To coincide with the launch of the new generation of XM hand-held electrical devices, we talked to Sammic's corporate chef, Enrique Fleischmann, who is responsible for the culinary and user aspects of the development of this range.
1. What has been your role in the design of this range?
It's funny, but several years ago, when I was working at Akelarre in the R&D department, Xabier Goenaga, Jon Markina and Javier Hidalgo appeared with a prototype of a blender. It was a very basic prototype, and we were asked to test it in our department. We did the appropriate tests and then I wrote a report for them to read, identifying the pros & cons, etc. and sent it off. Years later, Xabier Goenaga and I met again by chance and just at that time they were looking for a corporate chef for Sammic and I had already stopped working at Akelarre. It was a very curious thing, but we met again and went back to work and collaborate on that first prototype that had been made. Since that day, we've been working from that basic prototype, and have been growing, evolving and developing the project.
I can say that this range, and in particular the XM-12 model, is the first machine with which I began to collaborate with Sammic. At first with Javier Hidalgo, and later with Gorka Agirrezabal, we talked about everything, from ergonomics, the arm's dimensions to ensure versatility, the laser cut, the ability to make both a purée and a foam, the grip, the button, the cable, what size should it be, etc. All this matters, after all. We have participated in the total evolution of this blender.
2. What do you think is the most interesting development for the user?
I think there are many developments, but I would focus on the following:
- The versatility. In other words, with a single blade we are able to have a very wide variety of results. The vast majority of other brands use many tools to achieve something similar and, not that the result of these machines is bad, but they are nowhere near as practical. Somehow, our machine is powerful, versatile, but also sophisticated in its processing. I think this is a major breakthrough.
- Another interesting development is the ergonomics. The ergonomics of this machine were measured, designed and redesigned. The aim was to make a machine which is comfortable for any type of user and any type of hand. The vast majority of blenders are designed for large hands and we understood that it had to be ergonomic for all users, so we worked hard on this feature.
- The power is undoubtedly another development. I focus on the speed variants, because we wanted the minimum speed to be useful on our machine. Most of the time, the minimum speed has no application and in that case it is not worth including it. We wanted it to really have a viable application and we have succeeded.
- In the aesthetics. We have achieved a compact, attractive machine which, in the case of the XM-12, is the ideal size for a drawer.
- Click-on-arm. In the kitchen many of the things you do are related to sounds. The fact that it has a sound and that it's not only visual gives you a guarantee that it is primed and ready to work. It is a sought-after feature. That sound gives you the guarantee of knowing it's been done right.
Until now, a blender was understood to be a very basic machine, but there has been a great deal of progress. It looks like it's just a normal blender, but no! It blends, but it can do so much more.
3. What do you think about the use of domestic blenders in the professional environment?
Until now it has been used as an alternative due to the lack of product on the market. There was no option that was compact, versatile, sophisticated, attractive, design-oriented, and a convenient size that would allow you to replace a basic home blender with something professional. And so, we cooks had no choice but to buy one or two domestic blenders a year to be able to work. Now, with the XM-12 we have filled that gap. In addition, we have two arms, so you can switch between the blender that's for mise-en-place and service and the one that's for production. Thus, both can be versatile in size and space.
4. What would be the differences between a domestic blender and a professional blender?
The power, without a doubt, and therefore the final result. Also, durability, robustness and design. I believe that the price-quality ratio justifies the investment for a machine with a longer lifespan.
5. If you had to choose one model, which one would it be?
At the moment, I would stick with the model I started with, the little one, the XM-12. For me, for the cooking we do, it's very useful. Its versatility allows us to make batches of 10 litres as well as a very specific foam or other much more delicate elements. It has come to address a demand that was there. In general, I think it comes at an ideal time, a necessary time for the professional cook. I am sure that it will be a revolution in all senses, on an aesthetic level, a productive level, all levels.
6. You've been with different users who've tested these machines, what was their impression?
You know, I think the best indication that they've received something of quality is that once they have it, they don't call you back or bother you about anything. And when you see them, they're using it. I think that is the greatest proof that something has been useful.
It is important to mention that we have spent years blending and doing tests with a prototype that was already a device that could perfectly well have been packaged and sold. But we wanted it to be a really impressive range. We had the great luck and the great problem that the blenders we had before are very good and we had to be much better. For this reason, we have studied every detail carefully and have made a great effort over the years. We are really very satisfied with the result.