If you’re looking for a statement piece to heat up your kitchen, consider an addition that’s timeless, bold and British.
Though nowadays it’s common to think of the living room as the heart of the home, for centuries it was the hearth. Before modern conveniences, fireside was the place to be — not just for food preparation but also for basics like heat. It is that sense of welcoming warmth that Britain’s iconic cast iron cooker, the AGA, has been bringing to kitchens across the pond for nearly a century. And, thanks to their increasing availability in the United States, American kitchens are starting to feel it as well.
In the U.K., having an AGA is something of a status symbol, in part due to its high-end price tag (generally ranging from $3,500–$10,000). Royalty, members of Parliament and celebrities favor the brand. It is no coincidence that in Posh Nosh, the hilarious British send-up of high-end cooking shows (available in the U.S. on YouTube), status-obsessed host Minty Marchmont boasts that she would never cook on any lesser piece of kitchen equipment than the AGA she inherited from her mother-in-law, Lady Marchmont.
One of the hallmarks of the AGA is that, unlike most oven and stove sets, it is meant to be kept on at all times during the colder months, which helps keep the kitchen toasty and cuts down on preheating times. Most AGAs also have multiple ovens that cook at different temperatures in addition to a warming compartment. For those with more limited kitchen space, there is also a slimmer AGA City24, its 24-inch width not forcing owners to sacrifice additional precious kitchen space.
But perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the AGA is its look. Designer Kathryn M. Ireland has an AGA in her Los Angeles studio, and she insists that it does something special to the space. “An AGA is part of the family,” she gushes. “It’s the focal point of the kitchen. It’s the reason to be in the kitchen and to cook.” Though available in classic white and black, the ranges also come in a variety of whimsical colors, including Pistachio, Aubergine and Heather. Ireland’s is Claret. “I can’t imagine kitchen life without a colorful AGA,” she says. You can see the whole line at aga-ranges.com.
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Last modified: October 8, 2019