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food preparation Knock on wood


When it comes to food preparation, consumers want convenience, speed and, increasingly, style. Wood is practical, hardwearing and attractive, making it a steady favourite when it comes to food preparation. Wood also makes the grade when it comes to trends - natural or environmentally friendly materials for the kitchen, such as sustainable wood or recycled materials, have been touted by designers as a key trend into 2022.


M


ore multi-functional than they might initially appear, chopping boards and butchers’ blocks are definitely not just for chopping. At any given moment, the humble board could be called upon to serve as chopping block, food preparation surface, serving platter, or all three. It’s essential, therefore, that this must-have kitchen accessory meets high standards for both quality and style.


Although chopping boards come in a range of materials, many chefs swear by wood. It is impact-resistant and sanitary, gentle on knife blades and far cheaper than marble or granite. Wooden kitchen ideas aren’t anything new, but natural materials and textures are high on designers’ list of aesthetic trends for 2021 and beyond. Whether it’s cabinetry or chopping boards, designers are celebrating the beauty of wood within the kitchen.


Certain woods handle the chore of chopping better than others, and it’s important to


quick q&a Louise Ayres, Eddingtons


Housewares editor Bryony Andrews speaks to Louise Ayres, recently appointed head of independent sales at Eddingtons.


What is your new role and your responsibilities at Eddingtons? As head of


independent sales I’m responsible for supporting and building the Independent trade across all the


Eddington’s brands. Working with the team, I’ll be looking to increase our distribution and build our presence


within the sector. We have a strong selection of brands across a wide selection of sectors, from kitchen to cleaning, so there are many opportunities for us to explore and develop.


What led you to this point in your career? My career began in FMCG where I gained experience within category management,


12 | housewareslive.net


marketing and sales. Sales was where I felt the most excitement, I loved the challenge of winning new business and then nurturing that business. I came into Housewares nearly 20 years ago and that was a perfect union for me. Being a real foodie, selling housewares is a dream come true, and I have a kitchen full of gadgets.


Who has influenced you the most professionally?


I’ve worked with some fantastic people over the years and I can see some of their traits in me now. An early manager at Sara Lee taught me the importance of valuing team members and nurturing their abilities and I’d like to think I carry those qualities in me now. Whilst I love the thrill of the chase in sales, I do also love mentoring and am proud to see individuals I’ve worked with in the past moving onwards and upwards in business now.


What do you consider your greatest achievement?


I came into the industry as a junior account • HousewaresLive.net • twitter.com/Housewaresnews October 2021


manager and I am proud to have moved up through the ranks so that I now lead, and hopefully inspire, a team. I’m fortunate to have been mentored and supported by some great people over the years and they’ve inspired me to work hard and to push myself.


With hindsight, what is the one thing you would do differently?


To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything. I’m a strong believer that things happen for a reason and every challenge I’ve faced and success I’ve had has led me to where I am today.


What do you hope to bring to the business moving forward?


I hope to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the Eddingtons business along with a lot of passion, enthusiasm and tenacity. With such an extensive product portfolio and customer base there are countless opportunities for us to explore and I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with the Independent team and retailers to bring those opportunities to fruition.


consider the attributes of a type of wood when deciding if it’s better as a practical food prep addition or just an attractive serving accessory. Hardness: Hard woods such as maple, walnut or beech, will be more resistant to scratches and dings from knives. They usually have a higher hardness rating and are less damage- prone than lower-rated softwoods, like pine. Porosity: Close-grain woods will keep liquids and bacteria from seeping into the cutting surface, which can lead to mould, warping and staining. Open-grained woods, like oak or ash, will soak up moisture and encourage the growth of bacteria. Toxicity: Woods that produce edible fruits, nuts or leaves are generally food-safe. Some exotic woods can contain toxins that could leach out of the wood and into food. Cost: The price of wooden chopping boards can vary widely depending on the wood used. Usually, cutting boards fall at the lower end of


these ranges and butcher blocks at the higher end.


From interesting finishes that highlight the grain to unusual combinations, wooden food prep products are a trend that is likely to stick around for 2022. Stylish, practical and bringing a touch of nature into the home, a wooden chopping board is a classic accessory that no kitchen should be without.


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