NEW YORK -- Samsung on Wednesday said it will partner with Michelin-starred chefs to design new kitchen electronics, boosting its focus on the home appliance market.
The Korean electronics giant took the wraps off the partnership during an event in Manhattan's trendy Soho neighborhood. The company set up a temporary "Samsung House," which is open to the public for a couple days later this week, to demonstrate its various home electronics.
As for its new "Club de Chefs," Samsung will call on a handful of award-winning chefs to "serve as ambassadors and consultants" and give insight into new appliances from early on in the design process. The club members include Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli of Frankie Sputino in New York; Christopher Kostow of The Meadowhead in Napa Valley, Calif.; Eric Trochon of Semilla in Paris; and Michel Troisgros of Maison Troisgros in Roanne, France.
"Why create a new kitchen culture?" asked Samsung Electronics co-CEO Boo-Keun Yoon during the event. "Because the kitchen is the center of the home."
He added that working with chefs will give Samsung insight into what chefs and foodies desire in their kitchens.
Electronics companies have been making home appliances for years, but the area is becoming an even bigger focus for many. Everything from washing machines to refrigerators are becoming smarter, with many incorporating processors and other technology that allows them to interact with smartphones and other devices. For example, people now can use their phones to remotely start their dryers or turn off their air conditioners.
The company on Wednesday also showed off its new French-door refrigerator that includes a sparkling water dispenser and its refrigerator with a section that converts to a freezer, as needed.