The Quooker of Tom Howley
A cup of tea in the morning, a salad with freshly blanched vegetables for lunch, a quick pasta supper on the go: Tom Howley and his family can’t imagine not having a Quooker. Not anymore. ‘It truly makes your life easier.’
The heart of the home: that is how Tom Howley sees his kitchen. It’s the place where his family and friends come together at the kitchen table, eat and drink, laugh and talk. It’s also the place where suppers are cooked, high teas are prepared, and where –occasionally- Tom grabs his guitar and bursts out singing. ‘Yes, from time to time I give an intimate kitchen concert’, he laughs. ‘I can’t help it: I’m an Irishman. I love to sing.’
He used to be in a band, but unfortunately he doesn’t have time for that anymore. Nowadays Tom Howley is a busy luxury kitchen designer. He lives in Sale, a picturesque town in Cheshire, together with his wife of 25 years, Mary, and their teenage children Tom (19) and Meagan (16).
‘I prefer a warm and classic kitchen, but with a contemporary twist’, he says. ‘That’s exactly how I designed my kitchen at home. Crisp and light like the space itself, but with traditionally built, classic frames around the doors and polished nickel handles. To me, craftsmanship and details make the difference.’
One of those details: the Quooker. ‘To me, that almost goes without saying’, Tom says. ‘It’s such a great invention.’ The designer chose the classic Quooker design with two features: boiling water and cold, filtered water. Push once, turn, and a cool blue LED light will shine for the cold filtered water. Push twice, turn, and you’ll see a red LED light for the boiling water. ‘Very easy, and very safe to use. I really can’t remember life before the Quooker. In fact, I don’t think I even want to remember it!’
How does the Quooker fit into your family’s hectic lifestyle?
'We all have busy lives, so we come in and out of the kitchen all day long. My wife does most of the cooking during weekdays, but I like to cook as well. But at the same time we are all tired at the end of the day, and we don’t want to spend too much time cooking. And that’s why the Quooker is so perfect for us. We’ve been saving so much time since it arrived. We never have to wait for the kettle to boil anymore. A pan of pasta is on the hob in seconds, a cup of tea or noodle soup takes even less time. The boiling water is always there: such a great luxury. It truly makes our lives easier.’
Does the Quooker make your life healthier too?
‘Absolutely. We all like to eat well and try to exercise as much as possible. Now that we have a Quooker, it’s very easy for us to drink a lot of water. It’s psychological, I think. If you know you have filtered, high quality water coming out of your tap, you want to drink it all the time. Like my son - he is a boxing fanatic, so he needs to stay hydrated. My daughter is a typical teenager: she loves shopping and going out. But she’s also a health freak. She uses the Quooker to make herself a jug with water and slices of cucumber, or make freshly brewed ice tea on a hot summer’s day. And with The Quooker makes eating more vegetables easier too. Yesterday for example, I made myself a salad with asparagus for lunch. I blanched them in a colander under running boiling water, and then immediately rinsed them with cold water. Crisp and fresh, all ready in seconds. Wonderful.’
Are there other things you like about the Quooker?
Well, you do something good for the environment too. You might not expect it, but the Quooker is very water efficient – a kettle uses up more water. Before we had the filtered water function, we bought well over thirty plastic bottles of water a week. We reduced that to zero.
Now we’re not only saving money, we’re also saving a lot of waste. I always tell my clients that there are a lot of kitchen gadgets, and most of them are trends. They come and go. There are only two gadgets l will always recommend, now and in the future. One: a Quooker. Two: a steam oven.’