Feel the heat

For the gadget-loving cook with everything, Alessi has created the Kalura hot plate, an energy-conscious electric appliance that will warm up your cold crostini in no time. Just so you can impress your guests, Design Week can reveal that Kalura is a distorted rendering of the word ‘calura’, which means stifling heat in southern Italian dialect.

Designed by Alberto Meda, the creator of Vitra’s Meda chair collection, among other things, the sleek thermoplastic resin and stainless steel plate aims to reduce electricity consumption and long-term energy use. Thanks to a heating element of 1.6kW, the firebrick inside the heating plate quickly warms up and then turns itself off automatically once at the desired temperature. All you need do is plug it in for a few minutes and feel the heat being gradually released for an hour. As it is cordless, the hot plate can be served directly on the table.

This is the first time that Meda has collaborated with Alberto Alessi, a man known for combining design patronage with commercial vision. Initially trained as an engineer, Meda was technical director of Kartell during the 1970s, an experience that taught him about polyurethane resins.

By working with materials such as carbon-fibre, cast and extruded aluminium, Kevlar and Nomex, he uses his engineering background to create inventive, elegant designs for furniture and lighting. Meda is the winner of two Compasso D’Oro awards, the prestigious Italian design prize.

The Kalura hot plate is available in blue, red and ivory; it retails at £69 and will be available from the end of March at the Alessi shop in Brook Street, London W1

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