By Lloyd Graff
This last weekend, just a few days after the announcement arrived that Hardinge Corporation, which owns Bridgeport, is cutting back production at its flagship Elmira, New York, plant, the new movie about chef, Julia Child, Julie and Julia, made its debut.
Julia Child loved her cobalt blue KitchenAid, and it now resides at the Smithsonian museum in Washington.
More than any other personality, her warmth and unflappable style popularized the cooking TV show as a staple of television. For me the best shows on the tube today are on the Food Channel. I find Altan Brown to be the most creative and interesting TV personality on the air. The Tribune company’s stake in the cable channel is the bankrupt company’s most valuable property aside from my beloved Chicago Cubs, which are about to be sold.
Cooking is on the ascent and Whirlpool’s KitchenAid division is still cranking out mixers in the United States and doing well. The K45SS model my wife Risa and I have in our kitchen is used several times each week. It’s 30 years old, but has never faltered. We recently bought a new dough hook for it online and it arrived two days later. The basic product sells for $199.00 on Amazon, which is the same price it sold for 70 years ago.
Bridgeports’s fortunes are not so sanguine. While the product is beautifully designed and still incredibly useful, it has been in decline since it was sold off by Textron to a leveraged buyout firm in 1986. They immediately suffered a strike and struggled financially as CNC competitors eroded Bridgeport’s market dominance. In 2002, Hardinge took over the battered remains of the company, but its fortunes have gone the other way from KitchenAid’s.
I love both my KitchenAid and my Bridgeport. They have both helped make my “bread” for decades without ever failing.
We combed YouTube for our favorite cooking scenes from a popular movie or TV show. What are your favorites? Feel free to embed a clip from YouTube into your comments.