Julia Child walked through the National Housewares Exposition held here recently and predicted that the United States would take over the name for world gastronomy from France "if we continue in the way new housewares have been developed in the past 15 years."
She spoke especially of Carl Sontheimer's bringing the food processor to the US when Cuisinart's unit was introduced several years ago. She called it "the most important invention since the electric mixer."
New microwave and regular ovens, the Sunbeam variable speed food processor, and the Corning pan with the aluminum bottom were some of the items she singled out to praise. It was her first visit to the show, which brings together 1,851 exhibitors at McCormick Place here to show their wares to the trade.
Mrs. Child spoke of the "growing professionalism of design in cookware," in her comments to a meeting of the National Housewares Manufacturers Association.
She also discussed the concept of the "dumb dolly in the kitchen" which has changed to the "serious home cook," as the word housewife has been removed from the nation's vocabulary.
What did the country's No. 1 cook see when she walked the 52 aisles and more of the housewares show?
There were new pasta machines, improvements in food processors, advances in cookware designed to offer the homemaker improved heat dispersion, and lots and lots of gadgets to save time in the kitchen.
wider use of the convection oven principle in a new appliance as well as new convection ovens also were shown. And there were new ideas for storage.
Ekco introduced Grand Prix, a new copper stainless steel cookware line of 16 pieces, each with heat distributing copper disc bottom and polished stainless body. Many pots have an Easy-Vent feature for a locked-open position to avoid boil-overs unlocked-closed for release of vapor as needed during simmer and locked-closed for a semi-vacuum cooking.
Other new cookware comes from General Housewares' gray porcelain Everything Pot, with five pieces for multifunction cooking; and Mirro's Silverstone omelet pan with almond porcelain exterior.
Regal has a breakthrough in the application of Silverstone, directly to stainless steel.
Farberware, which introduced the convection oven from the professional chef's kitchen several years ago, updated its design with a Delay Start feature for setting the oven to start cooking up to 12 hours after the cook has left the home.
West Bend introduced the Convection Plus, a skillet oven with a quiet, easy-to-remove fan attached to the underside of the unit's high dome cover.
It circulates the hot air to cook foods faster and ensure even browning. Foods cooked by convection are said to cook one-third faster and more evenly than by conventional methods.
Manufacturers are aware of a need for smaller baking pans to fit in convection ovens, toaster ovens, and other small units that are intended to conserve energy.
For them Regal introduced a line of minipans, including a 3/4-quart open saucepan. Nonstick coated bakeware was presented by C.M. Products Inc. in its "for one or more" line. And Ekco offered a seven-piece countertop oven bakeware set in its Baker's Secret line.
Coffee Imports International added attachments to its pastamaker which make it possible to puree, grate, shred, and slice. There's also a meat grinder attachment and one which extracts seeds from fruits and vegetables.
KitchenAid presented a spaghetti/noodlemaker and food grinder attachment with which cannelloni, tortellini, and ravioli can be easily rolled or cut from noodles extruded through the lasagna plate, then filled with favorite meat or cheese filling.
Sunbeam, Robot-Coupe, and Cuisinarts introduced new food processors. And Krups presented the "Mixette" a food chopper and mincer for small amounts of vegetables, meats, nuts . . . any firm food.
Among the new gadgets is the pineapple peeler from Australia, offered by Reko Proprietary Ltd., Rubbermaid's basting and pastry brush and spreading spatula; the Shish-Ka- Basket utensil by Standard Chef which offers skewer-free shish kebab cooking.A towel holder called the Twirlee holds paper towels upright and spins to release them.
Pot covers can be hung independently with the pots in a system introduced by HLK International.
Porcelain molds for forming individual servings of plain and flavored butters , margarines, and assorted chocolates were offered by Jareen Company, while another company made the butter molds with plastic.
Krups offered Vacupac, which removes up to 96 percent of the air from a food-filled poly-bag and electronically heat seals it. Perfect Pasta Portions with holes sized for measuring uncooked spaghetti bundles was offered by East Hampton Industries Inc.
Toss-N-Serve is a means of pouring salad dressing in a premeasured well, adding mixed salad vegetables, and tossing for a perfectly dressed salad. It's by Bernard Industries.
The family fryer comes from Robeson design for cooking or browning fresh or frozen foods in no more than four cups of oil.
Gladiercore by Glacierware is a nonelectric refrigerating appliance designed for slicing cheese, keeping beverages cold.
A super stone to keep things hot comes from Sassafras Enterprises. And gourmet sleeve covers -- the potholders you wear -- were shown by International Corporation.
A spiral grinder for spices comes from Harper-Lee International, as does the hot scoop, a heated scoop to glide easily through ice cream and frozen yogurt.
A number of items were introduced for better kitchen storage: they include Rubbermaid's fun functionals, 12 products in red, white, chocolate, and yellow which stack and mount parallel or at 90-degree angles. Other storage items came from Decorettes, a plastic pegboard called the Hold Up; Total Rack by Tresmer Inc., of Finland, with racks and baskets for storage; Brod International; and the Space Organizer Inc.
New small electrics include Simac's Il Gelatario, "The Ice Cream Man," for making ice cream at home; Rival's Uncanny combo, a can and bag opener/sharpener for knives. And for those who enjoy sparkling waters, they can make their own with new appliances by Kidde and Kenwood Cascade home carbonated drinks.
From Norelco comes the Clean Air Machine for purifying kitchen air; and from Moulinex is the meat grinder/sausagemaker.
West Bend's Potato Bakery Oven cooks four potatoes fast and can be used as well to cook hot dogs, apples, corn, and precooked meats.