Chomp might sound like a gimmick: a design-minded kitchen appliance that bills itself as a toaster, a sandwich maker, and a grill in one. And, with a name like Chomp it's just begging for a 30-minute spot with Vince Offer.
Actually, though, it's a pretty bang-on sign of the times. People are moving to cities. The days of endless counter tops and three-fridge garages are drawing to a close, as suburbanites trade their dream homes for humbler, more efficient places. There isn't room for all that crap in the kitchen any more. Which means that smaller appliances that can do more are a market waiting to explode.
That brings us back to design. The other thing about living in a space so small that you start thinking you're Alice in Wonderland is that aesthetics matter--a lot. You've already got kitchen tables doubling as desks and books piling up on every remotely flat surface. Anything to tamp down on visual clutter is a good thing. Chomp, by Eric Pautz and Fernanda Filippin, hits the mark, with a touch-screen display and a no-frills case that opens and closes like a pocketbook (though we could do without the logo on the hood). It's practically everything the Foreman should've been.
The problem, maybe, is that Chomp -- which is just a concept at this point -- doesn't do enough. Research shows that city people consume a greater variety of food than country folks. (We're surprised, actually; we always figured everyone ate cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like we do.) That means that if kitchen appliances are really going to plug into the moment, they'll have to go beyond sandwiches and eggs. Food for thought. We'll look out for Chomp II.
[Images courtesy of Eric Pautz]