /Work Zone, and a Breakfast or Snack Zone besides prepping/cooking, gathering and eating. My thought is that the “Work Triangle” is going to start to look more like a “Work Pentagon.” Taking on more functions in the kitchen will require the modern kitchen to rely on a new design principle. Above I show you one diagrammatic example but there can be various Penta- configurations based on each individual’s needs to design their own personalized modern kitchen space.

Catch me on Instagram, for my next Poetic MAD Minute on @michelealfanodesign!

Trends 2021 Prediction: Kitchen and Bath

Trends 2021 Prediction: Kitchen and Bath

As a designer, I want to design bathrooms and kitchens with staying power. Trends come and go but here are some kitchen and bathroom trends we saw in 2020 that I predict will go to the next level and dominate the coming 2021 year and beyond:

Moen U Voice actib=vated Smart faucet
Moen U Voice activated Smart Faucet

Voice control: Smart faucets that were operated from a touch or a wave will now be moving to Voice. Your voice will ask your faucet to turn on and off – making your life even easier! Totally hands free when you are multi-tasking in the kitchen…also a bonus in your bathroom for young children or aging in place!  In the kitchen, Moen introduced U where your smart faucet dispenses water in a desired temperature and volume on voice command. For those bakers, this is uh-mazing. This will be helpful when you will need a precise measurement while prepping and cooking.

Toto’s Neorest Smart Toilet

In the bathroom, smart toilets and bidets have been controlled by panels on the wall – to heat your seat and to provide a customized experience. I have experienced Toto’s Neorest, ummm there is no explanation except wow. For 2021, I bet we will start to see more luxury electronic toilets voice controlled. Toto, there’s no place like home.

Integrated appliances Michele Alfano Design
Integrated appliances. Design by Michele Alfano Design

Integrated appliances with an organic look: Kitchen cabinetry is moving more towards looking like furniture. We will be moving away from the white kitchen and moving towards organic and natural wood kitchens. I guess its our way of wanting to be more connected to nature.

By disguising your refrigerator or dishwasher with custom paneling or just flushing your appliances into the face of cabinetry- offers a more stream-lined effect and luxurious aesthetic.

Natufia Kitchen Garden
Natufia Kitchen Garden

Kitchen to Table: Home chefs are loving the idea of growing their own garden in their own kitchens. Natufia kitchen garden was introduced at KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry show) 2020 as the first hydroponic garden where edible plants are grown inside our homes. I think we will start to see more technology in 2021 where we can experience fresh food all year round from our kitchen to table.

Brown Jordan Techno Outdoor kitchen
Brown Jordan’s Tecno Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens: Our outdoor spaces became very important during COVID. With the importance of outdoor versus indoor entertaining, more outdoor cooking/grilling was happening. And more smores… Tecno is Brown Jordan’s outdoor euro-inspired kitchen, crafted from stainless steel with a powder coated maintenance free finish. It accommodates a variety of appliances and configurations. We will see a popular rise in outdoor kitchens like Brown Jordan’s in 2021 due to its versatility.

Kitchen- Poetic Modernism by Michele Alfano Design
Poetic modernism® applied into Kitchen design by Michele Alfano Design

Neuro Design 2021 prediction: The future of design is moving towards understanding how our nervous system and design are connected. Our senses ignite how we feel in our spaces and each person’s individualized nervous system responds differently. In our bathrooms and kitchens spaces for example, sounds, smells, textures, and visual light and pattern all create different responses where one person may be calm and another person may be irritated.

Here at Michele Alfano Design LLC, we believe that spaces should make you think, feel and want to touch. To do so, we apply poiesis (poetic modernism®) our formula to reveal how our multi-sensory system underpins our well-being. We design with a deeper sense of how spaces work, what makes people tick and its connection to feeling good and living well at home.

About the kitchen above: Studying how function meets beauty, this Westchester home found the right poetic language. Driven by shapes and pattern, we mixed stone, concrete, wood and metal materials with smart technology, giving you goosies inside the kitchen, dining and family room…just enough to tickle the senses.



Are you a modernist BUT you find it challenging to describe and define what type of modernist you are? Modern design employs a sense of simplicity, clean and crisp lines and refers to a home that is absent of clutter.

However, Modern design is a broad design term that combines elements of several different styles like Wabi Sabi, Scandanvian, Bauhaus and more… This quiz can help you navigate your modern style and figure out why you like what you like.

Game on, what modern style are you? Click the FIND OUT button and start the QUIZ!



One of my clients renovated their kitchen about three years ago. I asked her how her family is holding up during the Quarantine and if the kitchen/family room has helped them thru it?

I LOVE what she said:

“Turning our outdated Colonial into a more modern, open floor plan was the best decision we made. We have loved the space that Michele designed since the moment we saw her initial drawings. Her philosophy of Poetic Modernism created a space that is modern, but not stark or cold. The cool colors bring a sense of tranquility, and the amount of natural light that fills the space makes it feel warm and inviting. The space has influenced everyone’s well- being during this time being locked up. Our favorite part of the space is the island in the center of the kitchen. It is our family gathering space and has increased our productivity and creativity. It provides ample space to spread out and do work, gather for meals, or even play games together. We are grateful for our updated space and would not change a single detail.”

“Ample counter space to make my own pasta too!”

My heart sings when I read something like this knowing that design can impact and shape lives, especially this wonderful family!

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